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Monday, 1 August 2011


A while ago I decided to drag out my reserve computer. The laptop.

I noticed that there was 84 security updated from Microsoft pending, and being a gullible, but trusting fool, decided to download them. Now that was a mistake too far. As any of you who have windows know, once they’re downloaded you are asked to shut down the computer in order for them to take effect.

So I did and the machine shut down and then restarted. Followed shortly with the message “Windows is installing new updates” Great.

Well, not really. That same message was still being displayed after 42 hours. Didn’t matter how I rebooted the laptop the same still happened. Nothing I tried would persuade this piece of devil’s spawn from doing anything else.

Solution. Reload the operating system, in this case Windows 7.

Now you have two options when installing windows 7. Clean install, or Upgrade. Clean install is more efficient but you lose all your data. Upgrade will keep your data but not as efficient at operating.

Upgrade was the chosen option in this case and after several hours of hard drive working, the classical message of “Installation complete, windows needs to shut down and restart for completion”. (Or some such).

So be it. That’s how you carry out an upgrade install.


What did I see on my desktop? Nothing but a recycle bin!

Everything gone.

Now I do have a back up of important documents, so that wasn’t a problem, but the lack of word processor and other useful programmes is a bit of a handicap.

So I thought I would just download Open Office, Anti Virus software, and anything else I would need.

Wrong again.

No WiFi. Bastards.

After a lot of asking around I managed to download by using the desktop computer, a programme that might, or might not, be able to get the wiFi operating on the laptop.

Now of course you’re expecting a tale of woe in that it didn’t work. Much to my amazement it did work.

However I have another dilemma. At the moment I’m at my son’s place having just helped him break out of his prison cell Isolation ward. I installed Ubuntu as a second operating system some while ago and want to get rid of it as this laptop is running out of available space. Having looked at all the online articles about ,removing said  programme I think I’ll play safe and wait till I’m within striking distance of my Windows seven disk. As they say. Once bitten twice shy.

Tomorrow I go home.


  1. I had a similar experience a couple of weeks ago after installing some software that came with a Microsoft wireless keyboard & mouse. Both turned out to be complete bags of shite, so I un-installed the software. Then found that the laptops original mouse control programme had been corrupted. I failed, despite several attempts, to re-install the driver.

    O.K. lets try System Restore...
    Some minutes later it wouldn't reboot properly and was left in limbo. So I went into Safe Mode and tried a different restore point, but things rapidly went downhill. I now had little choice but to reinstall from the genuine XP disc I happen to have.

    This obviously wipes things clean, but I have all my documents and emails on a second partition, so this isn't too serious. It still needs lots of things re-installing, but I have all the relevant drivers and files. It's the time taken to apply numerous updates and reconfigure everything which is a pain.

    I have now installed a backup programme called "Easeus Todo" and have taken "Images" of both partitions. In theory either or both of them can be used to overwrite any corruption on the machines hard drive. I hope I don't have to use it, but this process is recommended by experienced users, and should only take a matter of 10-15 minutes, as against hours the "hard" way. My local PC shop tells me that Win 7 already has a backup facility built in, so I suggest you investigate that further.

  2. The first big data loss always teaches a valuable lesson about backups: docs are one thing but being able to back up the whole system when something goes kablooey is something else. Get a USB powered external hard drive of between 1.5 and 2 times the size of the laptop's drive and use it just for backups. Not sure what Windows has these days but I'd be asking the shops for something with similar features to Apple's Time Machine: works away in the background making regular incremental backups and lets you restore anything from a single file to the whole system, both from a choice of dates. I've heard good things about something called SynchBack from someone who says it's as good as Time Machine - better in some ways since TM's hourly backup is maybe a bit OTT for a lot of people - but I've not used it myself.

  3. On a few occasions I have had cause to bitch about Windows [including today!]. The thing that really cheesed me off was that there was always a smart-arse who jeered because he was using Linux. In the end I got so tired of System Restores, System Rebuilds and their ilk that I decided to give Linux a try. Been using it for about ten months now and have never looked back. It is very fast, easy to use and is compatible with just about every document I have ever written.

    Have you ever considered it?

    Now I have become the smart-arse that other people hate!

  4. Love the way Windows 7 'System restore' doesn't actually delete files, but squirrels them away under another user profile, rendering the bloody things unusable. Until you open them and save under a new file name.

    I'd buy Apple, only I don't think I could put up with the proprietory lock in. Or their shutting down of everything that looks like an iPad.

  5. Nice to know i'm in good company - 'cept I hope you don't have to go through as much pain as mine I has been giving me (possibly equal to your denture post). Right now i'm on the trusty (but ancient) laptop & going through my 3rd 'wipe' of the (towers)system. Mine all started with a thunderstorm & the blonde in me not having a surge arrestor on the power outlet. Fried the motherboard. (cue $$ cah ching sounds)

  6. i use ubuntu linux,i hate windows with a passion and better still it costs nothing

  7. oh i forgot, get your self a live cd version of linux, then you can mount the windows hard drive and retrieve your files, im not very good at explaining but research it, the only thing it wont work on is a encrypted hard drive

  8. I'm glad to see others have problems as well and that I'm not alone! It's just frustrating that what would appear to be a simple task is defeated by the clowns at Microsoft. If their software is so good, why would it need 84 updates?

  9. "If their software is so good, why would it need 84 updates?"

    That's the penalty of using the worlds most popular O/S - it gets the most attention from the malware writers. Virtually all those updates will be to address security vulnerabilities.

    Without wishing to start a war, Macs & Linux are not targeted in anything like the same amount, simply because there are so few of them. If you were wanting to cause the most damage with the least effort, who would you go after? I know Apple computers have some extra security layers, but even they are now finding the hackers are taking an interest - I see fairly regular reports in The Register about this.

    Nothing is totally secure - If someone made it, someone else will find a way round it, that's life... If 70% of the population used Steve Jobs equipment things would be very different.

    Of course none of these updates would be needed if you didn't connect the PC to the internet - there is a case for keeping documents, music, video etc completely separate from browsing & email. So long as the "live" PC had very good security protection and ALL files downloaded were thoroughly scanned before being transferred, you could leave the other PC alone.

  10. Forgot to mention that MS software is used on thousands of different makes and variations of hardware, so fuck-ups are far more likely. Apple keep a very tight grip on their systems so the chances of an update going wrong are much lower.

  11. My main computer has both a software firewall and a hardware firewall, decent virus protection, and three different malware protectors.What else should I require?

  12. We all learn the hard way!

    After the disaster that was XP service pack 3 - and a six month contract working for Microsoft that I walked out of after 9 days! - I turned off the automatic update feature on XP and have never turned it back on again. That was two years ago.

    There is a golden rune round here : If it ain't broke, then don't fix it. I have a stable operating system, so why change it?

    A lot of the updates that MS fob off on you are there to enable them to monitor your system over the web and to ensure that you are not using pirate software.

    After the SP3 disaster, I tried to reinstall MS office from a street legal, original CD. It wouldn't accept the legitimate serial number on the box, but luckily it did accept one that I lifted off Pirate Bay. How bloody stupid is that???

    Microsoft are bloody idiots. In the programmers' office there was a big sign that said "Remember - the future of the world is in our hands today". Underneath, someone pencilled in "We're fucked then!"

    Hard to argue with that!!!

  13. Get a Macbook Pro they are brilliant.

  14. Microdave, even with that extra control Apple still manage to fuck it up now and then. The recent Safari update was sufficiently infuriating for me to blog it and I'm hearing some very mixed things about Lion.

    Anonny with the MacBook Pro - I did indeed get one and it's shit. No, really, it is. I think it's insufficiently cooled and prone to having keyboard problems as a result. Oh, perfectly reliable if you plug an external keyboard in and use it as a desktop machine but I've got a Mac Pro for that. Apple make great desktop machines but when a two thousand dollar laptop proves unreliable in terms of the most basic use you have to question their rep as far as the portable stuff goes. The only thing I have to say in its favour is that it's at least better than any Windows laptop I've had to put up with, but for two thousand bucks it fucking should be, and it should be a damn sight better than it actually is.

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