Running Windows XP on a Macbook Pro with BootCamp

I hate Windows.

I really do. I’ve used it before on regular PCs, and I don’t understand how so many people can take its rate of bugs, rate of crashes and vulnerability to viruses and the like as “normal” and “okay.” I’ve used a powerbook for five years now. No viruses (just using the standard included firewall, normal security settings on mail and firefox); I never had to buy a separate security program. Only rare, occasional crashes. I can leave it up for literally weeks without turning it off and it won’t die during that time.

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I got a Macbook Pro this time so I could run bootcamp and Windows. Why? Because part of my line of work involves designing t-shirts for gamers, and most games don’t run on Macs. I grumbled about this, but not much I can do about it.

I couldn’t help noting in all the installing that Windows has a much cruddier install process. Instructions and questions are ambiguous or poorly worded. You’d think something that’s been around this long would be easier to work with. Small thing, but it seems indicative of Microsoft’s general attitude.

Then, just days after getting everything up and running, the problems started. There was a lock-up and I had to hard reboot. The security program I’m running told me it had to revert to a previous configuration and, if this continued to happen, I should bring Windows up in safe mode to try to diagnose the problem. I discovered very quickly that I couldn’t allow my laptop to go to sleep while in Windows, because it would lock up.

The lock-ups became more and more frequent. I’d try to close down a locked-up program by using the task manager, but THAT would lock up. Then every time I tried to shut down the computer it locked up and I’d end up having to hard-boot it. I booted it up in safe mode and reverted to a checkpoint from before the major troubles, but this changed nothing.

Research ensued, because at this point I could start up my computer, run and enjoy one program (although it would grind the CPU like nobody’s business no matter what it was), and that was it–the next thing I tried to do would lock up the computer. Thanks to a thread on the Apple forums, we decided to disable a Windows battery driver.

So far, knock on wood, that has worked, although it took a couple of tries because at first just attempting to disable it locked up my computer. Now my computer shuts down normally, and running LotRO doesn’t grind it to a halt.

I’m still leery of it, though, wondering what will happen next. I’m not yet getting rid of my old computer, despite its problems, because I wonder sometimes how long it’ll be before I have to do a clean install of Windows on the new one to fix yet more problems.

Anyway, soon I’ll write more about LotRO and review a nifty book about careers for creative folks. I also stumbled across some really interesting writings about women in gaming that I might link to and comment on. I got sidetracked this week dealing with a very frustrating computer, but it’s all good now. I hope.

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