I have another personal first to announce: in the past month or so, I have installed Windows XP FIVE times. Three times for the first incarnation of my dad’s new computer (which was doomed from the start due to a defective motherboard – boy, was that fun,) once yesterday for my dad’s real new computer, which went quite smoothly . . . and then again today – in my computer (the one I’m typing on right now, in fact.) This last one was not by choice.
If you’ve noticed a lack of posting lately, it’s because most of my nights the past week and a half have been dealing with a slowly disintegrating computer, or spending time with Amanda (much more preferable, obviously.) It all began when I installed a DVD-viewing program, then Adobe Illustrator (to show you how little illustration work I do at home, I managed to go over a year without having Illustrator on my computer) . . . and then all hell broke loose. Last year when I put together this computer, I allocated 10gb to a Windows-only partition – meant only for Windows and programs, no files, etc. In that year, even with constant vigilance about keeping this partition free of crap, I managed to fill up that 10gb with programs and probably a billion massive Windows Updates. So when I hit the magic number of 200mb free space, warning messages about space issues abounded and having started a nearly complete birth announcement (yes, I know, it’s getting a little late for that!) I couldn’t really uninstall the monster that is Illustrator. So I offed as many smaller programs that I could, hoping that I could swing Windows back to believing it had enough drive space to operate. Time and time again, I found myself facing the same warning message about space – nothing would stop Windows’ attempt to fill every nook and cranny of my drive. I managed to hold it at bay, but I knew the outcome was inevitable: I would have to not only reinstall Windows, but find homes for all the files on the other partitions of that drive. When I woke up the other day and found Windows frozen, I knew it was dire. I moved two of my partitions onto an empty drive and hoped for the best.
When I got up this morning, I came out to check email, rip some CDs, and do some reading. Windows wasn’t having any of it – everything was frozen, a small space-warning pop-up staring me as if to say “ha-ha, I told you so.” I hard rebooted, figuring it would come back like the other day, but it was not to be: the computer greeted me with a black screen, and even Safe Mode wouldn’t boot. I had everything I desperately needed saved, so I grabbed my XP install disc and spent about an hour massaging my computer back to shape. A couple hours after that, I had most of the vital Windows Updates installed and had even gotten a few of my most-used applications installed again. Everything seemed good – Windows was clean and new, fast like it should be, and I had lots of space to fill up with crap. When I went to grab some files from one of the moved partitions, however, I realized that I never made sure the other drive actually had all those files. It didn’t – they were long gone. Lucky for me, however, the most important files were saved – dozens of shots of Amanda that hadn’t been secured on a DVD yet, along with less-fun things like our tax returns, resumes, etc.
So, here I am, 12 hours later, having spent most of the day behind one computer (my dad’s) or another (mine) trying to get everything back to normal. Don’t doubt for a minute how enticing Linux is sounding right now . . .