Updating to Windows 10 Crashed my Laptop

sanity 001Yup. It happened. I got the dreaded black screen of death.

black screen
They’re not pretty, but here’s my story.

My philosophy

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

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.

The Fix

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?


Author: Jo-Ann Carson

About Jo-Ann Carson Where magic happens … Reports of Jo-Ann Carson’s death on a Gulf Island are greatly exaggerated or, at the very least, premature. The eclectic crew of ghosts that haunt her head spill onto the page in two series: The Gambling Ghosts and The Ghost & Abby Mysteries. A Viking with existential issues, a broken hearted Highlander, a Casanova man-witch and a Pirate with a secret are just a few of the males her strong heroines encounter in tales of fantasy, adventure and romance. A firm believer in the magic of our everyday lives, Jo-Ann loves watching sunrises, walking beaches near her home in the Pacific Northwest and reading by the fire. You can visit her on social media: Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook

15 thoughts on “Updating to Windows 10 Crashed my Laptop”

  1. Your story horrified me. I’ve been steadfastly refusing to reserve my copy of Windows 10
    because my computer gal says, “No. Wait till they get the bugs out.” I have no idea how long that will take but I’m taking the coward’s way out. I had a terrible time with Windows 8, but 8.1 wasn’t so bad. A faster response time would be nice though. I do envy you your resident techie 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Helena
      I’m glad I did it now, but it wasn’t fun. I noticed Staples also has deals for upgrading .
      My fingers are crossed for you.
      My best


    1. Hi Judy,
      I use Crashplan, so I did have a back up.
      There was no cost for mine but it costs money in the stores.
      Hope that helps.


  2. Oh my goodness, Jo-Ann. A true horror story!!! Though you told it in your inimitably entertaining way. I was with you for every heart beat! So glad you got a happily ever after from this. Even though you’ve got a back-up. (I use Carbonite.) You don’t want to have to go there. I keep ignoring those little reminders that I can click “here” and get it installed. You know how I am with technology. And I don’t have a PJ to hold my hand through the transition. Think of this. You are really technologically abled. You even learned to do Scrivner! I’m waiting for sure. Will share. Fun post–only because of the HEA.


    1. Hi Marsha
      Yeah, I didn`t enjoy the story until the HEA too. LOL. And hearing Melissa`s story has my knees rattling. Why can`t I just write stories.
      my best


  3. I updated to Windows 10 and loved it until I get this random critical error with the start bar. My start bar (that small windows icon) will make my computer go into critical error mode and I have to log off and log back on. Problem not solved. Still does that almost every time. I can tell if it’s not going to happen by checking with the internet connection button on the taskbar. If that works, then start will work… if not… don’t touch the small windows icon. If you do touch that icon, everything is gone, because it logs you off the computer. No chance to save. *sigh*


    1. Hi Melissa
      That sounds like a horror story, an intermittent critical error on a start bar!!!! Ouch. I hope you can find a way of fixing it. It`s one hick-up you sure don`t need. Thanks for stopping by and adding to the conversation.
      my best


  4. Love the knit, knit, pearl 🙂 My mom downloaded it and had nothing but problems. Her email wouldn’t integrate and the computer kept crashing. You have something like 3 days to reverse the decision so she went back to Windows 8
    I’m very happy I chose Macbook Air, lol
    Jacquie Biggar


    1. Hi Jacquie
      I feel for you Mom. I think Alice had stuff go missing too. Apples. MMM. They sure do look good. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your Mom`s story.
      my best

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jeannie
      I tell you it was a black moment I was happy to put behind me.:)
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. And for reblogging. I love the interest and support.
      my best


  5. I’ve been concerned about updating to windows 10, but enticed because my windows 8.1 doesn’t work very well. I wish when I got my new laptop last fall I’d have made the leap to a Mac. A writer (or anyone) should not be going through these hassles. So VERY happy to hear you got your computer working again, Jo-Ann!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jacqui
      I’m like you. I’ve been sitting on the fence eyeing the apple tree for some time and my Windows 7 had worked perfectly well. But I do love Windows 10, and my old laptop. So for now I’m content. Good luck with upgrading. I would think it would be even easier from an 8 system.
      Thanks for stopping by.
      my best


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