Saturday, October 17, 2009

Updating Vista and Asking for Trouble

Forgive me Blogger for things have happened and I have not blogged for 4 days. But,then all at once, hell breaks loose. Well, computer hell! Let me explain.

Mary has a Toshiba laptop with Windows Vista on it. Nothing earth shaking there, I must admit. Or so I thought. Yesterday, I thought I'd go over it and run Windows update and do some scans. I never got past Windows update. I ran it and clicked on custom (never just blindly install anything, always click on custom) looked it over and, ho hum, just routine. I even went for Internet Explorer 8 because it's Vista, Mary just types stuff and plays games and goes online so no harm no foul.

Foul! Hell and damnation! Vista went into an infinite loop! "Vas ist das? 'infinite loop' "? I've dabbled a bit in programming and it's a bad thing. The computer just kept looping through a series of messages saying it's updating and restarting and this and that but it was never ending. You can feel quite powerless during something like this, let me tell you. I let it run all night to see if there was an end to it. Nope.

I tried some voodoo on it. Even though it said not to, I shut it off in the middle of it all just to see if I could shock it out of it's hypnotic state. Nope. I started it in "safe mode" and tried each one of the choices. Nope. Took the battery out and starved it for awhile to teach it a lesson. Nope. I opened and shut the DVD tray and opened and shut the lid several times (eerily reminiscent of mechanics looking under the hood, but not doing anything in front of you) but, nada.

At this point, I realized I had a real problem on my hands. One, a sputtering laptop that just wanted to loop the loop like an acid freak having some deranged flashbacks, and two, My wife kind of tapping her foot mentally as her genius "I got this" husband of hers looked kind of lost (She really wanted to play "bookworm" right then).

Okay, the one option I didn't use during safe mode was "repair your computer". Duh! I used that trump card and chose "system restore" to go to a prior restore point. The one I chose was made automatically by Vista just before Windows update started it's routine. Way to go Microsoft!! It's almost like they saw trouble coming from someone using their update service. Weird, huh? Update your computer, turns into a brick! Who knew? Maybe it's marketing. It's obsolete, go by a new one, with you know Windows 7 on it!

Well, anyway, it fixed it. Trouble with that, it took all the updates back. Another insult was that I checked with Microsoft and their advice was to run a file called "blah, blah, blah, kb 937287". The important part here being "blah, blah, blah" because that didn't work either. So, I made some notes to help anyone else having this fun experience with Windows update:
  1. Run system restore
  2. Try kb 937287 (search their website for this)
  3. Go to update and choose custom then critical for Vista only (not I.E. 8)
  4. Go to update and get the rest of Vista updates (not I.E 8)
  5. Update, only Office 2003
  6. Update, only Office 2008
  7. Get the rest, always skipping Internet Explorer 8
  8. The very last update, which I skipped would be I.E. 8
Here's why you have to do this in this manner. What probably happened during my computers episode was that it was to many updates all at once and some of those updates were life changing(I.E. 8) to an operating system(Vista). Sometimes you have to be gentle with your computer and I forgot that and paid for it. The reason you have to skip Internet Explorer till the end or not install it at all is it's indeed a huge file intensive update somewhat akin to a sex change on a human. Not a heart transplant by any means but once it's done, it's done and there's no going back. I mean, maybe, but it will be painful.

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