♠ Sunday, October 03, 2004
How to Fix a Computer, by Dave
Wow, this has been an amusing weekend.
Friday, Cactus Dave brought his computer over to play a couple of games, but while we were at dinner we decided that since his computer was so unstable, it would make sense to wipe the hard drive and re-install the operating system. So, after dinner, we went to Circuit City. Dave didn't like that Windows XP cost $200, especially since he already had a copy that he lost, so he bought the Windows XP Upgrade for $100, knowing that we could borrow a Windows 98 to upgrade from.
I don't know if it's possible to detail the entire journey, but it has gone something like this.
|1.||Plug in Dave's computer.|
|2.||Select the "C" drive and choose "Format."|
|3.||Maybe not. Try it from a DOS prompt.|
|12.||Put Dave's hard drive into my computer.|
|13.||Notice that Norton finds at least six viruses as soon as I turn my computer on with Dave's hard drive installed.|
|16.||Select the "F" drive and choose "Format."|
|19.||Notice that Dave's computer won't boot from the CD.|
|29.||Notice that booting from CD isn't even an option in the BIOS.|
|34.||Download a boot floppy from the Internet.|
|37.||Notice that the boot floppy insists that Dave's computer needs another partition.|
|38.||Create the other partition.|
|39.||Put Dave's hard drive into my computer.|
|40.||Select the "G" drive and choose "Format."|
|45.||Put Dave's hard drive into my computer.|
|46.||Select the "F" drive and choose "Format."|
|71.||Decide you didn't need the extra partition, anyway.|
|89.||Discover that someone else in the house has a disk|
of Western Digital utilities.
|94.||Decide to low-level format the hard drive.|
|95.||Put Dave's hard drive into my computer.|
|101.||Call somebody else in the house to figure out why|
the WD disk isn't working.
|109.||Discover that instead of putting in the WD disk,|
you've put in a blank disk.
|115.||Finally figure out how to low-level format the hard drive.|
|119.||Notice that Dave's computer still won't boot from the CD.|
|135.||Put Dave's hard drive into my "B" computer.|
|139.||Copy my "B" computer's hard drive onto Dave's hard drive.|
|143.||Plug Dave's hard drive into the wrong ribbon cable.|
|149.||Curse the gods for putting different hardware|
into Dave's computer than into my "B" computer.
|151.||Ask everybody in earshot what the hell a NTLDR|
is, and why it's missing.
|153.||Put Dave's hard drive into my computer.|
|154.||Select the "F" drive and choose Format.|
|171.||Copy my "B" computer's hard drive onto Dave's hard drive.|
|181.||Get Windows 98 working well enough on Dave's |
computer that he can think about installing Windows XP.
|194.||Give up on installing Windows XP from Dave's|
computer because, once again, Dave's computer can't boot from the CD.
|211.||Put Dave's hard drive into my "B" computer.|
|212.||Select the "F" drive and choose Format.|
|215.||Copy my "B" computer's hard drive onto Dave's hard drive.|
|224.||Disconnect the hard drive in my "B" computer and|
set Dave's hard drive to "Master."
|225.||Upgrade to Windows XP with Dave's hard drive in my "B" computer.|
|227.||Gaze in amazement at my "B" computer, which has no freaking problem booting off the CD.|
|231.||Put Dave's hard drive back into his computer.|
|232.||Curse the gods for refusing to tell Dave what an |
NTLDR is, and why it's missing.
|235.||Use my computer to look up on the Internet how to|
fix a freaking NTLDR whatever-the-hell problem.
|252.||On the advice of a site probably written by |
somebody with as much sense as Dave, create a Windows 98 boot disk.
|261.||Notice that Windows is now confused, refusing to |
load Windows XP because it think's it's Windows 98, and refusing to load
Windows 98 because it thinks it's Windows XP.
|270.||Put Dave's hard drive into my "B" computer.|
|271.||Select the "F" drive and choose "Format."|
|275.||Copy my "B" computer's hard drive to Dave's hard drive.|
|284.||Upgrade Dave's hard drive to Windows XP.|
|297.||Suffer a "Catastrophic disk failure," pressing|
any key to continue.
|299.||Notice that Dave's BIOS now provides the option of booting from CD.|
|314.||Flummox around in trying to get Dave's computer |
to recognize the Internet.
|329.||Search the Internet for graphics drivers.|
|335.||Discover that Dave's graphics card no longer |
works, and that the computer has reverted to the onboard graphics.
|336.||Eh ... at least he has graphics.|
|338.||Attempt to install Everquest.|
|339.||At "please insert Disk 2," curse the gods that |
the Everquest installer crashes.
|341.||Repeat steps 338-339.|
|343.||Repeat steps 338-339.|
|349.||Install Everquest off an older collection of CD's.|
|353.||Give up, and go home and take a nap.|
You may refer to this list whenever you wish to fix your computer, because in only 353 easy steps you'll get so frustrated you'll be driven to taking a nap. Sweet dreams!