I Heart Microsoft

Yesterday was nominated “Fun With Windows XP Day!”

I spent nearly 10 hours in Long Beach working on my Aunt and Uncle’s computer. I mentioned before that I took a look at it on Easter and found it to be chock full of virii and adware.

After backing up the essentials like bookmarks and Word documents, I restored the computer to its original factory state using the CDs that Gateway provided with the computer. That was all very painless and easy.

Problems started to arise when I tried to get them back on the internet. They have a Charter Pipeline cable modem, just like I do, so I didn’t think it would be any big deal. Wrong. The cable guy who’d installed the modem hooked them up through USB which meant that I needed the driver installed to talk to the modem again. No Charter Pipeline installer CD anywhere to be found. I’m hooked up to my cable modem through the ethernet port and I find that to be much easier. But we didn’t have a crossover cable. So it was off to CompUSA to pick one up.

When we got back I could not get the ethernet to work. I plugged the cable into the computer and the modem. Restarted both many times. The Network Connection window in XP kept saying that the network was not plugged in. I tried different combinations authentication methods listed on the setup screen to see if something was conflicting but nothing worked. Finally in frustration, I pulled my Macintosh PowerBook out of my bag, plugged it into the ethernet cable, and what do you know… I was online. I went back to fiddling with the XP machine but I could never get that Network Connection to say it was plugged in.

I tried downloading the Charter Pipeline software from the internet (on my Mac) but they don’t seem to have it on their website. I tried looking for it in their customer support pages but I was kindly informed that they don’t support my computer. (Gotta love the WIndows bias and the fact that they shut you out of their webpages because you’re not currently sitting at a Windows machine.)

I was beginning to think that we were going to have to run over to the cable company to pick up a Charter Pipeline CD and my aunt was about ready to pass out from lack of food (I get on my problem solving kick, and I tend to forget about things like that), when it occurred to me to check for a driver from the manufacturer of the modem.

After about 30 seconds on the Motorola webpage I had the drivers downloaded, copied to my USB Flash Drive and over on the XP machine. I got them installed and we were back in business. FINALLY!

Even after all that we still had to go through another hour or so of critical updates to patch problems with the software. At some point in the WIndows Update process something got installed that caused the monitor to go black whenever Windows loaded. Thankfully they have that system restore feature so I was able to back up a few steps and continue on.

I put their Norton Internet Security program back on and within a few minutes it was already popping up messages that the system was infected with the Walchia virus! One of the ones we where trying to get rid of with this whole reinstall process! Luckily Norton was able to delete the six copies that had already propagated throughout the system.

Things were finally beginning to settle down with the computer. I installed Mozilla Firefox as their web browser and Mozilla Firebird as their email program. I showed them how the Microsoft stuff was still there but that with Firefox’s pop-up blocker they shouldn’t have the as many of the virus and adware problems as they had before. We spent a little looking at some of the easy was to find things on the internet–like the Google search bar at the top of the Firefox window. And I called it a day around 9pm.

Boy am I glad, I have a Macintosh!