Well, I decided to give the Release Preview one last chance. I reformatted the partition again, downloaded a
fresh copy of the Release Preview ISO image from the official download page. The previous copy of the ISO
that I'd downloaded was from my Microsoft Technet Professional Downloads subscription.
(Both ISO files from either source are essentially the same except for their file names.)
I created a new bootable installation from the new ISO file on a different USB pen drive than I'd used before,
in case the earlier copy of the ISO and/or the previous USB pen drive had a combined problem that was
causing the Release Preview to freeze up so soon after installation. Although, when anything like that
ever happens, the installer stops part way through the process with an "install failed" error.
Generally, I'd expect that to happen if the ISO file was from an unauthorised source such as a torrent site.
So, I set about running the installation from the bootable USB, created from the freshly downloaded ISO.
I restarted the computer, booted up from the USB, and followed the usual prompts on the setup wizard.
The usual suspects ... select language/keyboard, enter product key, accept the license agreement,
reduce heat, and leave to simmer for approximately 20-30 minutes ... time for a brew!
25 minutes later, the install is done, AND the "first time setup wizard" is again ready for my attention.
So far so good. After following the prompts and answering its questions, the garish coloured Metro
tiles of the Windows 8 Start screen appear. OK, now to get to work methinks. I wonder how far it
might let me proceed this time? Could everything be OK now? I've used a new ISO, installed it
from a different USB pen drive than before. Surely there's no reason for it to lock up?
I then set about running the Windows Easy Transfer program, to transfer the settings and stuff it has
managed to grab from the Consumer Preview setup. This is going to take a while, so I'll go catch up
on last Thursday's edition of The Late Show that I hadn't seen yet. Yeah, that's right ... Letterman!
45 minutes later, I come back to the PC ... and the transfer has completed ... sort of. I still have to
reinstall all my programs. Oh well, here goes. This could take a while ... but I'm sort of used to it!
No wait, Windows Easy Transfer wants me to reboot the computer. OK, not a problem.
I install Classic Shell to reinstate the missing Start button and a proper Start menu. Not a problem.
I install QTTabbar, to add tabs to Windows 8 Explorer. Not a problem. Windows Explorer now has
a feature they should've added ages ago without the need for a 3rd party add-on. (Now, Microsoft,
why can't you add tabs to Explorer, instead of that stupid, bloated, cluttered Ribbon thing?!?)
I install SeaMonkey. Not a problem. I install Firefox. Not a problem. I then run MozBackup to put
the backed up browser profiles into place. Not a problem. Looks as though it's all going to plan.
I install the Adobe Flash Player plugin. Not a problem. (I'd rather not TBH, but it's a necessary evil.)
I decide to come here to post a progress report. I load up SeaMonkey, click the relevant bookmark
to bring up this site, and I'm just in the process of logging in, and BOOM ... everything locks up!
It's at this point, the air in my room turns bluer than the default colour of the Windows XP taskbar!
The cursor is still movable, but it's stuck on the pointy link hand, not the regular arrow pointer.
I can't win. Despite running a clean install no less than 3 times, and using different install media
on my latest attempt, it still seems utterly unstable to the point that it's completely unusable.
Yet the Consumer Preview (which is still a BETA) works perfectly fine. Not a problem!
UserAgent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.2; rv:13.0) Gecko/20120604 Firefox/13.0 SeaMonkey/2.10 Lightning/1.5b2