April 16, 2003

Migrating to Windows XP

So it was time. Time to move from Windows 2000 to Windows XP on my portable (a Dell Latitude C510). My main motivation is to get the Remote Desktop option. I do not always care to move my portable with me (especially into areas where I already have a computer available), but lately, more often than not, I end up missing my own setup, as well as my own software...

The first obstacle is to move out of the previous OS installation. It was the pre-installed Dell Windows 2000, I never really liked the installation, but I never got around to reinstall it, so it has served me pretty well the last year.

Moving out of an OS is time-consuming. It takes time to extract all the necessary files, settings, rules, configurations and files that litter a system actively used for a year. I believe that the entire process took closer to three hours... temporarily moving a ton of files stored on the HDDs only partition onto a school computer, burning CDs with other stuff no longer actively used.

Then it was time to install Windows XP Professional. Insert the CD. Install. Easy. Actually it was no fuzz whatsoever. It just works. (Ok, so I have been installing Windows 2000 numerous times, what would surprise me?)

Naturally, after the easy first round comes the usual install-and-reboot session. Putting a freshly reinstalled Windows XP box directly online is close to dangerous, but ok... time for Windows Update...

And the verdict:
21 Critical Updates
12 System Updates
- atleast 4 reboots... *sic*
(Why on earth can't it just do all of this in one instance? As some sort of final step of the installation?)

And after that comes drivers from Dell to make my peripherals work. The modem, the 802.11b and the TouchPad.

The feeling of Windows XP is actually quite much better than with 2000. It was strange to log on for the first time, only to see an empty desktop, without even the My Computer icon present. Took two minutes to get rid of the cartoon theme, and back into old Windows look, and with the click of a button the menu was back to normal too. :)

Even the taskbar tray is now under control. Ever been tired of having half the taskbar littered with useless icons? Now they disappear by themselves after just a short while. Can life become better? Sad thing is that the task-bar application grouping of similar applications does not work with the classical theme... :|

Time to call it a quits for tonight. 6 hours and counting. Good part being that I can now continue when I get back home, leaving the computer at the university! Plans for tomorrow; application installation... time to fill the harddrive again.

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