Saturday, June 20, 2009

Breaking my VAIO

So suddenly two days ago my trusty VAIO started freezing unexpectedly. I'd not once had a problem with it in nearly two years' heavy use. I'd also never had any trouble with the Vista operating system, and never understood why others maligned it so.

After four or five hours of dicking around I found a program online called PC Mechanic, which I downloaded and used to fix some registry problems. The laptop hummed along, fast as ever, and I was back to work. Then, a window popped up announcing an update for Windows Vista. I clicked to install it, a window said "your computer will reboot several times. Do not turn it off." It started churning through the various stages, and after about two hours I noticed it kept loading until the screen said "configuring update 3 of 3--0% accomplished do not turn off your computer" and then it would shut down and start again.

A Google search showed this to be a well-known problem with the Vista update, but for some reason Microsoft is still making it accessible to automatic update programs. Mother fuckers. My VAIO has no Vista disc; everything was pre-loaded onto the machine with online support. But I can't get into the computer because the "configuring update" thing has precedence even over Safe Mode and Command Prompt and Restore Point selections. Argh. So I'll have to wipe the drive clean and install the system anew from a terabyte drive I use as back-up. But how to wipe the drive if I can't get past that stupid update freeze?

I'll worry about it upon return, when I have a billion pictures of Machu Picchu and Nazca Lines I want to upload NOW but can't.


Heather said...

Crap. I have a VAIO (got it last summer) and now I am scared!

Michael Davidson said...

The operating system shouldn't take priority over the BIOS--which should have the option to boot from CDROM.
Dunno if you have a bootable CD there, but at least it's an option.
There's usually a brief flimmer of "Press F2 to enter Setup" before any computer boots. Sometimes it's even masked by a pretty graphic so you don't see it's there. F2 and Delete being the common keys to access it.