SEARCHING FOR STUFF THAT ISN’T THERE

My granddaughter needed a copy of Windows 7 to try and reload the laptop I gave her last year. I found one, finally, after finding at least a dozen version of Windows XP. How old are the XP operating systems?  They are still sealed in their original envelopes. Would they run on newer computers?

I found a sealed version of Windows 7, but I had no idea what computer it was supposed to run on — or even if that computer is alive. I think it may be the one I have in my bedroom. If so, it already had its operating system replaced.

Kaitlin tried to use the DVD, but the computer said it didn’t know what that thing in it was. It didn’t even ask for the serial number. It wasn’t going to get fixed tonight. She finally gave up and called Jeremy, the Guy Who Fixes Computers.

The last DVD in my world

During all this racing around, I realized I had no idea where the stuff that came with my new computer might be. I tore the house apart looking for the set of discs I was sure came with this computer. I did find the ones that came with the computer that Garry is now using. That was when I realized … I don’t have a set of discs for this computer.

It doesn’t have a DVD player or writer. It can’t natively run a disc. I did buy a USB auxiliary for it, in case I want to play music or install something that does come on a disk, but otherwise, I’m searching desperately for something that never existed in the first place. If I don’t back up the system to a hard drive myself, I have no back-up. There’s little point in doing that anyway because they keep changing the system, so whatever you save is useless a few weeks later. I back up data, but as for the system?

How would I use the backup even if I made one?

I sat down. Tired, sweaty, and covered with dust.

The good news? I cleaned out a lot of junk. The bad news? There so much more junk remaining. I have crates of old software and manuals and widgets and connectors for computers I haven’t seen in years. We may not have as much paper as we did, but we’ve got a lot of everything else. DVDs and remote controls and batteries. Truckloads of stuff I have saved for years and have no use for. Never did.

And meanwhile, I am hunting for discs for a computer that came without discs.

Is there a Jeremy who can come and fix my head?

15 thoughts on “SEARCHING FOR STUFF THAT ISN’T THERE

  1. My apple computer does not have discs because it all happens on line. My Microsoft has windows 10 which i renew online annually so that needs no discs. I cannot even remember the day when I used discs. It all seems to be online these days. My apple computer has no DVD drive in any case. Mr. Swiss is the only computer user here that needs a DVD drive, but I don’t know what he uses it for

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    • All my applications used to come on disc and this is the first computer I’ve had without a drive. I used to make little movies and stuff on DVD. A lot of people use it to record music or voice recordings. Also, before everyone had a backup hard drive, we wrote data onto DVDs. I still have hundreds of them from … I don’t know … 10, 15, 20 years ago? AND floppy discs. I think I may even still have some tapes.

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  2. We don’t need discs any longer, it’s all based on the licence key. You can download Windows 10 from Microsoft and then use the original key on the COA (probably on the bottom of a laptop or top of a desktop) to activate it.
    My laptop doesn’t have a DVD drive either,. At first I was very “anti”, but it makes it much smaller and lighter and I hardly ever use discs anyway (though I did buy Lightroom on disc a couple of months ago). When I do, like you, I plug in a USB Blu-ray drive.

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    • There’s no license key. The serial numbers of the computer are printed on it, but no Windows 10 tag. I thought there would be a tag … It indicates that its windows Pro, but that’s it. No COA. Hmm.

      It turns out, there IS no key, or at least none that I was given. It’s internally stored and linked to Dell/Alien’s serial numbers. I would feel better if I actually had SOMETHING.

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  3. Even though I’m a computer professional who keeps up with the latest and greatest, running a hosting environment that sees tens of millions, some days hundreds of millions, hits a day, but I could not live without my DVD drive. My last two computers didn’t come with any disks, but I still have a huge stack of CDs that I’m ripping one at a time. Plus, when I received this latest PC earlier this year, I had to manually install about a dozen programs. But I can understand looking for the disks – I did that when my computer died in January before remembering it didn’t have any.

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  4. I did that too with my first laptop. I was certain it came with discs, but nope there was no room on the thing for discs… You get used to something after so many years though.

    I purge my stuff every year, I try to at least. Getting Doug to do the same is like pulling teeth. I swear we’ve got more power cords than we know what to do with, but every time we need one they go and hide somewhere and he’s all, “Well, they’re not that expensive, I’ll just go buy one.” Then they come out of hiding and we’re tripping over them. grrr. >_<

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    • I have a Big Bag o’ Stuff, including cords for USB and C connectors et al. Not having any installation information is hard on my nervous system. I suppose this is the new way of things and I’ll just get used to it. But I don’t much LIKE it.

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  5. From what I remember from some computer repair course I took years ago, the older software can work with the newer hardware, but the newer software won’t work on the old hardware. We too have boxes of connectors etc. and old discs. My the stuff just keeps accumulating.
    Leslie

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  6. I have loads of stuff like that I’m still sorting through. As David liked to fix up old computers we had a huge stash of Windows XP disks and some even older. The laptop I bought last year is the first I’ve bought that came with a downloaded operating system. I got a model with a disk drive. I was not ready to go without but in fact I have barely used it. Computers sure generate a lot of stuff, so much for the paperless society.

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