Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Major problems with a laptop using Vista!!

I have two laptop PCs - the one I am writing this on right now, which uses Windows XP (purch Feb06) - and the other uses Windows Vista (purch Jun07).

I had been using the Vista machine yesterday evening with no problems (the XP model too) and switched it off normally last thing at night. I wasn't aware of any problems then with it. I had been doing all the normal things I usually do - a bit of browsing, reading blogs, updating a couple of my websites (I use IPSwitch Professional for FTP transfers) and all seemed to be happening just as usual, i.e. normally.

This morning I switch the thing on and get to the point where a passowrd must be entered to get it to start-up, it accepts that, up comes my screen saver and then it just sits there. Although I can move my mouse around the screen, none of the basic software has loaded so there is no way of even closing it down again in the proper manner. After 10 minutes waiting I take the plunge and switch off at the power button and a little later try to boot it up again. I'm then taken into the 'startup normally' or 'safe mode' options screens (because I couldn't close it down normally a little earlier) and I try 'start-up normally'. Same things happens each time I try this - precisely nothing! (I tried it 2 or 3 times just to be sure) Next time I try the 'safe mode' option and do a restore to an earlier date.

This seems to work and I get booted-up and online to update Vista (because I had to go back to a notional 21JUN) - that seems to work. I get online and find that Norton Internet Protection/Anti-virus says it needs attention. I get online updates for that and that seeems to work except it says that the anti-virus part is switched off - I try to switch it on, but it keeps returning the same message. It takes me to a screen saying I need to buy an update and I wondered whether the initial 3-month period 'free' is up - which I was surprised about - but anyway - so I buy the update and install it. It seems to install except it won't switch on the anti-virus part of the software, although the internet protection part says it is on. I check to find out if my Windows Firewall is on - discover with alarm it is not, so switch it on pronto.

I seem to be able to get online briefly, then the key-board freezes. Every time I re-boot it works for about 5 minutes, seemingly normally, then the keyboard freezes. I think I have reached the end of my abilities to solve this problem alone, so the next step will be to seek assistance from a 'PC doctor'. I just got back from a minor shopping trip and a short walk to try and clear my thoughts and am really writing this as a 'mind-dump'. I shall not swtich on the other machine again until I get it looked at by someone who knows more about it than me, as I fear I may only be making the situation worse with each 'solution' I try. A short while ago I did a 'Google' search for problems with Vista and discover there seems to be a lot! Other people seem to have this freezing-up problem, too. Luckily I've got the XP machine to work on meantime, but inevitably I'll be putting blogging way down my list of priorities until I get the other machine up and running normally.

Other things to do this month include making a decision about replacing my car at the end-August/beginning-September year change or whether to leave it for another year (my car is 2 1/2 years old so will need an MOT next February, but I shall be in Spain then with a car from here so if I keep it I'll have to get the MOT done before I leave). I'm coming to the view it will be simpler to change the car now and be done with it; the model of Honda I was thinking of getting (to replace my Honda of a different model) didn't get a very favourable review in the latest 'Which?' car guide, surprisingly to them and to me, so I'm looking at my options. A switch of make is possible, perhaps to a Mazda6. We'll see. Other problems are to do with the building management where I live, not so much with the Factor as with dealing with other residents; I'm the Chairman of the Res.Assn. and frankly it's a real pain dealing with certain individuals - they seem to think I have nothing better to do than to deal with their pointless 'gripes'.

OK? You get the picture? Bill is one frustrated person right now. I'm off - updates as and when.

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