Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Upgrading my Laptop to Windows Standard 2008 64 Bit Edition

Yesterday I had a dog-and-pony show to discuss a product I've been contracted to build for a client of mine.  The demo was in three parts, a technical design review by their lead developer, then a status review with their CTO and finally a recap with the CEO.  The first two parts went just fine, then when the CEO came into the room my Gateway Vista 64 bit laptop froze up.  My mouse would move, but wouldn't respond to any clicks or keyboard input.  To be fair, I had a VM running and I think this may contributed to the failure.  Since this product needed to run on all sorts of OS's & devices, I had my MacBook, iPod Touch and Google phone so I was able to give a few quick demos, just nothing on the projector...I hate it when those types of things happen.

Overall my experience with Vista hasn't been that bad, but also can't say it was all that great, this was the final straw.  I upgraded my main custom built Quad Core machine last December to Windows Server 2008 64 Bit Standard Edition and that machine has just been rock solid.  I decided until Windows 7 goes RTM, I'm done with Vista and will be putting Server 2008 on all my dev boxes.  In a small way I miss the nice Aero Glass interface in Vista and I know I can configure it by turning on "Desktop Experience" in the Add Features configuration section, however right now my system is running so good, I just don't want to make any changes.

On my way home from the client meeting yesterday afternoon, I stopped off at Best Buy and picked up a 2.5" 7200 RPM drive for my laptop and have decided to upgrade.  I picked up the drive for about $109 plus tax.  With the price of hard drives these days, going forward when I need to repave or upgrade a machine, my plan is going to be to just go ahead and pickup a new hard drive then keep the old one around for a bit.  For this upgrade, my computer has two drive bays, so now my laptop will have 640GB of storage (well less than that since a 320GB drive really isn't a 320GB drive, but that's off topic).  That should be plenty of room for a bunch of VM's so I don't have to bring my external HD with me when I travel.  One of the many nice things about this laptop is that that it has a eSATA port that makes copying the 20-30GB VMs quick work.  Once I get my laptop upgraded, I'll report back.  If the drivers just aren't there, I'll just use the second SATA drive as extra storage and put my original one back in and be ready for business!  The moral of the story is with drive prices these days it's just as easy and considering time involved just as a cheap to pickup a second drive and keep the old one around.


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