Technological Frustrations (2)

…continued at long last…

Before I am unable to proceed (yet again*), perhaps I should wrap up my now long-ago post on Janetʼs laptop and our (still incomplete) effort to upgrade and continue her virus protection.

Although I had a thirty-day trial actually working (having, I was almost absolutely positive, not succeeded in downloading the current app before the five-download limit was imposed by TrendMicro), I was pretty sure that this application wasnʼt accepting her overly extensive activation code not (in this case, at least) because the goons at TrendMicro were so conveniently incompetent as to acquire my fifty dollars without writing the activation portion of their software correctly but because (as I vaguely recalled) the downloaded installation package I had belatedly discovered wasnʼt new at all but rather one I had downloaded months in the past and never installed.

So how could I get around TrendMicroʼs determinedly profiteering limitation on downloads from their website (a particularly stupid restriction if the package still needed activation to fully work**)?

I had received a confirmation e-mail on the software purchase in my msn account***, so reading it, I decided to click the link for the download (on my iMac) and, accessing the download site, tried the download again. And it worked, downloading the complete .exe file to my Mac desktop. I promptly copied the file to a flash drive that I thought was still configured for Windows, started up Janetʼs laptop, plugged in the flash drive and copied the program to her desktop (or whatever Windows calls that level).

Unfortunately, upon double-clicking the installation package, it informed me that it wouldnʼt work unless we made use of Windows XP Service Pack 3 (about which I had not heard, believing Microsoft to have abandoned XP years ago). However, some extensive searching procured a disk image of just that service pack**** to download and burn to CD.

Now comes the good part — actually bad, very very bad. Installing the Service Pack 3 failed (twice). And on the second failure and forced restart, her computer no longer restarted. At all.

Her laptop was dead, useless — a worthless, nonfunctioning lump of metals and plastic (exactly what HP and Microsoft wanted such antiques — six years old — to be considered). Unless I could figure out how to make use of the back-up/restoration partition (drive D, I think I had learned at one point) HP had created originally on her computer. But I had no idea what to press during startup to activate that restoration.

So her computer sat worthless for a week or so while I pondered (and basically also just forgot about the problem, admittedly, taking the low and easy road to personal satisfaction by ignoring what was wrong in our lives) and diddled away at other things (on my lovely, brushed aluminum, June 2009-vintage, 27-inch iMac).

Entering our “office“ in the morning, I might contemplate the inert laptop briefly, frustrated that I had no idea was key-combos might accomplish what during the startup process (and too lazy/forgetful to investigate that problem online). Did we have a restoration/installation CD for XP (as I had purchased a couple years back to upgrade the iMac to Appleʼs Snow Leopard)?

Finally, I roused myself from my habitual (and habituated) inertia to search out the collection of mini-manuals and materials, including software CDs, we had originally received along with the laptop. And eventually I discovered a little CD-sized piece of paper informing me that we didnʼt need an installation CD because we had the restoration back-up on the computer itself, even mentioning the appropriate key combo to use to access the back-up.

So I did as the miniature sheet instructed, re-installing the saved version of her operating system, and it worked. Kind of. Suddenly her computer was back almost completely to its original state (that of six years ago). That position left me needing to simply install the service packs (1, 2 and 3) again to attempt finally the TrendMicro anti-virus package. As it turned out, just service pack 2 before 3, and I discovered Microsoft did indeed have a site to download the service pack installation packages without resort to burning CDs.

Service pack 2 worked just as it had before, meaning successfully. But I am currently hovering in hesitation about attempting that service pack 3 without backing up her drive (as it exists now in its somewhat more modernized state, rather than attempting to start essentially from scratch once again should/when the service pack 3 installation again fail and trash the entire Windows system) to an external drive. I have the drive I would like to use, but currently itʼs loaded to reinstall Snow Leopard for my Mac, if necessary (which has been necessary at least twice already in the last two years).

Time to buy another (our fourth) back-up drive, I supposed.

And thatʼs when I made the foolish mistake of upgrading the iMac to Mountain Lion…

* There have been serious disasters and troubles preventing the promised continuation of this misadventure (and keeping me offline and discomputered for days at a time, not just this past week), resolved, maybe, just today.

** Why not post unlimited downloads of the trial software to attract customers? Most (if not all) other software suppliers do that…

*** Why my e-mail account, rather than My Belovedʼs? Long story, involving the important aspect of which one of us takes a real interest in maintaining (even using our home computers).

**** I had a feeling that particular package wasnʼt the one I wanted, but it was absolutely all I could find (Windows auto-updates having never really worked on her computer from the beginning). Later in the misadventure, I found, as told above, a downloadable package which we will use just as soon as, for safetyʼs sake I back up her entire computer to the currently available external drive (but needing to be reconfigured, again, for Windows use), an activity I may just begin right now…

©2012 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

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