Desktop Woes Again

Well, from the looks of things, something bad has been happening with the desktop. Or, more accurately, Win-XP. But to most folks reading MystBlogs that’s probably not surprising. :-P

In my case that’s a bit exasperated by the install method itself, which was through a heavily nLite-modified CD. I just spent the past several hours reviewing what I did, and am likely to re-do this quite differently:

1) Slipstream of XP-SP3 (and hope my key does not get eaten again, as it did when I slipped SP2 onto an original-release CD *sigh*).

2) No slipping/adding of hotfixes after SP3, or of really wild things like Media Player 11. First of all, the steps were complicated. Second, I can’t find any info as to how I did any of it. And lastly, I’d rather have M$ deal with the problem, despite the need for multiple reboots (just fewer with SP3 in).

3) Do NOT go hog-wild in removing things from XP. My biggest regret so far has been removing Calculator (which in hindsight was also not worth the space savings). I’m probably just going to remove the 2-3 things that are vastly annoying or have severe holes, like Messenger. And as much as I’d like to ‘get rid’ of IE, its going to be difficult when There.com and Steam both use core parts of it.

4) On the same note, do NOT to hog-wild on *adding* things either through nLite. My mantra in creating these CDs has always been ‘Back to Work.’ As this is now the only Windows PC I have (both notebooks went 100% Linux), its become even more imperative. So PuTTY is immediately on the list, along with one or two other things that can speed up my bootstrap (OpenOffice, FireFox, status stuff). Again I made mistakes here on the last CD, this is a good time to correct that.

4) I *will* go nuts this time with services (since they can be rolled back if a mistake was made). I’ve been waiting on SP3 registry files from BlackViper, and *cheer* they’re now available. That’s at least a start, and an excellent reference site (he even has Reg Tweak files for Windows 7!). I highly recommend looking over the site, just be prepared to lose an hour or two reading. ;)

5) In the hardware department, get a new gigabit card as a spare (preferably using PCIe-1x). Something absolutely screwy has been occurring on the one my motherboard has (probably weird drivers), and my only ‘spare’ is an ancient Intel 100Pro card (ordinary PCI no less). It had issues with how I ‘connected’ to my work desktop; Then again, it could be Windows, but better safe than sorry.

—–

I’m also strongly considering a dual-boot with Linux, finally. Just too many stories recently by Myst-ers with crashed Windows installs, and their Linux boot saving the day. If that becomes the case, I’ll probably ‘test-drive’ the CentOS version since that’s what got installed on a couple systems at work (and may be our future variant there). OpenSolaris would be nice, but its not playing nice with the VPN (missing packages).

Right, onwards. We’ll see how this pans out…

/salute
–TSK