Monday, July 05, 2010

Tech Support

I've spent a lot of time today trying to resolve the problem of my thoroughly infected laptop, the result of which is that I've quite nearly bricked the thing. It's important at a time like this to remember that I got it for free, so even if it does die my net loss will be zero.

The story behind this laptop is kind of weird. I got it because a friend apparently had a few laptops extra. He heard that I was a college student who didn't have a laptop, and faster then I could offer my profuse thanks I had a new Dell Latitude, and the Dell backpack which he had gotten with it.

After this the laptop fell into a weird role. I take notes by hand, I prefer it that way, so I didn't actually have a terribly large amount of use for it at school. When I need to access the Internet I would usually use my desktop computer, if I was near it, or my smart-phone. The laptop fell into kind of a gulf, serving occasionally as a workhorse, but over time it became a media tablet. It's main job was to run Media Player Classic and/or iTunes while being highly portable. It did this job well, but when I first started trying to use it as a real computer I ran into the fact that I had left it unprotected too long. A monstrously thick batch of spyware coupled with an old system soon took its toll. Eventually I resolved to just do a full restart, rolling it back to factory defaults, but that was a bit complicated by the devices odd history of ownership.

Being the tech savvy youth that I am I found what I was pretty sure was a way around that, but I've just watched it go from reinstalling XP, to a brief display of "Windows was unable to install System" to watching it blue screen from the windows installer, which is an altogether new idea to me and something akin to the tech support equivalent of a lovecraftian horror.

So this may be the end of this strange little machine. I have a few more things I can try before declaring it a lost cause, but as I've said the laptop never filled a critical role in my life, and once I'm set up in Olympia and my desktop is back online I'm sure I won't really miss it. It's a shame to see it go, but such is life.


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