Microsoft. Creative. Cakewalk.

I don't think I ever bought a retail version of Windows. No, I didn't steal it. But I'd use OEM, since I build my own systems, or I was covered by a corporate licenses. And then I switched to Ubuntu, and survived on XP when I needed it.

Until this week.

Concerned that changing my hardware might invalidate a rather expensive OEM Win 7 license that I only need for a single application, I decided to buy an even more expensive Retail license. Got the box yesterday. Went to install it. I guess that was my problem.

While I can attribute the agonizing wait before I even say a setup screen to the old IDE DVD-ROM I was using, that fact that Windows wouldn't install falls squarely in Microsofts court. The slow DVD-ROM just made troubleshooting. That. Much. Longer.

"setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition"

And then it told me to check the setup log for more information. 'cause there's a button that shows the setup log. Nope. A llink? Nope. Something? Nope. Nope. Nope.

Delete NTFS partition. Error. Format as NTFS. Error. Switch the boot drive. Error. Try each drive as boot drive. Error. Spend the night transferring files, and give windows its own drive - all to itself. Error. 

Physically disconnect every other drive in the system. Works. Now why didn't they just tell me that?

I need Windows for one application. Application as in 'type of things I do', not as in a single program I need to run. I use it for audio production. I have an professional(ish) sound card from E-MU that I originally used with a cardbus (PCMCIA) interface, but recently bought a new PCIe interface so it's compatible with my now much more powerful desktop. 

The drivers worked fine with Windows 7 Release Candidate. They don't work now. 

Since the driver disc they sent with the hardware is unreadable, I need to get my drivers online. But Creative doesn't list my hardware online. They don't have drivers for similar hardware (the PCIe 1616m or 1212m). So I end up downloading drivers for a PCI card instead of PCIe. Which seem to be the same drivers bundled for cardbus. 

I guess it doesn't matter. 

Not Windows 7 drivers, Windows Vista drivers. There are no Windows 7 drivers yet. Again, all this worked on the Release Candidate. Don't work now.

I try to contact support through their contact form. I get an error on submission. I can't find any phone number. So I tweet. They respond by having me e-mail someone. Once I send the e-mail I get an out of the office reply. 

Are you serious? They must be trying to be this bad.

I also decided to never buy a creative product again. Why? Well, they seem to have no desire to help linux developers create drivers - and now it seems they could care less about Windows as well. What exactly is their target platform? Amiga?

During this whole debacle I call Cakewalk to buy the rather expensive - but usually worth it - Sonar. Side note, if you call Calkwalk, press any numbers longer than usually. If you don't press the number long enough you're told that you should have dialed three digits. Seriously. To buy something press two - but hold it for a bit, that's the only way to get through.

I then wait on hold for what seems like a longer than normal time. When someone finally answers, I tell them I want to buy Sonar, and they put me on hold again. 

Really? You want me to take some time and think it over? That's what they teach at sales school? 'When the customer wants to buy something, make sure they have some time to rethink that decision.'

After another long hold time, the sales person explains that they can't get into the order system right now, so I'll have to call back later.

I ask when.

I'm told to call back around two or three. Then a pause. "No, make sure it's three, since we're closed from two to three."

Thanks for that. Creative would have told me to call at two.

And people say "it's just hard to do anything on Linux".

That why I use it. I love a challenge. 

Update: Yes, Creative/E-MU finally realized the support for was broken. No, I have yet to hear from anyone about the driver issue.

Update 2: Heard from E-MU, they said they have beta drivers. They didn't provide a link. However, I was able to read the original driver disc on a different system. Copied drivers and they work. Doesn't explain why the downloaded drivers don't work. But at least something is working.

Tim Lytle [05/13/10 13:58:19] | 2 Comments | Stream