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I’m back much later than planned… 😕 Back from something that could only be described as “a weekend in computer hell”. 😉

First, late Friday evening – Windows didn’t want to start! 😯 Halfway through the logo screen (I have Windows 2000) it doesn’t just freeze: a BLUE SCREEN appears. And not the benevolent BSOD kind, which usually goes away after a reboot but a START ERROR SCREEN! After a couple of hours of fiddling about with all sorts of bootable “emergency diskettes” I figure out there’s no way I can bring the computer back to life without the Windows CD. But where is it?

Saturday morning. It must have taken about 10 hours of searching… The disk was obviously gone from the usual place but where to? Come to think of it – it’s amazing I found it at all. It had fallen to the bottom of a tiny little gap between 2 shelves standing side by side which weren’t pushed together closely enough. After a repair + reinstall I had my system back on Saturday afternoon but nothing worked. There was no internet – the modem disappeared. Installing and reinstalling mainboard drivers, modem drivers etc. etc. in various sequences didn’t work. The USB was there, in the Device Manager but everything I plugged in remained invisible. Another interesting phenomenon: the computer did not power down by itself – the graphics card obviously turned off because the monitor did as well. But the computer itself was apparently still working, though in something reminiscent of the “power conservation” mode (but with no “wake up” option).

On Sunday I went over to my parents’ (who do not live in Warsaw) and used their computer to download and burn myself a disc of Win2K updates (specifically Service Pack 4 and another bundle that came after that). BTW, Microsoft does a great job of hiding these resources away – it took me more than half an hour to find where they’re hidden (for one thing: there is no such thing as a Windows 2000 site anymore – now it’s called “Windows 2000 Server”, how’s that for confusing your clients?).

After installing SP4 at home (in the evening) I finally got my internet connection back. But everything else I plugged into the USB drive remained invisible: pen drives, mp3 player, camera. Installing and reinstalling various versions of the USB drivers did not help (but at least the internet connection stayed 🙄 ). After much searching I finally found a web page that recommended using some sort of “manage disks” option (available by right clicking on “My Computer”) – and it turned out Windows could actually see all these gadgets but simply didn’t go through the trouble of assigning them drive letters. 🙄 So I did that manually, and now could quickly backup my PhD onto a pen drive (something I hadn’t done in months, and this situation made me regret it badly).

But the funniest thing was that everything went back to normal: Windows started assigning drive letters automatically and powering off the computer properly, the moment I reinstalled Daemon Tools and Alcohol 52% (the free version from 2 years ago) ❓ – these two programs were not working properly after the reinstall. This happened late into the evening (er… night), yesterday (er… technically, it was today).

So there’s another fascinating story that has absolutely nothing to do with music. But at least now I have the means at hand to actually post something at all… I’ll try to put together a quick Polish music post before getting back to work… 😉

Categories: blog-related
  1. Jezetha
    6 May 2008 at 8:31

    Frightening story…

    I have a very handy program, called ‘True Image’. Restoring a system is a doddle. 🙂 It isn’t v e r y expensive, and better than three days’ work to get a computer going again…

  2. maciek
    9 May 2008 at 23:26

    Yeah, I know those programs can be useful (I think my current motherboard came with a bundled Norton Ghost) – but somehow I never run them. 😳 It’s just that this sort of thing isn’t really all that common (or is it??). In fact, this is the first time I’ve had this serious a problem with my system. Ever. (Though I have to admit a couple of weeks ago I had a serious registry problem – another first – but that was more or less easy to solve, at least in comparison to this; again, I do back up my registry from time to time – but apparently not often enough, and the backup copy was simply too old to be of any use. 🙄 )

  1. 18 August 2008 at 0:12

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