One Version of “Stress”

Computer guy came visitin’ Friday morning, as planned, but that’s the only thing that went as planned.

After asking me three times if I was sure that I wanted him to reformat TextStyle1’s whole hard drive and reinstall NT 4 — yes, I had backed up everything — he got into trouble. For whatever reason, the disks given me with my computer, which I carefully stored away in a safe place for such an occasion, refused to work beyond a certain point. For nearly 3 hours he tried all sorts of workarounds, coming very close but no cigar in the end. So he decided to take TextStyle1 to the shop, where indeed it only took 30 minutes or less to reinstall NT 4.

Back to TS HQ, even the first simple configuration that normally only takes a few minutes — that is, installing the driver for the screen — was taking many minutes. Then he had a thought while I was in the kitchen for a few minutes, and he called me: “Geez! Come look at this!” By disconnecting my primary CD drive and using the second one instead (the burner), he was able to read my manufacturer’s disk. Understand that the primary reader could read everything else just fine, and that the disk would have worked on any other machine. It was just THAT CD which, for some reason, didn’t like THAT CD drive.

Fine! Now we’re starting to make some progress …until it happened again.

TextStyle1 seized. Just like before.

After the third successive seizure — and yes, he had reseated the IDE cables — the AUTOCHK spewed out some really scary lines of gibberish. But when it concluded with the assertion that it was “107 percent completed,” we both looked at each other and thought the same thing: It must be the processor that’s dying a slow death. So I agreed to let him take TextStyle1 away for the weekend and install a new motherboard and processor. Keenly aware that my business was effectively shut down, he worked on it on Saturday, starting with a full dismantling, physical cleaning, and reinstallation of NT 4.

Early Monday morning he called: “It’s been running without crashing since Saturday mid-afternoon. Do you still want to go ahead with the hardware upgrade?” Thinking that perhaps the motherboard was good after all, I told him to go ahead and that, in a couple of months, I would use TextStyle1’s old guts to upgrade TextStyle2 — a mere P2 166 with 32 MB of RAM. But he called back three or four times before finally coming over, convincing me that I might want to hold off on spending all this money right now given the support bill I’d already accumulated and the fact the system seemed fine now.

Great! After a little more than an hour-and-a-half — during which he struggled with restoring my high-speed Internet connection because of Murphy’s constant intrusions — it happened again.

TextStyle1 seized. Just like before. Twice in less than 15 minutes.

He took it back to the shop, this time to do the hardware upgrades after all. Except 30 minutes or so later, he called: “We’ve been discussing your case over here, and what would you say about just getting a new computer?” I didn’t say anything terribly intelligent — I think I just uttered a trailing “Uhhhh…” — so he continued: “What we’ll do is cut the hours of labour by half, so for a few hundred bucks more than you’re already prepared to spend, you’ll have a fully installed, brand-new Acer P4 2GB with 256MB of RAM and Windows XP Pro. The only downside is that it won’t be in until tomorrow or Wednesday.”

Remember that I told you how I feared TextStyle1 would still be sick after computer guy’s Friday visit? At this point, I feared it was turning into a bottomless money pit, so I agreed with the idea of a new computer on the condition that I would have it the next day, not Wednesday. About 15 minutes later, he called again: “How would ‘this afternoon’ sound to you? We have a system ready to go out back.”

So here I am with a new TextStyle1, running an O/S I wanted to avoid as long as I could. Neither my scanner nor my network is working yet; this technology doesn’t “fit” anymore. Plus I’ll have to buy new software for my CD burner. But…

Basically, once I configured the interface to be less sickenly cheesy and opted instead for the “Classic” look, I wasn’t feeling so bad about being on XP. I spent 9 hours last night into this morning reinstalling all my software and tweaking it back to how it was. Finally I can get back to work, and I must say: I’m cookin’ with gas now!

One thing, though, and it’s driving me crazy.

I want the “To the Desktop” icon in the task bar. I had it for a while, but somehow I lost it and now I can’t find it anymore. Can someone PLEASE point me in the right direction before I completely lose my mind? (It’s always those little things that get to me…)

{2} Thoughts on “One Version of “Stress”

  1. Glad to hear you are back in business. “To desktop”, as in that little icon that you click to hide everything and show the desktop? If so, if your quick launch bar isn’t showing you can right click on the task bar and then check “Show Quick Launch”. And then if the show desktop icon isn’t in there you can add it by doing this.

    In notepad type this:

    [Shell]
    Command=2
    IconFile=explore.exe,3
    [Taskbar]
    Command=ToggleDesktop

    Then save that as Desktop.scf and then drag it to the quick launch bar.

    If this isn’t what you were referring to then, nevermind, just ignore me. 🙂

  2. O Stephanie, I bow before You, Great One! That is precisely what I wanted. I waded through tons of useless help files that told me how to copy a shortcut TO the desktop, but nothing to create that shortcut to GET TO the desktop without minimizing all windows, a feature I’ve come to rely upon in Win98 or NT.

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