I finally got my system working.
After I wrote that blog post, I used nLite to set up a slipstream of XP 32-bit with the correct nVidia SATA drivers. I then reformatted the system, partitioned as I really wanted (3 partitions: C: 30GB for program files and Windows; D: 174GB for music and movies; E: 30GB for personal files.) I partition this way so I can always reformat without having to back up all my music and personal files.
Anyway, I got Windows installed and then realized I had neglected to slipstream either the nVidia video driver or the Ethernet driver. Hmm. I grabbed the SD card out of my Treo and dropped it into my laptop, then grabbed the latest nVidia drivers from this link (which is what I was following to slipstream the drivers in the first place.) I downloaded to the card, put the card in my desktop (yeah, every computer I own has a SD card reader) and installed the drivers. Then I rebooted…and promptly freaked out.
The system wasn’t booting. It just sat there and blinky-cursored at me (after I ignored the prompt to boot from CD.) “Fuck…another reformat!” I thought to myself. I popped in the Windows CD. It booted into the setup options and I realized it was seeing my SD card as a potential destination for my Windows install. “I wonder if it’s trying to boot off the SD card,” I mused. I popped the card out, rebooted, and sure enough, Windows came back up. Stupid computer! (Side note: When I have my backup drive plugged in via USB, it tries to boot off that, too. Sigh.)
Anyway, after installing 51 Windows updates (please note I had slipstreamed SP2 onto my CD, so this is 51 updates after SP2), some more drivers, and rebooting a few more times, I had a working system. So far, so good. I’m now copying all my music files off my backup drive. I had all my CDs ripped into MP3, but they don’t all fit on my iPod, so I had them stored on the backup drive. It’s been 6 months since I’ve been able to easily access my backed-up MP3s. They’re copying over to this system now. It’s nice to have them back!
Also, iTunes works now, so either it was a corrupt download problem or it didn’t work under Windows x64 with my system.
All good for now. If the system has any more problems, I will post annother update.