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When it rains, it pours. And then you finally fix the leak in the roof. - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
When it rains, it pours. And then you finally fix the leak in the roof.
As if the past few days weren't busy enough, I was quickly foiled in my early efforts today to get back to a regular schedule of producing work. Up early enough? Check.  Calendar clear of appointments until 3? Booya.  Eleanor getting to the things she needed to? Right. It was advertised as hot and humid outside, but AC was cranking nicely in here. I got my morning mail ready (reflecting work largely done over the weekend), updated a few spreadsheets, and pulled out the Hairy Bear bankruptcy files in need of work....

and Tobor, the barely 3-month-old Windows machine, slowed, slowed some more, and finally, like most hairy bears, went into Hibernation and wouldn't come out.

I did a (not recommended) hard reboot and then couldn't even get to a login- although I'd set the puter to autologin, I gorked that when I changed the computer's name to Tobor- and thus, after every restart, it was always requiring a split-second entry of email address and password or else it would go into a :-( screen, the Windows 8 version of the Blue Screen of Death:


Nope. Never got a restart off this screen, this time or any previous. Previous fails got me back to login by just repeating the entire restart routine and catching the login box in the right nanosecond, but this time, I opted for sterner stuff. Not a complete disk recovery (which, as with prior PCs, I knew would wipe everything off the hard drive), but something called REFRESH COMPUTER. It gives you the following warning:


  • Apps you installed from websites and DVDs will be removed. Apps that came with your PC and apps you installed from the Windows Store will be reinstalled. Windows puts a list of removed apps on your desktop after refreshing your PC.

As my mother used to say, "That's nice."  Also, I thought, not a problem. I'd only added a couple of apps to the computer from the Store, anyway, and none from any other source. So I hit OK and worked elsewhere....

Returning, within the hour, to a nearly nekkid desktop- and to a list of the "apps" the utility had killed:

All of Office, including my entire collection of email. All browsers except IE.  My time and billing software.  Everything Adobe, Apple and AVG.  Oddly, it spared my specialty bankruptcy software and the 8 years of data entered in it.  Yes, kids, "apps" means "programs."

I could have cried. Screamed. Worse.  But didn't.  We've been through worse. Hours later, I'm almost entirely back, or have "back" well in sight, and Tobor is running better than ever for the effort.


Here are the blessed-be's:

- I've been way more religious in recent months about backing up essential data. Time and billing data was backed up Saturday, as it is every weekend. Firefox needed to be re-installed, but I had an almost-pristine profile folder on the previous Vista machine that got back into Tobor's innards within the first hour. When my default .html icons all switched from blue-e to fox-y, I instantly felt better.  (I still need to re-install Chrome, but that, I know, saves all bookmarks and whatnots in the cloud.)

- Some of what I lost, I didn't mind losing. One such thing was the app I did know might be axed from the palate, that being the aftermarket replacement for the XP/Vista/7 start menu. The absence of this feature has generated some of the biggest hate for 8, and the one I picked had been incomplete (no "recent items" selection) and painfully slow.  I replaced it with something called Classic Shell, which so far is better and faster.  I'm also considering not reinstalling billing on here, since I rarely do that on the fly anyway and have it backed up on two other computers in da house.

- It also helped that, hell, I just did this two months ago. So just as it was easier to reinstall everything after Eleanor broked HER first Windows 8 machine (named Hortense) when the replacement (Hortoons) came along, I knew where the installation disks were for Outlook, the download files for the printer, and the passwords for everything.

- Finally, my name is Ray, and I am a geek. I was the most mortally offended to learn that "refresh" had not only removed my Outlook "app" but the .pst file containing the 2 gigs of actual messages. In the end, it wasn't that big a loss, since all inbox items were on the previous Vista machine (as were many sent items I'd cc'd or bcc'd to myself), and calendar and contacts were on my phone, so I was really only down a couple months worth of outbox.  Still. When stupidass "search" functions in Windows 8 failed to find an archived version of the whole-shebang .pst file, I went old-school: found the "command prompt" command, got to a c:\ prompt, and entered dir *.pst /s like I did before at least a dozen of you were born. Minutes later, it found the 2-gig file in a newly-created folder called "windows.old" that Refresh apparently created right before whacking everything. It got copied, imported back, and, other than my having to re-set 50 different viewing and other preferences, my email is as good as new. (Better, if the goddam thing stops a nasty habit it had developed of truncating my outgoing messages if I paused for more than a minute or so whilst composing them.)

I still have to reinstall the rest of Office, along with a couple of other oddities, and replace this goddam Norton trial version with AVG before I go sledgehammer on it, but I am in a much better place than I felt I was about ten hours ago.
2 comments or Leave a comment
ellettra From: ellettra Date: July 22nd, 2014 01:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Today has been a bad one for technology, but yours is much much worse than mine. I'm glad you've muddled through!!
symian From: symian Date: July 23rd, 2014 12:25 am (UTC) (Link)
You can still do a restore if you created a restore point.
2 comments or Leave a comment