Watching your computer in its death throes, [“I’ll back it up some day”] spinning its last breath, unable to catch its Windows screen, is a learning moment. After 7 years of faithful service or 70 human years, I was ready to close the eyes, I mean the lid, on my Toshiba Satellite. The cause of death wasn’t old age; it was Windows Update.
Windows Update was supposed to allow you to not think about the health or tweaks of your system – sort of a wannabe Mac. When it works, and when it’s in its youth it does, it’s great. It doesn’t age well.
Problems with Windows start with a mad search on Google forums, which frequently come up with the casual advice “Reinstall Windows.”
Do you know how many people can really reinstall Windows? Only a puny and smug tech portion of the end user population. To pile on more grief, you’ll need to reinstall all your other software, remember all your passwords and bookmarks, etc. etc.
It ALMOST makes me want a Mac.
Windows Update is a lackadaisical employee, leaving my available memory and hard drive to actually work. When it gets ambitious, it causes a loop, sucking the air out of the hard drive and causing the keyboard to work in slow motion. Then I manually go in and allow it to update the system.
The brakes went on my hard drive the other day, and I decided to run chkdsk /f /r, which is like tweezers to your brow – plucks out the wild hairs and you’re on your way. This requires a reboot. Unfortunately, Windows Update also decided to force an update, which started the uh-oh.
The laptop hung at 11% chkdsk – after rebooting, oh, 10 times or so. I was forced to use my husband’s Mac and found one rogue remark on a support site that simply suggested to wait it out.
The next morning we had a Lazarus moment – my StarTrek background on my screen greeted me, like nothing had happened. I ripped out a jump drive and backed up and sent things off to Drop Box. I haven’t lost the love, but there’s definitely a trust issue now.
Here’s my advice
1. Check those stupid updates – I checked the last 8 by choosing “more information” – most of them are for tasks or software you don’t do or have.
2. Don’t run chkdsk – find some 3rd party piece to do it for you – it’s just too dicey otherwise
3. I’m not going to tell you to back up – you can’t possibly be as careless as I am, are you?