Saturday, April 12, 2008

I never did mind about the little things.

I've been a big supporter of Microsoft products for a lot of years, and I've been using Windows Vista since the RC1 without a problem. Without a problem, that is, until I attempted to install SP1 on my Vista Home Premium. That was almost two weeks ago, and I finally got to the point that I've given up on Vista.

I'm going back to Windows XP.

That is until I realized that the forces of the universe were aligning against me. First off -- going back to Windows XP after having Vista on your machine is not an easy task. You can't simply just reinstall Windows XP. I forgot that Vista installs a new 'boot loader' which has to be removed by destructive or sneaky ways first.

In my initial attempt to reinstall Windows XP, during the install process I hit one of the buttons on my cabinet, which apparently was a shortcut for c, and that prompted the install to attempt to create a new partition over top of my existing partition.

Did I mention I don't have my cab files (all 250 GB of them) backed up?

Thankfully I didn't panic, and found this amazing tool called TestDisk. It allowed me to completely recover the fubar'd partition, with all my files intact.

Praising myself for my calm demeanor (I should have known better) I proceeded to determine that the way to remove the Vista bootloader was to boot off the DVD and run a bootsect.exe /nt52 command from the recovery console. This would remove the Vista bootloader and replace it with the XP NTLDR.

The universe, sensing my impending victory, decided that this would be the optimal time to have my Betson 27" arcade monitor fail. The monitor that has less than 50 hours of logged time on it. The monitor powers on to a 'ticking' sound which sounds like either the monitor is trying to change resolutions or degauss itself. Either way, it is non-functional.

My initial reaction is to go to the local Canadian Tire, purchase a sledgehammer, and bring all of my anger and frustration to bear onto the cabinet. Unfortunately J has informed me that there will not be a second cabinet constructed in his garage. As such I will be forced to vent by destroying something else, and venting my rage on the Internet.

I've left a message for Betson. Everything I've read indicates their service is great. However I am several thousand miles away from them, and this only reinforced my original fear of buying an arcade monitor. The fear that something would fail on the monitor and I would be left hanging with the choice of having it repaired locally (costing several hundred dollars), or shipping it back for repair (costing several hundred dollars more than local repair).

I'm not willing to invest several hundred dollars into a monitor that has hardly any usage on it. So at this point I'll have to wait and see what Betson's response will be.