The Dell Fairy visited yesterday and left 12 laptops in my office
. Not the Latitudes I'd asked for, but absolute bottom of the line Inspirons, which saved the company about $50 each. Riiight.
Latitudes come with just Windows, nothing else installed. The Inspirons get loaded up with as much crap as they can squeeze onto the drive. AOL, Earthlink, Google Desktop, a trial version of McAfee, etc.
These laptops came with XP Home, so I had to go out and buy an XP Home OEM CD ($100) so I could format the hard drive and install a fresh, clean copy of Windows. The amount of time I'm spending screwing around with this could have gotten several of the Latitudes set up.
I got the idea to try saving some time by installing everything onto the first laptop, then use Ghost to make an image and use the image to prep the other laptops. So I put the drive into my desktop and tried to boot to the Ghost floppy. Except I get an error message, the S.M.A.R.T. system has detected that the hard drive is about to fail. Oh goody! It's a Toshiba hard drive, naturally.
I finally managed to make an image of the drive, and popped the second hard drive into the desktop. And I get the same error message, the drive is about to fail. And of course, it's another Toshiba drive.
The imaging process was taking FOREVER, so I'm just going to let it run overnight.
And if the drives fail, oh well. I
wasn't the one who insisted on buying the cheapest thing possible.