Tuesday, November 27, 2007

When tech betrays you...

I'm one of the list techies (in just about every place I go) cause I've got a no nonsense outlook on working with computers, and for some reason, they LIKE me.
So imagine my surprise this week when I met a Windows system that didn't LIKE me!

My parter and I decided, that to operate effectively, as a student, that a desktop that played possum every time we tried something daring (like, I don't know, loading up a new piece of software) and introduced us to its freinds 'blue screen of death", "more blue screen of death", Cousin IT (a blue screen that gave IT details) and Bob (where the cursor just bobbed there), that we really needed to upgrade. Swapping the downstairs computer for the attic server was out of the question cause my PC (in the attic) is a frankenstein of precariously balanced parts, a power supply that hangs out round and sits on top and six drives that I swap based on what I'm booting up and is older than HIS desktop.
SO I went onto ebay.
Aha, I thought - new PC, we'll get a bargian. And we did, too. The University is giving me a grant for my laptop, so we got a really cheap (top of the range) desktop that we went halfers on.
All good so far, right?
Well, sort of. Parcelforce weren't going to deliver it till Monday, when I should have been out at University, so we wheedled and pled with the local depot, and I gave several winning smiles to get it early, only to discover that its not got enough ram to comfortably run Vista AND everything else I wanted to install.
The Ram is on the way, but I've learned a couple of tricks about Windows Vista. Mainly cause its still doing the best impression of a possum I've ever seen, WITHOUT the Blue Screen of death, and we're doing what's called a 'haha rebuild'.
As in 'haha, you forgot to save the install files, didn't you?'.
So I thought over the coming weeks, I'd do some techie posts. A couple on Vista, a couple on Xp - a smattering on Office (2003, and 2007) and the final couple on some its and pieces I personally believe no writing Mama should be without.
Let me know if you've got any questions, won't you?
Now, I have to go back and beat my eight year old at Guitar Hero 3 - honest, its for an article.


NeuroticFitchMom said...

I love that you know all the tech type things. I'm so clueless.

Carolyn Erickson said...

Okay Kai. Only if you promise to speak in a language we understand! :)

I don't know if I have any questions about operating systems (yet). You'll probably have to post something, THEN I'll have some questions!

Oh, no wait. I do. It's not totally a techie question, but here goes: If you pay a whole awful lot of money for the Professional version of an operating system, then install it on a computer that dies two months later, can you install the Pro version on your brand new laptop?

One tech guy at the laptop company said no - it's a violation of the rule of installing it only on one computer. But I think as long as it's only on one computer at a time - because only one computer is still living - that it would be okay.

The question is probably moot anyway, since the version I'm talking about is XP Pro, but I still wonder about that.

Do you know?

Kai said...

Ok - the long and short of it is probably.
I've done it with our copy of XP, and nothing went wrong, but I've heard stories from others that it won't work.
Its got a lot to do on whether its a disc specifically for your machine (as in, issued with your machine, and 'branded' to it with special drivers etc).
If in doubt, ask Microsoft, cause they are really quite helpful, and will be able to give you a YAY or NAY answer, and if its the latter, might give you another option.
I will say this though - you might want to check with your warranty on your laptop (if its still got one) cause I know that there's horror stories about warranties being invalidated by changing the OS.

Carolyn Erickson said...

Warranty expired shortly before the battery. :)

The XP Pro version was a standalone thingy. I bought it for my old ME desktop and used it for a while until that one started having serious problems. I'm not sure whether it was a software or hardware issue (it was OLD), but some guy told me I couldn't put the Pro on my laptop. I didn't think to ask Microsoft. Any clue as to where I ask them? (Phone, email, chat?) Although now I'm not sure I really need the Pro version. I'm not going to be doing remote desktop, since I'm not using a desktop.

Thanks Kai. You're a wealth of info!

Kai said...

At best guess, I'd say go find the customer support email on the website and take it from there?