Screwing the pooch.

Posted Thu Jan 15, 2004, 20:13 PM by Tracy | |

You know how it is when you’ve got a little scab on your skin. It’s almost healed, just be patient. But no, you want your skin to be nice and smooth. So you pick at the scab and pick at it until the next thing you know, you’ve got this bloody gushing wound making a mess over everything.

Last week I had a problem with my printer. When I started the computer, the printer would be offline and I couldn’t print. It had been happening intermittently and I could “solve” it by reinstalling the driver. But now it was permanent.

I did my research, contacted various tech supports, and conducted my own hands-on troubleshooting. I determined a couple USB ports on my motherboard had gone bad. Bummer, but I still had four good ports.

At that point everything else was working.

Not content to leave that scab alone, I decided to try downloading and installing updated USB drivers. Maybe that would help.

Everything went to hell in a handbasket in a slow hurry.

My computer slowed down to a glacial crawl. Tectonic plates could lap my computer.

System restore failed. Booting to last known good configuration did nothing. Uninstalling the new drivers had no effect. Attempting to repair Windows with my WinXP install CD was meaningless.

I decided to reinstall Windows.

But I was afraid of accidently overwriting all my files. So I managed to install a second copy of WinXP. Not that it did any good. The system was still slower than a drunk slug.

I consulted with my tech guy. His name’s Louis and I highly recommend him. Email me (link at left) if you need a good computer tech. He suggested reformatting the hard drive and reinstalling a fresh copy of Windows. Sure it’s a bother, but with the computer cleaned up, it would run faster.

I decided to restore my last backup from just before we went to L.V. But first I ran chkdsk on the hard drive. Ooh, errors galore. I decided to take Louis’ advice after all.

Then the fun really began. Over these last couple days, it took several tries to format the hard drive and install WinXP. Everytime it got to the point of copying files to the hard drive for installation, it would crap out. No going forward. I tried the CD in the DVD drive and the CDR drive both. I even shelled out $199 for a new (not upgrade) copy of WinXP. Same result.

This afternoon I plunked down my ducats for a new Maxtor 80GB hard drive.

The hiccups I’ve had in installing the new hard drive and WinXP have been minor in comparison to what came before.

Now all I have to do is reinstall all my applications. And thanks to my obsessive-compulsive approach to backups, the only thing I’ve lost is a couple days’ email.

  1. Doesn't the sweet siren song of Linux appeal to you more now?

    G Fish    Fri Jan 16, 08:44 PM    #

  2. Sounds like you may have had bad sectors on the hard drive. I had something like this happen with one of my customers and after running some drive utilities we found that it had bad sectors. We installed a new drive a fresh install of XP and BAM! We were back up and running in the world of Windows.

    But while I support Windows Machines, I still love my Mac and will always use my Mac at home.

    Best of luck....

    Jason    Sat Jan 17, 06:07 PM    #


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