Hi, my name is Dave, and I’ve been Windows free for a week

Eight days ago, the windows install on my machine mysteriously broke itself. At least I think it was eight days. I don’t recall the exact time this happened. Anyway, something happened to the machine, and windows no longer worked. Stuck in an infinite reboot cycle. So, after some poking around, I gave up on it and booted up the Ubuntu install that I had on another partition.

Since that time, I’ve had to fix on other machine with [apparently] the same problem. And I’ve been talking with guys at work, and apparently it’s not uncommon. All that being said, mine is broken worse that any I’ve heard about to date. It’s broken enough that nothing simple is fixing it. It’s going to require a reinstall to fix it.

The problem is, I’m starting to wonder if it’s worth the trouble. If I re-install, there are a number of unsavory tasks I’ll have to do:

  • update windows itself, including all the updates I can’t save, but have to get from windows update every time
  • install drivers for all the hardware
  • re-install all the software (cygwin, office, quicken, etc)
  • re-update all the software (virus defitions, spyware definitions, steam updates, etc etc etc)
  • copy all the non-install software back of the network share (WoW, war3, etc)

I’m starting to wonder if it’s even worth re-installing windows and going through the hassle of getting all right again. If my theory on what happened to it in the first place is right, then it could all just go down the tubes again at the drop of a hat. Really, the only motivation I have to put windows back in is that it will make gamefest a lot easier for me.

So this is no triumphant “I dropped Windows and never looked back” sort of post. This is a “Windows failed me, and now I’m trying to decide if I can do without it” sort of post.

  1. What’s your theory as to what happened to it in the first place?

  2. I have two guesses at the moment:

    1) Microsoft pushed an update that broke on some machines. Entirely plausible.

    2) A new worm/automated attack came out last week that crippled a small number of machines that it infected. In order to do this, it would have to bypass the built-in XP firewall. Also entirely plausible.

    So there are my two theories. Perhaps other people can think of a simpler solution.

  3. Is this a new computer?

    Intel released a micro code update to several motherboard manufacturers that corrects a timing problem that occurs when the Core 2 processor has been heated up for prolong periods of time and is running at 100% usage.

  4. It is a new machine (core2, 1.86ghz), but I rarely peg both cores. I’ll look into that though.

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