Restoring the Old PC Backstory

July 25, 2006

Three nights ago my very adorable but very mischievous 18 month-old son Henri climbed onto the table while I was making dinner and poured what was left of my drink onto my laptop which we bought just over a year ago. I heard Brian in the other room make that sound which I have grown to know and loathe. The "You Left Something Out You Shouldn't Have" sound. I calmly walked out to the dining room because at this point I know the futility of hurrying after hearing that sound and I see Brian mopping up a small spill on the keyboard. I grabbed a towel, lifted the computer and wiped the underside. It looked ok. So in a hurry to get back to making dinner and annoyed by another laptop-Henri incident, I closed it and forgot about it.

The next day my laptop would make me sorry. Brian opened the lid to print something out. It was stuck on the login screen and the cursor wouldn't budge. I had cursor issues before so I just restarted it and walked away. That's when my real troubles began. Brian called out to me that it wouldn't load past the windows screen. Further investigation revealed that it wouldn't boot into safe mode, it wouldn't update or revert BIOS, it wouldn't even access my system restore files. I figured out that wasn't the hard drive and it wasn't the RAM so my worst fears were semi-confirmed, I deduced that it was either the motherboard or the CPU. I worked on fixing it literally all day and by nightfall I sat down with Henri on the sofa, turned on HBO and didn't open it ever again. I had splurged on this laptop only a little over a year ago so it really turned my stomach to accept defeat.

The next day I took it to a computer repair shop and haven't heard about it since. I'm still curious to see what they say but I'm not getting my hopes up. So later that morning I opened up the kids computer (my old computer from four years ago) and tried to use the internet. Ugh! It was sooooooo slow. Pinterest wouldn't scroll properly, it took seconds for each link to load, every time I had to open a new page my heart would sink. I bought some extra RAM at the computer store thinking it might help but honestly, I noticed no change and it just made me even more irritated that I wasted another $50.

So being a bit techier than your average house mom I began to fiddle around with the settings on the old computer and after about two hours of work I had something that was....quite usable. I started to feel a little bit less depressed about the whole thing. I searched Pinterest, wrote a post and checked my bank account all without once tossing my hands up in frustration.

If you at some point in your life you too need to use the "kids computer" or are too budget constrained to splurge for a nice shiny new one then you might want to try this little tutorial and see where it takes you. Perhaps you can get a few more months....years?....out of your old one.

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