Tech Blech

Saturday, September 23, 2006

MacBook and BootCamp 1.1.1 Beta

Above is a photo of my brand new MacBook. It runs Mac OS X extremely well. But in trying to run Windows XP Professional SP2. I've seen lots of blue screens of death and suffered hangs and unwanted reboots while in Windows--all very uncharacteristic of the Windows XP Pro I know and love. I believe I've been very careful to follow all the BootCamp instructions to the letter, but after two full days of trying to get the dual-boot working and stable, I'm feeling quite angry at the Apple engineers who so optimistically issued BootCamp.

I'm using the latest BootCamp version 1.1.1 Beta, which apparently is newly posted this week. It's supposed to fix a lot of former problems. Well...I would hate to have seen the earlier versions if this is the best Apple can do.

I've learned a way to force the last good configuration to roll back--it takes about 5 minutes to recover from a crash. So I boot into Windows, change just one thing, and if that crashes, I reboot and use F8 to get into the XP recovery mode, boot into Safe Mode with Networking, and then rollback to the last restore point (requiring yet another reboot).

Among the most annoying problems--and Apple should truly be embarrassed in my opinion--is that the video driver seems to be buggy. I've turned off all acceleration--and I can only use 96 DPI fonts (120 crashes, go figure)--how could they mess up something as basic and essential as the built-in graphics support for Windows?

I'll keep you posted as to whether I ever get the Windows install stable and fully updated and loaded with all the applications I need. If I end up giving up, it's a $400 hit for me (that's what I spent buying the extra software for Windows) and I'm going to feel pretty cheated since there was every reason to believe, from the hype on the web, that dual-booting should work.


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