back to article No escape: Microsoft injects 'Get Windows 10' nagware into biz PCs

Microsoft's relentless campaign to push Windows 10 onto every PC on the planet knows no bounds: now business desktops will be nagged to upgrade. When Redmond started quietly installing Windows 10 on computers via Windows Update, it was aimed at getting home users off Windows 7 and 8. If you were using Windows Pro or Enterprise …

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  1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    I am not a fucking product.

    Dear Microsoft, if you treat me like nothing more than a product to be "monetized" don't expect me to pay for any of your shit, ever again. Nor will I be using your free stuff. My privacy isn't for sale, nor is that of my customers, employees, friends, family cats, fish, lizard or the bloody air molecules we breathe.

    Yes, yes, I know...I'm to small for you to give a rat's ass about my paltry few tens of thousands in yearly software purchases. But I do wonder just how many customers you can treat like products before you're right screwed.

    Hope you have a ruinous 2016,

    --Trevor

    1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Re: I am not a fucking product.

      Enjoy a pint on me since I can't upvote you a few trillion times in agreement.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: I am not a fucking product.

        A follow-on thought from an out-of-thread discussion: I think the Microsoft/customer relationship can be compared to the abusive spouse/victim relationship. Specifically, there are many kinds of abuse that don't result in physical trauma but which are nonetheless very real.

        Today, a victim of spousal abuse can walk out of the house, never to return, and there is (in civilized nations) an entire social infrastructure in place to help them. They can find the help required to start over, rebuild their lives, deal with debt or legal issues and so much more.

        In a lot of ways I feel there are parallels here. The difference is that the vendor/customer abuse cycle is more where spousal abuse was in the 1950s. The infrastructure doesn't exist to help anyone - from consumers to SMBs to enterprises - walk away from an abusive vendor.

        We all know that it isn't as simple as just decided not to use a vendor's software/hardware anymore. With Microsoft's "Get Windows 10" and the "Google Stop Moving My Fucking Buttons" nature of SaaS, we've also entered a period in IT where many can't even choose to delay purchases or changed while they try to figure out an exit strategy.

        Just like with abusive spouses, there are those who won't recognize they are in an abusive relationship. There are also those who recognize the abusive relationship, but rationalize staying anyways. What there isn't is several decades of social, political and economic infrastructure to help us cope with having made bad decisions and gotten stuck with abusive partner in the first place.

        How the hell did we (collectively) let it get this bad? And what - if anything - can we do about it?

        1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

          Re: I am not a fucking product.

          @Trevor - i like your analogy to an abusive spouse. I have been advising people informally not to install W10 and to research other options. None have installed W10 and some are considering what to migrate to and its not Winbloat.

          One scenario I think will happen is when a company misses payroll because W10 does not play nice with the payroll package. US law mandates all back and liquidated damages are owed to each employee if a company misses a payroll. Now if this can be traced by to Slurp and W10 this could make for an interesting lawsuit with the possibility of punitive damages. Slurp will dodge many, settle some, but could lose a couple key ones which could be very costly. Are there any adults running Slurp?

          1. Wade Burchette

            @ a_yank_lurker

            "US law mandates all back and liquidated damages are owed to each employee if a company misses a payroll. Now if this can be traced by to Slurp and W10 this could make for an interesting lawsuit with the possibility of punitive damages."

            One problem. Read the terms-of-service you agree to when you install:

            ----

            10. Binding Arbitration and Class Action Waiver if You Live in (or if a Business Your Principal Place of Business is in) the United States.

            We hope we never have a dispute, but if we do, you and we agree to try for 60 days to resolve it informally. If we can’t, you and we agree to binding individual arbitration before the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), and not to sue in court in front of a judge or jury. Instead, a neutral arbitrator will decide and the arbitrator’s decision will be final except for a limited right of appeal under the FAA. Class action lawsuits, class-wide arbitrations, private attorney-general actions, and any other proceeding where someone acts in a representative capacity aren’t allowed. Nor is combining individual proceedings without the consent of all parties. “We,” “our,” and “us” includes Microsoft, the device manufacturer, and software installer.

            a. Disputes covered-everything except IP. The term “dispute” is as broad as it can be. It includes any claim or controversy between you and the manufacturer or installer, or you and Microsoft, concerning the software, its price, or this agreement, under any legal theory including contract, warranty, tort, statute, or regulation, except disputes relating to the enforcement or validity of your, your licensors’, our, or our licensors’ intellectual property rights.

            b. Mail a Notice of Dispute first. If you have a dispute and our customer service representatives can’t resolve it, send a Notice of Dispute by U.S. Mail to the manufacturer or installer, ATTN: LEGAL DEPARTMENT. If your dispute is with Microsoft, mail it to Microsoft Corporation, ATTN: LCA ARBITRATION, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052-6399. Tell us your name, address, how to contact you, what the problem is, and what you want. A form is available at (aka.ms/disputeform). We’ll do the same if we have a dispute with you. After 60 days, you or we may start an arbitration if the dispute is unresolved.

            c. Small claims court option. Instead of mailing a Notice of Dispute, and if you meet the court’s requirements, you may sue us in small claims court in your county of residence (or if a business your principal place of business) or our principal place of business-King County, Washington USA if your dispute is with Microsoft. We hope you’ll mail a Notice of Dispute and give us 60 days to try to work it out, but you don’t have to before going to small claims court.

            d. Arbitration procedure. The AAA will conduct any arbitration under its Commercial Arbitration Rules (or if you are an individual and use the software for personal or household use, or if the value of the dispute is $75,000 USD or less whether or not you are an individual or how you use the software, its Consumer Arbitration Rules). For more information, see (aka.ms/adr) or call 1-800-778-7879. To start an arbitration, submit the form available at (aka.ms/arbitration) to the AAA; mail a copy to the manufacturer or installer (or to Microsoft if your dispute is with Microsoft). In a dispute involving $25,000 USD or less, any hearing will be telephonic unless the arbitrator finds good cause to hold an in-person hearing instead. Any in-person hearing will take place in your county of residence (of if a business your principal place of business) or our principal place of business-King County, Washington if your dispute is with Microsoft. You choose. The arbitrator may award the same damages to you individually as a court could. The arbitrator may award declaratory or injunctive relief only to you individually to satisfy your individual claim.

            e. Arbitration fees and payments.

            (i) Disputes involving $75,000 USD or less. The manufacturer or installer (or Microsoft if your dispute is with Microsoft) will promptly reimburse your filing fees and pay the AAA’s and arbitrator’s fees and expenses. If you reject our last written settlement offer made before the arbitrator was appointed, your dispute goes all the way to an arbitrator’s decision (called an “award”), and the arbitrator awards you more than this last written offer, the manufacturer or installer (or Microsoft if your dispute is with Microsoft) will: (1) pay the greater of the award or $1,000 USD; (2) pay your reasonable attorney’s fees, if any; and (3) reimburse any expenses (including expert witness fees and costs) that your attorney reasonably accrues for investigating, preparing, and pursuing your claim in arbitration. The arbitrator will determine the amounts unless you and we agree on them.

            (ii) Disputes involving more than $75,000 USD. The AAA rules will govern payment of filing fees and the AAA’s and arbitrator’s fees and expenses.

            (iii) Disputes involving any amount. If you start an arbitration we won’t seek our AAA or arbitrator’s fees and expenses, or your filing fees we reimbursed, unless the arbitrator finds the arbitration frivolous or brought for an improper purpose. If we start an arbitration we will pay all filing, AAA, and arbitrator’s fees and expenses. We won’t seek our attorney’s fees or expenses from you in any arbitration. Fees and expenses are not counted in determining how much a dispute involves.

            f. Must file within one year. You and we must file in small claims court or arbitration any claim or dispute (except intellectual property disputes - see Section 10.a.) within one year from when it first could be filed. Otherwise, it’s permanently barred.

            g. Severability. If the class action waiver is found to be illegal or unenforceable as to all or some parts of a dispute, those parts won’t be arbitrated but will proceed in court, with the rest proceeding in arbitration. If any other provision of Section 10 is found to be illegal or unenforceable, that provision will be severed but the rest of Section 10 still applies.

            h. Conflict with AAA rules. This agreement governs if it conflicts with the AAA’s Commercial Arbitration Rules or Consumer Arbitration Rules.

            i. Microsoft as party or third-party beneficiary. If Microsoft is the device manufacturer or if you acquired the software from a retailer, Microsoft is a party to this agreement. Otherwise, Microsoft is not a party but is a third-party beneficiary of your agreement with the manufacturer or installer to resolve disputes through informal negotiation and arbitration.

            1. TheOtherHobbes

              Re: @ a_yank_lurker

              Courts regularly throw out unreasonable clauses, and many of those are arbitrary and unreasonable.

              MS may think it has its ass covered, but Legal World may not be agree. Ultimately any suit would probably be dragged up to the Supreme Court anyway.

              Meanwhile MS is racking up bad publicity and losing customers. So if goes in that direction - and I hope it does - MS loses either way.

              It's a shitty, stupid company. It hasn't matured in thirty years, so we can only hope it crashes and burns soon - although preferably after the R&D people are split off, because that's the only interesting part.

              1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

                Re: @ a_yank_lurker

                @TtheOtherHobbes - Agree that the courts have more latitude if a case is filed. The issue will likely be that Slurp deliberately bypassed a company's procedures and forced the update out on a mission critical system while a regular staff member was using it. That coupled with there is no easy way to permanently opt out (registry hacks do not count) and Slurp may be facing a nasty, losing hand. What will be worse is that any success against Slurp will embolden others to sue for their pound of flesh.

                Ballmer, in many ways, was a buffoon but he seemed to have enough sense to know there is a line you do not cross without endangering the company. The current buffoon does not seem to grasp this.

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: @ a_yank_lurker

              "Read the terms-of-service you agree to when you install:"

              What makes you think that even under US law that those T&Cs have any weight in law? Have similar terms ever been enforced by a court? Does US contract law allow you sign away your right to sue for breach of contract when the terms are unfair?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @ a_yank_lurker|Does US contract law...

                Yes it does. US contract law doesn't leave any wiggle room for consumers here, even if they're multi-billion dollar corporations. When it comes to business, contract is king, and the letter of agreements inviolate.

                The EULA is very clear. Microsoft, like all other software publishers, does not warrant its products to be fit for *any* purpose.

                Some people used to argue that the original "shrinkwrap" provision (i.e. the one that said if you broke the seal on the software package you were deemed to have agreed to its terms -- which you couldn't have read until you opened the package) constituted a contract of adhesion because it didn't give you the option of rejecting those terms and returning the product. That kind of talk led MS (and pretty much every other software company) to redesign their initial splash screen to force first time users to scroll all the way down through the agreement before they could push the "Accept" button.

                MS has this covered, as you'd expect a company founded by a lawyer's son would. There's no basis in law or equity for a claim against them for any damage their products might inflict. The only protections anyone has are what government regulators might impose, but in the US since the 1980's. as you know, the government hasn't been very keen on doing much about that -- unless you consider that briefly lived and farcical requirement that they provide a choice of web browsers on the opening desktop "action".

                Not the world I wanted to live in, but that's a discussion for another day.

            3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

              Re: @ a_yank_lurker

              @Wade - If someone has a major titsup fiasco because of W10 they will be talking to lawyers. The EULA can be broken, it is difficult, if a judge thinks Slurp is abusive or trying to avoid legal responsibility. Also, depending on the locale, the local laws may void a good part of the EULA. The specific details will matter.

              If Slurp is counting on this as an absolute legal protection they will probably be in for a rude shock. What has not been stated is whether there may criminal violations not just civil in some jurisdictions. Again the details are critical as well as the local law.

              Quoting the EULA only points out the suing Slurp will be difficult but not impossible - a point that anyone will concede.

          2. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Re: Abusive spouse.

            Its an extended family of abused people. The support people are abused too and have to pay a fortune for a certificate which they can take to you to help you self abuse further. And then you get people who tell you to keep your mouth shut because who else can you go to for help abusing yourself and so you even feel guilty of trying to break the abuse cycle.

        2. BobChip
          Linux

          Re: I am not a () product... And what - if anything - can we do about it?

          Answer is easily said. Take your business elsewhere!

          Agreed, actually doing it may not be quite so simple. Going Apple is fairly straightforward, but will probably put your costs up somewhat. Going Linux is still seen by some as difficult, though in fact it really is not.

          The real challenge lies in building up the courage to take the decision in the first place. Once done, you will find that the switch process is much less frightening than you had feared, and you will wonder why on earth you did not leave MS behind years ago. And with Linux, so will your Accountant.

          1. Pookietoo

            Re: building up the courage to take the decision

            As others have said - find a live boot distro that works OK with your hardware, install it on your HDD, then get Windows running in a VM. Now you can migrate at your leisure. For the more cautious among you, use a clean HDD to do this, so you can just put the Windows one back if it doesn't work out or it takes more than one weekend to get everything sorted.

          2. KeithR

            Re: I am not a () product... And what - if anything - can we do about it?

            "Going Apple is fairly straightforward, but will probably put your costs up somewhat"

            Somewhat?

    2. jjcoolaus

      Whilst I agree with you, who will you use instead?

      Thanks to UEFI it's very difficult to boot linux these days, and those thousands of "just curious" users providing a tonne of information about their hardware with every install must be having an impact on the compatibility of modern hardware.

      If your organisation has upgraded to surface pro etc then I guess your a bit screwed anyway.

      Then again linux does work well with older hardware so if your all running the same x-brand laptop from 3 years ago then could be worthwhile, save for any unique business applications.

      The way the big corporates see the world now is that there is 2 operating systems for PCs (microsoft or mac) and the hardware you buy determines which one you use. Then there are 3 mobile operating systems with no great difference between the privacy aspects of any of them (that is: you have none)

      1. Kye Macdonald

        How is UEFI making linux difficult to boot? The go to distribution for new people (Ubuntu) and by proxy Mint both have UEFI certificates and boot without having to do anything at all. And if you are not in the deb camp and want rpms then fedora is UEFI compatible as well.

        Finally if you want to roll your own you can turn off secureboot in your bios. And if you are considering rolling your own or running one of the other distros then changing a setting in bios should be child's play.

        1. moiety

          There are support systems available...Macs if you have cash and Linux if you don't. Although Apple's walled garden has been sort of abusive from the start: You definitely aren't the "top" in the relatiionship; but some people like that sort of thing and -to use a kinder analogy- Apple's curated service is worth the money for many.

          In a way, Microsoft are doing us a favour...they are clearly demonstrating unfitness for purpose for the responsibility of running an operating system. With the ever increasing use of cloudiness and dependence on other people's computers the clear "it's time to bail out before you get irrevocably entrenched" signal couldn't have come at a better time.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            > Apple's curated service is worth the money for many

            .. and can be turned off easily. Which I do...

        2. PleebSmasher

          when Secure Boot can't be turned off

          @Kye Macdonald

          "Finally if you want to roll your own you can turn off secureboot in your bios."

          That ability is optional:

          http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/03/windows-10-to-make-the-secure-boot-alt-os-lock-out-a-reality/

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: when Secure Boot can't be turned off

            This should surprise no one. Does anyone know of any motherboard manufactures who still build a BIOS only motherboard?

          2. Paul 129

            Re: when Secure Boot can't be turned off

            Already ran into this drama.... Win10 certified hardware is Secureboot only, you cant turn it off.

            It finally force me to update my PXE boot environment to UEFI, a confusing nightmare, as I was used to how everything operated before.

            GPT tools vs standard disk partitioning is not too hard to grok, just beware of the partitions uuid in disk cloning are not the uuids that ms uses in the partition names (Useful if your having boot issues)

            Start of with Memtest86 not memtest86+, they offer a UEFI bootable version. That GPT disk structre is everwhere, so you should be able to split out of each version the GPT disk image, etc and figure out how it works.

            ipxe romomatic, only allowed the efi option, and point it to the core binary in the GPT image, I forget all the details, but once youve cracked that nut your on your way. The key is that the bootloader is UEFI signed and you don't use some component in the boot process that use older bios calls(or so it seems)

            What you'll find is that UEFI support at the moment is patchy Memtest86 supports it but Memtest86+ dosn't, ipxe not gpxe etc.... The new vesrions of the major distros support it. Having a computer that actually flashes up momentary error messages is rare, but a boon if you find one. It's getting easier as more things support it.

            Ramifications: what if MS start charging an arm and a leg to use their code to get things signed? Your initial loader may have that problem, but you probably can build something like ipxe's rom-o-matic. Yes you have the one static loader or similar that you have to get going with but after that anything can be autoamaticly generated from that initial version, so sharing a single signature across an entire community.

            Security: A small step. (is it actually worth it?)

            Benefit for MS: Killing off its competition. The enemy here isn't linux (small pc market share) but older versions of windows! Replacement hardware requires a newer OS. Motherboards that support 2000, XP, Vista and Windows 7 are going to be thin on the ground shortly.

            Weirdness: One of the systems that I've come across, was locked to secure boot only had an option for windows 10, or an older windows version in the motherboards uefi menu screen (It still required secure boot so older means windows8)

            1. Updraft102 Silver badge

              Re: when Secure Boot can't be turned off

              If you're talking motherboards, I think you're wrong. Makers of motherboards to be sold on their own and have a system built around them are much more responsive to what their users want-- they know that people who buy their stuff are very aware of things like configurability and the ability to install older OSs on newer hardware. Several motherboard makers right now, for example, have included workarounds in software or firmware to get around the issue of Skylake's lack of EHCI support and the Windows 7 installer's insistence on EHCI support for USB devices pre-boot.

              This gives people like me the ability to work around all of Microsoft's silliness. Secure boot is not going to be locked on in these boards as it could be with a brand new prebuilt machine. My board uses UEFI, but it has the option of using legacy BIOS mode for the boot process for maximum flexibility. I can't imagine (as an individual) buying a branded desktop PC as a whole unit-- I've never done it in the 26 years I have been using and working on PCs.

              Laptops, though, are another story (and desktop PCs for enterprise would be much the same). Building one from components is not an option. In that case, it will require extra diligence and research to make sure the one you select has the options in UEFI to accommodate future upgrades, downgrades, or whatever else you want. If people want it, PC OEMs will make sure we have the option to buy it.

        3. Adam 52 Silver badge

          UEFI

          Your post explains how UEFI is making Linux hard, you need to pick a distro with a certificate and can't just roll up with your own OS, so a potentially unlimited choice has been restricted to two and their derivatives. Linux becomes a project only possible because of corporations with deep pockets (more so than it already is).

          1. James Loughner

            Re: UEFI

            Just turn off secure boot it it just security theatre. If a bad actor can access your boot stack you are totally owned any way. Secure boot only protects the boot stack it will not prevent you from becoming owned. EFI works fine without secure boot.

        4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "if you are not in the deb camp and want rpms then fedora is UEFI compatible as well."

          It's a very long time since I used Fedora but AFAICR I found it to be release often, break often. Maybe a derivative of RH, say Centos or Scientific Linux, would be better; I'm sure they're UEFI compatible.

          But as a stepping stone it might also be worth looking at one of the Ubuntu derivatives such as Zorin that set out to provide a user interface as close to W7 as possible.

        5. DaddyHoggy

          Windows 10 gives the motherboard manufacturer the option to remove the option to turn off Secure Boot manually in the BIOS.

          So you may get/have a Windows 10 machine and find you cannot install a non-UEFI certified Linux distro.

          http://www.pcworld.com/article/2901262/microsoft-tightens-windows-10s-secure-boot-screws-where-does-that-leave-linux.html

          1. Pookietoo

            Re: remove the option to turn off Secure Boot manually in the BIOS

            If this becomes a significant problem I expect some clever people will just hack the BIOS.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Then again linux does work well with older hardware so if your all running the same x-brand laptop from 3 years ago then could be worthwhile, save for any unique business applications.

        Around here, the march of the penguin seems unstoppable.

        24 months ago we had an engineering department of 8 people. Two of those used Linux, one dual booting (mostly a Linux user), the other, yours truly, running almost exclusively Linux.

        18 months ago, much the same numbers, but now one had decided to ditch Windows on his machine and move to Linux. Others were running Linux in VMs.

        In the last 12 months:

        - our engineering manager has gone from running pure Windows 8.1, to dual-booting with Ubuntu, to booting out Windows altogether.

        - we've brought on two more people, who are pretty much full-time Linux users

        - one of our engineers had a laptop (running Windows 7) fail whilst on-site. Long story short, in a hurry he bought a HP Envy, which came pre-loaded with Windows 10. Once back from site, he gave the machine an exorcism and now runs pure Ubuntu.

        So the count was 6 Windows users, two Linux users, it's now more like 3 Windows users, 10 Linux users. I've threatened to move to BSD just to differentiate myself (although I run Gentoo instead of Ubuntu, so maybe different enough).

        Outside of engineering, the idea of running Windows in a VM (using a copy-on-write image) with Linux as the host has been discussed and genuinely considered as a tempting option.

      3. Shufflemoomin

        I tried to switch to Linux mint. Booting the live CD left me with no mouse or keyboard (which was eventually solved by using a different USB port), they had no drivers for my Nvidia 970 leaving me with software rendering and after installing with the intention of Dual Booting, I got no boot menu on restart offering me to go into Linux. I spent a couple of hours of Google trying to solve these problems before giving up. There was plenty of advice about editing config files, terminal commands and many other things I didn't want the hassle of. Microsoft can suck it, but Linux is far from the easy experience some people make it out to be.

        1. moiety

          @Shufflemoomin - The "poke and hope" approach can and does go wrong sometimes. Sometimes it's the network driver that fails which means that -if you don't have another device to look things up on the internet with- you can have problems. These days when pretty well everyone has a phone it's not usually insurmountable; but those of us who have checkmated themselves in the past have a bit more of a cautious approach to these things.

          Suggestions:

          1) Backup so you can get back to the starting line in case things go wrong

          2) Give your target OS a spin in a VM first. Not definitive because the VM piggybacks on the host OS's drivers; but can show up problems and is good practice (and practise) anyway. You want to know how your basic security works (antivirus, firewall etc.) works and be able to install it quickly before showing your new final install to the internet in any event. You can also use the VM to test the various applications you intend to use; test which OS flavour suits you and generally get over the 'blowing shit up' stage with no harm done.

          3) If it's windows you're moving from, fire up something like SIW (https://www.gtopala.com/) and check the physical devices your machine has; the availability of drivers; and have them all downloaded locally and ready to go. Video, sound, network (and pointing devices if you're using anything non-standard) as a minimum. Touchpad too, if it's a laptop.

          1. Teiwaz Silver badge

            "Give your target OS a spin in a VM "

            I consider it better to check out a Live install ISO first (or as well), especially if you depend on wifi, as some wifi cards don't operate out of the box, and some need firmware that the distro ISO doesn't contain.

            It also should give your the opportunity to test for any other nasty surprises due to uncooperative hardware (sound, card readers etc).

            VM's are trendy an all, but if you intend to install, better to test on bare metal.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @shufflemoomin

          That's an interesting data point.

          So far I & my colleagues have have a very easy time with Linux (Mint/Ubuntu) installs including the guy who has a fancy gaming laptop.

          But it just goes to show that there is still hardware with poor driver support in Linux.

          There is another side to this coin, which is that YMMV also applies (to a lesser extent) to Windows drivers, especially the lack of support for older hardware in newer versions of Windows - availability of signed drivers in 64-bit Windows from W8 onwards is a particular issue (yes there is an arcane way to make Windows accept unsigned drivers, but it fulfils the criterion of "loads of time wasted Googling for solutions").

          1. DropBear Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: @shufflemoomin

            "There is another side to this coin, which is that YMMV also applies (to a lesser extent) to Windows drivers"

            Guess what happens if using Windows 7 you realize it might be a good idea to switch your SATA controller from ye olde IDE legacy mode you used for convenience at install time to AHCI mode for the sake of your new SSD that kinda needs that sort of thing (for TRIM), but you "forget" to enable the msahci service with regedit in advance. If you want real fun though, do the same under the XP you're dual booting with (yes it's possible), where you have no native support for AHCI and no way to install any drivers because the relevant PCI device is not showing up until you actually activate AHCI in the BIOS, by which time you can't actually boot anymore...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @shufflemoomin

              If you want real fun though, do the same under the XP you're dual booting with (yes it's possible), where you have no native support for AHCI and no way to install any drivers because the relevant PCI device is not showing up until you actually activate AHCI in the BIOS, by which time you can't actually boot anymore...

              It's actually quite easy to get XP running AHCI. But it's a bit convoluted, if that isn't a contradiction. With the correct Intel or AMD AHCI driver you install to the correct IDE controller, reboot, switch (back) to AHCI in the BIOS, and it works.

              otoh, back when I used to use RAID - about a decade ago - I added the 3 RAID driver components and edited the 2 or 3 setup text files and burned a new XP disc, which then installed the RAID drivers at the beginning of setup. I've no doubt you can do this with AHCI too (though maybe you'd still have to begin in IDE mode. However, on my AMD system, these days it appears to be the same driver as for RAID, e.g. X:\AMD\RAID\Driver\WinXP\x64\ahcix64.*). I haven't made an AHCI XP disc because it's more trouble than it's worth if you almost never actually boot XP.

              1. DropBear Silver badge

                Re: @shufflemoomin

                "With the correct Intel or AMD AHCI driver you install to the correct IDE controller"

                You can't really do that, since as I said, in IDE mode (the AMD hardware at least) has a different PCI device ID than in AHCI mode and therefore trying to install the appropriate drives only gets you "no new drivers could be found" - the .inf file is simply not targeted at the IDE-mode device IDs. The only way to get it to work is to copy the .sys manually into system32/drivers and manually create the relevant registry entries so the .sys is picked up on boot once you switch to AHCI. THEN you can install the "new hardware" promptly detected by XP since the right hardware PCI ID is now visible.

                Anyway, I forgot to mention the kicker in this whole kaboodle - while both Win7 and WinXP had to be babied around carefully to make the transition, the boot manager I use to dual boot them (the Linux BURG) needed no change whatsoever and booted the newly-AHCI disk without ever batting an eye...

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @shufflemoomin

                  the boot manager I use to dual boot them (the Linux BURG) needed no change whatsoever and booted the newly-AHCI disk without ever batting an eye...

                  Bootloaders typically use the boot firmware (UEFI/BIOS) to access the disk. Its the OS kernel that does its own thing.

                  Windows is no different here either, just that it acts like a retard when things change. Linux and BSD just take it in their stride.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @shufflemoomin

                  "With the correct Intel or AMD AHCI driver you install to the correct IDE controller"

                  You can't really do that

                  I've done it like that a dozen times.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @shufflemoomin

              If you want real fun though, do the same under the XP you're dual booting with (yes it's possible), where you have no native support for AHCI and no way to install any drivers because the relevant PCI device is not showing up until you actually activate AHCI in the BIOS, by which time you can't actually boot anymore...

              You do not know pain until you install Windows 2000 Pro and Linux on an IDE disk, get them happy, then decide that IDE drives aren't trustworthy, so you install a SCSI card and disk, get those working in both OSes, then do the big migration to the new (to you) SCSI disks.

              Linux usually is just fine after a tweak of the bootloader configuration and a re-load of the boot sector, Windows on the other hand…

              Similar pain is experienced in physical-to-virtual (P2V) and virtual-to-virtual (V2V) migrations.

              "What about Linux" - its free but nothing supports it not even its own community half the time.

              "Nothing"? Either your definitions are unreasonably tight or you're in denial.

        3. Chemist

          @ Shufflemoomin

          "they had no drivers for my Nvidia 970 leaving me with software rendering "

          Sorry don't have too much time to go into this at the moment this but there are Linux Nvidia drivers available for the 970 - http://www.nvidia.com/download/driverResults.aspx/77844/en-us

          What is likely to be the problem is that (I'm not a Mint user) the driver needs to be added after install via probably an additional repository ( certainly that's what I've done with OpenSUSE but I've not needed to install on a system with a Nvidia card for quite a time). I note you've also had problems with NVidia on W10

          In general, I'd also suggest trying a few live-CDs just to see which you prefer.

          1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

            Re: @ Shufflemoomin

            It's been a while, but I believe you are correct, chemist: mint will require post-installation nvidia driver addition.

            But that's also true of Windows.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @ Shufflemoomin

              mint will require post-installation nvidia driver addition.

              That's the 2nd or 3rd post-installation install I do in Mint KDE. 1st one is WiFi - via Github, which is initially accessible with the connection repeatedly dropping. For the nvidia driver I fire up Software Manager. It's easy but a problem for newbs.

        4. Fihart

          @ Shufflemoomin

          My previous experiences with Linux were similar to yours. Until.

          Until a friend strong-armed me into trying Peppermint Linux and it installed without any serious issues -- even the wireless adapter. Put it on another computer too and no real problems there either.

          Linux still isn't for everyone and some of the apps I've used just don't compare with Windows'.

          But if Microsoft's bullying isn't mitigated by it's products' ease of use (and Win10 seems to combine lack of intuitiveness with bullying) Linux may be a viable alternative to Mac. Of course the latter are just as awful as MS -- e.g. crippling USB and Bluetooth on iPhones and forcing one to use the vile iTunes.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Microsoft can suck it, but Linux is far from the easy experience some people make it out to be."

          All I can say is two years ago I built a PC for my (retired and computer-illiterate) parents a PC based on Intel's Z87 platform. Under Linux Mint 16, It really was a case of insert install media, poke next until complete, reboot, and everything just worked without any poking needed [drivers for the IGP, Realtek LAN & audio were all just found and worked] ... Parents haven't had any issues whilst running it, either ... *shrugs*

          1. Chris Parsons

            Same here, on two wildly differing PCs. It Just Works!!!

        6. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Linux can have problems, sure. Not having a driver for your video card at first is forgivable; Windows usually was the same way on a new installation. I don't know what the deal is with the USB ports... there are several possibilities, but I've had these kinds of things in Windows too.

          As for dual-booting a dissimilar OS-- Linux didn't give you that ability, even though it should have, which means it is a little more like Windows there too. Windows is ignorant of other operating systems, and unceremoniously obliterates them upon installation.

          When I installed Mint (KDE) on my test (Win 10) PC, things could not have gone more smoothly. Everything worked the first time it was booted after the installation. It had drivers for everything-- something that is far from typical on fresh installations of Windows.

          The Linux fans tend to exaggerate how awesome Linux is. It is pretty awesome, but it's not perfect. Issues like yours do happen. When something goes wrong, it breaks down into arcane console commands and obscure references a lot quicker than when something goes wrong with Windows. It's just as easy to use for regular people as Windows, but something as seemingly simple as needing to install a video card driver that is not in the preinstalled repository gets into the weeds pretty quick.

          As with Microsoft, the FOSS community that develops Linux is constantly working to fix bugs like those you've seen. While they're doing that, they give away the products of their hard work rather than charging you or trying to find out how to monetize you, they don't spy on you, they don't deliver adware as updates for previous versions, they don't embed ads in the system itself, and they don't force you into an ugly, highly unconfigurable interface that is half retina-searing white and half the ugly flatness of Metro, or whatever they are calling their idiotic mobile apps on the desktop these days.

      4. Hans 1 Silver badge
        Happy

        UEFI boot in Linux is hard?

        You need kernel 3.3 - does not even need grub, anymore! Why not just go FreeBSD or PCBSD (FreeBSD for the Desktop) 10.2?

        >The way the big corporates see the world now is that there is 2 operating systems for PCs (microsoft or mac) and the hardware you buy determines which one you use.

        Traditional, non-IT, big corps, yes, IT businesses know there is Linux, heck, they don't touch Windows with a barge-pole.

        >Then there are 3 mobile operating systems with no great difference between the privacy aspects of any of them (that is: you have none)

        Soooooo true.

        1. KeithR

          Re: UEFI boot in Linux is hard?

          "You need kernel 3.3 - does not even need grub, anymore! Why not just go FreeBSD or PCBSD (FreeBSD for the Desktop) 10.2?"

          Because ABSOLUTELY NONE of the software I want to use will run on them?

          Y'know, for some of us an operating system isn't a hobby in itself - some of us actually want and need a stable, reliable, reasonable cost platform on which to run software that has no functional equivalent in the "OS dicking-about-with for fun" realm.

          Warts and all, that's Windows...

      5. Chika
        Linux

        Lord, here comes the FUD!

        We'll say goodbye to poor ol' Tux

        If again the drives are silent

        in any still alive

        (typed from a machine with functional UEFI and functional Linux installed and booted with no trouble whatsoever).

      6. Chemist

        "Thanks to UEFI it's very difficult to boot linux these days,"

        Er, no it isn't

      7. Scoular

        I am not convinced it is hard to boot Linux.

        I bought a new ASUS Z170 motherboard and latest CPU and memory.

        Installed Linux without a hitch, using it here right now. Not a problem in a few months of use.

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