Using a computer as a tool when writing holds very real dangers! The other day, my PC decided that it couldn’t see its CD/DVD drive. OK, so I take steps to try to sort that out. The obvious thing to do is to insert the Windows XP installation CD and run the install-repair option. Obvious, isn’t it? Well, of course it enters an infinite loop, demanding a CD that simply doesn’t exist. Off we go, on the netbook, to find advice on the internet. Most of it is the same and works as well as a chocolate teapot! Then I find something different. The result? Death of a computer!! Fortunately, I had a brainwave and it worked – take the CD out of the drive! That dumped the install session, though the PC proceeded to keep rebooting itself as it couldn’t find an operating system. Fair enough, I’d probably crippled Windows by following that advice off the internet. Problem: what was I supposed to do now?
Well, after wishing computers had never been invented and that I still had my trusty old manual typewriter (a massive beast that I probably wouldn’t have the strength to use any more!), and sitting with the blank screen staring at me accusingly, another brainwave. If taking the CD out had dumped the installation process, then it should be safe to put the CD back in, provided I got into the BIOS and temporarily switched off the hard drive as a boot device. Oh yeah! It worked! Now, I could tell Windows to reinstall. OK, so it’s a process I hate, but it had become necessary by now. Fortunately I have a very fast PC so it took far less time than the hours it had once taken, way back.
The horrible part of reinstalling the operating system, is putting everything else back on too. And the worst part of that is trying to find the drivers for the system components, like the sound card and the Ethernet card. Then, too, there are all those updates Windows demands… *sigh* I’m still discovering software that I haven’t yet put back on.
While this was all going on, I still managed to finish a chapter of the novel, somehow. That’s the best news of recent days.