The Windows XPerience is pure unsupressed pain. I have spent the last 3 hours rebuilding a laptop from the factory recovery CDs and I'm still not done.
All this began because the system decided one day that it would no longer join a workgroup. This started after installing a netgera ma-401 wireless card. There were time when this didn't matter because I could use other real (ie non-M$) protocols to move files around, but in an all windows installation I found I was out of options. The win2K file server didn't have ftp or http set up so I needed to use SMB to get the files I needed.
Odd because if this was a UNIX network I would have had no problems using scp or sftp or... the list goes on.
The worst of it is that getting the laptop back to a fully functional (for me) state is still not nearly complete. Especially since the windows installer has crashed and I have no clue if the patches were actually installed.
Right now I'm on my 4th reboot and there are still 7 critical updates to configure. Odd since Mandrake 9.1 is fully functional in 1 reboot. Knoppix is fully functional in 0 reboots.
I'll keep you posted.
Endgame: finally the wireless is working, mozilla is getting my IMAP mail from exchange (shudder) and I'm almost able to start working with this computer. 30 minutes and another reboot later...