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Fuming

OR:

I would not currently be opposed to the entire Windows 10 development team dying slow, lingering, painful deaths while being restricted to internet access on a 14.4k modem

 

I am not a huge Microsoft fan. The corporate arrogance has annoyed me from the days when we upgraded from Windows 3.1.  I’ve always had a thing about being able to tweak things to suit my needs and preferences.  Microsoft has, with each new version, made it progressively harder, first to simply tweak things and now, to have any semblance of control over basic functions.  I’ve tinkered with Linux going back to a fairly early version of Mandrake, a version of Memphis Linux, and various releases of Ubuntu.  Most of what I do on a computer can be done quite easily on any Linux box, and the things that aren’t so easy are still doable.  But, I’ve had to keep at least one Windows machine because while I may be OK with Linux, the people that pay me to do stuff on and to their computers run Windows.

That said, I am absolutely furious with Microsoft at the moment. The latest Windows 10 update broke not one, but both of my (formerly) functioning computers.

Now, by way of parenthetical statement, it is possible (not likely, given the sheer gork level involved) that if I had not screwed up my external hard drive containing my full back-ups, some of this might have been rectifiable.  Be that as it may, there are a dozen things I should have been able to do to fix my issues that aren’t available due to the sheer arrogance of Microsoft.

A few days ago I got the notice that Windows was going to update my laptop and it would need to restart my computer.  No option to cancel the update.  Just a chance to postpone it for a few hours or schedule it for a later time.  I didn’t pay too much attention to it.  In fairness to Microsoft, I haven’t had any real trouble with the auto-updates for quite some time.  I postponed the update several times, then eventually let it happen.  I should have realized I was screwed when I kept seeing the words “leave everything to us” (or something similar, I don’t remember exactly, now).  After all the reboots, the computer started up and moved to the log-in screen, just like always.  I typed in my password and Windows opened up to a completely black desktop with no icons other than the trash can in the upper corner.  None of my shortcuts remained on the taskbar, and clicking on the little Window icon in the corner (formerly the Start button) got absolutely no response.  Nothing worked.  No programs or apps were available (since the Window icon didn’t work).

I tried every trick I could think of.  In the process I discovered:

  • no command line access, so I couldn’t try a variety of possible options from the command line
  • all of my restore points were erased (or possibly moved, but I couldn’t check that out with no access to the file system)
  • the desktop profile was erased (or moved)
  • a significant number of drivers were gone

On the upside, I still had touchscreen functionality.  Of course, that’s of limited value when there’s nothing to touch.

I tried every combination and possible option of Restore, Rollback, and Repair that was available, and frankly a few rounds of rebooting just for the hell of it, on the off chance that it might actually work “this time”.  The only option I didn’t try was reloading a backup (see comment above about my screwed up external hard drive).  As near as I can tell, my only option to have a functioning Windows computer is to do a clean re-install of Windows 10 from scratch, which I can’t do, as the computer came with Windows pre-installed so there’s no Windows OS disk (and it doesn’t have a DVD drive anyway) and my system image was on my external hard drive (see comment about screwed up external hard drive).

Oh, there’s one other alternative: I could buy a new copy of Windows 10.

So, I’m now running the Ubuntu Linux Bionic Beaver distro.  Seems to be working just fine.  And (if you know anything about Linux) I still have access to all my documents, photos, etc. in the old Windows file system.  Cool, right?

Except:

While I was fiddling around with the laptop over the course of a few days, I forgot to postpone or cancel (although I’m not sure cancelling is even an option in Windows 10 – “leave everything to us”) the update on my desktop computer up in my office.  When I finally checked on it I discovered the same thing, only not quite as gorked.  My desktop icons are still there and any non-Microsoft software seems to work just fine.  Firefox, Thunderbird. Open Office all work great.  If I had a shortcut icon for the program, I can use it.  The little window icon in the corner doesn’t work, so there’s no access to any apps or programs I didn’t put a shortcut on the desk for.  And, all the windows programs like Edge and the calculator (really? the calculator) don’t work.

So, I continue fuming, sort of a slow boil, while I use every spare minute to curse Bill Gates and his evil spawn.

By the way, a slow, lingering, painful death is too good for the bastards.  May they be tied up and gagged and locked in a room with 20 or more Linux and Mac fanbois.

I’m also reminded of John Malkovich’s line from RED 2.  “Why don’t they just dip our balls in honey and stake us to an ant farm”.  I could work with that.

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