Read The Directions? Ha!

I’m composing this entry slowly but surely on my iTouch. Why not my trusty PC? Well…

If you follow tech news, you know that Microsoft has made public the current beta installation of Windows 7. I’ve been reading good things about it, particularly from an online friend who’s very enthusiastic about it.

Now, if you know me at all (and after all our time together, I would think you do), then you know I jumped on this right away. I made my way through three beta releases of Vista, so when it was finally released, I felt very comfortable with it while everyone else was complaining.

The Windows 7 beta is download only, and apparently Microsoft was overwhelmed with requests causing some server issues. But even when things were supposed to be moving smoothly, I still had problems. Off and on for three days I attempted the download (the file is close to 2-1/2 GB, by the way), but it would stop after less than 400 MB were downloaded. After a few days it dawned on me…Firefox is my browser of choice, and most MS sites won’t play nice with it. Sure enough, once I switched over to IE, my download problem ended.

The next step in this undertaking is burning the downloaded file – an .ISO file – to a DVD. My disc burning program of choice is Roxio Creator. I tried three separate times to burn the installation disc, receiving three different error messages. Of course, being the way I am, the thought of checking Roxio’s manual or online help never crossed my mind. Instead, I contacted my online friend, who suggested ImgBurn, a freeware burning utility. I downloaded and installed it, and on the second try, I had my installation disc!

(The first time I jumped right in and tried burning the disc after merely glancing at the instructions. Apparently I skipped a vital step.)

So now I’m ready to start installing the beta. My first thought was to install it on one of my external drives, which, of course, didn’t work because you can’t install an operating system on a removable drive. Huh. Who knew? Everyone but me probably.

Luckily, the hard drive on my Dell has a 10 GB partition, so I can install it there, right? No, because the beta requires at least 16 GB.

So we stick another partition in then. Of course, I’ve never actually partitioned a hard drive before, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.

I searched Vista’s help pages and found what I needed, but the procedure they outlined didn’t work. For me, anyway.

Feeling frustrated, I searched Download.com for a freeware partitioning utility, found one that looked promising, and in no time at all I had it downloaded and installed.

The instructions looked simple enough, so I jumped in balls first: slid this here, renamed that there, and I was ready to go. All I had to do was reboot and I’d be ready to install Windows 7 on my new partition.

That was the last time I saw my desktop alive.

It boots to a certain point, and refuses to go any further. I’ve run diagnostic tests, checked the boot sequence, even bought it a nice glass of wine, to no avail.

I can get it to boot into safe mode, though, and the hard drive looks like it did before I started messing with it, but that’s the most I can do for now.

Hopfully a good night’s rest will do it some good. Tomorrow at work I’ll do some Googling and see what kind of help I can find.

And this time, I’ll be sure to read the directions.

UPDATE: The third System Restore did the trick. Yay! Now to proceed very carefully…

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