Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Why Me?!!!

Last Friday I decided that I would reformat my hard drive. My friend told me that it would be good to start with a clean slate again, since I was seeing lag during certain instances where I shouldn't have been.

Today, I have reinstalled Windows XP for the fourth time now. I'm ready to bang my head against a wall, from the offchance that it might be less painful. I've had to re-patch Windows four times, update a virus scanner, install WoW with all the awful patches, etc. Each time the process took anywhere from 4-6 hours.

The first time I installed Windows, everything seemed fine. That is, everything was fine until I restarted Windows, and it asked which XP Home Edition I wanted to use. For some reason, it had two on the list. The second one was a ghost that didn't really exist. My friend's suggestion was that I reinstall Windows.

After the second time I installed Windows, everything seemed fine. However, I noticed that WoW was missing some sound effects, but I figured it didn't really matter. Then WoW started freezing up on me for five minutes at a time, and then the computer would finally restart on its own. It got so bad that I couldn't even log in...the game would freeze immediately and then the whole computer would be frozen. My friend's suggestion was that it could be a bad video driver. This led to reformatting my hard drive for the third time.

After the third time, I paid especial attention to my drivers. I made sure that they were all up-to-date and that they were the correct ones for each manufacturer. There were no more problems with WoW, and everything was golden for 3 days. Then came today.

I received an email from saying that I needed to download a "job seeker tool" in order to continue receiving their job search results. Since I am still unemployed, this was actually important to me. So I clicked on the little link that seemed so innocuous. It downloaded something to my desktop, which I double-clicked. Nothing happened, so I became suspicious right off the bat and scanned the file for viruses. It registered as clean, so I brushed it off as a badly functioning tool from Monster. Little did I know there was already something sweeping through my computer. A few hours later I turned my computer on to check my bank account balance online. It went to the desktop, but then it restarted. And then it restarted again. And again. You get the picture. It was locked in a loop of restarting. The bad thing? I hit F8 which is the typical command to make Windows enter Safe Mode. However, for some reason I did not see a Safe Mode at all. I was stuck.

I called another friend in a panic, and he suggested that I reformat my hard drive again. This was what I had been so afraid of hearing. I felt the most incredible combination of anger, frustration, despair, and incredulity. It was hard to say which emotion was winning.

All of this is funny, since what prompted me to reformat my hard drive in the first place was the fact that Burning Crusade released January 16, and I wanted to fix any problems I had with WoW before I subjected myself to another involved installation in addition to the 1gb+ patches and the original four-disc installation.

Do I possess the Burning Crusade? Nope. After three attempts to secure myself a copy of the Collector's Edition beginning at 10:20pm on January 15, I was forced to call J in California and beg him to get me a copy. Fortunately, his office is located five minutes away from a Fry's, and he had no problems snagging one for me.

This bloody expansion had better be worth its weight in gold!!