The Day(s) The Drive Stood still.

This post is just going to be a highly subjective spur-of-the-moment type rant, so bear with me here. I’m writing this here because I need an outlet for my frustration. My frustration with Windows and Microsoft. While I may in the past have been known to be somewhat of a Microsoft fanboy and Apple basher (not true: I own an iPhone and I love it), I’m not afraid to call them out when stuff goes wrong, as it did yesterday.

You see for months now I have been using a 320 GB (Neil Poulton Designed) Lacie external HDD in conjunction with my Xbox 360, in order to play back the many tv-shows and netcasts I’ve downloaded and ripped throughout the years. Alas 320 GB is becoming rather average in today’s world. But hey, storage is cheap, so I went out and bought another Lacie Drive, this time of the 1 Terabyte variety. I love these drives and currently own 3 of them. They’re quiet, well-designed and they blend in with their surroundings. Happy as can be with my new purchase, I plug it in to my 360 and … nothing happens. The 360 wouldn’t recognise it. I tried everything, from swapping power adapters and data cables to rebooting the console. Nothing. No change. As you might imagine I was a bit miffed at this. I just spent around 100€ on a new drive only to discover it doesn’t work.

Fifteen minutes and a lot of Googling later I come to the realisation that Xbox 360 does not support the NTFS filesystem which my new drive had formatted to by default. Even though for the life of me I could not understand this (why Macs can read NTFS and an Xbox, which is made by Microsoft, can’t is beyond me), I kept my cool and went to disk management to reformat the drive as FAT32. To my chagrin I discover that Window Vista no longer includes FAT32 in it’s drive management settings. It can only format to NTFS or the incompatible exFAT. A bit more googling and I discovered that FAT32 formatting was still possible in Vista (even surpassing the arbitrary limit of 32 GB) by using the command line. After that I left my computer running overnight (formatting a 1 TB drive takes a while you know).

fat32

This morning I wake up and discover that after having spent the night churning along Windows apparently cannot format the drive because the assigned volume is too large. Not a good way to start the day. The fact that Vista doesn’t notify you of this at the start of the formatting proces is just preposterous. This is typical Microsoft stupidity. This is the side of Microsoft everyone hates. I finally had to use a free utility called Fat32Formatter (which is a true godsend) to finally make my drive usable.

But you know what was the final insult ? If I had just hooked it up to a Mac, I never would have had these troubles. It saddens me when for once Apple’s attack ads ring true. “It just works”. Well apparently in this case it would have.

I have become more and more disillusioned with Microsoft since the whole Vista debacle and the crappyness that is Games For Windows Live. You’ve got one chance to redeem yourself Microsoft: Windows 7 better be damn good.

One comment

  1. stukish

    Microsoft is determined to create and change standards as they see fit with no regard to how it will effect the industry. I believe they conspire to control and that their efforts lead to a stifling of competition and innovation.

    If you don’t believe me, simply look at your iPhone and how that industry has advanced (in a robustly competitive market) and compare that to the advances (or lack there of) in software advances in the PC industry.

    Keep on blogging!

    Regards,
    Stu Kushner
    http://www.progressiveoffice.com