I tried last night to install Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2003 on my home computer. I did the same thing yesterday in the office - which worked ok - and followed the same procedure at home. Booted into Safe mode and started the install, as upgrade, as I used installation disk of Win2k3 with SP1 already applied.
It first halted while installing devices. It asked to de-install nVidia’s Ethernet drivers (?!), then asked me to confirm installation of ATI Catalyst drivers for primary screen and…stopped. No response for more than 10 minutes. Puzzled, I rebooted the comp and setup restarted, by doing installing devices again. Again it came just after primary display installation and stopped. I left it be - as it has not hanged, just nothing was happening - and after a very long time (could be 20mins, have no idea) it asked me to confirm installation of secondary display (my graphic card has TV output).
Note 1: 20+ fraking minutes?! Why in the hell waits so long to detect something? Why it does not wait 1 minute? If the damn device - any device - does not respond, it should ask me would I like to wait more or ignore it and continue.
After all this has finished, it went to restart…then restarted again…then restarted again…no end.
Note 2: service pack - the very thing that should make Windows work better - fucked itself up! I could not even enter Safe mode. At the moment when BIOS hardware detection finished and when it should start loading Windows, it restarts.
The very same thing happened few months ago when I tried to install SP1 on the office computer, using downloadable SP1 .exe file from MS site. Exactly the same thing and I had to do a repair of entire Windows installation. That’s why I tried with the upgrade thing - which worked in the office. But not at home.
So, what to do now? The only thing I could do is to start repair at home too. However, since I have disks on SATA RAID0 and Windows install do not have drivers for it - I needed to supply those drivers during installation.
Note 3: in the time of flash disks and DVDs, the only medium that Windows install accepts as the source for the drivers is floppy drive. Floppy?! I do not own floppy drive for over one year or something. Bloody idiots - why can’t you accept CD, DVD, USB flash - something not belonging to last century?
So, now I have Windows installation which fucked itself up and gives me no option to repair it because installation procedure do not see any disks in my system. Splendid. This kind of fuckups is the reason why I dislike Windows (and I’m far from alone). Modern operating system should accept modern input devices, not some ancient ones, only because MS thinks it’s not worth the time to add the support for them.
I will borrow the damn floppy from the office and connect it to repair this piece of crap, but this whole unfortunate thing shows how important little details are.
p.s. If you wonder why I even bothered to install it after the first failed attempt…Visual Studio.NET 2005 (or any derivative) will not install on Server2003 unless you have SP1 applied.