Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Talking To Microsoft

OK, this one's a bit techie, but it's wasted most of my day and I am very angry about it. I've downloaded a bit of software from M$ that would be very useful if only I could get it to install. When I tried to install it, it first of all required me to upgrade the Windows Installer component. So I go to their website, and I do that. I try to run the program installer again, and it says I need to have Windows XP Service Pack 2. I was pretty sure I did have that, but I went to their website again to try to get it. No dice - it offered me all the latest bits, and I waited at least an hour while they were downloaded and installed.

Reboot the machine, try to run the software installation again. Still no dice - it wants SP2. I go back to the M$ site, and cannot find a straight download of SP2 - everything that looks likely just takes you back into this loop of updating various bits. Buggeration!

So, I guess I'll have to try Tech Support. Now this is an eye-opener. You have to tell 'em what country you're in, so I select UAE. I am then given a page in Arabic, with no apparent link to an English version. Oh, aren't we bloody clever! So I try again, pretending this time that I'm in the UK. When you eventually work your way through the maze of options that are clearly designed to exhaust your patience, you get to a screen that tells you you can have 2 free email enquiries during the lifetime of your product. Or you can pay £69 + VAT for a premium-rate phone call.

I try the email option - it tells me I can't have any free emails and suggests that I get in touch with the dealer who sold me my computer. As if Praveen Q. Billibobbi in the computer soukh will be able to give me any kind of a useful answer.


And then I think, hang on a minute, there's a gazillion download sites out there, I can get it from one of them! So I am. I'm about one-third of the way through the 266Mb download. Fingers crossed.

Update: Why do these things take so long? Anyway, 'tis done, I now have a functioning SP2. So I fire up the program installer again, it believes I have SP2, and then it demands that I must have 1.5 Gigglebytes available on my C: drive. I've already told it that I want to install this on my D: drive, but it's not having it. How the hell can one little program need so much space! 'Tis ridiculous. But what's more ridiculous is that I cannot find a way to increase the size of my C: partition without formatting the disc. Anyone know?