Crash, Crash, Crash

I have lost all of my confidence in computers. In the last twenty seven days, I have had to reload the operating system on this miserable lap top three times. Each time, I began to recover and make forward progress when it would happen again. Needless to say, I’ve lost a lot of stuff. I have a back up from before the first incident, but have you ever tried to recover data from a Microsoft formatted back up? I thought all I had to do was to perform a restore function, and all would be sweet. I learned that restore only restores the program stuff. Data is excluded.

After a month, I found my contact list with all of my friends e-mail addresses. Yesterday, I worked for four hours to learn how to recover them. After that amount of time, I had successfully recovered ten contacts. Because they were entered in Windows Vista, and I am now on Windows 7 there is a problem. If I still had Vista loaded on my PC it would have gone smoothly, but I don’t even want the Vista disk in my house any more. Windows seven does not know how to accept data from a Vista back-up file.

I found a work around and can now transfer the addresses, but it might still be easier to retype them all. Has anyone figured out how to print a list of contacts from the Windows Mail Contact List? If so, I would like to know how to do it. I need a paper back-up to circumvent another dilemma.

1.)    My problems began immediately after I downloaded several security updates. The key board began skipping characters. I spent six hours on the phone with a nice guy from Dell computers in India. It cost $130 to learn that I had to reload the operating software. The pc began to work good again.

2.)    A week later, after I had begun to rebuild my e-mail contact list and learned that restore does not recover the data, I turned on the computer. I left as I usually do to have breakfast. On my return, the machine was downloading updates. I had forgotten to turn off the automatic update feature.   The key board began sticking again. This time I made up my mind not to spend another $130.00 to fix the problem. I read web site after web site trying different approaches to fix the problem. There are hundreds of reports about this defect since Vista first came out. After a week, I was really demoralized when it came to me in a dream.  I would simply uninstall every update since all the trouble started. It took over an hour of continuous button pushing to do it, but I uninstalled one hundred and twenty five updates without restarting the computer. That is a mistake, a very big mistake. When I restarted, the pc began starting up, and shutting down automatically. I figured this to be normal since I did uninstall 125 updates, and it needed a restart to activate each one. I just thought it would have to do this routine one hundred and twenty-five times to take effect. I let the machine run over-night. It was still looping in the morning.  I let it run another ten hours before I killed it.

3.)    I restarted the machine, thinking the problem would resolve itself with a reboot. No such luck. I performed all the diagnostics I could through DOS. All the components were sound.  The machine kept booting up into the start-up, shut down loop.

I called my son Mike for help. He confirmed all the same things I did. He tried re-loading the operating system from my original disk. It wouldn’t boot. Then, the disc would not eject. Mike played with it until he finally got the disc to come out.

Mike talked me into installing Windows 7. We did, and I lost my e-mail list, and what little work content I produced, again.

That is the story of why I haven’t posted or cartooned very much in September. One of my cartoons is titled “A Very, Very, Very, Sad Song.”  The gypsy is playing the violin for me now.

Another old problem has returned with Windows 7. I had a problem with the touch pad in Vista which I fixed by downloading a new driver which allowed me to disable the touchpad. The problem is back. Does Microsoft or Dell learn anything? Ever?

I know why Bill Gates is being so charitable. He is feeling pangs of guilt about creating Window

Thank You Microsoft

QWERTY keyboard, on 2007 Sony Vaio laptop comp...

Image via Wikipedia

 

Well, the last twenty four hours have been pure delight. I don’t know what made me do it, but I chose to update my pc with the latest Microsoft security updates. It has been several weeks since I last did it. There were forty nine of them to download. I consciously chose to do it.

Immediately after the download, the keyboard began skipping letters. I type fairly fast and my thoughts became even more gibberish than they normally are. What normally took a few seconds to type now took several minutes because of all the corrections that I had to make. Then there were corrections to make on the corrections.

I spent six hours searching for solutions. Have you ever tryied searching with a skipping keyboard?  One solution was to restore the software to a point before this event. I did. The keyboard stopped functioning. After much more fiddling, I got the keys to respond the way they did before. At least they worked sometimes.

I decided to seek serious help. I called Microsoft Support fully intending to pay for the fix. I explained the call to a rather rude service attendent and was told to call Dell because this was a hardware problem. I tried to use some logic with the technician and she cut me off.

My first call to Dell was with their hardware expert. I agreed to the charges and proceeded to diagnose the keyboard problem. It seems obvious now, but all he did was check if the keys functioned while the machine was in safe mode. They did, except when I typed very fast. The technician declared that thie keyboard needed replacement. I presnted my argument that a download of updates from Microsoft surely wouldn’t cause the keyboard to fail. What would the odds be of that coincidence occurring?  I argued thaat the updates had most likely corrupted some drivers and caused the problem. He finally admitted that he was only qualified to handle hardware. He asked if I wanted to be transferred to a software tech. I did.

The software guy started by quoting the cost of his services. It would be $70 on top of the $59 dollars I paid for the hardware check. I agreed. It was still a bargain compared to spending untold hours by myself lookiing for the needle in the haystack.

The call began a six hour adventure with a nice young man who worked with me to correct the problem. After he satisfied himself that the keyboard fuctioned well he tried restoring to a previous point with out luck.

The computer had to be reformated to the factory specifications.

The job is not finished yet, because I have to reload data from back-ups. My e-mail address list is gone, yet to be found, and my drive to do anything on the machine is waning.

Woe is me for becomming addicted to this infernal machine.

This too shall pass.

An Apple today keeps Microsoft away.

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