There and Back Again (a Windows 8 tale)

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by radmobile, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. radmobile macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    I thought some of you folks might enjoy reading about my experience. Some may learn a thing or two. This is largely a "lesson learned" post; but perhaps one or two of you can shed some light on the issues I experienced. Feel free to ask any questions.

    In November I decided to Bootcamp Windows 8 Pro on my 2009 Mac Pro. I had been on the fence about either buying a new Mac Mini or switching to PC altogether for some time. Frankly, after Lion bricked my Mac Pro in 2011 (adopted to early I guess) and Apple continued to (apparently) shift all focus to "iToys" I was wondering if my money was being well spent.

    I decided that trying Windows 8 would help me make an informed decision. I tried Windows 7 briefly and felt immediately transported back to 2007 (when I last used Vista). I didn't realize how important aesthetics were to me. Using OSX for five years will do that I guess. But I digress.

    Despite all the flack aimed at Windows 8, I found it fluid, easy, stable and efficient. My Mac Pro actually ran better under Windows 8 than under Lion. My programs crashed less often as well. I was mainly using AutoCAD LT, Cubase (got tired of Logic crashing) and Lightroom (my Aperture alternative).

    That said, I found the Start Screen entirely unnecessary (a unified OS is will never seem like a good idea to me). I was also surprised at how many redundant options there are. Between the control panel and the Charms bar things can get confusing. I basically used the OS like XP and had no problems though.

    All told it took me maybe two weeks to get it running smooth and just the way I wanted it to. After using it for seven months I decided to take the plunge and purchase a HP Envy H8-1520t.

    Well, after spending 12 hours setting it up, it turned out I couldn't get clean sound out of it (a problem I never experience with Mac hardware so didn't even think about testing up front). After days of trouble shooting I deduced it was a combination of the video card and just plain shoddy or broken hardware. I was all set to simply send it back to HP so they could fix it.

    The same night I got off the phone with HP about that, Windows 8 on my Mac Pro decided to crash... hard.

    I restarted to install an updated audio driver. It installed a Windows update at the same time. When Windows 8 came back my Start Screen had been totally reconfigured to now include about 15 tiles instead of the normal two. Most appeared to be various maintenance tasks.

    Once in Desktop I found most of my taskbar icons were now white squares. I could in no way interact with them. The few that appeared normal still did nothing when I clicked them.

    When I clicked in the bottom left to access the control panel, that context menu had lost all but three options.

    In File Explorer, a few of my Favorites links were broken as well; white squares instead of folders. I couldn't interact with them either. I decided to give the Windows 8 recovery option a try...

    That produced one improvement. The context menu in the lower left was now fixed. Nothing else was though. Anytime I tried to start any installed application I just got error messages. I can't remember them now. I do know they didn't say anything useful and that a google search amounted to nothing useful either. I was livid at this point.

    The only thing I could try was to ensure file associations were working correctly. All signs pointed to yes. A virus scan turned up nothing as well (I've since done two more on the files and they've come up clean). But still, I couldn't do a damn thing. I initiated a copy of all my personal files to an external drive and went to bed.

    After a sleepless night I decided my Windows 8 test was a bust. No way was I going to invest more time or faith in Windows or associated hardware. I realize few may have a similar experience as I. I also realize I could have purchase a dedicated audio production PC; but I'd still be using an operating system I have no faith in. It's one thing for a brand new OS to have problems early on, it's another for an OS that is rock solid for seven months to break in half in a blink. And through it all, my Mac Pro hardware has been flawless (well aside from shoddy Bluetooth performance).

    I now have a Mac Mini on order and am looking forward to breathing a sigh of relief when OSX boots up.
  2. denisvj macrumors regular


    Sep 9, 2006
  3. rezwits macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2007
    Las Vegas
    That's been my whole beef with Windows

    Your windows install, is SOoo fragile.

    Two times my windows setup, that i used for fun thankfully died.

    One time all I did was trying to install Microsoft Office, but I canceled half way thru cause I wanted to install the x64 version. There was a cancel button. :) Bricked the whole OS. After restart blue screen, no repair except complete re-install.

    So to me Windows is just a: Install it, throw a couple major games, and maybe a 3D program on it and use those when you get a chance, but don't rely on that setup. You can install one program from the internet, it's COMPLETE reinstall time.

    I had a Machine with Leopard <upgrade> Snow Leopard <upgrade> Lion <till now> never had to do a complete re-install or redo my Apps, since 2008, on that machine. When I compare that to Windows Vista and 7, I don't laugh I just cry. And feel sad for Windows only people and the fact that they have to go thru this. They can't tell me in the last 5 years a simple downloaded app or a click of cancel hasn't bricked their setup...


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