Thursday, August 11, 2011

At wit’s end with computer problems

Off and on for the last couple of months, I’ve been plagued 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.

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