Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Computer Problems

I realize these things are prospectively inconsequential. As I write this post they have been resolved. But being the compulsive/obsessive person, I found them really aggravating because they happened one right after the other. 

Computers are like the "little girl with a curl" when they're good they're very good but when they're bad, they're horrid. I know computer problems are inherit with owning one. But that doesn't mean they're any less stressful.  

This past Monday morning an issue I have been experiencing with my laptop reached a point of no return. It had stopped recognizing  anything I plugged into the USB ports. This meant that I couldn't use my wireless mouse or back up my data on a portable flash drive. 

I wasn't sure if the problem was hardware or software related. So I took it to the Geek Squad at my local Best Buy store. 

The "agent" there told me that the USB port board that's soldered to the motherboard is going out. Once it stops working completely I'll have to replace the entire motherboard. That's a $300 to $400 Dollar repair. As old as the laptop is I wouldn't even think about putting that much money into it. 

While I was still in the store the USB ports started working again. The agent told me that the issue would get worse over time until it quit for good.  I took the computer home and devised ways around the problem for now. 

On Tuesday, I plugged the wireless mouse in again and it worked. Then I put the multi-port adapter into it as well. This is what it looks like.

When I plugged it in neither the adapter and the mouse would work. I disconnected both of them and rebooted. Plugged in the mouse and it worked. That's when I realized that the adapter was the problem. I haven't used it since. Now that issue is now apparently resolved. 

Also on Tuesday, I went to my desktop computer to listen to a song on my I-tunes. I have over 10,000 in my collection. 

Upon opening the interface I was notified by I-Tunes I could now download the most recent version of the program. The last time this happened I clicked "no" and put off updating I-Tunes for a long time. Eventually the version on my computer stopped working correctly. 

I wasn't going to let that happen this time. I pressed "Update" and the download started. Ten minutes later I got an "Error 7" message telling me that the update had failed. No problem, I closed the dialogue box. 

Moved down to the Start menu to bring I-Tunes back up. But it wouldn't open. The failed update affected the I-tunes that had been working fine. How could this happen? I followed what the great Apple gods wanted me to do. Now I've lost access to my gargantuan music stash.

I tried everything I knew and a couple of things I had to look up on Apple's support page. Among those suggestions was to uninstall I-Tunes. I couldn't still download the newer version. 

On the outside I was calm but on the inside I was extremely frustrated. It was one computer problem after another. This one was serious. It kept me from my music collection. 

How can the Rewind Guy be separated from his music?  If you don't know what that name means go back and read my January 19 post. 

I was down to my last resort. I'd wait until Wednesday morning but I did the only thing I could do. I called the tech support agents of the Geek Squad. 

The people I was about to call did the job I did from October 2012 to last October. I really didn't want to call them but I do have a Geek Squad tech support plan that's paid up until the end of February. I had no other choice but to use it. 

After about 3 hours of allowing a tech support agent remotely working on my computer I-tunes was fully restored and working. 

The resolution of those computer problems were a bit anti-climactic.  The issues seemed rather minor once they were fixed. But at the time they really stressed me out.

Perhaps I was making mountains out of a molehills. The problems were not something unique to me. Everybody has them. Maybe I should have just dealt with them and not moved on. But on a day when I was struggling for something to write about; at least I got a really long and dull blog post out of it. 

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