Different kind of InstallFest

Barry Roberts blr at robertsr.us
Mon Sep 5 19:14:36 MDT 2005

On Mon, Sep 05, 2005 at 08:24:17AM -0600, Tyler Strickland wrote:
> Other tips:
> 1.  How far are you planning to go in the reinstall?  I've seen times of 
> several hours work to move one person to a new computer, and though 
> doing several at once may take a while.  Are you going to restore their 
> users?  Their software? 

Just Windows.  Most people who much more than what their computer came
with installed it themselves and can do it again.  Maybe printer
drivers or getting their DSL back up and running.  And Mozilla or Firefox.

> What versions of windows will you reinstall? 

The version that they bring a CD and license key for.

> You may want to write up a page that says exactly what you plan to do 
> and have them agree to it (and maybe even sign it) before doing 
> anything.  Include a disclaimer of future support as well.

I'm already working on that.  Good idea to make them sign it.  I plan
to make it training for them as well, so that the next time they need
to install Windows, they can probably do it themselves, but they will
have used Linux and might give it a second thought.

> 2.  Download common drivers beforehand - NVidia drivers, ATI drivers, 
> RealTek 8139, etc.  Get to know driverguide.com - it's an ugly site but 
> sometimes it can't be avoided.  I've spent too many hours searching for 
> strange drivers - the worst are those for on-board interfaces.  You may 
> want to get a couple of people whose entire job during the reinstall 
> fest is to search for drivers.  Also, before wiping their system, check 
> for drivers stored on the hard drive - it may save some time.

The reason I'm having it here is so I'll have my comcast broadband
available.  And my machine.  I usually run through "Device Manager"
when a machine works well enough and see if any weird hardware is
installed before I re-format.

> 4.  A USB HD could work well for backing up data; you may also want to 
> consider burning it onto a CD/DVD for them to take home.

I'll have my computer with 200GB space free and a DVD burner for
backing up and a USB CD burner.

> 5.  If you have access to a compressor, you may want to set up a station 
> outside to blow dust out of their computers.  An overheating computer is 
> a cranky computer.

Good idea.  We'll just be a few feet from the garage.

> 6.  Keep a phone ready to call MS and beg them to let you reinstall 
> windows.  Make sure it has a speakerphone.

Telling people they can spend $100 bucks on a new copy of the same
software that is killing their computer already, or switch to linux,
really makes most people think.  Some people cough up $100 bucks
anyway, but I don't install Windows unless they've got the CD and the
license key.


More information about the PLUG mailing list