Sunday, November 09, 2008

GRAH!!

I had an absolutely awesome afternoon. And then I had a not so absolutely awesome rest of the evening.

As I was walking back from Godfrey's, my phone battery died. Normally I'd just plug it in again, but my sister was down this weekend, and her phone died, so I let her borrow it for a day. She used it to charge her phone, and left it with Todd when she left ... but Todd's off visiting one of our supplier sites, and my charger is trapped in his apartment. Which is all to say that my phone is currently a pretty piece of plastic and silicon, and will remain so until Todd comes back. Grah!

Also, my personal computer died this weekend. It'd been acting strangely, randomly shutting down, blue screening, etc. I chalked it up to overheating (which it's prone to doing), and would just restart it. That worked until Saturday morning, when it stopped booting and just showed a message about the registry file \SystemRoot\System32\Config\Software being corrupt. I tried safe mode, tried last usable configuration, tried everything I could think of, but it just wouldn't start.

I got onto my work laptop, searched online, and found a lot of sites that told you how to deal with the problem. I tried to restore the registry files via the System Recovery Setup screen, but the backup files weren't created, so no dice. Then I searched through all my old files and boxes, and found (what I thought to be) the WindowsXP disc that came with the laptop, and tried to do a repair install. Alas, the repair option wasn't accessible. I searched and searched through dozens of forums, and always came up with the same answer: if those two options didn't work the only option left was a clean wipe and reinstallation. Grah!!

(Asside: I've never been technologically savvy. I know I'm a nerd and it's required and all, but honestly I couldn't set up a home network to save my life. It's always frustrated me to some degree, but this entire episode really served to frustrate me more and more with my lack of computer skills. So that's the backdrop to all of this.)

I wasn't happy about doing a clean wipe and then reinstalling, but it wasn't quite as bad when I thought about it. Most of my media is on my iPod, and I can just resynch that later. I'd lose some pictures of Lucy, but she'll be around for a while and I'm sure she'll do plenty of funny things in the years ahead. I'd lose some links, but I found the pages once, I can find them again. The biggest worry I have is my finances on MS Money and the word doc that has all my online sign-ons and passwords. (Yes, I know it's not recommended to store that stuff. But if they don't want us to store it, then they shouldn't make every site have different requirements on what your username and password can be. We're human beings, not filing cabinets. We can't remember 20+ different usernames and passwords and which sites they all belong to.)

So, I started the install. Took about 40 minutes, and then my screen filled up with the most dumbed-down worthless version of XP in existence. No media players, no MS Office, no network drivers, no nothing. The only thing on it were games, and an offer to sign up for MSN's online portal. "Wait, this isn't right!", I thought to myself. "Where's all the stuff that's supposed to come with it?" Of course it won't have everything, but I KNOW it at least came with MS Office! So, I start looking through boxes again, this time much more thoroughly, and between two manual pages I find another XP disk.

And I come to a horrible realization.

The version of XP that I'd just installed was not the version that came with my laptop. Instead, it was the stand-alone version that my parents had gotten me for Christmas 5 years ago when I was a sophomore at college to replace my old computer's ailing Windows ME. I'd just wiped my laptop and reinstalled a 5 years old version of XP, with absolutely no utility at all. GRAH!!!

So I pop in the newer disk, thinking that I could just do the whole thing over again, wipe it all, etc. And what should pop up, but the repair option that would've let me fix it all! Of course, at that point it was completely useless, since I'd already reformatted everything, and it's gone forever. GRAH!!!!

I took a deep breath, reminded myself that I'd already accepted losing everything and that really that wasn't so bad, and continued with the install. Except something was popping up about the drive already being partitioned, and that it was a very bad idea to install more than one OS on a single partition. Well, couldn't I just remove the partition? Nope! Apparently you can't reinstall Windows from Windows, since the partition hosting the installation can't be removed, or something like that. GRAH!!!!!

Rather than just frustrating myself more, I'm not going to do anything more tonight and just tackle it tomorrow. *sigh, maybe I'll throw it out a window or something.

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