Do Not Anger the Technology

I have a new motto.

Here’s how it happened.

I spent Saturday evening playing World of Warcraft with friends.  About 9pm, my laptop lost connection to the Internet, knocking me offline (in the middle of an instance – my apologies to the consequently-dead).  This happens sometimes, because my office lies about as far from the router as it’s possible to get without standing outside the house.

I normally play with the settings until it reacquires, but given my gaming status I decided to take a shortcut.  I returned to desktop, told Windows to restart, and immediately stripped off the power supply, mouse and keyboard and headed for the kitchen (closer to the router, the easier to reacquire a signal).

This made Windows angry.

“Angry” is shorthand for “Windows failed to restart due to a hardware change. Would you like Windows to repair itself?”

Selecting “yes” resulted in a lockup.

Restarting brought me to the same “windows failed to start” error…followed by the same lockup when I tried to repair.

Things improved when I tried to boot from the Windows 7 CD.  That is, if moving from the Black Screen of Mocking Repair Offers to the Bluescreen of Death actually qualifies as an improvement.

It only got worse from there.

I eventually managed to get the computer to the Windows 7 start screen by using the boot discs, but even that ultimately failed.  [Bluescreen of Death Mocks You for 5000…You Die.]

I tried to start up in safe mode, but the computer would not let me.  It did, at least, explain why.  Safe mode was not safe.  (No, really.  That’s what it told me.  I can’t make this stuff up.)

After over an hour of patience, prayer and (futile) perseverance, I realized I wasn’t getting anywhere.  Windows was angry, and it had taken its four-colored flags and gone home.

The computer came with a year’s protection from the Geek Squad, so I called their 800 number, hoping to get a tech that could shed some light on the situation.  I did get a tech, but she didn’t know what to do.  I had already done everything she would have suggested, most of it more than once.  In the end, her only advice was the same thing I’d already decided to do: go to the store in the morning and let a live Geek Squad rep take a look at the problem.

I packed up my angry computer and drowned my sorrows in lemon cupcakes until I fell into a sugar coma.  This morning I took the computer to Geek Squad, laid it on the counter and explained the problem while the tech opened up the laptop and hit the power.

And Windows started.

No blue screen.  No black screen.  No mocking Dos-text of doom.

The tech ran some diagnostics, but the computer is fine.  His guess, and mine, is that I made it angry by detaching the peripherals too soon, but the flash memory reset that happens a few hours after you power off probably cleared the problem, allowing Windows to restart as normal today.

All of which brings me to my new motto: DO NOT ANGER THE TECHNOLOGY.

Trust me.  You won’t like it when it’s angry.

6 thoughts on “Do Not Anger the Technology

  • October 18, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    I’m so glad to read your post. I’ve had a terrible time with WOW since I downloaded their latest patch. My puter is constantly freezing up and shutting down. Your post makes me wonder if it isn’t just my ancient (2 yr old) puter after all. And those lemon cupcakes sound really good, by the way. I’m sure I’d be happier about this if I had a few. Time to bake.

    • October 18, 2010 at 10:37 pm

      Question: Are you playing a lock or a mage? If so, 4.0 broke your well/table – the portal objects crash the person casting and the person(s) clicking on them. That might be part of the problem. (Known issue, had a GM respond). If that’s not it, could be the computer, but more likely it’s the portal issue, especially if it’s happening in instances.

      And now, having alienated the non-gamers among us: the lemon cupcakes come from Icing on the Cupcake in Folsom, which makes the best and most decadent cupcakes known to man. I can bake them too, but…not like this…

    • January 3, 2013 at 5:58 pm

      that no-one is allowed to do ahynnitg, even if it is reasonable.How wonderful will Nafplio look when there are dozens of shops standing empty and decaying? This is already happening in several streets. Who will want to visit a ghost town?

  • October 20, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Hmm. I’m going to have to find some good lemon cupcakes. I have a hunter, actually. Thanks so much for the info, though.

    • October 21, 2010 at 10:26 pm

      Nice! My main is a holy/shadow priest, though I have more 80s than I care to admit to. It’s definitely a nice way to unwind after a long day.

  • Pingback: On Angering the Technology, Part Deux | Spann of Time

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