My PC has been behaving badly for the last six months or so. Everything indicates it is caused by malwares. Every three times or so I clicked something on a browser, a new window pop-up, “Your Chrome is outdated” “Your PC is damaged! Do this scan (how much damage would clicking this do???)” and so on. Besides, it’s been really slow. Really.
So I made a decision. Bring back to factory setting and install all over again. The data has been backed up kind of haphazardly, but in duplicates or triplicates or quadruplicates. At least I won’t lose any data. I have all software discs or at least know where to download.
I made a go. Well. It didn’t. Why? It seems like the partition that stores factory setting (and bloatwares) has been corrupted. Well, I’ve made a system image. Again, the image DVD wasn’t recognized, though I can see via command prompt that the recovery image IS there. Grrrrrr.
I called Lenovo tech support. They’ve been kind, but with factory disc corrupt, they can’t do the support other than selling the recovery disk. The tech support forwarded my call and the lady started a sales pitch. “If you subscribe this at $19.99 A MONTH, it will be restored by a technician and anytime a problem arises, it will be fine. If that’s too expensive, at $129.99, you can have a technician to reinstall and bring back to factory setting. If you only buy a recovery disc, it will be $69.”
I expected that some sale pitch for long-term service contract. But I didn’t think that recovery disc (of a computer I own) would cost $69! It is supposed to come with my computer, isn’t it? That sounded outrageous. I bought the computer around $700 three years ago. I declined the offer.
Now I’m on a real classic route. First I did CHKDSK – if my system hard drive is corrupt, any installation won’t make much sense. Passed. Then I formatted the C: drive. It was sort of funny that command prompt of Windows I booted up from DVD disc recognized it as E: drive. I just wondered why. Anyway, I spent hours and hours on formatting. Separately, I prepared the Windows 7 image disc for clean install. Compared to CHKDSK and formatting, installing Windows, Windows update, Avast free were a breeze.
This time I did another leap of faith. I switched to Office 2013. My husband bought Office 365 subscription and he added me as an authorized user. I’ve used them on iPad. Well, iPad Excel is very crappy, but at least it does it’s job. Excel is not suitable for tablet without keyboard and mouse. Just that. But Office 2013 shouldn’t be so different from Office 2010. So far, so good. I’m pretty comfortable using it.
Then I installed my usual set of software – printer driver and utilities, CCleaner, Syncback, chrome, firefox and iTunes. I was a fool.
Don’t let iTunes scan the music! It detected my restored file, my backup file, another backup file, etc. AND it also moves files without telling me where. So I thought I restored the file in iTunes/iTunes Media/Music, they disappeared and moved to iTunes/Music. It took a while to figure out that iTunes would do that no matter how. I gave in to Tim Cook’s order. I removed all music in the new iTunes library, moved all my music to where Tim Cook want me to save, and then added each folder manually. During the process, somehow iTunes MERGED my backup and restored files so each album folder contained three or sometimes 5 copies of the same song! Again, I deleted manually.
I’m sure there must be a better way to live with iTunes (e.g., buy all music via iTunes and not rip CD at all). But they don’t sell Japanese children’s and other songs. I seriously thought that this might be a make or break moment with my iPhone/iPad controlled life. Apple should thank that my contract with Verizon won’t be up until November 2015.
And next time, I will have iTunes backup in a physically separate drive and when I do clean install, I will separate it from the computer!