RUNNING MICROSOFT’S OBSTACLE COURSE

Four computers in this house run Windows 7. There were more, but the kids moved out, so it’s just Garry and me. We each have a desktop with a big, high-definition screen. We don’t use either of them.

Instead, we each have a laptop, which we use all the time. There’s nothing wrong with the desktops except they live in our “offices” and we have chosen to live in the living room. That’s why they call it a living room, right?

alienware side view computer

Together. All the time. If we are awake and home, we are on the love seat, or maybe in the kitchen, but this is comedy central, where it all happens. The dogs, the laptops, the big TV … and us.

At the end of July, Microsoft shoved Windows 10 out the door and into the waiting, eager arms of the public. Of which we are two, or maybe four, if you count computers rather than people.

Everyone in the world got a little symbol telling them they could upgrade as soon as it came their turn “on the great queue.”

We didn’t get the little symbol. Not on any one of our computers and while this didn’t worry me initially — I’m in no great hurry to install a new operating system on four computers — eventually I realized that I was not going to be able to avoid this giant communal computer upgrade event.

What to do?

I went to Microsoft’s “What do I do if I didn’t get the little upgrade doohickie in my system tray?” page. They carefully explained what was eligible (any legal copy that isn’t a bulk licence) of Windows 7.

Check.

So why didn’t any of my computers get the signal that “we’re good to go?”

“Try this little application to check if you are eligible.”

72-Computer in use_06

I did. On all four computers, it said “NOT ELIGIBLE” and then, a few more clicks to get the message: “Because this computer isn’t up to date.” I’ve got all my computers set on auto-update. It isn’t MY fault that they reject one out of three downloads Microsoft sends.

I sighed. I whined. Then, I started updating. Everything. My husband’s was easy. He was just missing the most recent updates. Installed, rebooted, and voilà. There was the flag. Quickly, I put him on the queue. Microsoft will let him know when his wife can install his new copy of Windows 10. Oh boy. Something to look forward to.

Garry in his office

Next, I updated my laptop. That took a little longer and I had to install all the updates I’d rejected because I don’t use Internet Explorer and didn’t see the point in updating it. I bit the bullet and installed everything, even the crap I thought was a total waste of time and hard drive space.

The symbol appeared and I signed up.

The recalcitrant desktops were another story. Garry’s hadn’t even been turned on for the past few months, so it was missing updates for probably a year. I got it started, rebooted, it started downloading more. I rebooted. When the third round began I went to the next room and confronted my desk top, the one with that great, big super high-definition screen that I don’t use anymore because it’s got everything I want in a computer except a decent graphics board.

Office by window light - Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

I set it to updating. It updated. Then, after a reboot, it updated more. Another reboot. More updates. I needed coffee and this morning, its caramel macchiado, so I ambled to the kitchen. And totally forgot about the struggling computers in the other rooms.

Many, many hours later, as the sun was sinking in the west, I realized I’d forgotten to go back and check the two desktops.

Both were awaiting a reboot. I remember when Microsoft used to just reboot them for you, like it or not. Even if you were in the final edits of your great American novel, your computer would turn itself off and reboot. Apparently enough people threatened to burn down Microsoft headquarters after losing significant work. Today, the “Reboot now?” prompt sits in the middle of your screen. Waiting. Like refugees from the Nazis at Rick’s place in Casablanca. They wait, and wait, and wait.

I rebooted. Wouldn’t you know it? One more — I hoped final — round of updates. I got them started. Went back, watched a rerun of NCIS, then returned, rebooted, rebooted

Triumph! Both computers displayed the white flag of surrender. Eligible at last! Talk about overcoming obstacles. Wowie zowie, this household is ready to rock and roll.

computer and keyboard

I signed up both computers for Windows 10, noticing as I did it that it was the same email addresses I had used for the laptops because (tada) we each have two computers, but only one email address per person. I hope that doesn’t confuse Microsoft.

Surely (and don’t call me Shirley) we can’t be the only people to own more than one computer, right? I mean … this isn’t 1980 where people still think a family can share one computer (ha! how long did that last!).

And so it went. Overcoming obstacles 101. Four computers updated in one day. Am I ready for an “attagirl” or what?



Categories: Computers, Computers, Daily Prompt, Humor, Operating System, Photography, Software, Technology

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52 replies

  1. So (and this is all your fault!)… I checked to see if my one and only Windows computer was eligible for Windows 10 yesterday! and of course it was not. I had to not only do all the stupid updates that were supposed to update automatically and didn’t. Of course that didn’t go smoothly, so I had to refresh my computer. Fun!. Then I needed to update to Windows 8.1 (which i thought I had) because one cannot update to Win 10 from Win 8. You can from Win 7, but no Win 8. Why??? I dunno. So I gave up after five hours yesterday, and i started again about 9:30 this morning. I’m finally eligible today (about 1pm).

    I’m now in the queue. I’m so frustrated at this point I just want to toss this silly thing out the window. if I see another Installing updates please do not shut off your computer splash screen on my computer again, it’ll be too soon.

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    • Sounds like the same thing I had to do, but I had to do it on four computers. The reboots are part of the process. That’s how updates are processed. I don’t understand why auto-update doesn’t automatically update because if it had, I wouldn’t have had to do this. Well, maybe on my personal laptop because I usually don’t accept all updates.

      Hopefully, that’s it. I’m still not sure I’m going to update, but I’ve got Windows 7, which I like just fine. If I had 8, I’d be eager for a fix! Thing is, I don’t feel broken.

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  2. Well done, braveheart! And are your computers behaving?

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    • I’m just on the queue. Haven’t even gotten the download link yet. So they are just fine and I’m seriously wondering if I want to fix what is obviously NOT broken. I may download it on my desktop (when I get the message that it’s available) and see how that goes. Before I mess with any other machines in the house.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Atta girl Marilyn. Well done.

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  4. I have so many friends who have PC’s with the windows products and they are waiting until their current system become obsolete before they upgrade. Many have not maintained their updates of the years they have had the systems.

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    • I hadn’t kept up either, but I wasn’t terribly far behind. It took me a day to completely update 4 computers, which wasn’t the end of the world. That being said, I don’t know if I’m going to change operating system or not. I haven’t decided.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m locked into the Apple system because all of my audio editing/recording stuff is Apple, and I just don’t see a reason to switch platforms for everything else. Apple used to be a bit more careful and compassionate about their loyal customer base. Alas they’ve joined Microsoft in confusing and rather rude updates which no longer support stuff you’ve been using for years and no way of opening those files in a newer program. ClarisWorks, then Appleworks, then you’re S OL. iPhoto is another one and on and on. I’ve been slowly changing over to a newer iMac from my old one, mainly because my tax software would no longer run on the old OS and the old iMac would not accept the minimum new OS. Screwed again! The solution buy a newer computer. The new computer had the latest OS loaded into it which was so weird and alien to anything I needed to do that I begged the dealer to load an older OS into it. A note here; I usually buy from a dealer specializing in recent model used Apple computers. No point in a brand new one, which probably won’t be back compatible with an older OS.

    Sorry I got off on a rant, but you started it!.., Bottom line; I’m only one person but I have 3 computers in my office alone, one, a Power PC, becoming ancient by the minute, but it makes great labels. The Achilles heal here is the serial printer of which there is no modern equivalent. I just cross fingers. One laptop I take on location, and a tower (orig value around $4000 ) that was given to me maxed out for editing but still pretty current. I hate all of this but need to be up to date to compete.

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    • SOL is going to be the next big OS for everyone.

      Actually, Apple’s been doing this to users since day 1. I know because after the final time I spent all my money on a new Apple whatever it was (8800? something like that) and within a month, it was no long able to support their latest greatest OS — and they SWORE to me that this wasn’t going to happen again — I said “that’s it, Apple has screwed me for the last time.” And I moved to the at least usually upgradable PC platform. I know that most of the equipment you need runs on Mac platforms. We gotta do what we gotta do, but I’m just tired of — as a CUSTOMER — being screwed by the people who expect me to pay them for services and goods. It pisses me off. I never bought into Windows 8 and was prepared to keep Win 7 forever if necessary. I’m still not entirely sold on Win 10. We’ll see. Not all the reports I’m getting are good reports.

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      • Surprisingly that old 7300/180 Power Macintosh is ergonomically the best computer in the house and seems faster than any of the other new whizz-bang ones. Of course it’s running software that’s from the past and of much simpler design, not to mention, better thought out. But like I said if the serial StyleWriter printer goes, I’m truly. truly screwed. Gradually I’m finding newer software that will make labels, but I can’t open my Log sheets and had a hell of a time transferring data from my old MacFreelance program. MacWare doesn’t make MacFreelance anymore and the new program, MacProfit will not open those files either, so i’m going to have to download MacProfit and slowly re-build my business contacts and invoices by hand. SOL, SOL, Crap!

        The frustrating thing is I was all prepared to dump the old iMac, but now I’m stuck with it until I can cover everything I need to in the new one.

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        • With each layer of crap they put in the OS’s we use, they slow everything down, unless you get more and more powerful computers. This laptop is fast, but it has a TON of memory and video memory because I knew I’d be using it for Photoshop and that’s such a memory hog. Sometime in the 90s, computers hit a balance between the size of the applications and the amount of memory and everything just clicked along. After that, the size of programs exploded, but most computers never caught up.

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  6. I read your post aloud to my son. We both sympathise with you. My son was able to upgrade to Windows 10 on his MacBook first, for some reason. Then he took a couple of days to upgrade my computer. His big desktop took nearly a week. He really had to sweat it out. Apparently New Zealand was the first to get the upgrade as they were rolling it out. Still it wasn’t easy. But it is like having a brand new computer. Definite improvement on Windows 8 and definitely faster. Good luck with it.

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  7. Way to go Marilyn- I have been ignoring the icon for windows 10- the devil you know thing…. maybe now I will get in line

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  8. My laptop is a Chromebook so I don’t have to worry about that, but this computer has Windows 8.1, so I guess I’ll have to update it sooner or later. grrrr grrrr. I hate new OS programs.

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  9. I got a message that I needed to make an appointment, but no matter what I did I couldn’t find any way to make one, so I gave up adn no longer know where to find that message. Ahh well. One more obstacle, one more delay.
    http://judydykstrabrown.com/2015/08/09/delayed-agenda/

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  10. Attagirl! Windows 10 is apparently quite good, but I doubt I’ll ever upgrade my laptop. I’m worried stuff like PGP Desktop will stop working and then I’ll be more than screwed.

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    • I’m worried about THIS very expensive high end machine that runs Win 7 Professional. I don’t know if it would like having its OS changed, so I’m not hurrying anywhere right now. I might just skip the upgrade and wait until 11 or 10.5 or whatever they put out with all the fixes. Even then, I might not be ready.

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  11. So what do I have to lose, everything or nothing perhaps. I was thinking about getting a new Windows computer to replace my Acer where the “i” and “o” doesn’t work for the first 10 minutes of the day, but I took the plunge and pressed the little sign for Windows 10. I am still waiting. In the meanwhile Mr. Swiss checks PC magazines on line to discover the latest pitfalls in the Windows 10 system. I really only use Widows at the breakfast table an for my photos (which I also have stored in 3 HD amountn
    ing to three and half terabytes, so what could possible go wrong. Anyhow I have my Apple computer which is my main computer with all the bells and whistles. I have now come to the conclusion that computer is the only real big thing I spend my hard earned pension money on, the rest is just extras.

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    • Well, if you don’t much use your Acer (but you do back up those photos somewhere, like an external drive, right? Because you don’t want to lost them all, right?), updating it to Windows 10 is not going to cause your world to crumble, no matter HOW it goes. I’m still not completely sold. This computer doesn’t use the standard Windows 7 OS anyway — it’s Win 7 Professional and I am not sure if this particular computer is worth risking. it would also void my warranty. So I’m going to take this slowly and carefully. I may call for help because I really am not crazy about doing four computers or even three on my own.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am glad I only have one computer to update. Mr. Swiss is waiting and thinking about a new computer as his in in the repair shop at the moment and he is using an older computer which also is none too good. I do have three external drives for my photos (almost 3 terabyte) so no big problem.

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  12. I don’t even know what version of Windows I have, which shows just how much I really know about computers…

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    • It probably isn’t 8 unless you bought it recently. If you want to know, go to your control panel (it’s in the Start Menu … if you don’t HAVE a start menu, you have Windows 8). Open the System panel. It’ll tell you what operating system you have, how much memory and the size of your hard drive. It’s useful to know in case something goes wacko.

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      • Vista Home Basic. I guess that’s why I never saw any number. I knew it couldn’t be 8 because my parents’ computer has that hideous thing…

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        • You actually USE Vista. Wow. I’m impressed. I didn’t think anyone actually uses it.

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          • Not only use it, but used to it. I’m on the laptop too, and it’s also Vista. I guess that’s not a big surprise since I bought both machines within a couple weeks of each other in 2009…

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            • You know, people like to say “the best camera is the one you have with you. ” I think the best operating system is the one you are used to that works for you. it doesn’t matter whether it’s MS or Mac, only that you are comfortable using it and it does what you want to do. Which is why I’m thinking several times about the whole Windows 10 upgrade because I’m very comfortable with Windows 7. I’m not sure “upgrading” is going to improve anything. For me. Or my computers. So I’m thinking, thinking, thinking.

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  13. Attagirl, Marilyn! May I just suggest that you be careful what you wish for? I DID receive that little doohickie sign that I was eligible for Windows 10 last week and downloaded right away. The honeymoon lasted for not even a full day. My laptop crashed and I could not reboot. I couldn’t even turn it on. For 3 days I scoured the internet for a fix and that was a joke. Microsoft basically said, “It’s not our fault. Sounds like a hardware problem”! On a six month old laptop? I finally brought it in and had it fixed. They had to remove the battery, then re-install it so that it would automatically reboot. Then they re-installed Windows 8 for me and it is now working fine. Hopefully, by the time you get their invitation to download, all the kinks will be taken care of. Good luck!

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  14. I have the windows thing on my computer and have been told that windows 10 can’t run on my computer. I don’t want all the updates I have ignored for so long. So I guess I will be fine with windows 10. I do have a computer wizard next door, I might wait what he has to say. I guess I am fine the way it is.

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  15. On Day 2, I would say that I am glad to have upgraded. I was starting to have funny little glitch issues with the computer (a laptop), and they all seem to have disappeared except one, which is probably because I bought a modem about 10 years ago and it’s getting a little crotchety. Like anything new, it will require a little exploration before I’m fully familiar with it, but I haven’t found anything I really don’t like.

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  16. I had the Windows upgrade message but ignored it too long and it went away. Now I guess I will have to hunt for it. I was afraid because I was in the midst of so much editing and did not want my computer to go crazy. I posted over a thousand pictures to a facebook drama group and want to get them off my computer first. My laptop refuses to connect to the network. It has been off a while and the modem/router has been restarted since due to a printer problem. I was able to then reconnect the printer, but not the laptop. The tablet connects automatically so I don’t know what to do with the laptop. The Tablet runs Windows 8 and has not gotten an upgrade message. The laptop and desktop run 7 and may have to stay that way for a while.

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    • First, you have to figure out why it won’t connect. Maybe you need a new widget or even a new laptop. It happens. Maybe you need ye olde … gasp … repair guy. We have one. He only knows a little bit more than me, but will bravely go where no computer owner will tread. Sometimes, the answer is a new laptop. Maybe your ethernet card has gone bad. Maybe Windows 8 has just given up, thrown its virtual hands in the air and passed into that great cyberweb in the sky. Or it just needs a Gibbs head slap. I wish you well. I know what I know, but that’s pretty limited, which is why, when it gets beyond me, I call Larry, the computer kid.

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      • I read somewhere I should restart the router with the laptop on, put in the password again and it should work. I am thinking that will screw up the printer and that is an occasional problem anyway.

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        • There’s no reason it should screw up the printer, but routers do need rebooting. Fairly often, depending on the ISP you use. The worst that’ll happen is you have to enter the password for the printer too. Anyway, you won’t be doing much printing if your laptop won’t connect.

          Like

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