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My computer, how I hate thee.

I know a lot of people bitch about Microsoft, and how all their products are utter crap and the like. I see how one could hate the company, the whole trying to own the world through shoddy software and the like.

But honestly, I never really had a problem with them or the software. Windows 2000, 95, XP... they all worked well on my machines, and I actually appreciate each upgrade.

Of course I was due to learn otherwise.



Last night my Windows went kaput. After trying to disconnect my external hard drive, all shit broke loose and I wound up having to do a hard reboot. I was then sent into a nightmarish episode that made me feel like I was in the Twilight Zone. My computer would reboot, tell me it didn't start properly the last time and ask me how I wanted to proceed (Safe, Previous Settings, Boot Normally)... but it didn't matter what option I selected. All paths led to a big circle, bringing me right back to that screen and asking me to choose again, knowing full well it wouldn't give me what I wanted and instead sought to taunt me and punish me until I clawed my eyes out.

I went through a half hour of that. Then I asked for help via the ever helpful 1-800-Help-Me-Oh-Tech-Person-On-Other-Side-Of-World line. Windows - corrupt. Solution - start over.

Had to do a full new installation of Windows. Spent hours trying to get all my correct drivers back into place, still have a few more to go.

Here's the kicker. There I am bemoaning the fact that all my programs are gone (thankfully I transfered the entire "My Documents" folder to my new external hard drive before this happened, or I would be dead right now after committing suicide). In fact, when the help guy on the phone asked me what else he could do for me, I asked him to shoot me. So, the computer comes back alive like Frankenstein's Monster (and just as ugly), and I notice that the contents of my hard drive are still there, in a new hard drive partition. I think, oh wow, I'm saved!!! But NO! Since those programs have not been installed into the registry of my "new computer", that partition is really a wasteland of programs that look like programs but are really magical cadavers with the power of Taunting Boymeat +10.

So now I get to reinstall everything I had on the computer. This sucks.

Anyone good at upgrading computers? I'm thinking I need some new hardware - a new motherboard, processor, and video card I think would be a good start.

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
phadras
Apr. 23rd, 2008 01:54 pm (UTC)
www.dell.com

Sound like its time to get a new machine.
boymeat
Apr. 23rd, 2008 01:56 pm (UTC)
I have an Alienware Area 51 from 2004. I really really really don't want to give it up if I don't have to. I mean, I spent alotalot of money on this machine.

Plus... I can't afford a new machine. *kicks rock*
archers_elegant
Apr. 23rd, 2008 02:24 pm (UTC)
Kick the pc..not a rock.
tripartite
Apr. 23rd, 2008 02:38 pm (UTC)
That was my suggestion as well. I'll admit, I'm doing this from a PC I built, it's old. Probably about 4 or 5 years old. My prior PC is sitting on the same spot on the other desk behind me, has been off for 4 or 5 years. I'll also admit I am a pack rat but it was a monster when I built it, dual processors and all. However, these to lovely creations of mine are surrounded by 4 Dell PCs. One of which may be upgraded soon to my primary.

You mentioned you cannot afford an upgrade now. I'd like to point out that many PCs from Dell, HP/Compaq, etc do not upgrade well. One of the PCs I didn't mention above is an old Dell 530. It's dead. I can't easily upgrade it because it has a custom power supply and an unusual motherboard. If I upgrade it I have to toss those out and try to find ones that'll work. Considering it's age? Not to many. I don't know what the inside of the Alienware Area 51 looks like but, you may or may not have good fortune upgrading it.

I did want to say, "congrats" for backing up your data. Way too many people are operating without a net.
boymeat
Apr. 23rd, 2008 03:59 pm (UTC)
Well, I didn't have the registry backed up, which is dumber than dumb on my part. Thus the graveyard of useless programs on my newly partitioned hard drive.

Alienware computers were made to allow for upgrades. The trick is I'm stuck at the Pentium 4 level on my current motherboard. If I wanted to enjoy the new dual- or quad-core processors, it's a new motherboard for me.
tripartite
Apr. 23rd, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC)
NTBackup.exe should be able to do that for you. You should be able to reinstall them to the same locations to update the registry.

Nice of them, most don't really do that. At that point it'd probably be worth saving for a new machine. Do you really need a dual/quad core CPU?
boymeat
Apr. 23rd, 2008 04:46 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm a part time gamer, and my own Pentium 4 is quickly demonstrating a very short shelf life.
trouble841
Apr. 23rd, 2008 03:40 pm (UTC)
I have to second the new machine.

Prices have come down significantly just in the last few years - it will cost you less to buy a new one than it would probably cost you to upgrade (if upgrading is even possible).

nipper_dawg
Apr. 23rd, 2008 01:59 pm (UTC)
Relax and breath. This happens fomr time to time. If you've been running since 2004 with no issues, it was just time to clean up the HD (the hard way) and start over.

Its not a loss, just a new begnining.
paksen
Apr. 23rd, 2008 02:25 pm (UTC)
agreed. Reloading Windows every year or two is a good practice.
domn8dlady
Apr. 23rd, 2008 11:41 pm (UTC)
This scares me. Registry what? Partitions? Surely you must be joking!
adpfromga
Apr. 23rd, 2008 02:00 pm (UTC)
I am soooo sorry.

A suggestion - when you get your hardware all happy

back up your registry at some reasonable and regular interval

http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,86903-page,2/article.html

Then, when you are sad, you will have a path to happiness.

And if you lived in the ATL, I'd send you over to Sukru at Stargate Computers who has can openered my PCs for the last 6 or 7 years when I've hosed them - as well as upgraded all my hardware, made reasonable suggestions as to keeping our computers free of internet-spread plagues and been very fairly priced to boot.

So, you live in the mecca of Civilization - you gotta have the local Sukru equivelent : )
rawbearnyc
Apr. 23rd, 2008 02:19 pm (UTC)
Rule of 3
There's a rule when talking about computer upgrades. Considering the lifespan of the individual components, upgrading 3 or more components isn't a good idea. If you feel that much needs upgrading, it's better to buy a new machine (or save up for a new machine).
paksen
Apr. 23rd, 2008 02:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Rule of 3
again I concur. If you've already gotten a new hard drive and now you're looking at a new motherboard, processor and video card, you might as well get a new machine. About the only thing you don't have on the list is memory.

However it doesn't sound like you had a hardware issue.
boymeat
Apr. 23rd, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Rule of 3
Well, here is the way I see it. If I was gonna buy, I'd want to go near top of the line so that I can ensure some good years with it (I like to do a little gaming, which these days is a demanding thing.)

So, a new motherboard with a dual-core processor - $200 or so.

A new video card - $200 or so.

More memory - $200 or so.

taliakit
Apr. 23rd, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC)
no helpful advice, just wanted to say your geek talk is making me grin :)
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )