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Topic: Windows Frustration Thread (Read 5333 times)

  • Frenzie
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Windows Frustration Thread
Because of my uneventful minor upgrade I decided to reintroduce Windows 7 on one of my disks for gaming purposes. But during installation, Windows kept complaining about not being able to find or use a "system disk" (read: bootable partition), even though I explicitly cleared out an entire disk for it to do with as it pleased. I tried preparing partitions in GParted, but no luck.

In a last-ditch effort I physically unplugged each and every one of my drives except the one on which I wanted to install Windows. What do you know? It worked. The bottom line: this kind of stuff is why I purged Windows from my system in 2011.

  • Macallan
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Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #1
Heh, I remember NT4 pulling something related on me. Long story short - adding a SCSI controller rendered the system unbootable. The problem is that Windows keeps a path to its root partition somewhere, and this path like kinda like this:
scsi(0)disk(1)partition(0)/NTOSKRNL.EXE. The problem is, that NT4 ( and I'm not sure how many subsequent versions ) treated all storage controllers like SCSI controllers, and the one I added somehow ended up first in the list, pushing the onboard IDE channels further down, so the root path didn't point at the right disk anymore -> bluescreen.
And that's with changing the path in boot.ini. Without that the boot loader wouldn't even start since it wouldn't find any NT kernel to load. Too bad you can't get to the registry and change the root path as well.
Leaves the question, since they already emulate an ARC boot environment ( That's where the weird-ass naming convention comes from. The other prominent user was Silicon Graphics btw., and they don't have that problem since you configure both the kernel and the root path in the firmware so they can be changed without any OS running ) then why did they half-ass it instead of going the whole mile and put the root path into boot.ini as well, or use variables like real ARC firmware.
Removing the SCSI controller allowed Windows to boot. Putting it back in - no go. Had to reinstall the whole damn thing just because somebody at Microsoft thought that making options inaccessible is a good idea.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #2
I've had an issue related to that. The problem wasn't booting (presumably because this was XP or 7 rather than NT 4), but that upon booting it had decided the boot partition/drive should be called D:\. But apparently Windows required the boot partition to be known as C:\? By itself this might've been "simple" to fix by switching around two drives physically, but apparently it had done some automated repair stuff or something, because after doing that suddenly it was complaining that it couldn't find certain files required for loading Windows on D:\... I waited for it to do something automatically to fix itself the same way it had messed itself up, but no cigar. Naturally, I had to reinstall the whole thing.

In Linux, meanwhile, at worst I'd have to use a LiveCD or some such to fix up my /etc/fstab a little by hand. So. much. simpler.

  • Macallan
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Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #3
I've seen that in win2k ( the last one I used before dumping windows for good ) - the operating system itself doesn't really use drive letters but a whole bunch of userland does. It doesn't expect to live on c:\ but it better be whatever drive letter you installed it on. For some reason, some day windows decided to rearrange drive letters ( I probably added a disk or something ) and then complain that it couldn't find a bunch of files. Had to rearrange them back to where they were. Also, from win2k on, NTFS has kinda-sorta mountpoints.

  • Belfrager
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Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #4
For the most part of the population, Windows it's like Churchill words about democracy - the worst form of Operative System, except for all those other ones.

My loyal XP is dying but it managed to overpass Vista and still maintains dignity... it was good enough to kept me apart from Seven, Eight and whatever.

After XP, nothing. I need no computers anymore, android toys will be enough.
A matter of attitude.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #5
Windows 7 is... reasonable.

  • ersi
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Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #6
2000 was the best of them all, but it's long since gone. XP is being forcefully killed off. I liked XP less than 2000. 7 is reasonable compared to Vista and 8, but pretty much anything else than Vista or 8 is more reasonable...

  • Sparta
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Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #7
multiboot XP, 7,8 , linux .

eliminate that  frustation  .  :ninja:


  • Frenzie
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Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #8
This is the first time since 2011 that Windows has made it onto my primary computer, not counting virtual machines. Alas, I desire to play some games not available on Linux. That aside, I also intend to see what Achron runs like on this setup in Linux.

  • Macallan
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Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #9

multiboot XP, 7,8 , linux .

eliminate that  frustation  .  :ninja:

By getting rid of all of them? :right:

  • Macallan
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Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #10

This is the first time since 2011 that Windows has made it onto my primary computer, not counting virtual machines. Alas, I desire to play some games not available on Linux.

The games I still care about all run on my old 2x2GHz G5 :left:

  • ersi
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Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #11
At someone's request for an installation of Windows, I decided, out of some interest in the latest developments of Windows OS, accompanied by my thought "Since he insists, let him suffer," to install Windows 10 Technical Preview.

The first thing to do was to download the ISO and find a way to make a bootable device out of it. USB stick did not work (failed to boot). The first attempt to put it onto DVD with Xfburn ruined the DVD disc. A second attempt with K3b and another DVD disc finally booted.

Once the installer booted in the DVD drive, it became clear that there's no live boot. No way to check out what the opsys can offer other than to make a complete install.

Then it became clear that there's no easy way to begin installing because, as the Windows installer complained, the harddrive of the machine was "partitioned GPT style". (The machine in question had had Ubuntu at first.) For a change I booted to Linux on the machine and tried things with GParted, but the Windows installer remained complaining all the same. It was time to look up on the net what GPT means and how to get past it.

The answers on YT said that immediately as the Windows installer boots,

  • Press Shift+F10 to open up command prompt

  • In the command prompt, type diskpart

  • Then list disks, whose answer in my case was just one - 0

  • Then select disk 0

  • Then clear


The last command will totally obliterate the structure of partitions, not to mention the data, on the disk. The upside is that you can proceed with the installation of your Windows. (A corollary seems to be: The only way to dual-boot is to install Linux after Windows.)

One of the interests in getting to see Windows 10 was the famous Project Spartan that was supposed to have superceded IE. A website instructs, "You can try Project Spartan using the "globe" icon on the taskbar." This is false. The globe icon was nowhere to be found, while the blue "e" icon was rather prominent.

A totally different website instructs, "Launch Internet Explorer 11 and type about:flags... Find the option labeled Enable Experimental Web Platform Features and select Enabled. Click the Apply Changes button at the bottom of the page and then completely close and restart Internet Explorer."

These instructions were possible to follow through in practice, but they led to no visible changes in the look and behaviour of the browser. In other words, a total letdown.

An incidental detail: The size of the Windows 10 Technical Preview installer is 4 GB. In a Linux distro with this size you get everything - a bunch of browsers, office suits, multimedia players and codecs, all Linux games historically produced, etc. In Windows you will still have to install that stuff separately. But this was already beyond what I was asked to do. Let him suffer.

  • Belfrager
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Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #12
After XP, nothing. I need no computers anymore, android toys will be enough.

Not true, I installed 7 and I like it. On the other hand I got tired of android toys.
So, I have a windows 2003 server, a XP, a Vista and a 7. Maybe I should make a museum.
A matter of attitude.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #13
Then it became clear that there's no easy way to begin installing because, as the Windows installer complained, the harddrive of the machine was "partitioned GPT style". (The machine in question had had Ubuntu at first.) For a change I booted to Linux on the machine and tried things with GParted, but the Windows installer remained complaining all the same. It was time to look up on the net what GPT means and how to get past it.

I had this problem myself. Last week I upgraded from my 2011 128 GB SSD (now in my laptop) to a new 256 GB Crucial MX100. Anyway, part of the intent there was to put Windows on the SSD as well (at ~80GB I'm still ahead on space for Linux). Unfortunately, Windows is way too difficult. It doesn't want to migrate to GPT (perish the thought) because I'm on an "old" computer with BIOS, it wants the first partition on the drive, etc. It probably took me several hours to figure out the exact things Windows wants (with copying the partition several times included and such; not several hours of activity on my end), whereas migrating Linux took roughly 4 minutes. In the end the only way I could get it to work was by simply copying the whole MBR and partition table from the HDD that housed Windows.

Windows is an unusable POS. That aside, the speed difference with Windows on the SSD is staggering. It almost seems usable, once you finally get it to work.

  • ersi
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Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #14

Windows is an unusable POS. That aside, the speed difference with Windows on the SSD is staggering. It almost seems usable, once you finally get it to work.

The speed difference is staggering compared to what? Compared to HDD, to Linux or to earlier versions of Windows? Which versions of Windows have you installed on SSD?

  • Frenzie
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Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #15
In the end the only way I could get it to work was by simply copying the whole MBR and partition table from the HDD that housed Windows.

*ahem* :P The HDD that housed Windows is a Samsung 7200RPM 320GB HDD that I bought in early '07. It was plenty fast back then, but my newer Toshiba (Hitachi) 5400RPM 2013 2TB HDD is rather impressively about twice as fast for probably all intents and purposes while using less energy to boot. (Speed was hardly a concern.)

It's Windows 7. I also have XP, 7, and 8 VMs thanks to modern.ie. They take the pain out of it.

On Linux I can just juggle my partitions and partition tables about however I like. Windows is a stupid, annoying little crybaby.

  • ensbb3
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Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #16
On Linux I can just juggle my partitions and partition tables about however I like. Windows is a stupid, annoying little crybaby.

Indeed.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #17
I'm talking about the fact that Windows just won't boot unless a very specific set of requirements is met, not about which OS or software was used to manipulate partitions. It would seem that for non-OS partitions you can do pretty much whatever you like.

  • ersi
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Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #18
Does ensbb3 ever reboot his machine? Modern machines with that thing called UEFI take quite some fiddling to be able to multiboot. UEFI is the kind of BIOS that likes to own the machine and prevent bootup when partitions have been tampered with. On top of this, Windows adds its own "protective layer" and acts hysterical when whatever partitions (not necessarily Windows' own partitions) have been tampered with.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #19
I figured I'd go with a GPT partition table because that way you can have more than four primary partitions (without bothering with the extended partition nonsense), but Windows apparently refuses to work with GPT unless you have an UEFI BIOS. Just another pleasant surprise.

  • ensbb3
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Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #20
I used that once to resize partitions for other OS's from Windows without errors. I've screwed them up doing it from Linux before and had to reinstall everything. I'm not smart enough to manually fix them. (For me that's Windows 8, Windows 7, Xubuntu and one or two other Linux distributions, depending on what I'm playing around with. Generally if I like it with VM I'll install it eventually.)

Since I'm of no help, I'll simply move on. :P

  • ersi
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Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #21
It's just that you were not properly on topic. This is Windows Frustration Thread.

I have partitioned disks only in Linux, because partitioning only became relevant to me when I had decided to get rid of Windows for good. Once I had decided this, the machine that I had at the time became fair game for free experimentation. So I partitioned and installed and reinstalled and repartitioned Linuxes on it until I considered my skills passable.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #22
I've always considered two partitions a must for Windows. The easiest way to reinstall is just to wipe C:\, while D:\ holds all of your essential files and folders. Most Linuxes automatically go for such an arrangement with / and /home, but perhaps ironically they don't seem to get bogged down the way Windows does. (Or did?)

  • ensbb3
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Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #23
It's just that you were not properly on topic. This is Windows Frustration Thread.

In fairness, I'd had to of used more words to be either on or off topic. I feel like I was close enough. Not that that means I was.
Does ensbb3 ever reboot his machine?

I am curious what brought this question? The software I offered requires a reboot and has to enter a shell to rewrite registries (or whatever it needs to do that I can't) to work.
I've always considered two partitions a must for Windows.

Absolutely. I have a 1TB drive dedicated to archives, media and whatever else rather than keeping things in with any of the OS's partitions. I'm not putting all my eggs in Windows' basket for sure.

Thinking back I've had this problem twice. The first time I did reinstall everything. And why I accidentally understand what Mac said earlier in this thread... The second time I used a Linux based repair CD (ok USB) to merge the split back into win8's partition and put everything back as it was (I may of deleted the bootloader too(grub), not sure.) but got win8 to boot again. After trying a couple different programs I came across that software I linked and completed the task.

Y'all won't have any trouble convincing me you understand the underlying principle better than I. But I believe I've had the same if not very similar trouble. I fixed it so I offered.
  • Last Edit: 2015-04-19, 22:15:44 by ensbb3

  • ersi
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Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #24

Does ensbb3 ever reboot his machine?

I am curious what brought this question? The software I offered requires a reboot and has to enter a shell to rewrite registries (or whatever it needs to do that I can't) to work.

I didn't know that about the software. Naturally, because I didn't know about the software in the first place.

My question was prompted by disbelief in that you take partitioning under and around a Windows installation to be a trivial matter. Of course, your first reply was too brief to justify any assumptions about your actual position, so my question was deliberately designed to exaggerate in many ways so as to hopefully make you clarify your position. You now have.

My own experience with Windows+partitioning is limited to manufacturers' pre-installations (plus now the Windows 10 installation I did on my own, but this is a very recent unique event), where my task was to make Windows believe that nothing changed even though I halved the disk and made it a multiboot with Linux. This has never been a trivial matter.