Installing Windows XP on Dell

I am installing a new copy of Windows XP on my Dell desktop computer (with service tag: JG7PR1X).

Regarding installing Windows, it was one of my favorite many years ago. When I just joined Microsoft in 1998 as an intern (Hey! It is Microsoft!). That was years before Windows 2000 was launched, and we were still using Windows 95. One of my daily job was to install Windows. At that time, many cases need environment to reproduce the problem, and we don’t have fancy stuff like Virtual PC – we only had ghost, but most of the Windows environment don’t have a ghost file. I am very good at installing a Traditional Chinese Office onto a Thai Windows, just to reproduce some weird problems. I may have installed Windows 100+ times in one year.

Now, installing Windows is so boring task, especially when I have to look for the right driver, and fix some minor issues before I continue. See? Big difference in mood between ten years ago and now – doing the same thing.

The interesting difference is, to install a machine is a great accomplishment for me 10 years ago – look at this fresh new machine – which I can work on it tomorrow. Now, installing a computer is just, hmmm, something too small to be satisfied with… When the standard of accomplishment changes, our sense of time changes, and our feeling for happiness changes.

6 thoughts on “Installing Windows XP on Dell

  1. Seemon SIM

    Just same as me, hate to reinstalling WindowsXP. Installing is NOT the problem but find the drivers and some setting configuration is another BIG deal when reinstall Windows.

    I used to installing more than 1,000 PCs with Windows 95. Hard time and good things is not I am NOT doing these jobs anymore.

    So got some same feeling with you on your article. 感同身受!

  2. Jian Shuo Wang

    @Seemon, you reminded me of another great project I am involved – once I created the plan to install 100,000 PC with Windows XP for China Mobile across 31 provinces of China. That was a bigger project than installing machines at office.

  3. Richard Fisher

    All you gentlemen should convert to Macintosh!! So much more user-friendly, plus Unix-based SOLID Leopard operating system OSX 10. Mac users LOVE their computers. We say:

    Claiming that the Macintosh is inferior to Windows because most people use Windows, is like saying that all other restaurants serve food that is inferior to McDonald’s.

    Mac users swear BY their computers, PC users swear AT theirs.

    From “The True North Strong and Free… Canada”

  4. artuzai

    Credits to you for chosing to still install faithful old Windows XP on a machine until something better from Microsoft comes along :-)

    I know too well the continuous re-installing of systems. I started in late 1997 for a translation company and was installing OS/2 and Windows 95 on a daily basis. It was quite challenging at that time too, what-not with dual boot, ridiculously low disk space, boot disks, FAT support or FAT32 non-support, booting off a ZIP drive with LPT1 connection etc etc etc

    … Now installing OS’s is almost a walk in the park IF (as you pointed out) all the drivers are known and available. The fun days have just changed, that is all.

  5. Kevin

    The two computers I use at work are both XP. Others use Vista or Windows 7. I rebuild for various reasons perhaps once a year and have ‘solved’ the driver issue. Prior to reformatting and reinstalling, I copy all drivers located in the Dell drivers folder. These seem to be all the hardware drivers needed and are all up-to-date. When the reinstall is finished and system is looking for drivers, I point the folder of the copied drivers and all is well.

  6. Leo Ni

    As a Macintosh user, I can feel it represents a typical North American life style, which does not require a steep learning curve to change from Windows. But you can never leave Windows forever.

    Ironically, in Canada, many people around me are using intel -based Macintosh to run Mac Leopard OS X and Windows XP at the same time.

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