Generally my rule of thumb when it comes to all-things-technical is to not be a first adopter, but to be a close second. What they call a late adopter. That is to say, I don’t rush to the front of the line to try new things, because although they may have a shiny look to them nasty bugs often hide beneath their glossy surface. Think teaming maggots. Teaming, hungry maggots. Yuck. So I like to hop onto the band wagon after the initial bugs have been stomped out. The software or hardware is still new, but not untested.
Windows 10 has been out for some time. I kept hearing tantalizing stories about how it would make my system run faster and smoother. For a writer, the computer is my world. I knew there had been problems with the new operating system, but they seemed to have been worked out. Right?
So when PJ my handsome husband and resident tech-man asked me if I wanted to do it, I said, “Okay.” Boy, did I regret that word later.
At first everything seemed to be going really well. He pushed the appropriate buttons and the downloading started. It’s boring watching someone watch a screen, so while he sat at my desk in the writing loft, I sat a floor below him knitting, trying not to think of what would happen to all my writing projects if the new operating system screwed up my computer. If? Right? Knit, pearl, knit, pearl… Breathe.
“It’s going really well,” he bellowed down the stairway.
“Good,”I yelled back. I swallowed to relieve a dryness in my throat and tried to smile. Knit, pearl, knit, knit…
“Oh it`s talking to me,” he yelled. High drama in a writer’s home.
“What`s it saying?” I asked.
“Hi. Almost there. Won`t be long.” Those are the words I remember, but there could have been more.
Fantasitc. Knit knit, pearl, pearl… What row am I on? Where did my cable needle go?
“It says its run into an unexpected problem, but won`t be long.”
No. Noooooooooo! No. Not my computer. What unexpected problem? How long? But I don’t ask, because I know he doesn’t know.
“Almost there,” he yells.
“Great.” The word bubbles out of my mouth with joy. Knit pearl knit pearl….
“Oh!” His voice is quiet. Too quiet. This can’t be good. I stop my stitch and wait.
“What the f****!”
I drop my needles in my lap, knowing, beyond a shadow of a doubt that my sweet laptop, my connection to the world, my tool for writing books is fried.
I bound up the stairs. PJ is staring at a black screen. In the middle is a cursor. The crazy-lady-voice within me whispers, “At least it’s not giving him the finger.” But it may as well be.
Time passed slowly. Three hours later… Three hours of searching the internet for solutions, trying solutions and knocking our heads against the wall— nothing changed. The screen remained as black as the night sky. We caved on our diy routine and took it to Staples. A nice, young man suggested we had to turn it off and reboot. Hadn’t we done that a million times? We checked and found that we while we thought we’d been turning it off, it had been sliding into a devious sleep mode. Grrrrrr
The tech guy tried to remove the battery, but it’s hard to do that on this laptop without hurting the machine, so we decided to let the power run out. We took it home like a wounded dog from a vets office and started to wait. The hope was that once the battery fully drained, we could reboot it and be back in Windows 7.
But there are no promises in the land of black screens.
I can’t remember the last time I felt so cranky. My gut twisted, my neck muscles bunched and I really, really wanted to yell at someone. Taking a computer away from a writer is like… well I can`t even think of a proper simile. It’s just plain awful. I retired to my room to meditate with dreams of apples floating in my head.
Ten minutes later, PJ yelled from the loft, “I got it.” I ran to his side to see a fully functioning machine.
And it has Windows 10. I didn’t know know whether to hug him or my machine.
I spent a few hours working on it and sure enough, it was fixed, and the Windows 10 operating system totally rocks. Everything works faster.
How did he do it? Well this is what he told me, or at least what I understood. “I went into the bias rom and stopped the machine. Then I rebooted it.”
What is a bias rom? Don’t ask me. He’s referred to it many times over the years, and defined it for me on many an occasion, but it stays in my head like water running down a drain. All I care about is that my machine is running. Hallelluliah!
He figures, btw, for those who understand these things, that our mistake was working through a peripheral screen instead of using only the laptop. He put messages on help boards and alerted MS about the peripheral issue.
Phew. Dodged that bullet.
How about you? Do you have any Windows 10 horror stories?