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» Monday, September 19, 2016Technology Week(end) or "Computer Blue(s)"
You will be relieved that I'm not going to chronicle in excruciating detail this whole tiring affair. You'd be bored, and I don't want to go through it again.
It is a fact universally acknowledged by Microsoft users that Tuesday night is reserved for Windows upgrades. Last week was no exception.
Wednesday when I came home from work, I turned on the computer, saw the PowerSpec logo, then the Windows image that indicated the updates were being loaded to the computer. I went to change, and with one thing or the other, didn't notice until a half hour later that the screen was black, with a white blinking cursor. We rebooted, tried to reboot in safe mode, unplugged...anyway, nothing worked. I teleworked next day on James' computer, and during lunch, called Microslop. The tech walked me through all the stuff we did last night, and finally said that the update must have affected the system. He directed me to download a free copy of Windows 10, and I would have to do a clean install. It was about then I thanked God I made the New Year's resolution to back up every month. I had backed up on the first and had not transferred my DragonCon pictures from the camera yet. So I downloaded the Windows program on both a USB drive and burned it to a DVD disk, and then tried to get it to boot from my computer. It didn't work at first, and then I realized I had to change the boot order so it would boot from the USB or the DVD first. Trouble is, it didn't. That night James tried all sorts of tricks, but it simply would not boot.
So Friday at lunch I did some surfing and found a likely-looking desktop at MicroCenter and after supper we went to shop. As always, the salesman offered me a better plum—my dad liked to say that if you let me loose in an electronics store I would unerringly find the most expensive item there. No, I didn't buy a gaming computer; those prices are ridiculous. But I got a computer with an SSD drive (which I'd been wanting anyway) to use for Windows and programs, and then also bought a 1TB hard drive for files. (Windows now calls them "apps" instead of "programs"; bull—this is a real computer, one you can work on, not a measly tablet.) We brought it home, and, before plugging it in, started to install the hard drive. Which didn't come with a SATA cable. We couldn't cannibalize the SATA cable from the old computer, because the end which plugged into the computer wasn't the same as the slot on the new computer. Oh, well, we closed it up, turned it on, and logged on. It came up immediately. However, I didn't load anything, because I wanted to upgrade to Win10 before starting to do so. However, we followed the directions very carefully, and the computer wouldn't do what we wanted: ask us if we wanted to boot from the DVD-ROM drive. Finally James went into the BIOS of the new computer and discovered it boots to the main drive first. It must boot from the DVD to get this correct prompt, so James changed the order. But by this time it was midnight. We went to bed and left it for Saturday.
But not right away on Saturday—at first we had some fun at Hair Day. We hadn't gone since June and James was starting to get that hippie look, especially with the beard. We told Sheri we were going for the Captain Gregg look with the beard (but we had to show her a photo of Edward Mulhare ☺ ). We had sandwiches and fixings for lunch, and as always spent at least four hours gabbing. James now looks "shipshape and Bristol fashion, but I still never spied the Butlers' new cat, Sylvester; James did see him disappearing around a corner.
From Powder Springs we made our way back to MicroCenter and picked up two SATA cords with the correct clip-ends (SATA3 rather than SATA-whatever). We opened up the computer again and James supervised while I inserted the hard drive and also my card reader from the old computer (it was tight in there and my hands fit better). We had to open and close the enclosure a couple of times, but we finally got it up and going—so why weren't we seeing the hard drive in Windows file manager? I bounced around in setup for a while, including in Device Manager, and then James dredged a memory from his A+ training and went into a disk management area, and there was our hard drive. It needed to be initialized and formatted to show up. Alas, I connected the card reader to the only 9-pin connector I found on the motherboard, and it doesn't work, although it's got power.
Finally, we could load Win10—but it was still booting from the hard drive. Ah, same verse, same as the first; after we changed the boot order, the disk worked as promised and before we went off to Taste of Smyrna, we had Win10 installed and on the internet.
We always go to Taste of Smyrna about six o'clock, and that worked out really well this year; there were still plenty of parking spaces. A couple of the vendors had run out of food, but we still had time for our favorites: the drunken pork and creamy grits from Atkins Park (I loathe grits, but I love these) and the Pad Thai from a place whose I never remember. James had a chicken satai skewer with his Pad Thai, and he also had some Jamaican pork from Rodney's (they won this year's Taste of Smyrna award) while I had baked ziti from Maggiano's. We both had fresh lemonade to drink, and I brought a French silk pie tart home which we split. We left a little over an hour later, happily full, to go back to the computer grind.
Once I loaded CITGO I could coast. I spent the evening downloading a decent browser (Firefox) and then updating the bookmarks and passwords. This took a while. James went to bed early and I was still logging into websites. I got to bed around midnight.
I tried to sleep, but apparently I had microchips on the brain and only about six hours sleep. So I got up and walked Tucker, and then started loading software once more. After James had breakfast, it was still only ten o'clock, so we went to Sam's Club for mushrooms and Skinny Pop. Now, we had a petroleum pipeline break in Alabama, and gas for the Atlanta Metro Area has been getting scarce. We passed four or five gas stations completely out of gas, so instead of waiting to get gas at Sam's Club, James filled up at the next station with gas, and a good thing, too, because Sam's was completely out. There were no electric carts out front and one of the Sam's employees had to scrounge one up for James, and, like last time, the charge died halfway through the store. I had to grab a shopping cart and offload. But, excelsior, the Christmas stuff is finally out, so we were able to get slippers for James. (You never see slippers in Sam's or Costco except before Christmas.) His current ones are out on the sides from being worn so much; he's hard on slippers because he has to wear something on his feet at all times. We bought two pair.
Spent the rest of the afternoon...yes, loading software. I accidentally turned up my missing copy of WinZip, so that solves one mystery, and contacted Corel for the password to PDF Fusion, which I bought last year (afterwards I found out I had the password written down elsewhere). I got Eudora working and loaded all the personalities to go with the mailboxes.
For dinner we went to Longhorn to help celebrate David Gibson's birthday. We had a long, long table at the back of the restaurant, and had a great time. During dinner my supervisor called. There was a water main break at my building and the air conditioning died, and so everyone has been asked to telework tomorrow! Yay!
Yes, I finished the night loading more software! But then it was done.
Today was very slow. I have one order left and I basically supervised the questions going back and forth between the end user and a potential vendor, answered some invoice questions, and cleaned out my mailboxes. During lunch I transferred and backed up the DragonCon photos and the ones on my phone, then copied all of them to the backup disk. I also reloaded my organizer software. I had not put my saved calendar in a place where it would be automatically backed up, and you were not allowed to change the destination of the files in the program itself. So I un-installed and re-installed it, but did not have my old calendar file backed up, a bad oversight.
On the bottom of the printer shelves was a hard drive enclosure with my old hard drive in it (from the computer that died in 2010). I checked it out to see if there were any old files that I had missed copying over, and then took it out of the drive enclosure and replaced it with the hard drive from the recently-expired machine. The disk worked fine, so it must have been something wrong with the motherboard or the RAM of the old unit. I was able to extract my old calendar file from that drive and overwrite it into the organizer software. Now I don't have to put all those birthdays and anniversaries back in manually. Sadly, I could not recover my Inbox and Outbox from Eudora. It got creamed after Microsoft Security Essentials found a virus in one of my attachments and was never the same again.
When work was over, I connected my offsite backup drive to the computer and copied off all those files again. They will go to work and remain there as a safety net. So after four long days, the project is finished! Maybe I can go back to doing fun things like reading now. ☺
Of course now I'd love to do a clean install on James' computer...
I haven't mentioned that the new case has blue LED lights in it. After rejecting "Goulet" as a name, I instead, in a fit of whimsy when Windows asked if I wanted to rename the computer, called it "Converse."
Major bonus points to those who get the joke. ☺
In the meantime we enjoyed the season premiere of Big Bang Theory tonight. I spotted the fall preview TV Guide at Kroger Friday night (we were getting veggies for sandwiches and finishing up the shopping) and did buy it. But it's no fun anymore. I remember walking a mile to Food Town and later the mile and a half to Thall's to get the fall preview TV Guide every year. Just ain't the same