Somehow or other my PC has gotten itself into a state.
It’s a three year-old Dell with Windows XP, and besides the time the CPU fan died I’ve had little trouble with it.
But the other day the spamware got me.
I try to run Adaware and Norton Antivirus on a regular basis, but something particularly pernicious has snuck in there and caused havoc. Now I can’t even log in without being assailed by casino ads, and winlogon.exe crashes on a regular basis.
Given that it has been nearly three years, I’ve decided it’s time to reformat the disk and start over.
But I have two major hurdles to overcome and two logistical decisions to make first.
First, backing up my data. This includes all the photos I’ve taken in the last year and a half with my digital camera, as well as various book-related and personal documents. This shouldn’t be too difficult, if I can get around the winlogon crash. I expect some judicious use of safe mode may be the answer.
Second, I’ve got to find the Windows XP install disks that I’m sure came with this machine. They wouldn’t send out a computer without separate media to reinstall from, right?
Then I need to decide how to partition the disk. This time I’m going to install Linux as well as Windows, and I need to decide how much space to allocate to each OS. It’s a 40 gig disk, and the simple answer is 20 gigs for each OS, but I need to think about it some more before making that decision.
Ultimately, though, it comes down to time. When am I going to get around to doing this? It’ll certainly have to be before the week of October 25, when I’ll be heading out for my presentation at the O’Reilly Mac OS X Conference; since I’ll be taking the iBook with me, I can’t leave my wife without any computer technology whatsoever.
Have any advice on setting up a dual-boot system while juggling the competing demands of a day job, writing, and family life?