Installing XP over Vista on a Toshiba A200 Laptop
Tuesday, September 4, 2007 6:41:55 AM
After five weeks of fighting Vista, calling Microsoft and still failing to solve simple things like network file transfers, he'd had enough. He came to me, handed me the laptop, and said "If you can install XP on this it's yours." (It should be pointed out that I work with him and by giving me the new laptop he'd finally be free of the constant complaints about the old laptop. It's not like he's in the habit of just dropping expensive gifts on my desk).
[Update: A followup post, along with links to most of the drivers you need to install XP on a Toshiba A200, can be found here]
He'd had quite enough of vista's shiny crap. Everything was slower than it should be on a 2GHz dual-core laptop with 2GB RAM. It was sickening, but I didn't realy have much cause to complain: Free laptop for me! Happy fathers day - normally the gifts go the other way, but I won't complain.
I tried Vista out first. I wanted to remove an app that was installed, so I went to the control panel, and looked for Add Remove Programs. It wasn't there. Microsoft changed the name to 'Program something something', and I'm too old for this shit.
I formatted the drive and installed Windows XP.
Toshiba, by all accounts, is not interested in selling computers as tools. Instead they're selling some sort of complete package, a computer with an OS that you shouldn't change and probably shouldn't even use, 'cause if something breaks Toshiba's solution is to simply nuke the whole drive and reinstall another blank Vista OS. In a disgusting move they require I burn my own recovery discs, they're too tight-assed to even provide the $0.10 worth of media I need to restore the system if it breaks.
Toshiba won't provide drivers for XP on the new A200, even though the drivers exist and are, in fact, the identical drivers used on older Toshiba models. They're still on Toshiba's website, but Toshiba didn't want to sell a tool people could use, they wanted to sell something that was probably designed to make the tech support guy's job easier. Never mind that their solution is usually "reinstall Vista and lose all your work" when something goes wrong.
Toshiba isn't alone in this, most laptops (and indeed most name-brand computers) are sold as unmodifiable kits with security stickers over the screws so you can't even add extra RAM on your own. No one wants Vista. I won't get into it in detail, but it's an operating system designed by Microsoft to satisfy copyright holders. It's not designed to grant more powerful abilities to the end user.
So we had a laptop from a company uninterested in providing powerful tools saddled software created by a company that actively screws its customers.
Hell yeah I ripped Vista off and installed XP. I did it without Toshiba's help and I did it without Microsoft's approval. Screw them both.
If I was buying a laptop I'd get an ASUS or IBM, both of which are provided with XP Pro installed still. That's what my father did: he junked the Toshiba and bought himself an ASUS instead. Smart move. The Asus was cheaper and better equipped, had the right OS already installed and didn't make him burn his own recovery discs.
WTF, Toshiba? WTF.