Being a strong advocate of FreeBSD and hearing some good about PC-BSD I decided to give it a shot since I needed to install FreeBSD on my notebook anyway.
The install process is GUI! I don’t like GUI installs designed for right-handed mice.
…anyway, it never asked for my drive geometry which FreeBSD always does (and I always have to fix it). PC-BSD booted fine, usb-mouse and scrolling were setup for me. I had to manually edit the XF86Config file to use my ATI card and had to set the resolution to 1280×800. Hardware acceleration did not work (as usual for ATI’s in BSD). Not as good as Ubuntu as far as setup but better than a lot of other Linux distros.
To my dismay when I tried booting into Windows something choked the bootloader. I tried rebooting and now all it said was bad boot sector. I tried to reinstall Grub, and use fixmbr but both failed to write. A quick fdisk seems to show the problem:
I wanted to reinstall anyway. Next come licensing issues. Here I accidently used the wrong XP CD (what’s the difference between Corp and Pro anyway) so I had to start all over:
XP bad key
…and iTunes apparantly will only let me do this 3 more times. iTunes auth
…and the ACER-branded XP CD decided that I wanted one large partition …parted fixed that easy enough.
All in all, the reinstall wasn’t too bad. But I would hold off on trying PC-BSD again until the next release. It does look like it has some potential.