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

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #1
    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

    denisvj

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
  3. rezwits macrumors 6502a

    rezwits

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    #3
    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...

    Laters...
     

Share This Page