I don’t know why I’m starting this in the Pit, because it’s not a rant, but it might get kind of ugly. I dunno. Here’s my tale of woe - listen to my story, children, and learn from my mistakes.
I’m an OS pirate. I’ve been running Windows for overten years and have only sort of paid for it once (98 came installed on a computer I bought).
We won’t go into the specifics of HOW I got my pirated copy of Windows 2000 (W2K), but I have one. It’s all the files, burned onto a CD. Huzzah.
Yesterday some new components I ordered came in - new huge hard drive and faster CD burner. Like an idiot, I decide to try to install them all at once. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, but I finally got to the point where the original HD, then new HD, and the CD burner were seeming to coexist peacefully. The ZIP drive was having problems, though, and the computer wasn’t happy with the fact that I’d removed the floppy drive, since I needed its bay more than I needed it. So I go to the Iomega site, find the upgraded installer for W2K, and run it, thinking it’ll solve my problems.
I was wrong in the worst way. There’s a known bug in Iomega’s W2K installer that sometimes causes a little problem. It did in my case. Now the computer just reboots over and over. I can’t get to the OS at all, it just reboots.
Iomega’s fix is to go to the BIOS, boot from CDROM, boot from the W2K CD, and then do some other stuff. Problem is, my pirated W2K disk isn’t bootable.
So I am screwed. Now, I only have myself to blame. It’s my own fault that I have a pirated OS, that I went about the installation stupidly, and so forth. I am fully hip to that.
But I want to amend my ways. I want to go legit on W2K. I want to Do the Right Thing.
Thing is, I’m not sure how well the Right Thing is gonna help me. If I go out and buy W2K Professional (~$300) it SHOULD work, right? I should be able to pop it in, boot from it, and solve my problem without having to actually reinstall the OS, correct? (I’m trying to avoid losing everything on the bootable hard drive - that’s fine as a last resort, because it’s not like I have my cancer cure on there, but for obvious reasons I want to avoid it if possible).
On the other hand, I could get the W2K upgrade, which is $100 cheaper and which I do have a legitimate claim to, in that I legally own a copy of Windows 98. But I’m not sure the upgrade disk would solve my problem. (Again, all I am trying to do at the moment is get to the existing OS so I can scrape the failed installation off of it. Also, at that point I can back up data so that if I have to reinstall/fdisk it’ll be less painful.)
The third option is Windows XP, which is also cheaper, but I’m pretty sure a bootable XP disk WON’T get me where I want to be.
So this is my sad tale. Learn from it, folks. Don’t screw yourself the way I did. Believe me, I am at the point where, if I have to, I will HAPPILY pay $300 to get my system working again. And I don’t usually pay $300 happily.
(Also, please note - my computer is used primarily for gaming, so “helpful” suggestions like switching to Mac or Linux are not welcome.)
So I come to you as a sinner, but as one seeking reform. Granted, it’s the reform of the guy who knows he is certainly in hell and now wants a last-ditch chance to repent, but it’s still there. Please have pity on me and know that my eyes have been opened.