One of the Worst Weeks Ever!  

TellinTheTruth 52M
5 posts
7/13/2006 8:15 am

Last Read:
8/3/2006 7:29 am

One of the Worst Weeks Ever!

Well this past week, from Thursday July 6th until today, has been about one of the Top5 worst weeks of my entire 41 years on this mudball called Earth.

It all started with the arrival of a brand new 200GB HDD, a brand new APC battery backup unit, a new power supply, and a brand new 256MB graphics card.

The APC was due to several "brown outs" caused by Toledo Edison (my local power company and part of First Energy). After too many near calls and losing a power supply I felt it was time to make an investment in one. That was $60.

The brand new 200GB HDD was to allow me more space to store things I'd been collecting on my current 80GB HDD for the past 6 years or so. Not only did I have personal photos on there - everything from pics of my cats to X-rated shots of me - but I also had a very decent-sized collection of R-rated and X-rated pics I'd downloaded over the years from Usenet groups - mostly women in pantyhose, nylons or stockings and of all shapes, sizes and races.

In addition there were some full length X-rated movies, some short 1-minute to 20-minute clips of the same nature, about 40GB of MP3, at least 1GB of skins & objects for a PC-based game called "The SIMS" and numerous other things I'd collected over the years about my favourite hockey teams, favourite singers, etc.

My idea was to move all this information from the 80GB drive, which was nearly full, to the 200GB drive and then to begin to slowly burn things to DVDs to store in a lock-box.

Well when the 200GB drive arrived, it came with no instructions and no setup disks to help me to format the drive and make Windows XP capable of seeing it. So for almost a day I struggled with it before finding out that, due to the lack of documentation, I'd put this small piece of plastic no bigger than your pinky-finger nail called a "jumper" in the wrong place and it was sending out incorrect settings to both the BIOS and to Windows XP.

I corrected this - and moved on to my new power supply ($100) -- which went in easily. I plugged everything in to the APC and set that up and was ready for anything that Toledo Edison could now try to do to screw up my system anymore.

Or at least - that's what I thought!

Next I moved on to the video card, a brand new ATI card from that was inexpensive yet very good ($80)! Well after several hours of getting nothing but ghost-like images, flickering lines all through the screen and barely being able to even utilize the mouse to move around -- I resolved that the card had been shipped defective from Newegg. This is not the first time I've had problems with things from them.

Several months earlier I purchased an 80GB HDD for use as my main drive (or C-drive) and the first one that arrived failed after only one use! So that went back and I got a replacement. That one was working fine -- until this past weekend as well. But more on that later!

So back to the video card, which was DOA. I had to try and put my original ATI card back in (a 64MB card). Trouble was, the drivers from the 256MB ATI card were still in there and I could not get them removed - nor could I get far enough into Windows XP to get the new ones installed over the old ones! So I had to go all the way back to an NVIDIA 32MB card I had sitting around as a "backup."

Then with a working card I went back and re-started my system and as I was waiting for it to load, I moved my "back" 80GB HDD into my external hard drive case so I could transfer the information from the 80GB to the 200GB drive. When XP loaded and I opened Explorer to view the 80GB drive - it was empty! All the information on it had been wiped clean!! I could not figure it out until I noticed something -- a few of the pins on the ribbon cable going from my external into the 80GB drive had come loose and more than likely caused the loss of 80GB worth of data. In other words - an instant re-formatting

Needless to say I was devastated! I called up a friend who is even more of a PC-expert than me and took my system there to see if anything could be done and if my diagnosis was correct. It was - the drive had been erased.

Then he tried to help me with the video card issue -- but in the process of doing so he managed to first screw up my Windows XP so bad that it would not load - plus would not boot into safe mode - AND FINALLY to add insult to injury --- he delivered a static charge straight to the 80GB HDD that contained the O/S and all my programs and wiped that drive clean too!

I went home hurt, heartbroken and upset as all hell. But things got worse -- much worse! Not only was 6 years of information gone as well as all my programs -- but when I tried several different times to re-install the O/S (Windows XP) the CD-ROM stopped in mid-install!

I tried everything I could think of - even putting in older hard disk drives I had lying around and nothing would take it. Finally I loaded a different program from bootup and the CD-drive worked fine. My diagnosis? My Windows XP install CD was dead.

Now here's the BEST part ~said in sarcastic voice~ ... after I called Microsoft (from now on referred to as MicroShaft) about the issue they said there was nothing they could do to help me despite the fact I'd paid out almost $200 a few years back for a full install version of Windows XP. I had a legit copy - had the CD-key still and everything. But they would NOT HONOR THEIR END OF THINGS AND REPLACE MY BUSTED CD-ROM!

So now this weekend I have to try and use a friend's illegal copy of Windows XP (pre-cracked with a CD-key) and see if my CD-key might work to make it "legit" or if MicroShaft is going to screw me over and do what they said, which was invalidate my CD-key since the CD-ROM is no longer functioning.

If so - I have to join the ranks of millions of "illegal" users of Windows XP -- all because MicroShaft is not honouring their end of the bargain and replacing my CD.

I AM FURIOUS! There's no guarantee that either is going to work anyhow - as there may still be an issue that it's not the CD-ROM but something I've not thought of. So I will probably be offline for a while - only able to check in here from time to time at work when things are not so busy -- like today.

In the meantime - I beg each and every single one of you that may come across this blog to do one thing right now -- go to the nearest Dollar Store, Big Lots or other deep discount place and pick up as many blank CDs or DVDs as possible and BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP EVERYTHING! Don't be like me and lose everything you've worked so hard at - don't lose family photos, MP3s, or other memories on account of things like brown-outs, static electricity or HDDs just going dead.

Protect yourself! Because trying to get anything replaced by MicroShaft will not happen! I've spent $320 over the past two weeks on new peripherals and hardware for my PC and right now it sits on my desk dead - as useful as a paperweight or a pet rock. I've lost over 6 years worth of memories and hard work - and have high blood pressure and migraine headaches now as my only things to show for a week's worth of dealing with MicroShaft

overworkedloon 57M
400 posts
7/19/2006 9:37 am

Don't you just love Bill Gates....LOL

OK, your 80GB drive. I can't see that it would be reformatted....that's pretty much a software process. And even if it's reformatted the data is still on there....and sometimes can be recovered. What I'm gathering from your description is that some of the pins on the back of the drive have broken off? If that's the case you are pretty much screwed. Theoreticly you could solder them back on, but I wouldn't want to try it.

Every time before I install a new hard drive I always check the manufacturers website to make sure of the jumper settings. Sometimes even the manuals lie.

It's interesting how XP recognized the NVIDIA card and not the older ATI card. Hmmm....the Radeon drivers should have worked for the older ATI card unless it was quite a bit older and if that was the case XP should have loaded the appropriate driver. I'm guessing it was the drivers and not the card that was bad.

I take it you've used the XP disc before to load your OS? Are there any scratches or scuffs on the CD? How far into the install did it crap out? A lot of times trying to reload XP after it died in mid install will be impossible unless you reformat the drive first. XP takes a look at your hard drive.....sees a windows directory....and refuses to go any farther. I've had various versions of windows forget, in mid install, where the CD is....that's a real blast. Windows makes a virtual drive during install that may or may not bump all your other drives down a letter.

This has probably been no help whatsoever, but as Bill Clinton said "I feel your pain."

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