Okay, Microsoft doesn’t entirely blow but for f*cksake, when it says you have three days to reactivate Windows XP you should HAVE three f*cking days!
The motherboard on my trusty computer decided not to be so trusty after all. The motherboard fan packed up. That was it, a little fan that probably cost about $3 retail decided it wanted to sound like a helicopter coming in for an emergency landing in a warzone. Meh.
So I headed off to a computer shop (PC World) with the motherboard and the helpful techguy (that’s actually what they’re called – Techguy) said he could get the fan out. “Great, you have a replacement, right?”
“Er, no. We don’t deal with components, only whole parts so we would only replace the motherboard, not the fan.”
“So why are you trying to take that one out then?”
“You could order a replacement from the manufacturer if they still make them.” (Oh, ha, bloody ha. I get it, the board is a few years old.)
“Or you could fetch me a replacement motherboard.”
“We don’t have one suitable for that chip… or that RAM” (a f*cking Athlon dual core and DDR)
“Well, what do you have?”
“We could give you a new board, new processor and new RAM.”
So, a cheap new computer or a new motherboard, processor and RAM. That was easy – the new computers all come with Vista. I’ll rebuild the old one, thanks very much.
After rebuilding the computer with the old board when I got home I put up with the fan noise so I could back everything up to an external HD I purchased (haven’t looked at external HD’s for ages but they’re cute little things now about the size of a phone). Took ages. Which reminds me, Memeo sucks. It came in the box with the HD and after about 9 hours it had still only backed up half the data! I took an hour and a half to do the rest with judicious use of copy / paste.
Anyhoo, much swearing later a new power unit (it was shiny, what can I say?), new motherboard (a Geforce something or other), new AMD dual core and the new DDR2 RAM was in place and waiting to do it’s thing.
Which is where Windows XP decided to be a dick. I was expecting it to have a bit of a wobbly and throw its toys out of the pram with the hardware changes, which it duly did, telling me I had three days to reactivate. Fine, I thought. That’ll give me time to get the new chipset / graphics and audio drivers in place and make sure everything is working.
In went the first step of the new chipset drivers. Needs to reboot to finish the installation. Wait. WTF do you mean I can’t log on to my own computer unless I activate Windows?! I thought I had three days you w*nkers?! So three days is Microsoft speak for ’till first reboot after 10 minutes?’ Has your time-dilation device malfunctioned or what?
F*ck it, I’ll activate the stupid thing then. Over the internet? – yes. Oh for f*cksake you f*cking f*ckers!!! I can’t access the internet without logging into to Windows first – it’s where the modem / router drivers are! Bollocks. I’ll have to phone. 36 computer ID numbers later I got my 30 number activation code.
…then had to go through the driver process again.