The joy of windows

I must be careful about taking a volume of Quasten to bed.  I did so last night, and saw a couple of untranslated works (or rather, remains of them), and decided to blog about them.  So I got out of bed, went to my PC and … it wouldn’t boot.  Nothing I could do would persuade Windows Vista to let me in.  It starts OK, then it gets to the ‘green bar’ going to and fro, and it sits there.  Attempts to get it to repair itself have failed, I can’t get any restore points up… it’s sitting on the side with its little legs pointed stiffly to the sky.

Since I didn’t do anything to it, I would guess that a silent-but-deadly “update” from Microsoft has trashed some critical files.  Fortunately I’ve managed to boot it in safe mode and I am copying 200+Gb of files off it to an external drive.  So I won’t lose work; just days of my life.

So don’t expect much response from me while I’m sorting this out!

(I’m typing this from an old machine which fortunately can still connect to the web).

UPDATE: I managed to get my PC working again.

My first act was to try to start the PC in ‘safe’ mode. This means hitting F8 repeatedly while the machine is first starting; this will give you a boot menu and ‘safe’ is the top one. (I found ‘safe with network’ didn’t work).

Once it had started, I connected my external USB hard disk and copied all my data onto it. This was some 200Gb, so took 5 hours. But I felt a lot safer once I had that! Because I might have to reimage the hard disk, losing all my data; and of course you never know if it will even boot into safe mode next time.

When Vista starts in Safe mode, a help menu appears on the right. One of these leads to the option to restore from a saved point. I hit this, and was surprised that nothing happened. It takes Vista anything up to 5 minutes to show the menu of available saved points, during which time you get no feedback, nothing to show anything is happening (how user friendly!)

I chose a suitable time to roll back to, and hit that. It asked to reboot.

Now here’s the catch. The PC was stuck, just staring at the green bar sweeping to and fro immediately after boot. But… you have to look at the hard disk light. This green bar will do its stuff for anything up to 30 seconds. So long as the hard disk light is active, let it do so. The screen then goes all black, you wait another 10 seconds, and a Windows icon appears, and, very soon, your desktop.

Then, when the recovery has completed, a box appears on the screen telling you so. If you don’t see this, you didn’t achieve the roll-back.

Well, it’s now 3:30pm. That was a day of my life, gone. Thank you Microsoft.

2 thoughts on “The joy of windows

  1. Roger, all this Microsoft stuff is so common that for many years I’ve wondered how anyone could do anything large and well-done on Windows. Do yourself a favor: get a Macintosh. They’re not absolutely problem-free, but quite literally 90 percent, and maybe 96 or 97 percent, of the frustrating hoops Windows users have to jump thru will disappear immediately.

    Windows is “cheaper”, but this is how you pay for it.

  2. I do have a Mac laptop, but I’m so used to Windows that I found it difficult and frustrating to use! I have to use Windows for work anyway, so had better run it at home.

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