This might sound flippant but it is a serious observation that you will find software development a lot easier if you switch to linux.
It's free, more stable than windows, will dual boot with your windows system and you have a huge choice of desktops to choose from most of which are nicer than Windows. You also have access to huge support communities and yes there is a learning curve but it's not that big a deal.
The most popular distro is linux mint. Linux Mint has overtaken Ubuntu since Ubuntu released the Unity desktop (Windows copied this for their Windows 8 OS) and added advertising.
You can get a live cd image from any of the Linux distros website. Just download it, burn it onto dvd or put it onto a usb stick and boot it up. You can then use it to see what it's like directly from the dvd and install it.
Linux mint with the cinnamon desktop is really cool but more resource intensive (not as much as windows) than the mate desktop and installing it will not stuff up your windows installation.
Have a look here http://www.linuxmint.com/ and to download the live disk image grab one of the desktop versions from here
http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php kde is totally customisable and a real pain to get started with. xfce is lightweight and very cool. mate is, well, it just is! Probably Mate is the version that will make you feel most comfortable coming from a windows background but I love cinnamon
Once downloaded it only takes about 25 minutes to install from beginning to end (no license keys needed) and you will have everything you need. A full office suite, Firefox browser, thinderbird email client, a package manager (synaptic) which makes it so much simpler to install software and keep it up to date.
As you get more used to it and finding out how awesome it is you will probably end up ditching windows all together. I did
Why isn't it more popular? There is no marketing budget. It really is that simple Pople are scared of the unknown and despite the fact that just about everyone on the planet uses *nix they don't really understanding that they do.
Just about every device in your house ha a linux OS in some form. Android is linux based All Apple products are based on a *(nix deivatie. In fact 99% of everything that is not windows is linux based.
OK enough about Linux! (You really should install it to do your software development at the very least) If you really MUST use windows (which is so far behind Linux lol! Just had to et that last point in) then use thin or webrick for your development server and move unicorn to your production gemset as unicorn is probably the cause of your need for the kgio gem
The above probably sounds a bit OTT but you will save yourself a lot of headaches by switching to Linux for development and as it's so easy to use you really have no excuse not to.
What you want and what you need are too often not the same thing!
When your head is hurting from trying to solve a problem, stop standing on it. When you are the right way up you will see the problem differently and you just might find the solution.
(Quote by me 15th July 2009)