Last weekend started out well. Nothing to do, just a whole weekend to relax and unwind. It would be a good time to do some updates on my computer. My sound system has not been working right, so I figured I’d reload it and fix it.
I fixed it all right. I should have known. I loaded the program and restarted. Nothing, no Windows, no nothing, just a black screen staring back at me.
The computer wheezed and the cursor winked at me. “Good grief! What have I done?”
I turned the evil monster off and tried to restart again. When something doesn’t work, you can nearly always fix it that way, can’t you? I got the black screen of death and a recovery menu. Oh, my God! My computer has crashed. It’s possessed!
On the next try the computer said, “We are restarting in safe mode so you can fix the problem.” Fix the problem? The problem is that my computer is possessed by a demon named Safe Mode.
I really hate calling computer support, but I knew I couldn’t fix this. “How old?” asked the technician. “Well… You get lifetime support.” Then he took me through all usual steps, including going back to previous versions in the registry. Nothing worked.
After an hour, he said, “It is probably a virus or spyware. We can’t fix it. You have to call Microsoft.” I don’t think so. I had just updated my virus definitions and had run the spyware program the night before.
I’ve never, ever called Microsoft. They charge for support. I began to calculate how much a new computer was going to cost vs. the cost of paying for help. The demons were filled with glee. They now own my computer, lock, stock, and registry.
So, I called Microsoft. What else could I do? What I felt like doing was throwing the evil thing out the window. “I’ll cut off its electricity and see how it likes that!”
What happened next can only be described as an exorcism. We unloaded and removed the sound program then proceeded through a two hour ritual. The computer levitated and seemed to spin in mid-air, or was it my imagination?
“There is nothing more we can do.”
“You can’t fix it? But, you are MICROSOFT! You created it! You mean there is no computer God? No Bill Gates?”
“Well, there is one more thing to try.” The phone went dead. I know he would say it was an accident, but I knew what it really was. The cursor eye winked.
I called back. I was assigned to another tech that led me through two more hours of checking, rechecking, starting, and restarting, using trial and error to find what was wrong.
I was beaten and driven into the ground, the demons jumped up and down,
stomping on me with the evil cursor eye blinking. My head spun, my stomach
churned, I felt sick.
Finally, Windows magically loaded and clouds floated across my screen. I thanked the Microsoft angel at the other end of the support line. Harp music swelled and all was well.
I loved my computer, I loved the world, I even loved Microsoft.
But the demon had one card left. I couldn’t connect to the Internet. I called my fourth tech of the day. We went through the list again, finally after an hour, the tech confessed. “I don’t know what’s wrong.”
“You mean I can’t connect to the Internet EVER?”
“Well.” He put me on hold. That’s when I noticed that my firewall was active. I disabled the firewall. My browser opened and my desk shook violently.”
It took the computer company, Microsoft, my service provider and six hours of exorcism, but I’m up and running. Next time I have nothing to do, please keep me away from the computer. I know those computer demons are out there somewhere — waiting.
I have started taking it to Joe’s Computer Shack if something goes wrong that I can’t fix. I figure my sanity is worth whatever it costs. It seems as if they are gradually becoming more stable, though, and crash less often.
I pay a couple hunnert a year for Geek Squad. Unlimited phone time but for $50 a tech will come to the house and fix everything in a flash. Then you get a bunch of other q’s answered too. A lot of times if you wear your shoes on opposite feet and wear a red hat while eating a p and j sammich everything will work out on its own just by restart.
Sounds about right. I have a Dell and originally had free service for a few years. I think free service means that they help you between real paying customers. I had to call a few times. I learned that if I couldn’t understand the person it’s best to hang up right away as it wouldn’t get better. They would often go to “check” something and be gone for 20 minutes (while they were helping that paying customer). I hate computers.
I do not call support any more, free or not. Morris gets so mad at me because I won’t call. I eventually figure it out 90% of the time.
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