The hard drive on the family laptop died in December, so we bought a new desktop. We got an HP Pavilion Slimline – small but still a desktop. I thought it would be nice to go back to having a desktop to get the better display and regular size keyboard. And, NC state employees get a nice discount with HP.
Well, we got it and like it. We had a small problem with the monitor (a bright yellow, one pixel wide vertical line on all the time) which they replaced quickly. The hardware is a nice jump from our 4 year old laptop, and we didn’t know how much we missed having a number pad on the keyboard.
However, it also came with Vista. It is pretty and has decent navigation. It didn’t take long to get used to it. But, the problems soon started. About every 1-2 weeks we got the blue screen of death (BSOD) and had to restart several times before Vista would start again. Explorer also froze whenever we copied, moved, or even renamed files. Updates didn’t help, and sometimes had a BSOD while installing them!
So, we finally got sick of it. One of the advantages of working at WCU is that faculty and staff get a discount on lots of software. I got a copy of XP for $10 and installed it. I have to give it to HP: even though their policy is to only support the pre-installed operating system, they pointed me to all the drivers I needed (except for the modem – which I found myself). It only took about 1.5 hours to go from Vista to fully running with XP AND all our necessary software.
Updating XP through dial-up took longer, but at least it doesn’t crash regularly. Now if we can just get DSL...