Tuesday, August 15, 2006


I upgraded to XP SP 2.

It took 11 hours.

Not including driving around from store to store, looking for the free disc Microsoft says are out there. Not at Best Buy, Circuit City, not at CompUSA they aren't.

The original XP was set to become unsupported in October. Having just lived through major viruses (virii?), I figured there was no better time than now, before I get infected again. I do know EVERY TIME I've tried something like this I've regretted it, but:

men must mess
men must conquer (Kid Rock marries Pamela Anderson - that pretty much says it)
men want the fastest newest

and Microsoft will stop patching XP unless I do.

The milk hadn't even turned sour in the fridge at my apartment in the House of Rationalization, so I go for it. And, regret it. Feeling foolosh when you expect to is worse than when you don't.

1- The install hangs on a missing file.
2- The "skip this file and keep going" button won't.
3- I locate the missing file in two locations and try to insert it; it won't.
4- The install wizard says something in a box which makes little sense.
5- The install program seems to think I have the install disc, when in fact I've downloaded the SP2 from Microsoft.
6- The install wizard gives me no choice except to opt out "leaving the machine unstable, with the look of Mickey Rourke on a bender."
7- I try again. Another hour. Same result.
8- I figure maybe there are some patches I need to make before I try, and maybe one of those will find the magic missing file (even though I FIND the missing file, the wizard won't see it!)
9- I load the patches. I think I already have these, but I am desperate.
10- I reboot for the patches to take effect.
11- The computer starts, then turns off. Again and again.
12- I try all alternate boots (F8). None work.
13- To Best Buy for the free disc that Microsoft says wait for any and all. They have none, but offer me the new Home XP with upgrade for $99.95. $99.95 is the new free? I think not.
Hey, while I'm here, how much for Geek Squad help on this? $249.95. No. Not for me.
14- I realize the level of my addiction to my computer. I live on it. It's my iron lung.
15- To Circuit City. No free discs.
16- To CompUSA. No free discs.
17- I have an idea - reload Windows (original version)... maybe it got corrupted in all the virus nonsense. It takes hours.
18- Then I download and install 46 patches, most for security. Actual number - no exaggeration! It takes more hours.
19- I try to get a clean download of SP2 just in case. Microsoft's automated program says I have it installed already and won't give me another.
20- I try Microsoft help and they will respond by E mail. My E mail was blown out completely. Now I can get the computer to boot into the new-old-reloaded program of Windows, but there is no more Outlook Express (mail program.)
21- I nose around Microsoft, begging (okay, looking) for another shot at a clean download of SP2 and finally find it, tucked away in some sub-menu. Since I have their auto-loaded version, they don't want me to have another, but I somehow prevail.
22- It takes hours to load and install. Really.
23- I then have to immediately return to Microsoft for all the patches they've made to SP2. 45 of them (Actual Number).
24- I download and install 45 more patches.
25- Reboot to make them work.

And it works. I have escaped. An inch lower and my 'nads would have been shot off.

At least I think it works. Haven't explored everything yet - there must be settings which need adjustment, but mail and internet are back and at least the icons for the programs I use every day are there.

There's a moral to the story depending on your attitude:

a) Leave well enough alone
b) All machines must be subservient to man.

PS: I'm not spell checking this today because I spent 45 minutes on the first one and spell check took the story DOWN and threw it away. Do computers know revenge?

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