Coevolving Innovations

… in Business Organizations and Information Technologies

My failed relationship with Windows (10)

Dear Microsoft: After a 4-year separation with Windows 7, the constructive divorce that you’ve set for Windows 10 on July 29, 2016 will come into force.  I’ve just spent 30 hours trying to make things work.  I know that Lenovo says that the Windows 10 upgrade should work, but we’re spending so little time together that I don’t have energy to keep fighting.

We never really got married.  There was a time that I was spending up to 12 hours per day with you.  Our relationship has a long history:

  • 1. Courtship (1992-1996)
  • 2. Shotgun wedding (1996-2008)
  • 3. Open relationship (2008-2012)
  • 4. Separation (2012-2016)
  • 5. Divorce (2016)

Over the past few days, the messages you’ve been giving me have been more than frustrating.

On the Thinkpad X200, you told me “We couldn’t install Windows 10”,  and “0xC1900101 – 0x20017 The installation failed in the SAFE_OS phase with an error during BOOT operation” five times over 24 hours.

We couldn’t install Windows 10. 0xC1900101 – 0x20017 The installation failed in the SAFE_OS phase with an error during BOOT operation.

The BIOS is up to date and antivirus was removed.  I tried with both the automated installation and Media Creation Tool on USB, both with and without the online updates.  There were also long “Checking for update” delays, where I had to intervene.

Maybe upgrading on older Core 2 Duo Penryn computer isn’t worthwhile.  I then turned my newer computer, a Core i7 Ivy Bridge.

Trying on the Thinkpad X230 Tablet, you told me “Something happened”.  “Sorry, we have having trouble determining if your PC can run Windows 10”.  This computer is on the “Lenovo supported systems list for Windows 10 Upgrade“, so is the trouble my fault or your fault?

Something happened determining if your PC can run Windows 10

You led me to the Windows Update Troubleshooter, which found that the “Service Registration is missing or corrupt”.  The automated install didn’t fix everything, so I spent 15 minutes copying-and-pasting commands manually into a terminal window.  Thanks, that fixed the Service Registration problem. However the “Something happened” message is unchanged.

I’m not new to intense relationships.  I have to admit to not being fully committed to Microsoft for some decades.

1. Courtship (1992-1996)

 From 1985, I was a mainframe computer guy (VM/CMS).  By 1986, the PC revolution led to connecting to IBM VNET through PC-DOS 3.3. In 1988, I got a taste of the future as one of the first working with Metaphor Computer Systems, predating the PowerPC Macintosh computers from Apple.  I bought into the Taligent vision from 1992 (around the same time that NeXTSTEP was being developed).

By 1992, the OS/2 32-bit version had debuted, in addition to Workplace Shell, I could work with Windows 3.1.  I preferred “Windows 3.1 on OS/2” over “Windows 3.1 on DOS”, and both could get along.

2. Shotgun wedding (1996-2008)

The demise of OS/2 by 1996 led IBM to internally adopt Windows 95.  From there, the rise of Windows XP in 2001 led to automated installations through the ISSI (IBM Standard Software Installer).  Like most people in the world, I became a user of Microsoft Office 97, XP and 2000.  I didn’t have to worry about the operating system, because there was a central help desk supporting 30,000 employees on the same platform.

3. Open relationship (2008-2012)

With Windows XP ending sales in 2008, I hedged my bets by easing over to open software platforms.  With IBM offering an Open Client for Linux, I could configure an option to switch back and forth between Windows XP and Red Hat Enterprise Linux on a dual-booting computer.  By 2010, the introduction of the Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx release to the Open Client for Debian Community opened up some more choices for user interfaces, so I continued to run on a dual-boot Thinkpad.  When many in the company moved over to Windows 7 in late 2011 and early 2012, I was slow to change my ways.

In our house, our family had OS/2 desktop computers, and evolved to living with Windows XP.  We even had a series of Apple PowerPC towers running OS/X for a while.  My sons had Thinkpads for their study years in China, running Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.  When Windows XP stopped updating on our old computers, switching the family over to Ubuntu Linux gave the old hardware new life.

4. Separation (2012-2016)

It wasn’t until 2012 that I decided that I should own my own laptop.  I bought a refurbished Thinkpad X200 for its portability, and followed the unofficial upgrade guides to maximize its power.  It was licensed for Windows 7, and I added Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin on dual boot.  I discovered that I would work in Ubuntu Linux for weeks without restarting in Windows 7.  The upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr was rather uneventful.  Along the way, the Nexus 10 tablet and Nexus 5 smartphone running on the Android operating systembased on Linux kernel — would become more important to me than Windows.

At the end of 2013, I also bought a Thinkpad X230 Tablet, with a faster processor and pen-based interface, upgraded with more RAM and a mSATA SSD.  This became a dual-booting Windows 7 and Ubuntu system that I mirrored with the X200, so that if the hardware or software ever fails on one, I should be able to continue work on the other.  It’s only in early 2016 that I made the X230 Tablet my primary computer, and the X200 the secondary.

In 2015, I helped my friend DLH in Iowa with failing Windows 8 restarts on a Thinkpad T430, repurposing his T420 with Ubuntu Linux.  In diagnosing issues on the T430, I noticed the UEFI Secure Boot protection coupled with the Windows Certification Program.  Microsoft, you’ve found a way to increase your control over the computer, but Lenovo has done us a favour by allowing me to turn it off.  My friend DLH is happy with Ubuntu Linux, and recommends it to others as an alternative who don’t want the Windows 10 upgrade.

Earlier this year, I helped another friend, SN in Finland, with Ubuntu Linux as an alternative to Windows 10 on her Thinkpad X230 Tablet.  While in China, she had a similar lockup issue with Windows 10, and has vowed to not risk that again.

5. Divorce (2016)

Microsoft, do I really need Windows 10?  The upgrade is free until July 29.  If I could have installed it in an hour or two, I would have upgraded.  After 30 hours, however, the continuing our relationship would require me to back up all of my data, reformat the drive, reinstall Windows 7, upgrade to Windows 10, reinstall Ubuntu Linux and then restore all of the data.  That’s a lot of work.  I’ve been doing fine with our separation since 2012.  The open relationship since 2008 gave me the confidence that I (and others) don’t have to follow the path you’ve determined for us.  In late summer, after Ubuntu 16.04.1 Xenial Xerus is released, I can use the one-button install to upgrade there.

What’s the risk of breaking up?  Sure, it’s probable that some malware will creep onto Windows 7 that you’ll fix on Windows 10 but won’t backport.  Since I’m not seeing Windows 7 much these days, anyway, I can just read the newspaper headlines and not worry about that.

Maybe others will go for the divorce, too.  If they’ve gotten used to the Windows 7 interface, maybe they would like the Cinnamon interface on Linux Mint, instead.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • RSS qoto.org/@daviding (Mastodon)

    • daviding: The #GlobalBusinessN April 8, 2020
      The #GlobalBusinessNetwork has been temporarily reformed including #PeterSchwartz and #StewartBrand in a report released by #PunitRenjen at #Deloitte and #Salesforce. https://discuss.openlearning.cc/t/a-world-remade-by-covid-19-scenarios-as-the-passing-storm-good-company-sunrise-in-the-east-lone-wolves/107.
    • daviding: A young man stares o April 5, 2020
      A young man stares out a window and the caption reads “Bus windows: the ultimate philosophy school.” writes #MarkKingwell All the canonical philosophers of boredom have believed that boredom was eventually edifying – a painful experience that, like mortality itself, educates and enhances the mind. Because we’re all addicts of our own desires for stimulation, […]
    • daviding: Provocative statemen February 1, 2020
      Provocative statement by Canadian automobile reviewer. > There isn’t now and likely never will be enough electricity available worldwide to replace all the petroleum for the vehicles we currently drive.> And given that at least in Canada, only 11 per cent of fossil fuel emissions come from passenger vehicles (that’s not from some climate-change-denying website […]
    • daviding: Lecture on "Are Syst January 23, 2020
      Lecture on "Are Systems Changes Different from System + Change?" at #OCADU_SFI #SystemicDesign master's, web video and digital audio now at http://coevolving.com/blogs/index.php/archive/are-systems-changes-different-from-system-change/ . Lecture of 1h18m covered 37 of 55 slides, all online for #SystemsChange #SystemsThinking #theoryofchange
    • daviding: The 2019-2020 fires January 5, 2020
      The 2019-2020 fires in Australia are associated with a slow history of human activity. > Three hours north, in Sydney, the air quality was worse than in Jakarta. [....] > There is no doubt that the fires are growing more ferocious. Even without the changing climate, it would be inevitable; 250 years of land mismanagement […]
  • RSS on IngBrief

    • Plans as resources for action (Suchman, 1988)
      Two ways of thinking about practice put (i) “plans as determinants of action”, and (ii) “plans as resources for action”. The latter has become a convention, particularly through research into Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW). While the more durable explanation appears the Suchman (1987) book (specifically section “8.2 Plans as […]
    • The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago
      Does “the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago and the second best time is now” date back further than 1988? It is time to look long and hard at the value of the urban forest and create the broad-based efforts — in research, funding and citizen participation — needed to improve […]
    • 2019/11/05 13:15 “Barriers to Data Science Adoption: Why Existing Frameworks Aren’t Working”, Workshop at CASCON-Evoke, Markham, Ontario
      Workshop led by @RohanAlexander and @prof_lyons at #CASCONxEvoke on "Barriers to Data Science Adoption: Why Existing Frameworks Aren't Working". For discussion purposes the challenges are grouped within three themes: regulatory; investment; and workforce.
    • Own opinion, but not facts
      “You are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts” by #DanielPatrickMoynihan is predated on @Freakonomics by #BernardMBaruch 1950 “Every man has a right to his own opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts”. Source: “There Are Opinions, And Then There Are Facts” | Fred Shapiro […]
    • R programming is from S, influenced by APL
      History of data science tools has evolved to #rstats of the 1990s, from the S-Language at Bell Labs in the 1970s, and the
    • Bullshit, Politics, and the Democratic Power of Satire | Paul Babbitt | 2013
      Satire can be an antidote, says Prof. #PaulBabbitt @muleriders , to #bullshit (c.f. rhetoric; hypocrisy; crocodile tears; propaganda; intellectual dishonesty; politeness, etiquette and civility; commonsense and conventional wisdom; symbolic votes; platitudes and valence issues).
  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • RSS on daviding.com

    • 2020/03 Moments March 2020
      The month started with a hectic coincidence of events as both a teacher and student at two universities, abruptly shifting to low gear with government directives for social distancing.
    • 2020/02 Moments February 2020
      Winter has discouraged enjoying the outside, so more occasions for friend and family inside.
    • 2020/01 Moments January 2020
      Back to school, teaching and learning at 2 universities.
    • 2019/12 Moments December 2019
      First half of December in finishing up course assignments and preparing for exams; second half on 11-day family vacation in Mexico City.
    • 2019/11 Moments November 2019
      Wrapped up paperwork on closing out family buildings in Gravenhurst, returned to classes and technical conferences in usual pattern of learning.
    • 2019/10 Moments October 2019
      Tightly scheduled weekdays at Ryerson Chang School, weekends in Gravenhurst clearing out family building as we're leaving the town permanently.
  • RSS on Media Queue

  • Meta

  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
    Theme modified from DevDmBootstrap4 by Danny Machal