On Sunday, I said good bye to a dear friend of mine of four years. We’d had our ups and downs, and even a trial separation or two, but we’d gotten through a lot.
Okay, I’m dropping the act—my laptop died. Well, not “died”, exactly.
It had shut down just fine, with the last update having been a day or two prior, so I thought I was in the clear. But when I started it up to work on homework (because what better option do I have on a Friday night?), it got about half way through booting up, and then suddenly, a blue screen of death. It flashed for less than a second, then my computer displayed a message telling me that Windows had failed to start. Well, no duh. I opted to try startup repair, while I surfed the internet on my phone to tell me more about what was going on.
Two system restores and more than two bad words later, I was exactly where I had started, albeit with a slightly more informative diagnosis than “blue screen on startup”. I borrowed my roommate’s boyfriend’s Windows Vista recovery disk, in the hopes that maybe I could do a fresh install of Vista (the OS my computer had started with—it was switched to 7 about eighteen months ago the first time something like this happened), but to no avail. I was wondering what to do now.
I texted a friend (and, not coincidentally, neighbor) who works in IT, to see if he had any suggestions. His was to drop it off with him for a diagnosis and a quick attempt at repair, which I was okay with, but that still left me computer-less, and for a computer science major with project deadlines looming, this is a very bad thing. The boyfriend offered me the use of his netbook, which would be just fine for my purposes—I didn’t need anything particularly high-powered at the moment. The IT friend came by a bit later and offered me the use of a full-sized laptop he wasn’t using at all (whereas the boyfriend would likely need his netbook for homework at some point in the near future), as well as the happy news that he had been able to recover the contents of my hard drive, which I was going to need in any case.
I spent the next day alternating between checking in on and just plain babysitting my laptop once the IT friend got a fresh install of Windows 7 running on it, and while it now functions, it was very much agreed upon by all involved that, given 3 breakdowns in 18 months, I needed a new laptop if I wanted any sort of guarantee that I could get through the year without another bust.
I had been shopping laptops already in the event that repairs didn’t work out, so I popped out to BestBuy the next day and grabbed what reviews had indicated was the most reliable and useful laptop I could get for a decent price. About eight hours later, I had everything installed on it, and all my files where they belonged.
However, there is still a bit of a learning curve, as this is machine runs Windows 8. It’s not bad—the basics were easy enough to figure out. I just don’t particularly like its design. It is not for keyboard-and-mouse setups, no matter what anyone tells you. It is pretty good for touchscreen devices, but not all of the gestures are intuitive, and they’re easy to do on accident. I just want my start menu back—is that so much to ask?
I suppose, given that I went from a not-working to unreliable laptop, and then to a working and reliable laptop, it might just be.
(Methinks I may install Windows 7 on here, anyway. Just because I can.)