Thursday, January 28, 2010

When PC’s get sick – Part Two

So, last time I told you about the lead up to my PC recovery. I was ready for the actual system recovery by Wednesday, January 13, 2010. I called HP early in the afternoon and gave them the ticket number that I’d gotten the week before.

The recovery process itself was not that complicated. The process for me was not as easy. As the PC was resetting itself to factory and erasing everything that I had so carefully added and installed, my brain was in overdrive. What if this doesn’t work? What if the recovery fails and I have to replace my hard drive? What if the CD’s, DVD’s and external drive don’t work and I really do end up losing everything? You hear about PC crashes all the time, you just never think about them happening to you.

The recovery itself didn’t take that long – maybe an hour. After it was done I had to reset my personal settings in the control panel before I did anything else. Good job I made notes ahead of time!

I called my service provider to help me reconnect to the internet and reset my mailboxes in Windows Mail. They also helped me download a Norton Removal tool to remove the trial program that had come with my PC. (Note: If Norton (or other security systems AREN’T removed with the right tools, it can really mess up your new security system!) Then, we downloaded my new security suite and reinstalled it. Just those few minutes of being on line without security were enough to make me nervous even though I was on safe sites!

It was Wednesday evening by that time and I was tired, but there was too much to do to sleep. I checked for updates and installed about 80 that night. I also checked my mail and a couple of web sites I visit every day. So far - so good - but too soon to start adding my stuff again.

Thursday morning, I checked for more updates and realized that the service pack 2 STILL wasn’t installed! Oh great! The whole reason I had done the restore was because it wouldn’t install!

I called HP and explained what was going on. Another great tech helped me download the service pack 2 and install it. It took quite awhile to download 475mb and install but this time it actually worked!!!

The tech asked if there were any other problems I needed his help with. I told him that just before New Year’s; I had bought and installed Microsoft Home and Student 2007. I’d gotten a ridiculously good post-Christmas sale deal, but was frustrated that I had to uninstall it so quickly and therefore loose one of the three keys that came with it. I had tried to contact Microsoft to restore the key but kept getting error messages and told that I would have to pay for any assistance. The tech helped me to reinstall Office and get a replacement key!

How much do I LOVE HP!? I could never have done all this without them! They were with me through every step and patiently talking me through it and answering all my questions. Actually, the tech I had talked to in Mumbai had even called me back a couple of days later to see how the PC was working and to ask how I was going to do the recovery!

Late Thursday morning, I started transferring my files from the external drive back to the PC. The process was as simple as connecting the drive, opening “F drive” then dragging all of my files/folders back into “C drive”. I imported my contacts and emails back to Windows mail. I randomly checked various folders and types of files to see if everything was back – and it was!

I felt like I could finally breathe again!

I’ve lost track of how many hours I have spent on the phone with various techs over those couple of weeks! My guess is that is probably about six with HP alone, never mind the other wonderful people in tech departments I’ve called for assistance, advice and price quotes! Then there are all the hours that I spent preparing the PC for the recovery and reinstalling and customizing all my settings again!

Over the last week or so, I have slowly started reinstalling my freeware and some of my games. I’ve even managed to find a couple of new pieces of freeware to replace some of the ones I lost. I had saved my list of favourite web sites and was able to reset it, but had to re-enter all my passwords and/or customizations. That was yet another time my copious notes came in very handy! So far, I’ve only discovered one web site that I had neglected to note which email address and password I signed in with! Quite minor in the grand scheme of things.

My PC is running beautifully at the moment. Knock wood, it will for a long time to come.

This wasn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination! It isn’t an experience that I ever want to repeat, but I have learned a lot more about my PC and how it works in the process, I’ve even figured out a few more customizations to make it even easier for me to see what I am doing.

As one of my friends so aptly put it, “It’s a brand new year and a fresh new start!”


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