New NT Install (Second Install)


I can never figure out why this stuff is so complicated. I recently purchased a Micron 450MHz Pentium II, with a 13Gig hard drive. The machine came with Win98 installed, but I wanted to install NT Workstation instead. The following describes approximately 9 hours of work, to set up the computer as desired.


Day One ( 4 hours)

I boot my NT install disks, but the system only recognizes 8 gig of hard disk space. Thinking that I can change this later, I continue the install, and after it's running, I can't figure out how to access the other 5 gig. I try to apply service patch 4 for Windows, after which the machine constantly locks up when I reboot, displaying the 'Blue Screen Of Death'.

I call up Micron support at 5:30 saturday, and am very pleased to speak to a human, within 8 minutes. Unfortunately, let's just say he's no genius. He tells me it's a microsoft problem, and that I should call Microsoft. I ask him if he would tell me that if they had installed NT, and he just doesn't have a good answer. He doesn't even know that Service Pack 4 is out yet (he talks about 3).

I also mentioned to him when I turn off the PC, it doesn't turn off. He tells me to hold the switch for 15 seconds, and sure enough it turns off. He seems perplexed by the fact that I don't want to hold a button for 15 seconds to turn off my PC. After checking with his supervisor, he comes back to tell me to disable all the power management options in the BIOS setup. Granted, this was a problem that I should have known about. I read all the power management options, and sure enough, there's a 'timed power-off' option. I only have to change that, and all is well.

With his lack of help on the 13Gig issue, I used my Libretto mini-notebook to go online, and within 5 seconds find a document titled 'Using drives larger than 8 gigabytes under Windows NT'. I read the document, then slap my head realizing I've had this problem before, and just forgot it (you need a new ATAPI.SYS driver). I download the software, but decide not to use it. Instead, I create a 2-gig partition, and install NT on it, leaving the rest of the drive unpartitioned. I then install NT to that partition (using FAT). I can now boot NT. I apply Service Pack 4, which has the latest ATAPI driver, re-boot, and am able to format a D: drive with the remaining 11 gig. So far so good.

I try to hook up my SCSI zip drive, but am having problems with it. Not only does it not work, but it's also an ole ISA interface card, and my new PC only has one ISA slot, used ny the modem (I knew this when I ordered the PC). But, I figured I could just get a PCI SCSI card later, and temporarily use the ZIP to restore my school work (over 350 meg all together). I am unable to get the ZIP to work, and give up for the day.

Day Two (5 hours)

I am able to install my PCI network card, and can connect my desktop to me Libretto. So, I take the card out again, put it in my old computer, and put all my work from my old computer to the Libretto. I then take the card out, put it back in the new PC, and connect to the Libretto, and can copy the files from it. I get all my work back.

As a side note, I was using the new keyboard and mouse on my old computer. For some reason, my old computer no longer booted up. I tried removing everything from it, and it just never went to the boot sequence (where it beeps). After all else failed, I unplugged the keyboard, and it worked. For some reason the keyboard was stopping my old PC from booting. I never saw that before, but it's a lesson learned. Over an hour wasted here.

I install all my work, and things are going smoothly, until I go to install my brand new VC++ version 6. When I do, it tells me that I have Service Pack 4, and that VC hasn't been tested with it, and asks if I want to proceed, 'At your own risk'. Great. Who ever thought of 'risk' and computers? I decide to give it a shot, and spend the next 1.5 hours installing VC, and the Back Office suite.

Finally, I install the video and audio drivers for my new machine, and convert my boot partition from FAT to NTFS. Finally, it's all working.

I wanted to keep all my software Microsoft basedm to avoid conflicts. But, in trying to use FrontPage (for this website), I discovered that FrontPage makes it hard to just edit HTML files. It's great for idiot-prrof management of a website, but when you want to keep to the simple studd, it's a pain. So, I go out and purchase PageMill 3, and it works well. Frontpage also uses something called 'FrontPage extension' on the website. This option adds a lot of management files to the website, and also introduces a few security holes to a website, so that also played a role in my decision.

As much as I like computers, I hate this stuff. Spending 9 nhours to get a new PC setup is outrageous, almost negating the performance increase of a machine twice as fast as it's predecessor. But, at least it's done, and the Micron is working well.