Sometimes you should just say “no” to a geek bearing a gift. I mentioned in a previous post that my main, one and only computer right now is that little tiny JVC. Well it just so happens that the reason I have the JVC is because as part of my previous job with the Tablet team, I spent the time evaluating the hardware and hardware/software interaction from an ergonomic and user interaction standpoint. Even after I've left that group, I get asked informally to field some questions or look at a given product. Late last year, someone gave me a gift of the JVC since they were interested in evaluating the product. All I can say was that I was impressed enough with using the little laptop that I adopted it to use as my own laptop. Well little known to me, the copy of Windows that was on there was an evaluation copy and not a full product. Today, I get a nice little error message saying that Windows will only be usable for another hour and then you will need to install a full version. Fine, I work at Microsoft, how hard can it be to upgrade this machine with a new copy of Windows.
Believe me you have no idea. I happen to know quite a few knowledge people who install systems all day long, rescue them from the abyss and perform other magical feats, but this little unit has them all stymied. Hooking it up to our network and doing a download install doesn't work, it chokes on the product key. Installing off the CD also chokes at the product key. Wiping the hard drive and installing absolutely clean from either of those sources doesn't work.
Well one of the gurus is at it now (I think he's going to replace the HD with one that he imaged on another machine and then swap it in, reinstall drivers etc). Hopefully this will work.