Some of you may remember the recent Teck Korner special report where we gave exclusive details and news from the very heart of Microsoft itself.
The breathtaking response to that unparalleled piece of reporting found us scurrying back to Teck Towers for refuge, which is where you find us today. It’s been a long tradition at Teck Towers, that during the silly season, otherwise known as a slow news day, we fling open our doors to you, our adoring readers and convert the boardroom into a makeshift home computer triage center.
And boy was it a challenging week!
One of our regular visitors, a local business entrepreneur, brought us her ageing HP Compaq F700 laptop, complaining that it had become a tad sluggish; a phrase all too familiar to our resident tech gurus, who also discovered that said laptop’s battery was missing, the touch-pad was defunct, but was at least blessed with a power adaptor.
To add to the challenge, our elegant visitor barked out an order to back everything up, and with a nonchalant wave of her bejeweled hand, swept out of the building.
So,without a moment to lose, our technicians set about the task in hand and discovered that her Windows Vista Starter edition had indeed slowed to a crawl, was woefully low on free disk space and had more PC tweak programs installed than you could shake a stick at. The laptop hard drive, having been surgically removed, was then backed up using the donor in-house PC to hold the sizeable 50gb of data that had somehow accumulated in the ageing machine. It seems our techs prefer the belt and braces approach, which they reckon, avoids those nasty repercussions when pics of Grandma are accidentally vaporized, so they even threw in the kitchen sink.
That sinking feeling
Optimism is infectious, as is a sense of impending doom.
Mixed messages then, emanating from our select tech team as they set about the delicate task of moving the hard drive back to the laptop with a view to nuking it and installing a clean, fresh version of Windows.
After some moments of muttering and scratching of heads, it was indeed concluded that this was going to be a tough nut to crack. Initial reports from the team confirmed that the built-in DVD drive had gone belly up and the BIOS boot options were limited to either USB floppy or HDD , with no option for booting to either a USB flash drive or USB DVD drive, which all but torpedoed plan A, being to boot from and install Windows via flash drive as outlined HERE by the Geek-in-chief himself, Dave Hartsock.
This unexpected turn of events also put the kaibosh on plan B and the men in white coats soon found themselves pacing around the boardroom in search of divine intervention, quite possibly as plans C or D.
Whilst huddled around steaming cups of coffee in the works’ canteen, a heated discussion took place between our experts on the merits of and possible variants discussed in Dave’s opus and it was generally agreed that, since the principles were exactly the same, the system would be installed directly from the hard drive.
So, following some further minor surgery, our team succeeds with the Windows installation, leaves the F700 to update itself and retires in jubilant mood to a local hostelry not two blocks from Teck Towers.
But, unbeknownst to our dedicated team, dark forces were at work in triage and in short time, messengers were dispatched which saw our white coated boffins once again pacing the boardroom, nervously chewing on their clipboards and contemplating the resuscitation of a seemingly ex-Compaq.
What soon became clear, is that whilst the machine was left to its own devices and to update itself in accordance with every known rule in the universe, it had shut itself down and remained in stasis as far as could be determined.
During this time, the owner of the machine saw fit to waltz into the boardroom, enquiring after the well being of her F700, but was quickly whisked away by security whilst our boffins made their own enquiries and discovered countless other poor souls suffering the same dilemma.
Stand on your head
Following an urgent brainstorming session, our boffins offered up the following rituals for discussion:
- Hold down the power button, control, alt and delete keys simultaneously.
- Hold down the power button for thirty seconds.
- Remove all power sources from the laptop and hold down the power button for twenty three seconds.
- Try another power adaptor if available.
- Remove memory modules and hard drive; repeat steps 1, 2, 3 and 4.
- Pull the lot, stand on one leg and whistle Dixie.
- Try this:
On the basis of last in, first out, a volunteer was dispatched with all haste to break the tragic news to the F700 owner, with some handy conciliatory notes:
- You are not alone
- This is not the first time
- This is a known problem
- Most fixes are temporary
- It isn’t our fault
- All we did was to……….
Naturally, the laptop owner was inconsolable and beyond speechless; our billing department wanted answers for two days lost work and our esteemed technicians are still wandering around looking confused and bewildered.