Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Ordeal

Soon I hope to return to the chief focus of this blog -- philosophical Taoism! But today's initial entry is going to be about my ongoing ordeal and odyssey with my malfunctioning computer.

After my last post on Wednesday morning, my computer froze up again and wouldn't reboot. I turned it off completely and finally managed to reboot it in Safe Mode. Not knowing what else to do -- and heeding some of your suggestions -- I bit the bullet and decided to reload the Windows XP operating system (OS).

Sounds very straightforward, does it not? Well, it wasn't. My computer kept freezing up and/or rebooting throughout the installation process. It took me more than 24 hours and 7 tries before I was able to get through the process. I also kept receiving messages that certain files couldn't be copied because they couldn't be found -- this DESPITE the fact said files were on the Windows XP cd.

When I was able to boot up after the operating system finally was installed, I checked my Windows/system32 directory and -- lo and behold -- most of the files that I had been informed could not be copied were where they were supposed to be. Of course, some of them were nowhere to be found and some of these files severely impacted the overall computer environment.

For example, I went to catch up on by my bookkeeping chores in Quicken and, when I tried to back up the newly entered data, the OS not only crashed the program, but corrupted it so that it could never be opened again!! So, I had to uninstall it and, when I tried to reinstall it, I kept receiving error messages (could not locate a file that indeed was on the cd).

I solved this problem today by downloading and installing an updated version of the Windows Installer program.

I've been able to resurrect most of my software. I typically back up all my key data on my second hard drive and so, once each program was functioning properly, I was able to restore the data.

There are still some vexing issues afoot. Throughout all my testing and failed attempts to accomplish things, I've decided I'm dealing with two separate problems: 1) Somewhere in the system configuration structure is a corrupted file/driver or two which is causing problems and 2) I also think some of the issues are the result of overheating. This latter problem has been mitigated somewhat because I purchased a can of compressed air and did a little cleaning of the motherboard.

When we receive our federal tax refund, it looks like I'm going to need to spend some money to take the computer in for a pro to look at. While it's doing much better today than it has for the past week or two, I'm not altogether confident that it won't return to its misbehaving ways.

Finally, though this ordeal has been exasperating and frustrating times one million, I've kept my cool. Rather than stomping around and cursing up a storm, I've simply kept chugging away. Each time one strategy didn't work or work as well as I had hoped, I simply tried a different one.

This has been one of those times when it's very beneficial to have Asperger's! I've been working on rectifying the situation virtually around the clock. This ability to focus and stay focused hour after hour allowed me to fix several key issues, even when it looked like all was lost.

P.S. Amid all the computer issues, we adopted a new dog. Hopefully, if my computer doesn't go on the fritz again, I'll write about our new family member and, maybe, I'll get back to the last few verses of the Wen Tzu too!


  1. Computer problems have a tendency to bring out the psychopath in all of us...good luck on your journey flowing with the tao of computers.

  2. You and Casey both with computer troubles, hmm. -- my injuries lately all seem to be physical, not mechanical.

  3. Oh, and congrats on the new pup!

  4. It sounds like a failing hard drive. The sectors are probably blowing out. Depending on the brand there may be a diagnostic option at the beginning of the boot by pressing F12. Hard drives are easy to fix and a relatively low cost fix.


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