...from the guy with the world's worst PC Luck.
1 So it's that time of year again, the big crunch where you fall behind in all your work and every second matters. As a part of meeting a compatibility requirement to port a database from my laptop to my new desktop, I'm required to upgrade my laptop to SP2 from XPSP1.
2 I go through all the hoops and finally get it upgraded... except it no longer recognizes its PCMCIA ports. Getting it to work with my wireless card is essential, so I'm forced to reinstall Windows to get rid of SP2 and get the drivers working again.
3 I reinstall Windows. This process takes the better part of a day... and then another day to reinstall and configure all of the applications I would be using. I get it all together finally and get almost all the way through my first day of work on the laptop.
4 Near the end of the day, I get ready to bring the machine home, and I close the lid to put it to sleep. The system hard-locks.
5 Being that it is a gateway laptop with a desktop P4 spaceheater inside, the back panel has melted so many times that it takes an incredible amount of force to press the power button. Turning the computer on is easy, thanks to Newton's Law - you just strike it with something heavy, and the pressure is enough to throw the switch. Turning it off again when it's locked isn't so easy - to do that, you need to maintain
that much pressure for a solid five seconds, which is essentially impossible. To turn it off, I need to unplug it, turn it over, and pop out the battery.
6 I get it off, I bring it home, I set it down on my desk, and I turn it on again. It boots up, and then the Found New Hardware Wizard pops up to inform me that it found a new ethernet controller... that's just great, except it's not an ethernet controller, it's my PCMCIA wireless card, and the drivers for that no longer work.
7 I uninstall and reinstall the wireless card drivers and reboot the system, several times. Still no dice - it still thinks it's an ethernet controller. Of course, being the only ethernet controller in the world made of wireless hardware, no drivers will work for it. The setup utility for the wireless drivers that came with the card won't even recognize the card when it asks me to plug it in. The card must be broken. I buy another card.
8 I install the drivers for the new card and plug it in. Windows finds another ethernet controller.
10 Wal-Mart won't take the card back.
11 I attempt a Windows Repair Installation. Somewhere in the process, Windows screws up, upgrading things from snafu to tarfun. The display driver is missing in action, leaving me stuck at 640x480 resolution on a 1024x768 LCD, and half my applications are broken. I pop in the drivers and apps CD to reinstall my display driver.
12 The display driver reinstalls, and the system reboots... and promptly bluescreens. I reboot again in safe mode. It bluescreens again.
13 I pop in the Drivers and Apps CD again and try to boot from the CD to fix the wayward driver. The C:\ Drive is Not Found.
14 I try to boot into Linux from the other partition. Kernel Panic. The Windows issues somehow screwed that up too. We are now officially FUBAR.
16 I pull out my hair, cancel my plans for the evening as well as any plans for anything other than making up lost time on work for the next several weeks, get a beer, and sit down to watch the OS install CD write zeros to the drive.
17 GoTo 3
Yet another subtle reminder why I should NEVER UPGRADE ANYTHING
, Much Less Microsoft Windows, and a painful reaffirmation that if it wasn't for bad luck, I'd have none at all.