New Computer Pains

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

I can’t remember when I bought my laptop, but I know it’s been at least five years. How do you tell when it’s time to replace? Mostly it works. There are a few hiccups every so often. For example, it randomly will decide to lose the internet connection. I jump through many hoops to restore that connection. Most of the time it works, sometimes it needs a breather, so I let it sit for a while. One morning, I could not get the keyboard to do anything. Eventually it started working. Hmmm, are these signs that it is dying a slow death?

My husband said, “Get a new computer. You are having issues and the letters are worn off your keyboard. Do it before it dies.” Yes, that made perfect sense. I’ve been a little nervous that it could just quit. Yes, I do have files saved on a backup drive. But, I dread going through the process of getting a new computer up and running. I don’t like tech glitches, my technology knowledge is just enough to let me get by.

Within the next few days, I had purchased a new laptop. The young man assured me that they could transfer all my data from the old computer to the new computer. The desktop would look just the same. (My computer desktop is just like my physical desktop. It is littered with bits and pieces that I can’t decide where to put them so I will remember I have them.) Fortunately, I did not need my computer for a couple of days. (How often does that happen?) The young man said it wouldn’t take long, they were not too busy. So I left my old laptop and my new laptop in his hands. “I’ll call you when it’s ready.”

The wait was painful. Would I get it back in time? I need my computer for work in a few days. Finally, an email arrived that said your computer is ready for pick up. Relief! I dropped everything and went to pick them up.

Once I was at the store, the young tech girl said, “We still need to install Windows, do you have a Microsoft account?” As she began the download, I noticed the desktop was bare. Cue the panic to begin . . . “There is nothing on that desktop, Nate said everything would still be there,” I said in a reasonable voice. “Let’s open a file,” I continued as the panic was creeping in more.

There were NO files! Full blown panic rising! She says, “The work order doesn’t have any notes about data transfer.” What?! That was not true! I think she was sensing my panic because she offered to call Nate to find out the story. He immediately said he would come in and do it now. I could get the computers tomorrow. What choice did I have? I left without the computers.

The following morning, I called to see if it was ready. The head tech guy apologized profusely over the mix up. He’s run into a bit of a glitch transferring the data. This is going to take a bit longer. Finally I get the call, my computer is ready.

Before leaving the store, I turn on the new computer. Yes, the desktop has my myriad of little icons. Everything looks all right.

However, when I get home, I check the old computer. I will need to use that computer for my work this week. The new computer does not have the VGA connection for the LCD projector. I will need to get an HDMI cable for the new computer. I open up the powerpoint I plan to use. To my horror, the graphics are gone! Only the text remains and there are dotted-line boxes where there were graphics. I had scanned pages from books to discuss, they were gone!

At least I had saved the powerpoint to a jump drive before the data transfer. I should be okay, right? I put in the jump and pulled up the powerpoint. The data is gone here too! What’s happening? Back to the store!

The tech guy believes it is a matter of file ownership. I leave the old computer in his hands. I purchase an HDMI cable to use with the projector. After my day at school, I go to check on the computer. When one problem is solved another crops up. They are running a diagnostic test on the old computer. They think the hard drive is dying. This test may put it over the edge. I still don’t know the results of the test.

Did I mention, I hate getting a new computer?





30 thoughts on “New Computer Pains

  1. Oh dear. I need to go back to bed and hide after reading this. Oh sigh. Oh my. Last time my computer died it was in the middle of writing report cards. You can imagine . . . Hoping you get everything back!

  2. Ah, computers. You spend weeks, maybe month or so getting them perfect. You acclimate to it, it acclimates to you.It seems like there’s only a very short span or tech nirvana when it starts the first hiccup and you know the downward clock is ticking. As I tech person even I hate getting a new computer. I’m crossing my fingers your guy can delay the inevitable just a little bit longer for you.

  3. Yikes! What a hassle!!!!! I hate this kind of stuff too! Hopefully things will be smoothed out soon and everything will be back in working order really, really soon!

  4. It’s frightening to know that things that we’ve spent so much time creating can disappear so quickly and easily! I lost many important files once when an old laptop died and it’s such a horrible feeling when you can’t find something that you really need. I hope that the tech folks can figure out the glitches and get rid of those gremlins!

  5. OH MAN! I read through your post and all the others – I know that panic so well. I have had this happen a couple of time but just last spring got a new computer and struggles with so much. I am still wondering what happen to some of my music and there are photos filed some place I can’t get to. I just stopped looking for now. I hope all gets worked out!

  6. I got 25 HP Streams for students to use at school. Sounds great, but it doesn’t come without headaches. I have lost track of all the time I have spent “fixing” various things on those computers. I was very nervous to have students use them for testing!

  7. Ashley says:

    As a Tech coach and self proclaimed techie, I smiled at the title. Nothing is ever easy with change. We are considering a shift in teacher devices, and no one quite believes me that it requires time, support, and thought before making a huge switch! I hope you have a patient techie in your life who can support you in your transition!

  8. Wow, we must have shared the same computer technician! When I got my latest computer, nothing was on but the factory settings; none of my previous work had been saved. I can totally understand your full blown panic – how awful that must have been!
    Hope that new computer is now at least making you glad you made the purchase. Good luck!

  9. I’m sorry for this, Elsie, but I’m with Bonnie. Get a mac, please! They are so easy, and the transfers are never a problem. I’m on my maybe 6th one. And it seems to me that the people you’re working with don’t know exactly what they’re doing. I hope you can get it straightened out fast, and well!

  10. “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” –Arthur C. Clarke (Mr. Clarke, have you met Mr. Murphy? He said, “What can go wrong, will.”) Thanks for sharing your tech related tribulations. Best wishes for a speedy return to the status quo.

  11. Oh my. Even with a geeky husband who is a computer programmer….we still dread getting a new computer. He will try anything, and usually it will work (except the time he spilled a whole glass of wine, but we won’t go into that.) I hope you get things fixed the way you like them. Our issue now, is that when I turn on my PC it will turn Ray’s PC on. Not a biggy, but interesting. Ray says it is something about how he wired up something. Be patient…you don’t want your laptop to turn into “Hal.”

  12. I can relate to every twist and turn in your story; I have been there twice now. I no longer trust them to transfer data, I just use my external hard-drive and it gives me an opportunity to cull and start anew.
    Enjoy how quickly your new computer loads and learn to love it. It is a short but totally intimate relationship:(

  13. Had to smile. I just bought a new laptop and picked it up on Monday. The problem I am having with it now is that I can’t get it to recognize my printer. That is a problem for me. I guess I will need to call Staples tech and see what I am doing wrong.

  14. Judy C. says:

    I could feel your panic and anxiety throughout this slice and my heart sank several times. My laptop is about 5 years old also and I’m dreading the eventual change over. Hoping that everything will soon be resolved.

  15. Tech stuff like this always feels like such a burden to me. There is no joy in rebuilding your files on a new computer when there’s a glitch and things don’t transfer seamlessly.
    I hope by this time next week it is running perfectly.

  16. Good Heavens, I felt so nervous for you throughout this piece (and still do!). I loved the line: “(My computer desktop is just like my physical desktop. It is littered with bits and pieces that I can’t decide where to put them so I will remember I have them.)” That, I believe, is the sign of creativity! I actually have a folder on my computer desktop called VACUUM, where I drag and drop files when the desktop gets too crowded!!!

  17. Oh my gosh! I am in a panic. At the beginning of this slice, I thought wow, leaving your computer for a few days is like giving them your right arm. But, you didn’t need it, so I thought, it will be ok. But then, they didn’t do the transfer. Oh my gosh!! Seriously!!! I think I might have hurt someone. They are lucky you are such a kind and patient person. Hoping the glitches go away soon!

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