InstantON Part I - Setup
InstantON is a small, Linux based OS developed by InterVideo to work in conjunction with the S-presso Deluxe's hardware. Setup takes only a moment with a simple boot CD, but can be time consuming due to poor installation instructions. The user manual instructs the user to install InstantON before installing Windows XP, or any other OS, but there is a catch. With InstantON installed first, Windows XP can no longer install on drive "C", which is essential for proper Windows installations. ASUS makes light of the potential pitfall, instructing the user to continue with their Windows installation and simply reassign the Windows Partition drive letter when the installation completes. Here lies a major flaw in that logic. For one, we don't think that is a good solution, reassigning the drive letter of the boot partition is just bad practice. Secondly, those instructions will only work if the boot partition was set for FAT32. When using NTFS, Windows does not permit drive letter reassignment of the boot partition. Furthermore, as many of you know, with any partition over 30GB, Windows automatically formats the partition with NTFS and does not give the option for FAT32. Therefore, while ASUS' instructions are correct "technically", it is lacking in detail. Ultimately, we suspect that most users will exceed that 30GB threshold and follow these instructions only to find they cannot reassign the drive letter as instructed.
After testing various scenarios for our own information, we planned things out a little differently. Using our 120GB hard drive, we installed Windows XP first and chose to manually size the partition, leaving 225MB of extra hard drive space at the end. InstantON only needs 200MB but we didn't want to split hairs here. After completing the Windows installation, we followed the instructions to install InstantON and everything worked properly moving forward. We should also note that the second set of instructions states that InstantON can be installed on a hard drive with Windows already in place as long as the Windows partition doesn't take up the entire drive. So our installation method basically takes from this and avoids any drive letter issues as outlined in their primary installation instructions.
Perhaps ASUS needs to revisit these instructions and simply tell the user to make sure they leave 200MB of unpartitioned space on their drive so InstantON can install after Windows has been installed on the hard drive. Sadly, we suspect their cavalier approach to the matter is going to cost them a lot of technical support time and their customers a lot of frustration.