Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

21Dec/05Off

Kicked In The Balls By A Talking Paperclip

There is an attempt to justify the stupidity of the Windows installer in regards to the MBR and its insistence of overwriting it that is a pretty good stab at justification but doesn't really placate me. The toggle between a drinking bird install and an install by someone who has a clue what they're doing shouldn't be such a controversial thing. I mean, two or so questions in what is already an install on par with Gilgamesh for sheer tedium doesn't seem like an entirely out of line step especially if the expert install is more strictly defined as one that uses infrequently used options or the like. Granted, for most of us who are building dual boot machines grub makes this very easy and will happily boot anything that will boot that can be thrown at it. I wouldn't exactly classify grub as particularly user friendly or anything but at very least you can fuck around with a misconfiguration should one happen. The Windows option is a script that fixes the MBR which is weasel wording for putting the master boot record back in whatever state the installer thought it should be in. One of the big problems I have with this entire philosophy is that it places absolute control in the hands of an installer that isn't exactly renowned for its intelligence or options for accommodating variances in installation.

Another point raised in the comments is another sore point: well, if Windows recognized partitions that weren't valid NTFS partitions as valid partitions then how would we be able boot borked installs? Great question but it is also irksome. Why does a bootloader have to serve as a repair device? When its capabilities are overextended by presenting it with anything but a clean slate it fails as much more than a fuck up your already fucked up MBR tool. I think the same applies for automagically overwriting the master boot record as a corrective tool for botched MBRs. Wouldn't you rather correct a problem with the boot loader than install the entire mess over again and have to dig up those driver disks for the umpteenth time? If I had to deal with Windows in any real capacity (other than fixing broken installs by re-imaging them mainly) I might be more upset with this than I am. Of course a lot of the dual boot problems could be rectified by simply allowing administrative accounts to edit the configuration file for the bootloader. Shit, if you're messing with something like it you probably either know what you're doing or are faced with an either this works or I just start over situation. Again, MSFT really does cater towards the home user in every respect including the sanity of administration. Argh.

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