Tuesday 28 July 2015

Windows, why u so hard to install?

Forgive me father, for I have sinned. It's been 2 years and 2 days since my last confession.

I purchased an Intel NUC to replace my outdated WD TV Live that has no grunt power and will never be able to play Full HD movies, and lacks newish codec support.

My initial intention was to install kodibuntu or openelec on it, since I've used XBMC in the past, I assumed I'd be familiar with it. Unfortunately openelec's website is so terrible you can't even download their software without the download constantly timing out, and kodibuntu is based on LTS versions of ubuntu so the drivers are so out of date that the installer won't work properly on the brand new top of the range hardware in my "just released" Intel i7 based NUC. (In particular, its the Iris 6100 graphics chip causing the issues).

So, I hadn't purchased Windows OEM or anything when I purchased the NUC, due to expecting some form of linux to be fine. But, 2 hours of stuffing around, I gave up. To the microsoft store! I should be able to purchase a windows key online, download a USB bootable ISO and be away right. RIGHT?

Well, I purchased windows no problem. Nowhere on the purchase screen does it tell you that you need an existing windows machine to be able to create the boot media. I loaded a "live chat" with an "answer tech" at the microsoft store. 30 mins of "you need a windows computer to create the dvd or usb".... "what if i don't have a windows computer"... "find one, or install windows on one"... "how do i install windows one one?"... "create the boot media and install it"... "how do i create the boot media?"... "from a windows computer". SHOOT ME.

So I found a really old Windows Vista dvd lying around, had a really crappy motherboard/cpu in the cupboard doing nothing, attached a power supply and monitor. Hell I didn't even bother with a case. Installed vista without activating. Ran the stupid "mediacreationtool.exe" file i had to run and voila. We have boot media.

Ok, onto installing it on the NUC. Booting, happy days, enter product key, yep. All reminding me of my old windows days. What have I become?

Oooh here we go, partition time. It sees my brand new 128GB SSD formatted as "unknown", straight from packaging into the NUC. Oh what's this Windows, you won't let me re-format it? Ok delete it. Yep that worked. Create new partition. Hmm nope, nothing happens? Try again. As expected. Hmm.

Ok google around. Other people saying it could be corrupt SSD drive. Some say unplug it and plug it back in. Didn't work. So I took out the drive, plugged it into a linux machine, manually partitioned it with GNU fdisk, put it back in the NUC. Windows setup now likes my drive, yay. It can now delete and re-format partitions. Away we goooo. And it's installing.

And booted. WINDOWS!

Sigh. Why was that so hard. AND so expensive. $149 for that experience Microsoft? Puuuh-lease. Grand total of over 6 hours to get to that point. Un. Buh. Leavable.