Thursday, January 8, 2009

Uninstall Control Alt Delete Toss Out Window

I'm mad. Its late at night. I'm tired. And I'm mad. For Christmas, I got a Linksys USB wireless adapter and a wireless router. The router install went OK, and I was able to get it to talk to my laptop and my PC (via the adapter). However, the software for the adapter was trigger-happy. If I went near it, it seized up my machine.

Tonight, I'd had enough. I converted my PC back to a wired connection, removed the USB adapter, and tried to uninstall the Linksys software. Bad move. The uninstall routine got to 50% and then stopped. Nothing more. Nada. Perhaps it was thinking. Perhaps it was contemplating. Perhaps it was a union adapter & it simply wasn't within its job description to finish the other 50%. Either way, I had no choice - I had to do a hard shut-down and re-boot.

When I did, I didn't get any sound on re-start. That was my first uh-oh. Then it loaded my desktop wallpaper - but that's it. That was the 2nd uh-oh.

I immediately went into recovery mode. I restarted in safe mode, and I started copying all my documents, pics, tunes, etc. onto my 2nd drive. As I type this, I've burned 15 minutes so far - and have 15 more to go just to ensure my picture files are backed up. Regular documents are done, but I haven't even started on my music or video files.

I also fear the loss of my e-mail data. We still use Outlook Express. I have a cool application to back-up identities, mail, address book, etc. Has worked great historically. But as I learned tonight, the friggin' thing doesn't work in safe mode! How stupid is that Microsoft?? You don't allow a backup application to run at the most critical time a backup needs to be created?

For the last couple of weeks, I've been thinking about signing up with Carbonite - an on-line backup service - based on a (paid) endorsement by Kim Komando. Analysis/paralysis set-in, holidays were in order, some hockey games had to be watched, and so on. The net result is I didn't sign-up for the service, and now I'm scrambling to salvage my data as best I can because I fear a total re-install for my PC looming.

All this comes on the heels of my on-going frustrations with Vista running on the laptop I'm using now. Firefox, ZoneAlarm, and Vista don't all seem to play well together. I chatted with a Dell rep tonight & told him to send me a Windows XP CD. He suggested I not change operating systems, and I suggested his company install one that works on their equipment vs. being strong-armed by the beast of Redmond. He tried to calm me by asking specifically about the problems I was having. I told him about the squabbles between FF, ZA, and Vista. He then had the audacity to tell me FF and ZA were third-party products and he wasn't in a position to help troubleshoot them. As furiously as I could type, I told him I was not asking him to solve the problem. I reminded him that it was HE who asked me to describe my problems with those applications, and I told him. I then ended the round robin chat session with him with a repeat of my initial request - send me an XP CD, and I'll solve my own damn problem.

Case in point... about half-way through that last paragraph Firefox quit working in between Blogger auto-saves. So I had to retype the last part of it as well as all going forward in IE.

The wife isn't going to be happy. No access to existing e-mail. Limited browsing. Dealing with Vista. I imagine I'll be playing the role of technical support guy for home networking tomorrow while trying to do my regular work while getting by on less than idea sleep from tonight...or is it now morning?

It could easily take me the rest of the night to figure all this out, wrap up my backups, etc. I can't do it. I'll have to pick it up again tomorrow.

Wish me luck...send me a beer...pray for me mama, I'm a gypsy now (with apologies to Jason and The Scorchers).



  1. Dude -- definitely sign up for Carbonite. Well worth the $50. Not a lot of bells and whistles, but solid.


  2. I have a Linksys cable modem/router that is the biggest piece of S I've ever owned. I've had this darn thing for about 3 years now, only because I've procrastinated beyond belief about replacing it. If I am on a wired connection, it works fine. If I am wireless, it boots me off about once every 15 minutes. Makes doing things like blogging a bit challenging.

    I also have issues with Vista. Frustrates me more often than not.

    Good stuff man.