Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I Hate Microsoft

I lost a post I was writing this morning about the attempted mayoral takeover of the LA school system by Antonio Villaraigosa due to a computer lock-up brought on by my automatic Windows updater. Instead of rewriting the education post, I've decided to instead write an anti-Microsoft post.

My computer has frozen up nearly a dozen times. The automatic Windows updater is the cause of the problem. Finally I figured out I needed to shut the automatic Windows update option off. I emailed Microsoft about the problem, but god knows when they'll get back to me. I also emailed Brian Krebs, the Washington Post's Computer columnist, to ask him if he had heard other complaints about yesterday's Windows update. He emailed me right back and said he had not heard anything but he would keep his ears open. He emailed later on to suggest some possible solutions.

This automatic update problem is just one more reason to hate Microsoft. When something goes wrong with one of their products, you can rarely get help from them. The computer guy at my school gave me some advice on what to do about the problem, a student knowledgeable about computers independently gave the same advice to me I got from my school's computer guy, and the Washington Post computer columnist gave me some help as well. But from Microsoft I got nothing but an automatic email reply. I suppose I could pay $1.99 a minute to talk to a tech, but I'll wait and see if I can fix the problem without having to take that action.

The short of this post is, Microsoft sucks and if you aren't reading Brian Krebs at the Washington Post, you really should. His column is called Security Fix and he really is indispensable reading if you're a computer neophyte like me who needs to know about computer security, virus/spyware software, etc.

I'll put a link to him up later. Now wish me luck dealing with the Windows problems. Ughhhhhh!!!!!

If you think things are difficult now, you are in for a treat.
Try sharing life with an MS beta tester, bug chaser (I guess I can't go into the whole role, but it is somewhere at the heart of software resolution issues).
Try firing up the computer to launch into the days writing, to be confronted with a totally new version of word, one which bears no real comparison to those we know and hate.
It took the whole day just learning to drive the bloody thing.
I yearn for my old Mac.
I doubt there will be a resolution to your issue. It seems all the push is to the new products which will solve everthing.
(I would laugh here, but my personal relationship takes presedence over software.)
Go Mac. I do. You have to copy and paste your html link tags though. ;(

Well worth it in my view. I have a PC at work and I hate the lack of control I have over it. It has a mind of it's own.
Are you sure you don't have some malware on that box of yours? That said, I agree with the Praguetwin...get a Mac. Mac for personal stuff, everything that I need to secure; Windoze and Linux for work.
I don't think I have any malware. I run spybot, ad-aware and some anti-spyware software from Computer Associates regularly and nothing comes up. Does anyone know of any other anti-spyware programs I can run to check and see if I have some Malware on my computer?
RBE, there are a couple of iisue you could check. If you would like some pointers email me.
My kinder gentler half is also a fairly high level geek. Makes me do system pull downs daily :(
Suffice to say, there is a few fairly simple and effective routines.
At $1.99 a minute, you might be better off buying a new computer.

You could also try saving important files, formatting your hard drive, and re-installing windows. Soem computers come with recovery disks, which will bring your computer back to its original settings.

There's also a setting in Windows XP to restore your computer to a previous state--see if you can find one before you started having this problem.
Thanks, nyc, I'm going to hold off on reinstalling windows. I don't have a recovery disk, so I would have to reinstall programs manually. But I've now run like 6 anti-spyware tools and 2 anti-virus tools and no malware or spyware has come up. I also was able to download Microsoft's Windows Defender Beta and run that without a problem. I'm going to wait until Microsoft techs get back to me, but I'm starting to think the problem is not spyware/malware or a virus.
I am going to second NYC's opinion on reinstalling windows. I format and reinstall every 12-18 months. It does keep all my computers running clean and efficient. And if you have another hard drive installed on your computer, you can back up your data on that drive. Sometimes it's not worth it (time) to troubleshoot these problems.
anonymous, I may take your advice about reinstalling windows every 12-18 months. My computer is actually only 10.5 months old, so I'm not even at the 12 month stage yet. And it really was running fine right up until yesterday when the windows update wouldn't install. Even now, after taking off the automatic updater and running all the spyware/virus scans, the computer is running very fast and with no problems other than the one minor update issue w/ Windows. I think I'll wait to see what the Microsoft techs say and take it from there. But you've piqued my interest w/ the 12-18 month reinstall. That may be a project I schedule for the summer when the computer hits a year.
Another potential advantage of a format and reinstall is getting rid of a lot of the crap the computer company preinstalled.

It is a pain in the neck to do, though. Try this first:

Go to control panel, select performance and maintainence, and look for system restore on the left under "see also."

Click on that, and if it lists a date before your problem began, you ought to be able to restore your computer to that setting.
Maintenance, that should be.

It's too early to write this stuff.

I'm currently getting help from a microsoft tech. If that fails, I'll try a system restore. And if that fails, I'll reinstall windows.
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