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

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Another couple of days hassle with Windows Vista!

Yesterday morning I did as I often do - quite early on, about 7.30am or so, I switched on my Vista-enabled laptop and sat up in bed browsing the web, checking emails and writing a couple of blog posts. After I'd done all that I closed the lid of the laptop (putting it into 'hibernation' mode), got up out of bed and did all the usual things - showered, shaved, dressed and then went through to get my breakfast. Nothing out of the ordinary. Later in the morning, after I'd been using my other laptop (which uses Windows XP) in the study, I wanted to use the Vista machine again for something else - so pulled the lid up as usual. After the usual password screen things started to go downhill fast. Oh, I got online OK, but after a few moments the keyboard locked-up. Switch-off, re-start - same nonsense after a few moments; tried it a couple of times after that and got same result so thought I would do a 'restore point' to an earlier date suggested by the system. That seemed to work, but pretty soon the whole thing locked-up again. After my experiences last month (see here also), I was becoming pretty fed-up with this machine and as I had other things to do yesterday I switched it off and used my other machine when I needed to. It was becoming clear, though, that I would probably have to do another re-install, but I simply didn't have the time (or the stamina) to contemplate that yesterday.

This morning after breakfast I switched on the pesky machine again and as expected the same problems recurred - keyboard lock-up. I had to go out for a good bit of the morning until mid-afternoon, but when I got back I decided that I would set about doing the re-install. It's done and I'm on the Vista machine now. It all seems to be working OK for the moment. I did, however, decide that one thing I was definitely not going to do was to re-install the Norton anti-virus programme disk that came with the machine - its interface is one I have never found user-friendly and since I re-installed it after doing the full Vista re-install last month, Norton has never really functioned properly. I've already spent whatever it was (£60 or so!) to updgrade early from the trial period, but frankly it was money wasted and I'm writing it off. I didn't quite have the courage, however, to dispense entirely with A/V software entirely (as was suggested to me last month by one of my fairly regular visitors to the blog), so searched in the Windows Vista help screen for suitable software providers - there are 7 or 8, one of which is Norton, but I've gone with Microsoft's own effort 'Windows Live OneCare' and am currently on their 90-day trial period. It seems to work a lot more smoothly than Norton A/V ever did and the interface seems to be a lot more intuitive. It's too early to say everything is fine, but I am cautiously hopeful.

The latest re-install went quite smoothly and a little more quickly than the last time because I knew better what was happening. I am also more aware now of how the re-install works; basically it stores everything from before the re-install in a back-up folder, so I now have two of those (one this time and one from last month). So I was able to copy all the contents of the 'Documents' and 'Pictures' folders from the latest backup straight into the current installation's folders and not have to copy everything laboriously from my other machine using a USB stick. I was all done in about 10 minutes, rather than the 1hr+ it took last time.

Right, so I'm watching the latest episode of 'Heroes' on BBC3 right now, so I'm going to get back to giving my full attention to that - it's one of the better series to come out of the US of late; I think I'm becoming addicted! The other recently-started US import, 'Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip', which shows on Thursday evenings on More4 is quite good, too, but I'm of the view that I can take it or leave it - I'm not bothering to record it and if I miss an episode then it's just too bad.

¡Hasta luego!

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