Thursday, August 11, 2011
At wit’s end with computer problems
Problems with my work computer have hampered my productivity. Problems with a home computer have just added to my frustration.
All I want is a PC that works. Is that too much to ask?
First, my work computer, a Dell PC running Windows XP, became crippled by browser hijacks, hostage-ware, Trojans and other malware. Cleaning out all that malware damaged my user preferences and some applications, so I decided to save all my files and reinstall Windows.
Reinstalling Windows is a time-consuming process. After installing Windows, it had to download multiple software updates from Microsoft’s update page, each one requiring a restart. Then I had to install drivers for my video and audio hardware and printer. Then I had to install about two dozen software applications I use, everything from Microsoft Office to browser toolbars.
After all that, I started getting blue screens of death for bad drivers. I tried everything my company’s IT guru could suggest and a few things on my own, but no luck. The blue screens kept coming, regularly and without warning.
After some consideration, I decided to reinstall Windows again, along with all my software apps.
Things went fine for a few days, then I started getting blue screens of death for “Page_Fault_In_Nonpaged_Area.” That’s usually a sign of a bad memory component or motherboard. So I’ll have to get a replacement PC.
I’d like to upgrade from the decade-old Windows XP to the new Windows 7, but I can’t. Some of my work applications don’t run on Win 7 yet.
While all of this is going on, my relatively new Hewlett-Packard home PC running Windows 7 has an issue with the monitor going into sleep mode while you’re using it. The first service technician I brought it to couldn’t replicate the problem so I brought it home. And it happened again and again.
For now, it sits in a corner. I don’t have the time or patience to figure out what to do with it. And while it gathers dust, I’m using an older Dell PC running Windows XP.
Fingers crossed that I don’t get the blue screen of death on that machine too.
Photo: Blue screen of death message from my work PC.