so I helped my friend Elfie tonight to totally rebuild her computer - since long she had asked me to do that, because all the processes needed that endless long & she had an very old windows version & much too much of unknown programs on her PC -
well so I bought a new win-xp with licence for her in ebay for about 50 Euros some weeks ago - but it needed some weeks till we could find an appointment for that long session of re-installing -
I'm an expert (or semi-expert) in installing since I've been working long time in software companies & of course have installed a multinion of operating systems. But since in the pioneers time of Pc's for long time it was most interesting for me to explore, rule & control all this soft- & hardware fields - but meanwhile all this stuff gets often very boring.
Of course I know how to do it, if nothing un-exeptional happens, which makes sometimes the process of installing a much longer time than expected (sometimes for days if something is missing)
But while sitting on Elfies computer - for the first hour I tried to save all the stuff she had there to her second hard disc, trying to find out all what is worth saving, like the favourites, the e-mails & adresses, all the data saved on common or uncommon places - try to save the configuration of internet connection etc. - where are the driver discs anyway? - often hard to find or never to be found anymore, because all these beginner users just throw them away, just like they usually forget all their passwords - telling: " I must have written it down somewhere.." but of course never find or remember it ever again
So of course I also downloaded some needed drivers I couldn't find on CD's before I reformatted that drive & installed that new xp all a-new.
While installing XP - & afterwards succeeded in making the internet available again, you get of course that message to registrate windows to activate it within 30 days, which you can do either online or by phone -
"easier online" I thought & tried to registrate, resulting in the message "invalid registration number" - but there could be a mistake - so "please call microsoft for registration" - 'Press the button telephone' - & so I did - the result was a 'free' number to microsoft, but also an endles number written in small numbers of 9 times 6 numbers - so exactly 54 numbers - after I dialed in to microsoft there was an endless procedure of answering to that machine's questions by pressing some buttons on my phone, then giving in the 54 numbers, with pressing different keys for accepting or denying - (you know how much mistakes you could make under such conditions) - the you get asked, whether it's your first installation or the second ("please press '1' for first installation & '2' for ..), whether you use it on only one computer or on more ("please press..) - then they gave me the very short code (only 7 x 6 = 42) which I should type in my PC back - the voice on the phone spoke very quick -
Well I succeeded in this difficult task in responding to microsoft to activate a lawfully bought original windows xp cd - "What an impertinent act of 'fuckin' microsoft!" - A lot of people - especially olderly people would totally fail in that task to activate that product - the product number coming with the CD was so small, that most older people could only read it with a reading glass -
xp installing & making internet available again was only the start - there was of course all the common progs to re-install - like office-software - antivirus - firewall - acrobat reade - graphic program - firefox - google earth - access to her formerly data - making the sound system function again - pulling some icons to the desktop, like she was used to have it before -
I was really satisfied with my 3 & 1/2 hour work - I had feared some bigger problems while re-installing, because some of the origin driver discs were missing - but it worked out perfectly - at least for my eyes.
I called Elfie to examine her new installed computer, she hardly noticed, when I told her, that meanwhile the new windows version was installed & all the programs were installed again - she only saw that the background picture has changed & wasn't quite satisfied with it - "could you please change it another background picture" - I showed her possibilities to change the background picture from the microsoft meadow to a moon, a caribic, an autumn paronama etc
in fact it seemed that all my work of hours was in vain - it her mind's eye a new build computer was nothing but just a new look of the background picture - like a new paint.
Next time if ever I'll rebuild her PC I'll buy a can of paint & give her monitor a new coating..