December 18, 2012
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It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was posting about how my computer had frozen during startup and I ended up buying, effectively, a whole new computer. After returning from a week-long vacation, I found my new computer frozen again at the exact same place.
This time I spent a bit longer trying to get the computer to work, because I had just gotten everything installed and set up the way I wanted it. I booted to Ubuntu and checked the hard drive – no problems at all. I did the “automatic repair” multiple times until it told me it couldn’t fix the problem.
Finally I booted up the Windows 8 media and looked at the repair options. None were satisfactory. The closest thing I could find was an option like “Refresh this PC”, which would replace all the Windows files (which I wanted), but would wipe out all installed programs (which I did not want).
With a heavy heart, I made the decision to reformat and reinstall… Windows 7. In the span of a couple months, I’ve had two Windows 8 installations on two different computers that have been unrecoverable. The worst part for me is the lack of recovery features, namely, Safe Mode. If I could only get to a goddamn desktop and look at the event logs to see what happened leading up to the failure, I could troubleshoot it. Whoever eliminated these diagnostic options out of fear that they would confuse or intimidate novice users is an idiot.
In the previous failure, I had put the blame on hard drive errors, but it was a convenient excuse. I didn’t really believe it. I now suspect in both of these cases, it was the Automatic Update process. I have always had my Windows Update settings where it would download the updates, but I would install and restart the updates when I chose to. With Windows 8, I decided to let the system do what it felt was best, meaning restart whenever needed.
So I guess I’m going to have to run Windows 8 in a virtual machine, if I even find I have a need for it.