Monday, 3 October 2011

NaNoWriMo - F6 driver needed!

I installed XP Pro on my laptop in 2007. Four years on and while I knew I had done this and vaguely recalled some issues I had completely forgotten the specifics. It made downgrading from Vista a teensy bit harder.

Turns out I've got a SATA harddrive on my now ancient Acer TravelMate. A few seconds into the XP install a message appears informing you can press F6 to install a driver for the harddrive. Turns out this was the specific I really needed to remember! Without this driver, the install could not even find or recognise the harddrive and failed.

Since the install failed before wiping the drive I was able to reboot and start googling. Installing XP on SATA harddrives is a common problem as it turns out. I quickly located the driver but then did my typical guy thing and failed to fully read the instructions. I had done this before so it couldn't be that hard, could it? That was my first mistake.

I used a nifty application called nlite last time which allows you to customize installing an operating system - slipstreaming. nlite lets you decide which aspects of XP to install and which to leave out. No more solitaire eating up disk space; don't like Internet Explorer - don't install it! It can also automate the install process: set it up with the software key and user names and passwords beforehand and you can create a CD which will install the same custom version of XP on any computer in your organisation. Oh, and it's free.

I wasn't happy with the slipstreamed version in 2007 and wanted to improve it. That was my second mistake.

Backing up everything off the laptop had taken me the whole morning on Saturday and that afternoon got hectic. The need for a weekly food shop and other chores took precedence but I kept working on a new version. Doing several things at the same time was my third mistake.

More about this tomorrow - I need to get ready for work!

760 words this morning. I found it difficult to get going and the pace was quite slow throughout. How is your preparation for NaNoWriMo going?

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