Monday, November 16, 2015

Mr Murphy

As you might remember, my laptop didn't boot up when I arrived here in Arizona from Kansas..  I thought it was the hard drive, and would need the key code to reinstall windows 10..  So I set it aside as a project to be completed back in Kansas over Christmas vacation..

That left me with only the Microsoft Surface tablet...   Heck its a laptop almost....  Well not really..  That's were Mr Murphy came in..

I had gone riding with the Goldwing Club down South of Tucson and didn't get back until almost dark..  And when I came into the house, I found the Guitar amplifier howling loudly in a feedback loop..  And the clocks all blinking...

Obviously we had a power outage..  Biscuit was in the back bedroom under the bed, and its no telling how long she had to endure the noise of the guitar system..  When the power came back on the amp rebooted itself and went into a really loud crunchy mode as setting 00..  It then heard itself thru the pickups on the guitar and began the feedback howl..  Poor Biscuit...

The power bounce also knocked off the cable modem and router that is connected to the Cox feed here at the house...  I couldn't get connected with the Surface tablet...  And the magic jack phone didn't work either...

One by one, I rebooted stuff but couldn't get the tablet to log on..  After about an hour of messing with it, I decided that the wifi adapter in the surface had a scrambled driver program.

That is kind of an achilles heal.  Tablets have no hard drive or provision to load programs other than one USB port and the wifi connection to the internet.  So how do you fix the connection to the internet without the connection to the internet?

By now it was 8:30 so I made a really quick trip to Best Buy to purchase a USB wifi adapter.  I'd only need it for a few minutes to download another copy of the driver programs, but the adapter I had in Kansas City was a long ways away.

Arriving home, I cut open the package only to be confronted by an installation DISK.....!    Laptops and tablets don't come with DVD drives any more...

I was completely disconnected from the internet.......... fish out of water...  I was gasping for bits and bytes....  Well, I still had my phone... But I was going to need that Dell Laptop working...  I went to bed wondering if I was going to have to go purchase another laptop....

The next day, I began by researching the symptoms of the Dell...  Using the phone as my only connection to the net...  I couldn't bring up the rom bios in the Dell no matter what I tried...  Usually the bios will help you analyse the bad hard drive...  But the computer was beeping... But it was beeping 4 beeps and then a pause...  So I researched four beeps and found out that meant it didn't have any memory strips..

Disassembling the memory door and removing and cleaning the contacts and reseating the memory, I held my breath....  And it booted!!!! I was back on line!

Windows 10 though immediately  went into its update mode as it had been away from papa for weeks...  It took several hours to get it back functional...

I had to go buy thumb drives to copy the install disk onto the tablet's micro SD card, as it only had one USB port and it had to have the removable wifi adapter in order to install.  For a minute I thought I was going to need a USB hub too..

With the light on, on the netgear adapter, I connected to the internet and went into the windows settings control panel and updated the drivers for the onboard adapter.  It only took about 10 seconds........

I went from no working  computers, to both of them working, just like that..  Well the Dell is still working on another update........  lol  Seems to be the Microsoft way of things..

Please don't tell me to get an Apple product though, as I just can't get over them keeping their money in Ireland to avoid paying their taxes is the USA..  They only have $130 billion stored off shore......  While you and I pay our taxes...

Retired Rod


  1. Not sure I understand any of what you explained, but I'm glad you're back in business. ;)

  2. 'Ditto' on what Judy said...........

  3. Glad you are capable of solving all those computer issues! Good grief Apple!!

  4. I think I would have gone out and bought a new one. I don't even try to troubleshoot that kind of stuff anymore.

  5. Having electrical outages is always a fear especially with animals when the weather is hot ... or cold. I hate the automatic windows 10 update but it doesn't happen as much now that I set our computers not to update on our own wifi. However, once in a while, it still does.

  6. You might think about trying the linux operating system. It is free and has all the necessary programs (email, browser, photo and other stuff) install with it. It can be installed along side windows on the same machine and installs a menu that, on boot up, allows you to pick windows or linux. I have used linux Mint 17 for two and a half years (with the Cinnamon desktop). It looks and works just like Windows 7 but it is much more stable and reliable.

    1. JC, I've used linux ubuntu and more recently mint for years... Its on my desk top computer in Kansas.. I have the mint 17 on the laptop as an ISO file but had never burnt a disk to dual boot.. I'm not brave enough to mess with is on the Surface Pro..

  7. Rod…you think that Microsoft doesn't have any profits stashed overseas? Of course they do…they have smart accountants and take advantage of the tax laws just like Apple (and Ford and GM and every other company) does.


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