Setting up again

My employer gives developers laptops (and nice ones; not complaining about that) whenever the 3-year lease cycle finishes. Well, mine just finished, so I got a new laptop.

I couldn't get a MacBook (a retina macbook pro would've been awesome), but it's a nice Dell (and please don't misinterpret that to mean that I think all, or even most, Dells are nice).

Not being a windows guy, I planned on keeping a little bit of space for the Windows 7 that was preinstalled (every so often I want it), and putting linux on the rest of it. Simple enough, last time I needed to do so.

But, Windows 7 and whole-disk encryption are already installed. Probably can't just fire up parted and zot it down to a reasonable size. Did some searching, realized that Windows 7 has partition editing built in. Nice. Twenty steps to find it, but it was only one google search to get those steps.

Of course, then I run it. Takes a while, and I can only shrink the partition by a little less than half. Machine crashes when it finishes the shrinking. But it boots up cleanly afterwards, so no big deal there.

I try the shrinker again, and it complains that space isn't available. I haven't looked into details of NTFS in a long time, but I remember reading about it keeping boot-loading and kernel stuff both at the beginning of the disk (a la FAT) and in the middle. So I suspect that that ring of stuff in the middle was what kept it from shrinking further. Why it can't shrink that at the same time as the partition editing, I don't know.

In any event, it suggests running the defragger, so I do. Defragger now needs to go through an analysis stage before doing the defragging (it's been over a decade since the last time I needed to defrag a disk), then gets to work. I waited over six and a half hours for that defrag to finish. On a partition that has ~50/235GB filled. Ouch.

The worst part?  It hadn't finished; I just needed to head home from work.  So now I need to start it over again.  Microsoft, this is not the way to woo a potential user.

Adding insult to injury, the reboot time is painfully long.  A friend suggested that the defrag might run faster if I started in safe mode; I waited over ten minutes for that to boot up, and it hadn't made any apparent progress in over five minutes at that point when I turned it off.  That's absurdly ridiculous.  Thank goodness it's so rare for me to need windows.

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