I killed my laptop!


You know how I mentioned in my Thanks Giving post that I bought a new all in one printer on Saturday? Well, after I was done installing all the software for that on our desktop computer and my laptop I finally decided to install the software that came with my husbands HD video camera when we bought it three months ago.

I’d hesitated to install that software because it said it might cause problems with computers that had Roxio easy cd writer installed. I had a feeling that our laptop had that so I was really leary of adding the software. I hemmed and hawed about it for months as you can see …

Anyway, Saturday rolled around and I put the video camera software on the desktop and that seemed to go well so I went over to the lap top and I did a search on it for easy cd writer. I didn’t find any files that had that name or that phrase within them so I decided it must be safe to install the software. So I began installing it and went to do something on the desktop computer while it was installing.

When I came back to the laptop the software install was finished and there was a message to reboot the computer. So I did.

Bad Move!

The computer restarted and all I had when it was finished was a black screen with three of the scariest words that I’ve ever seen printed across the top left of the screen:


Ahhh! What? What did I do. What did I do? Why didn’t I listen to myself? I shouldn’t have installed that software! Ahhhh!

I rebooted the laptop a few times to be greeted by the same horrifying message.

I eventually shut down the computer in despair. I had the very tiniest hope that if the computer was off for a little while it’s memory might clear and if I was really lucky I might get a different message the next time I turned it on. Small hope I say …

In the meantime I remembered that I had tried to make restore disks when I first got the laptop last year. It took forever. I think I made 17 cds or something. I had the distinct feeling that the restore disks were not being created properly at the time, but I know I saved them. After all you can only access the system once to create restore disks so if they didn’t work I’d be up the creek without a paddle.

I went to look for the restore disks. I searched every room upstairs, the living room, dinning room and the basement. Chris was out at that Saga concert at the time so I was on my own in my search.

I never did find the restore disks. More than likely Chris moved them to some obscure place that I didn’t think to search, but I believe I searched through at least 70% of the house in all the obvious and not so obvious areas that one might hide 17 restore cds.

Eventually it was time to look at my dead laptop. I approached it slowly, sure that I’d see that terrible No Operating System message again when I turned it on. Much to my surprise and joy the computer actually booted into windows when I turned it on.

Of course it was full of error messages and my cd wouldn’t work right. I decided to go to the system tools folder and try system restore. My system wouldn’t restore itself back to the last restore point! I tried it a few different ways several times, picking different restore dates and it still wouldn’t work. I don’t believe I’ve ever had any errors on the laptop so I think this was the first time I’ve used system restore on it. I’ve used system restore on my desktop computer and it works fine. So I don’t know why it would on the laptop. I’ll have to try it sometime in the future.

I spent several hours using my “nurse” healing powers on my laptop. Manually uninstalling every program that the Video software program had installed. 20 programs installed – 20 programs removed. Finally … finally … the laptop worked with only one error for HP Photosmart Premiere (software installed for the new all in one printer).

That error seems to be sticking around, but I can live with one error message for a while until I figure out how to get rid of it.

The main thing is that the laptop is working again! It took hours and a mini heart attack to get it working again, but it’s running and I’m not going to try to install that video camera software again.

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  1. Dee says

    Same thing happened to me once, except it was my desktop pc and I had made 2 restore DVD’s, but could only find 1. The pc never restored and I bough a new one. That other DVD is probably still somewhere in my house probably laughing at me. I just know it will turn up when I least expect it(and don’t need it anymore…) :-) I’m glad you got yours working again!

  2. Colin says

    Everyone should make regular backups of their pc’s. They have a habit of dying when least expected. I use and external usb hard drive and back up only after scanning for virus and spyware. Another method is to partition your hard drive and back up to that on a regular basis.

  3. says

    Dee you should have tried bringing your computer to a shop to fix your hard drive or to reinstall the operating system. Cheaper in the long run than buying a new computer! But then I guess it depends how old the affected computer was too … it might just have been a great excuse to get a new one. LOL

    I still haven’t found all those restore cds. Doesn’t matter though as I’m sure they didn’t work. Who ever heard of a set of 17 cd system restore disks? Two or three yes, but 17?

  4. says

    Colin I do back up both of my computers regularly and I also just bought a 360 gig external drive to either make back ups of very important files on and to store our graphics and media files.

    A back up wouldn’t have helped in this case. If my computer hadn’t started once again on it’s own after clearing it’s memory I would have either needed to find those 17 system restore cd’s that I made (and am sure weren’t made correctly) or to have taken the computer in to have it worked on. A back up of my files wouldn’t have fixed the “no operating system” message.

  5. Dee says

    The PC was 2 years old….. So your suggestion about the excuse to buy a new one could be right. Although repairs over here sometimes cost just as much as buying a new one. And yes 7 cd’s is a bit much! Can you imagine actually having to use all 17 to do a restore?? How long would that take?

  6. Colin says

    Hi Tricia,

    When making a backup on an external drive you should create a compressed ISO image of the OS. Many systems now come with everything pre-installed but without the OS discs, so when it does go pear shaped you are basically stuffed. By utilising an external drive and partition it, one partition for regular backup of important files, and another partition for aghost copy of the OS.
    I am currently looking at free disc image programs, but many external drives come with programs to do this, and there are others which are not too expensive such as Acronis True Image.
    When I have any free ones that offer a complete system backup and function well I will let you know.

    Have a great weekend.