May 28, 2011

I’m back after three days in the home PC gulag. It all started upon my return from Atlanta (another excuse for me never to travel to Atlanta again if I can help it!). I walk in the door and Tracey says our PC unexpectedly and inexplicably started a PC Checkup on its own and one of the tests for a SMART-thingy disk device failed. After checking out a few more diagnostics and a call to Dell technical support, it became obvious we were having yet another hard drive crash – the second in a year’s time. I furiously backed up as much personal data files as I could, and yesterday the Dell guy came out and spent all of three minutes (I timed it) opening up the PC, pulling out the old hard drive, installing the new, and telling me, “you should be able to start recovering your data in a hour or so” before heading out the front door and beating it down the road.

There’s something vast and breathtaking in the scope of emptiness one feels when, after a new install does its own thing, you gaze at your desktop and the only icon shoing is the Recycle Bin – that’s it. Fortunately, in this day and age, if you back up all the right directories, you can be back up and running in a relatively short period of time. Microsoft Outlook has always been historically one of the more tricky programs to restore with all your personal folders and such, but this time, because our computer guy Floyd had wisely loaded our .pst file into the My Documents folder when we first converted over to this new machine back in February, I was flabbergasted to see our Outlook back and fully intact with out so much as a mind you me after it configured itself on startup.

Fourteen hours after the initial boot, everything (well everything important, at least) has been restored. Typical Microsoft, you never get back exactly what you originally had, even when you’re restoring the very same software. For example, a website that would always annoyingly crash our IE9, forcing us to drop back to IE8, now works just fine under the reinstalled IE9. And our Outlook, which previously never went directly to our Inbox upon open (very annoying) now does.

And Microsoft Picture Manager? Don’t get me started on that. It used to work just fine – you would open a picture file and, after making MOPM the default program, that was what every file type of that kind would open with. Now, for whatever reason, it works exactly backwards – if you want to use MOPM for picture files you have to point it to the folder where the pictures all reside. And the Microsoft Picture Manager.exe file is now mysterious executed by a so-called “Virtualization Handler” CVH.exe file. Very bizarre.

Anyways, what else does one have to do on a long Memorial Day weekend but futz with a restore of your home PC?

I chalk it up to life in the marvelous technological age we live in.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 12:32 | Comments (0)
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