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For sometime now my home PC hasn’t really been behaving itself. It’s been slow in parts and mysterious errors have surfaced in commonly used applications. A whole bunch of those repair and optimisation utilities have been thrown at my PC over the years but the simple fact was that the machine was suffering from to much clutter.

I had released a while ago that I had never completely rebuild my machine from scratch I had always upgraded my PC with each new version of Windows from 98 to XP. I have often wondered if this had left many orphaned files behind and what state this had left my registry amongst over horror stories thoughts.

Anyway, so I decided to take the radical decision to backup everything up, give the machine a good clean then completely wipe and re-install from scratch. Even give it the full formatting experience, not even doing

Now I could have installed the new Vista preview version from MSDN, but I decided as I wasn’t the only person using the machine I should go safe. To this extent I decided to install XP Home and not Pro. Why? Well firstly, this is a conscious effort to separate my work and home lives. With XP Home I won’t be temped to install SQL Server or Visual Studio on my home machine. (Anyway, I can still remote into my machines at work from home!)

The experiences was without little drama but I was left with a few niggles that would be a good idea to sort out for Vista.

The installation doesn’t really tell you what it’s doing on and which point it has reached. In other words I would like to have my expectation managed rather than just seeing a time and a mystery progress bar that seems to empty and fill with every passing ambiguous short sentence underneath such as ‘registering components’. I was left with feeling what next?

  • Wouldn’t it be good to get all the questions answered right at the start of the installation such as which region, keyboard and time, so instead you can leave the machine to do its thing and come back an hour later to find it’s completed?

  • During the installation the messages appear to tell you how wonderful XP is, well won’t it be cool if it could show you? How about running a few small tutorials as it installs?

  • Once machine is installed, it’s just hassle going around and installing the drivers that the install didn’t have or the latest version, wouldn’t it be cool if windows could do that for you as part of the initial windows update? Now I would pay extra for that service. I know there are already third parties that do this but they know they are on to a winner that’s why I resent paying for the nose for it.

  • To reduce the chance of ‘Typhoid Mary’s’ I think Windows such nag you to run a Windows update as soon as it’s up, pretty much like the activation does now.

Any more ideas you can think of?

Posted on Monday, October 17, 2005 7:40 AM | Back to top

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