Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Don't scare me like that!!

For the past couple of days I have again been suffering that infuriating glitch with Yahoo Mail where you lose the 'Browse' button for selecting the file you want to attach to an e-mail (since I make a large proportion of my money from writing and editing jobs, not being able to send documents easily by e-mail immediately threatens my livelihood). And this time, even the little rigmarole I worked out last time of manually writing in the file address was not working; even when I had carefully copied the complete address (having first transferred the files in question on to an external drive to simplify their addresses), they were repeatedly failing to attach.

But that was as nothing compared to the heart-attack-inducing IT nightmare that was shortly to follow. My (barely nine-months-old) computer suddenly crashed completely. And refused to restart. In any mode at all. Windows then initiated a rather scary 'AutoRepair' feature which I'd never seen before (and never want to see again), which took about 15 minutes to decide that whatever it was that was preventing my computer from starting up was something that it could not fix.


Time. Meditation. A calming cup of tea.

Thinking that - because of the suddenness of the shutdown, following on rapidly from the unexpected breaking off of my VPN connection - I might have been the victim of some kind of online attack, I disconnected from the Internet (mere superstition, I suppose; I can't see how leaving the cable attached could have any effect when the darned computer wasn't even switched on). Then I interrupted what looked like it would be another aborted start-up attempt (or another diversion to the worryingly unhelpful 'AutoRepair') by hitting the F12 key to get some other start-up options. Then - having had a few bad experiences (in the past, with other computers) with attempted restarts in the various 'Safe' modes (which often just seem to lead you into variations of that 'AutoRepair' nonsense) - I selected 'Regular Start-Up'.... and crossed my fingers.

And voilĂ  - my computer was suddenly back to normal again.

The experience scared the bejayzus out of me, though.

How, WHY do these things happen???


stuart said...

Dare I ask whether the model is a Chinese brand with components supplied by the worryingly global Huawei Technologies?

If so, paranoia is your best friend, Froog.

On second thoughts, it's best not to look - you're back up and running, no need to lose any more sleep over the issue.

Or is there?

Froog said...

Naughty boy, Stuart, pouring petrol on my already blazing paranoia!

I purchased a Dell in America last summer - but god knows where the individual components are manufactured these days. Taipei or KL, if I'm lucky.

JES said...

I do Web work for a couple of paying customers, and have done for years -- well before I transferred my affections to Linux. Because the pages (and underlying databases) were built using Windows-only tools, whenever I have to work on those sites I need to reboot my PC and switch into THAT operating system.

Well, I'd been postponing work on them for a couple-three months, and so recently spent several days renewing my at-home relationship with Windows XP...

When things are going smoothly, it really can be a pleasure working in Windows (although that may mostly be the devil-you-know syndrome). But oh my, when things are going badly... Windows is something like the Oceania of operating systems: a series of linked archipelagos of functionality, surrounded by seas of frustration and futility.

One of The Missus's nieces is bringing a (Windows) laptop over here this weekend: it's playing host to a virus/trojan which apparently will not die. I'm bracing myself for at least a couple of looooong sessions without the pleasures of human, canine, broadband, or broadcast-entertainment companionship.

P.S. Yes, on the day job I use Windows exclusively. But things are a bit simpler there: it's someone else's -- the IT department's -- problem if the whole mess becomes unusable. Plus, they swap in new PCs every 3 years or so, so there's not enough time to build up all the layers of cruft.

Froog said...

Ah, I love that "archipelagos of functionality"!

And gosh, 'cruft' is a great word, too. I haven't used that in such a long time. Hopefully, that's not yet an issues with the Dell, but my old 'back-up' computers (an 8-year-old Vaio and a Thinkpad of unknown vintage) are pretty seriously encrufted.