Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A little like the old school nintendo...

So a few months ago I lost my sister. You all know that.

I admittedly retreated into my shell for a little while. Admittedly the hiatus lasted longer than planned. I will attribute that (at least in part) to a complete computer meltdown among other assorted personal crap.

But in a future post intended to detail the things that need a little fleshing-out, I plan to give you the highlights and low-lights of those missing months. Suffice it to say that I made like I did with my old-school original nintendo system, and hit the ol' "RESET" button.

Yes, as you may or may not have inferred by the very presence of this post, I have managed to reset my computer. After my own futile attempts to recover minimal function (and dubiously yet desperately hoping to recover all of my other useful hard drive information) I let my computer-nerd friends have a whack at it. No luck. I even took it to the store that I bought it from, (because for once I actually purchased a warranty...) That conversation went a little something like this:

"Hey, my computer won't work. I bought the warranty though."

"Ok, let's have a look. ...Oh, yeah, you do have a warranty, but it only covers physical damage. Clearly you've got a software issue, and your warranty only covers damages to the hardware."

"Uhh... Ok. That bit was left out of the warranty pitch. So since you think this is a software issue, and that's not covered, what is this going to cost me?"

"Well, if you want us to back up what's left of your hard drive, it'll be at least $70.00, possibly a lot more if you have a lot of data on there."

"Well, yes, there is a lot of data on there. It's primarily music though, and I can always get that back. And I email all my documents to myself, so I have backups of those. You're basically telling me that I am going to lose any extra programs, but in this case they are all easily replaced. I have the disks. So without a backup, what is this going to cost me to fix?"

"Umm, depending on the extent of the problem, $150.00 to $300.00 or so."

Astounded at the figure he just quoted relative to the cost of brand new computers chilling on the shelves a mere 20 yards away, I replied, "Believe me when I tell you that I don't mean to shoot the messenger on this one, because I know it's not your personal policy, but rather, the store's policy, but that is ridiculous and frankly your pricing is obscene!"

"I know. Sorry. So what do you want to do?"

"Give me a minute."

The more I stood there mentally fuming with (and plotting the "mysterious" death) of the asshole who sold me the warranty without mentioning the fact that it didn't at all include the all-too-common software-related crashes, and debating the relative merits of parting with a healthy chunk of my next paycheck, something dawned on me. So I called over my helpful neighborhood price-gouger, and asked him a question.

"So you're telling me that my computer is suffering from a software malfunction, and that in order to fix it, I will have to part with a chunk of cash in order to get it working, because the warranty that I already dumped a big chunk of cash on when I bought the damn thing doesn't cover a software problem? Am I right so far?"


"But, if I were to say... 'ACCIDENTALLY' drop it from the roof of a six-story building like the one I work in, or go out into the parking lot here and 'WOOPS!' back over it with my car, my warranty kicks in, and you fix it for free?"

"Well, yeah."

"Doesn't that seem a little asinine?"


"Stupid. Your policy is stupid, agreed?"

"Well, maybe."

"Trust me, it is."

In lieu of physically jacking up my computer for the sake of costing the shadily-shrewd jerkfaces at least the cost of the my warranty in replacement hardware and parts alone, I opted for what I thought was a more rational option. [*It should be noted that the next time I have a problem I am going to hurl this thing into the path of an oncoming Mack truck, to ensure that they cover the cost for maximum damages!(And for the techie-nerds out there, I had already tried running a recovery from the partition, but it had somehow managed to become corrupted.)] I borrowed a system recovery disk from my friend who incidentally has almost the exact same system. And it worked... For about three days. Deceptively, the disk I had used did manage to recover my system. But upon rebooting, it figured out that my computer was ever so slightly different from the one I used the disk from, (differing in serial number alone is apparently enough to be detected by this shit show... sneaky bastards!) And after that second breakdown, I gave up for a little while.

I didn't touch my computer at all for about a month and a half, except when it was in the way, and I had to move it to gain additional seating for guests. I didn't think about it at all when I came home from work. I traveled and visited friends and family on weekends. I got my sports scores texted to my phone. As the two month mark rolled around, and I gave notice at my apartment complex and my job, having a working computer suddenly became a whole lot more important. So I ordered the disk for my computer. Only to find that the recovery disk buffoons sent it to my billing address, and not my shipping address. Two frustrating weeks later, I got the damn thing. I popped it in, let it run, only to find that it wasn't getting anywhere.

I even let it run overnight. Nada.

I tried running a recovery using any combination of the limited options to see if any of them got any further. Let those options run every night, still nothing. (This brings us up to about a week ago.) After one simple question to an IT guy friend of mine, it was up and running in under 3 hours.

Luckily I didn't feel totally stupid though, because it was a legit question, he said he'd never seen it happen that way, and I did still need the disk to fix this shit show.

Long story short, (WAYYYY too late, I know,) I lost all my music, because apparently my backup system saved the song listings, but apparently not the songs themselves. This really wasn't a total disaster, as I do have an arsenal of CDs that I can easily reload much of my music from. The rest can be recreated by a combination of info gleaned from my as-yet-un-synched ipod, and the song listings saved from the backups that apparently ran for three to five hours at a time and yet somehow still never really backed anything up.

So The computer is reset.

A few of you, (I say that like I have more than one or two readers left,) might have caught a quick little unexplained phrase up there a few paragraphs ago. I should probably also note that I kind of hit the reset button on the rest of my life too. I quit my shitty job. And yes, I moved back to my hometown, because apparently I seek geographical solutions to my problems, and with the sister thing, it seemed like a good idea to get back to the ol' roots for a while.

No matter how desperate I get, I won't go back to the job I had the last time I lived here... Though now that I think about it, I never did finish the "Poop House Chronicles..." And I know the few of you who remain loyal to me for some as-yet- unknown reason probably want a genuine conclusion to that horrible mess. I'll see what I can do.

My ridiculous ass is back though. Hopefully this reset and return will stick for a fat minute.