Wednesday, June 06, 2007

0x80070241 Error - Windows Vista Challenge

I'm typing this from a temporary install of Windows XP Professional, on my main PC, as I sit and look out on the rainy field. It's one of those dark days, off and on rain, much needed here. My daughter seems to be getting out of her piano lessons as her teacher and my wife are chatting about life in the living room.

And me, I've been stuck behind this keyboard since I purchased Windows Vista Upgrade on June 2nd. The beta copy I had of Vista expired once and for all on May 31, 2007. Thousands probably went through the same dilemma of downloading and upgrading, but mine was/is plagued by unforeseen problems.

First, about 15 days out, you get this pop up on Vista beta saying to back up your files because Windows will no longer work in XX amount of days, counting down to May 31. So, like I am told to, I run down to Costco, the local warehouse type store here in Naples, and buy one of those 30 count TDK DVD+R stacks so I can burn all my GB's of "stuff" for safe keeping.

Yet, every time "I" burned the DVD's, I would get to about number 12 or 13 and run into a horrible error - some sort of I/O or such; once a dreadful BSOD - blue screen of death. Really bad stuff if you're burning a set of 26 or so DVD's - as these guys are all linked. So when that happens, you have to toss out your 12 or so burned DVD's and start from number 1. That's okay. I am very patient. But this went on for three times. And I began to think that Microsoft doesn't really want you to back up, because it doesn't really work that well in the beta versions.

Next, I thought I'd buy a new hard drive. Who doesn't need more space? I certainly do. That's why I bought my fancy DVDRAM so I could dump all my huge files and movies to it and free my tiny 110 GB hard drive. I laugh. I remember on my first PC the hard drive was 20 MB's. Can you believe that? And I ran a BBS (bulletin board system) on it for a few years. I upgraded to a 40 MB hard drive. And it was a breakthrough when I finally had 2 GB's of space.

My "new" hard drive is a 500 GB Seagate SATA drive, from Best Buy, an electronics store, which I got for around $180.00. When I installed it, it became drive F: So when I performed the backup of all my files from my old XP Professional, it went to F: - and there it is, secure, as a Vista backup format. Next, I wanted a working Vista - so I went to Microsoft and found I could buy the Upgrade version for $260.00. Naturally, I wanted it on the brand new hard drive, which is F:, and Vista complied. However, that's when my problems started.

With the new Vista on F:, and the beta on C:, there was a problem. The beta on C: was activated with a beta license. When I booted up, I'd get a window with an option for a dual-boot. And they don't tell you, but the beta will operate for 2 hours at a stretch until August 27th, 2007. So you can still do a little work on it - just NOT enough time to download my new Windows Vista from Microsoft's store - 2.43 GB's! At least not with their "Digital Locker". But many things want to see the C: letter in their programs. F: just didn't cut it. So - I'm figuring out how I am going to make this all work.

Okay, this is getting really long and complicated, and let me just tell you that you will probably get the 0x80070241 error when upgrading your Vista. It's not the end of the world - but it feels like it. What maddens me is that Microsoft blames it on bad hardware, when in fact, no matter which way you slice it (install it), it can pop up.

The workaround is simple. Download your Window Vista files and install. Don't activate or even enter a license when asked. Just skip the step. You now have a 30 day trial version of Vista. This is fine and your "real" version can install over this.

You can force install Vista Upgrade version as a clean install - however, you cannot activate it with the license they give you. It won't work. What you'll need to do is get the 30 day trial going on your PC, then pop in your Vista DVD and "upgrade" from there. Then it will work, because you're not doing a clean install.

Now why would I write about this in a Internet business blog? Because I know you face these problems and when you do, you can benefit from some of the research I've done here. That crazy 0x80070241 error seems impossible to get around, but trust me, keep trying differing ways to install and it will work. And one solution that worked for me was using a tiny program called Vista Lite. This will allow you to recompile the files and send them to the install in a different form. Try it. It may work.

I'm not in the clear, yet... but now I know what will work. I am just waiting for the Digital Locker Assistant to finish so I can save my purchased Vista to a DVD.

Then, back to work.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dave... sorry to hear your problems on the PC. That is EXACTLY why I moved to using a MAC 2 years ago. The only reason I run a PC is for some programs not available on the MAC.

I have not seen the blue screen of Death since I went that way. The PC has become too frustrating.

By the way Florida is Great. I'm on the other coast in Palm Coast just north of Daytona

All the Best,