Why Microsoft Sucks

So after writing a glowing review of my first impressions of Windows 10, it is time to revisit Microsoft once again. My sister, still using Windows Vista, asked me to upgrade her desktop to Windows 10. For the past 2 years I've been telling her that the best way to make her computer faster is to upgrade Windows, so after reading my first impressions of Windows 10 she finally followed my advice. By that I mean she asked me to do it for her.

This upgrade would be a little different to the last one as I'd have to do a clean install. No problem, just download an ISO, create a bootable USB, and voila. Right? Well, with everything Microsoft, the answer turns out to be "no".

After downloading the Windows 10 ISO, I discovered it turns out that creating a bootable Windows USB can't be done from Ubuntu, not "out-of-the-box" anyway. I installed the official tool from Microsoft on my wife's computer, only to discover that it would only download a fresh ISO and I couldn't use the one I already had. GAH! So I turned to an alternate program, Rufus, that did the job just fine (or so I thought).

Now that I had my bootable Windows 10 USB all I had to do was go through the simple installation process. Right? No. After starting setup, I got a vague error message:

A media driver your computer needs is missing. This could be a DVD, USB, or Hard disk driver. If you have a CD, DVD, or USB flash drive with the driver on it, please insert it now. 

What?! The computer had no DVD drive, the hard drive and USB both showed up fine, the mouse and keyboard worked, etc. So I went on a little (think big) hunt, but I couldn't find anything concrete. I tried to download a few drivers for various bits of hardware, but nothing seemed to help. After a few hours I got a bit suspicious and decided to insert the USB into an old Dell XPS 15 laptop i had lying around. I got the same error. Bingo.

Microsoft doesn't provide a checksum for downloaded files, so there wasn't any way for me to know for sure if the ISO was corrupted, but I assumed that was the case.

I wiped the USB and used the official Microsoft tool to download a new ISO and format the USB all over again. I plugged the USB into the computer and the Windows 10 installation started, no errors this time. Well, that's not entirely true, as I had to wipe and format the entire hard drive (including the existing Ubuntu dual boot) to proceed with the installation as 64-bit Windows 10 on a UEFI bios requires a GPT partition table. At least that fact was presented with a more coherent error message.

On the bright side, I haven't yet encountered the following error message. Then again, at least this error message is honest.