Install fun with Microsoft Windows (ALL VERSIONS)

I was installing another endless stream of updates and applications on a client computer this morning. After clicking through the “Yes” button FAR too many times during the different processes and getting waylaid by innumerable requisite items, I got really thinking about the install process for users – and me of course.

I get SOOO frustrated sometimes at the inane string of “Are you sure?” messages on Windows PCs. How many times DO we really need to tell a program that we really DO want to do something?  This scenario is very similar on XP and Vista. I can’t quite remember if 2000 was annoying as the XP and Vista. Vista even gives you another goodtime question – “Are you sure you want to launch this program?” – even when you just TRY to launch an application.

Typical install situation:

Click on an install program.

“Setup – blah blah blah. Would you like to install?”

User clicks “Okay”, “Yes”, “Continue” as applicable.

“You’ve indicated you’d like to install. Are you sure?”

User Click: Yes.

“Would you like to make some changes?”

Doubtful, but thanks for asking – let’s check it out. User Click: Yes.

“Are you sure you want to customize this install?”

User Click: Yes.

(Popup box with no discernible options – all the choices that one COULD make are grayed out.)

Huh. No options other than the default I would have gotten if I had just checked the normal install box. Clicks continue.

“Are you sure you’re done selecting options?”

Yes, there were no options that I COULD select. User Click: Yes.

And back to the install screen – User Click: Continue

“You are about to install program XYZ with the following options… Is this correct?”

Yes. User Click: Yes.

“Are you sure you wish to install this program?”

For the love of GOD. YES. User Click: Yes.

“The following windows are open: Internet Explorer. All windows must be closed in order to complete setup. Setup will now close.”

What is this fresh hell? Just a “Close” button?  Do I really need to go back through all that crap because a WINDOW was open?  Some of the newer install routines DO actually offer to close this for you, but don’t count on it.

Okay. Back through the whole process. Now instead of the “window open” dire message, “Fizzlederk Service is running. Cannot install while Fizzlederk is running. Please close service Fizzlederk and run setup again.”


Let’s go to the Services window. Huh. No Fizzlederk. I wonder if it’s conveniently named something else by the thoughtful programmer as far as Windows is concerned.  Mmm… maybe – there’s one listed as “JBS Fizzleplunk”. “JBS” of course being short for “Joe Blow Software”. Egotistical companies ALWAYS need to get that in there. Sometimes it IS helpful, but much of the time it causes confusion. Well, back to our issue at hand… Fizzleplunk == Fizzlederk? Let’s try stopping it. Right clicking on “JBS Fizzleplunk”, stop service.

“This service cannot be stopped right now. It is in use by Windows.”

YES, I KNOW. And THAT’S why I’m TRYING to STOP IT! An inner calm takes over – momentarily throttling the desire to throw the computer out the window. Okay. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

Let’s go back to the “Get Help from Microsoft” link. New browser window object opens up in the form of a Help window. What??? “No information available about this topic”??!?  Well, why the H*LL did a link pop up about GIVING me more information?

A side note about Microsoft “Help” pages – I honestly think they put these things up online JUST long enough to get spidered and immediately change the address/page name. A solid 70% of the time you get a link to one of their support pages, you end up at a “This content may have moved” message. WTF? Why can’t they just leave it there? Out of the probable million+ of pages of stuff they DO have up there, do they really need to worry about shifting page names and content?  Do they employ a staff of ADHD gerbils to handle their web pages and content schemas?

Have you ever tried to get info from the Microsoft site on something that is NOT a current release item? Even though MS Office 2003 is still in wide use, the only thing you can EVER find (at least without breaking a major sweat) is stuff on Office 2007. And you CERTAINLY won’t find it by searching Microsoft. I honestly think Microsoft’s left hand has NO clue what the right hand is EVER doing – at least according to searching their website. The only option is to use Google to actually find the content article.

After tracking down a series of help pages via Google – none of which is actually applicable to the current situation, but which DO have enough content for a relatively good tech to piece together a solution – we can try to get that service shut down. After shutting down several dependant type services and finally getting the stupid service shutdown, we may try, yet again, to progress.

Once more through the whole rigamarole. And “Yes, I’m effing SURE I want to install!” That button really isn’t there – but it SHOULD be.

Finally – the tic-tac-toe game is installed.

Meanwhile 23 viruses have also installed themselves on my computer without ANY problem.  Yeah, I’M a PC.

Why is it that viruses themselves seem to have little to no issue infiltrating the average PC? No popups asking THEM about installing; no issues with services or windows running or open; nothing.  They just slide right in. Yet when I legitimately try to install a program, *I* end up running through a mini-Inquisition and a complete exercise in futility and frustration.

My next project?  Write an application and disguise it as a virus. They’re much easier to install.

Author: Eric Erickson

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