It seems these days that on those rare occasions where I have to install an OS come along, it always turns into a long, protracted, excruciatingly painful experience. It's sort of like trying to pass medium sized kidney stones.
The hard drive died on my wife's computer. This probably has a lot to do with the amount of abuse this computer suffers on a daily basis.
So I really wanted to obtain an XP SP3 because trying to reinstall the Vista that it came with feels like a step backwards rather than forwards. Procuring the disk was difficult and, it turns out, ultimately futile as the computer failed to read all of the files. Nothing's more fun than staring at the blue windows install screen and watching it fail to copy multiple files, all of which have varying degrees of importance. On the low end, there's the files which I know I don't really need like "arial.ttf". On the high end, there's the files which I'm sure I really do need like "driver.cab". That one's so important it wasn't even compressed on the source cd.
So what did I do? Well, I wound up trading back and forth between the SP2 cd I had procured and the SP1 cd I already had. Wanna guess how well that worked? I wound up with a system that boots fine, everything comes up, yay. Only when you try to actually do something, like choose Start -> shutdown, explorer.exe crashes and restarts itself.
Currently, I have this same computer running using the very, very cool Puppy Linux. Why is Puppy so cool? Well, because it's really, really tiny and you can get to a vaguely-usable desktop in just a few minutes. I mean--this system that I'm on right now has no useable OS other than Puppy, and yet just with that I'm able to browse online and make this blog entry. I call that cool.
Now, back to the install... "Once more into the breach, dear friends..."
Furry cows moo and decompress.