Home » rumblings of mutiny » Good news, hackers!

Good news, hackers!

Great news for hackers, folks.

My hard drive crashed a couple of days ago, and I tried desperately to restore my stuff to a new HD.  First up was the re-installation of Windows 8.1.  Not a problem?  Easy for you to say!  As it happens, I had downloaded it in the first place, and so had no installation disc.  I had, of course, been diligent and created recovery media, including an image of my system, that, according to all accounts, would allow me to restore everything, just as if nothing had happened.  My computer would be new inside, but no one the wiser.

I loaded the recovery flash drive and booted up.  Immediately a message came up: cannot restore, missing sector on drive.  Well, hello, it’s brand new.  Must be a mistake; tried again.  Same message, this time with the helpful suggestion that Windows would have to format the drive before I could restore on it.  Except, of course, I didn’t have Windows anymore, did I?!  No worries, though.  I had also diligently written down the activation key for Windows; I could download a new copy on my laptop, and install from that.

Or not.

That key was no longer active, probably because I had never uninstalled Windows from the drive that crashed.  Had I known it was going to, I would have deactivated Windows moments before, but, oddly, I got no warning (sarcasm alert).  What to do?  Call Microsoft.

Ever try to find a contact number for Microsoft on their website?  After running you around in circles for a sufficient time, they offer a “chat” instead.  Sounds delightfully cozy, a nice chat with your buddy from Microsoft.  Of course, it takes awhile; 20 minutes, to be precise, before your buddy becomes available.  I pressed the button that said I would prefer that they call me, and gave them my number.  After another 20 minutes, they did.

“Hello, this is —- at Microsoft Office support.  How may I help you?”

“But I want Windows support, not Office.”

“I’m so sorry. I’ll have a representative from Windows support call you.”  Another 15 minutes passed.

“Hello, this is —- at Microsoft Office support.  How may I help you?”

Arrgh!  Was this the “chat” I had been promised?

Eventually, I got through to a nice fellow in India, which is where Microsoft has determined to be the most secure spot in the world, apparently, because that’s where you go for any sort of meaningful help.  Even so, even after I had reluctantly given him control of my laptop remotely, it took the nice fellow 4 hours to download a new copy of Windows 8.1, complete with a new activation key, to my laptop and save it to a flash drive.  Yes!  Now I could install it on the new HD, and restore my beloved desktop, with all the software I love!

Or not.

Long story short, restoration from the image could not be accomplished, because it had been made from an earlier version of Windows.  Nor could I use any of the regular restore points to at least get my documents back, because THEY WERE ON THE OLD DRIVE, WEREN’T THEY?

I threw in the towel, utterly defeated.  Off to Best Buy, where they had a nice computer for sale for $400.  I now have to re-install all of my software, half of which have secret keys and codes to which a mere mortal such as myself, who doesn’t even live in India, has no access.

The good news is, I can now verify that computer software and the internet are totally and completely secure from legitimate users like me; only hackers can get access.

Note to anyone who even whispers the word “Mac:”  for $400, you might be able to get a keyboard.

13 thoughts on “Good news, hackers!

  1. Oh God. I have upgraded my Windows 7 (it was on a disc) to Windows 8 and 8.1 online. Now I will have to be careful and save the software on a flash drive. Yet again as you so rightly pointed out, and this has happened umpteen times to me, when I really need my software in an emergency I will definitely get the message ‘scan and fix error’ and will lose all my valuable data .and software. Sigh! What a ‘Microsoft world’ we live in.

  2. Oh, what an awful day! That must have been really frustrating! Have you thought of using linux? totally free, including all the program. Apologies if that sounds facile — just that it might be worth considering.

    • Must be nice to be rich – and lucky. Apple uses the same hard drives as everyone else. You just THINK you’ve left those problems behind. I know of hard drive crashes on Macs, and the only recourse is to shell out another couple of grand for a new machine.

      • Nope, I’ve got Time Machine which backs up seamlessly behind the scenes. It also makes upgrading to a new machine utterly painless. 😀
        …and yes, it IS nice… perhaps not rich, but a matter or priorities…

  3. .Yeah, I’ve got an online backup, too. When I finally sprung for a new machine for (ahem) $400, restoring my files on that was painless as well. The trouble I had was when I was trying to hold my expenses down to about $80. Don’t scoff – it’s possible

    • You need to change your number of threaded replies beyond 3 (since I didn’t get a notification for this last reply) (Dashboard/Settings/Discussion/enable threaded comments)

      My head has been clogged from a cold straight out of hell for a week, so the thinking was a bit fuzzy…… yes, I realize hard drive crashes are always a possibility, but the OS screw-ups seem to have become a thing of the past. Apple Care has been rather good to me, replacing a two-year old battery with a new one for free when it quit holding a charge (even mailed the new one before I returned the bad one.) So their tech support and warranties have been superior. At least in my experience, it’s been worth the extra bucks…. but, as I said- priorities! I can’t see much need for a TV, or living room furniture…. it seems to even out in the end somehow.

        • Yeah, I know and I go back to the original DOS contingent, removing Windows with the new ‘puters at work in the early days…. finally had to give in when things moved on to AutoCad. Turned my nose up at Macs for a very long time until someone loaned me one for a month. There’s never been any turning back from there. I totally believe in the right to choose…. whether it’s a computer or a fetus. 😉

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