slow progress on my desktop rebuild

I didn’t get too far with my desktop PC rebuild last night. I got as far as getting Windows 8 installed, and I got started on installing the many pending Windows updates. I left the PC on when I went to bed, hoping that maybe the updates would be all installed when I woke up, but that didn’t work out. I had to go through a couple more install/reboot cycles to get everything cleared out, to get to the point where I could do the Windows 8.1 upgrade. At this point, I’ve done that successfully, and did a little work on copying stuff from my backup drive back to my main drive.

But I hit a snag when trying to copy my iTunes library back over. That’s a really big folder, and the copy runs OK for about 45 minutes, but then the USB drive just… disappears… and the copy fails. I can get the USB drive going again by simply unplugging it and plugging it back in, but that’s not a good solution for a copy that would take four hours, if it was running smoothly.

So I did some research, and found this blog post from the Windows USB core team. If the issue described there is indeed my problem, then it’s fixed in a Windows update. So I’m giving up on the file copy stuff for now, and installing all the Windows 8.1 pending updates. Then, we’ll try it again.

If it’s not the issue, then I think I’m going to have to crack open that USB case, remove the drive, and mount it in the PC internally. I’m hoping it won’t come to that. But it would likely allow the copy to run much more quickly.

When I think about all the work that’s required to get a functioning Windows 8.1 machine set up, given a Windows 8 DVD and key, it’s really quite frustrating. It really seems like, with a little effort, Microsoft could shorten the process considerably. There are so many things wrong with the process as it is. Why can’t we go straight from Windows 8 to 8.1 without installing every single Windows 8 update? For that matter, why can’t someone with a Windows 8 key download an 8.1 ISO, and skip Windows 8 entirely? And if you’re going to require that people install 8.1 from the Windows store, why not set things up so that at least that’s done from an updated install image that includes all the 8.1 updates? The current process is basically the worst of all possibilities: Install Windows 8 RTM. Apply all updates. Download & install Windows 8.1 RTM. Apply all updates.

Well, I needed to vent about that. I feel a little better. I’m going to go back to watching Netflix now.

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