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Vacationing with the MSI Wind was not meant to be

I purchased the MSI Wind Netbook specifically for an upcoming vacation to Treasure Island, Florida. I usually take my Macbook Pro with me while traveling, but this time I wanted a laptop that was both light weight and small sized. After I had the Wind for a couple of weeks, I decided to try my luck at putting OS X on it. The process was pretty painless and as a result, I now had an itty bitty macbook to take with me to Florida. No more heavy gear bag digging a groove in my shoulder as I dragged it through the airport. Yay! Well, that was the dream…

Fast forward to the night before our flight… I decided to add a few apps to the Wind that I thought might come in useful. While I was installing these apps, the automated software update process started and popped up to tell me that there were updates. I am so used to installing new updates on all my other macs, that it didn’t even occur to me at the time NOT to do this on the Wind. Everything would have been ok except that one of those updates just happened to be a new OS build. After rebooting the netbook, all I was greeted with was a Blue screen and a mouse pointer. At that point I immediately knew I was a moron for doing the update and started getting a sinking feeling in my stomach. A quick search on some of the MSI forums confirmed the fact that yes, I had done a no-no. I tried a few suggestions to recover and none worked. I figured I’d just do a completely new OS X install since I’d done it before with no issues. This was around 9pm. By 11:30pm, things weren’t looking good. The install seemed to work fine until it stalled at one point. I left it over night thinking maybe it was just way slower than I had remembered. Nope, when I woke up the next morning, it was still stuck in the same spot. I decided to try a 2nd install. This time everything worked great. I had about 20 minutes before we had to leave for the airport and all I had to do was the last reboot. Guess what? That reboot resulted in a Blue screen with just a mouse pointer. ARGH!!! To say that I wanted to cry would not be that far from the truth. :o( I had to leave the MSI Wind behind and take my Macbook Pro with me instead. I wasn’t a very happy camper.

I got over my sadness though and had a great time in Florida. The weather was great, Treasure Island beach was great too. I love that beach this time of year because it’s not crowded at all.

Besides walking on the beach, shopping, eating and relaxing, we also did some crazy stuff like parasailing 1200 feet above the ocean!

That’s me on the right acting like a dork…

As for the MSI Wind, I don’t know what I’m going to do with it. I may try to install OS X for a 3rd time and see if it will work. Or, I might go ahead and try Ubuntu on it. I’ve even thought about just putting Windows XP back on it. Since I don’t have any immediate trips planned though, I am not in a big hurry to fix it.

{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Philip Chang October 9, 2008, 7:31 pm

    Yes! Install Ubuntu! You’ll probably get way more support for Eeebuntu than for OSx86.

  • Geoff October 11, 2008, 2:10 pm

    FWIW, recent Mandriva Linux releases are a beautiful thing even on the original 4G Eee PC. If the driver support is there, I bet they’d be nice on the Wind as well.

  • Julie October 11, 2008, 5:48 pm

    I installed Ubuntu tonight. Super easy and fast process (10minutes) after I created an install ‘disk’ by using a USB drive.

    Big issue at the moment is that wifi isn’t working. The card in my Wind is a Dell card that I used for the OS X install – So I know it works. Ubuntu sees it, but can’t connect to my network.

  • Jake Tongue October 12, 2008, 4:07 am

    I don’t mean to be a pain or anything but could you say the review for the 4th gen nano out as it has nearly been a month since it was released

  • Julie October 12, 2008, 10:11 am

    Jake:

    It’s coming…

  • Isabel October 12, 2008, 5:12 pm

    Hi Julie, I had the same problem and then installed a later version of Ubuntu: Ubuntu v8.04.1 Everything worked fine following the new install but this was after a couple of weeks on the forums, installing this and that and writing many lines of code/commands. I learned a lot but it did not get wifi working until the new install! I will be glad to hear how you sort out your wifi problem. Hey, and how you got on with Gimp and your holiday photographs.
    Isabel

  • Julie October 12, 2008, 7:58 pm

    Isabel:

    8.04.1 is the version I installed…

    I didn’t use GIMP while on vacation because I did not take the Wind with me :o)

  • Electric Vagabond October 13, 2008, 2:13 am

    Julie sorry to hear about your Wind debacle! At the end of the day its just a computer and you had your MacBook as a backup – Apple’s aren’t THAT bad I guess…

    Looks like you had a rad time anyway!

  • Julie October 13, 2008, 6:26 am

    “Apple’s aren’t that bad” ;o) Ha!

    Yes, I had my MacBook as a backup, that was good. I just didn’t want to carry it ;o)

  • Isabel October 14, 2008, 2:38 pm

    Hi Julie, If you sort out the wifi can you let me know what you did, it might helpful to learn of a solution other that an install.

  • LexNY October 14, 2008, 7:21 pm

    Sorry, to hear of the OSX update fiasco. When you re-installed, did you wipe out the drive or reformat first?

    I know you’ll want to re-install it before you hit the road again. My Wind has been very stable under 10.5.5 and I’m extremely happy with it. The folks with the Lenovo S10 and other netbook variants don’t seem to run OSX as completely as the MSI Wind does.

    Once you get OSX back on, here’s Paul’s guide to updating it to 10.5.5 (essentially you need to download update for offline use and install as you would an app.)

    10.5.4 to 10.5.5 update guide

    You’ll need to update the video drivers with these:

    Real GMA950 drivers

    Good luck!

    [Edited at October 14, 2008 20:27:49 PM.]

  • Julie October 14, 2008, 7:52 pm

    Isabel:

    I’ve not tinkered with it again since the weekend. If I can’t get it fixed the next time I sit down to try, I’m going to try installing OS X one more time.

    LexNY:

    Yes, I did a reformat. :o) I’ll probably be trying again soon since Apple failed to bring a netbook to market today – disappointing…

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