First, I wish you a Happy New Year. I would have done this about 100 hours earlier but my laptop was not cooperating.
I forget now exactly how the trouble started but by Christmas the laptop was becoming intolerably slow and unpredictable. For months I have been toying with the idea of a new computer in early 2012 but I simply don’t think that they are worth the hassle and the money. Why should I pay for a computer that, unavoidably, comes complete with a load of software that I don’t want? Take that software out, reduce the price accordingly and sell me a machine with a decent operating system and I will be happy. On second thoughts I won’t be entirely happy because, after just four years, I shouldn’t feel the need for a new machine at all.
As an alternative to a new laptop I have also been considering the feasability and likely effectiveness of clearing out the contents of the present one and starting again from scratch. By New Year I was sufficiently exasperated to give this a try and so, having copied my own files to a separate hard drive, I loaded the “Product Recovery Disc” (which came with the computer) and followed the on-screen instructions. It took most of an evening and I couldn’t begin to describe what was happening but I was left with a computer plus operating system and very little else. My spare time over the following day or two was spent reinstalling my favourite software packages. The result of all this is a noticeably quicker computer with around 24GB extra free space on the hard drive and all but one of the original problems eliminated.
However, this so-called “Product Recovery Disc” has not entirely lived up to its grand title. There are two new problems, and a couple of mysterious pop-up messages that I have never seen before. The problem that has not gone away is that it it necessary only to hover over a link briefly to activate it, whereas activation should require a definite button click. I can find nothing in the Control Panel to change this. The new problems are that the touchpad lights up unexpectedly – I don’t remember the last time it did this and had forgotten that it was able to do so – and I seem to have lost all references to Bluetooth from the laptop (and that was definitely in the Control Panel prior to the “Recovery”). Apart from the loss of Bluetooth (which I was about to start using to connect the laptop to another gadget – about which I will tell you another time) everything seems to be working.
The mystery messages? One refers to a failure to make a Windows connection – which I cannot describe further as I don’t understand it. The second message (which has appeared a couple of times at the bottom right of the Desktop tells me that this is not a genuine version of Windows! How come? The original was bought pre-installed in the new laptop. Clearly, the new messages must have something to do with the “Product Recovery Disc”. I am beginning to detect the odour of a rodent!