I just spent the last four hours trying to get my bootcamp version of Windows XP Pro Ultimate with Service Pack 2 (can you think of a more ridiculous name than this)? to connect to our home network — unsuccessfully. That’s right folks, four hours of my life wasted. I have searched high and low for a solution, and was unable to find any.
Warning: lots of complaining and whining ahead. Proceed at your own risk.
[UPDATE]: I have since purchased and installed Parallels, which solved the problem immediately. Funny how a piece of Mac software had to come to the rescue of the mediocre Windows OS.
Just a short list of all the steps I took to see if I could get it working:
- Reformatted and re-installed Windows XP from scratch
- Checked on a series of “services” that for some unknown reason are not on by default. Among them is TCP/IP. Uhhh..are you kidding me?
- Turned off the firewall in Windows — and by the way, let me tell you how annoying it is to get the little popup announcing the fact that “I may be at risk” every time I reboot
- Oh yeah, rebooted at least 20 times. No lie
- Installed and re-installed Airport software to see if perhaps it would work wirelessly
- Unprotected my network (no encryption whatsoever) — I can’t remember the last time I have had to this, but somewhere along the three to four year mark
- Installed, uninstalled, and re-installed network drivers and “windows components” galore
- Unplugged the router and hooked up DIRECTLY to my cable modem
That is a simple, very short description of the steps I took. And it doesn’t mention the countless times I had to run to my other computer to search the internet to see what in the world is going on. So I have failed at my quest to get XP to connect to the internet. The diagnostic programs are so helpful too: “failed to query TCP/IP” or “Unable to find any wired or wireless networks or drivers.”
So…I finally gave up — which is not easy for me. The system insists that there are no network drivers installed, even though it’s a clean install. It doesn’t understand it has Ethernet or a wireless card.
There are so many lessons to learn from this. At the top of my list is (of course), get a Mac and let the computer actually do all the heavy lifting. You sit back and get your work done (funny, isn’t that what a computer should do in the first place)? And then of course, (and this goes for the techies out there), realize that the rest of us don’t give a hoot how things work. We just want them to work. That doesn’t make us dumber or less important — it actually goes to show that it takes all types.
I don’t know if this is a true story or not, but I love it nonetheless: When Albert Einstein was asked for his phone number, he picked up the phone book and looked it up. When asked how it is that he can’t remember his own phone number, he replied simply “I know where to find it.”
So if you ever come to me with a Windows question, I will immediately point you to a Mac. I know things work, and if I ever need internet connectivity, well — ”I know where to find it.”