Two Days of Pain and Suffering, Windows 7 Edition

I forgot what a bear installing Windows is. Got back from vacation last week and had a very busy week catching up. We are trying to launch Equals this month so will be heads down writing code.

As apart of the testing process I needed copies of Windows with various versions of Internet Explorer so I can do appropriate testing. For this, I downloaded VirtualBox, installed it, and downloaded copies of IE specially provided by Microsoft for testing purposes. It’s a fantastic set-up and couldn’t be happier with how Microsoft is supporting web developers with this option. I accomplished this quite some time ago.

This means I had VirtualBox setup with copies of IE and still had Parallels setup with a copy of Windows 7 that I use primarily for bookkeeping purposes. (Quickbooks for Windows is still the best option.) I increasingly became frustrated with Parallels over the years. The app is slow, I find that after quitting it does weird things to my Mac, which doesn’t act right until I reboot, and they now install stuff that I don’t need and give me no means to turn it off.

I’ve been thinking for a while that I’d install Windows 7 in VirtualBox and uninstall Parallels altogether. I started the process Saturday and this morning, Monday, it is finally completed. The install went fine. The problem is the updates. Downloading one set of updates for Windows uncovers a bunch of additional downloads which uncovers a bunch of additional downloads, etc., etc., on and on, until eventually it stops finding downloads. This went on for nearly two days.

In the dark ages when I was stuck on Windows I remember going through this process about once per year. I’d wipe clean my drive and reinstall Windows. I forgot how time consuming this is and am glad that I rarely do it anymore. My Mac has never required a re-install of the OS.

I’m hoping this is the last time for Windows for a very long time.


2 thoughts on “Two Days of Pain and Suffering, Windows 7 Edition

  1. If you just need to test different versions of IE, I highly recommend both Sauce Labs and BrowserStack as great tools for handling that without needing a local VM.

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