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Computers - Hate them or loathe them - The Paranoid Android
...musings of a mechanically depressed robot...
paranoidandroid
paranoidandroid
Computers - Hate them or loathe them
PC hell started on Friday.

Misty and I went to the 'rents to celebrate Bianca's birthday. She has reached the grand old age of 10! While I was there I thought I might install a router so they can all use the newly acquired broadband access. That was to be the start of my woes.

Mum had problems registering the broadband installation. It had got to a point and then refused to go on. I said I'd have a look and see what it said.

I put the installation CD in... and clicked my way through it. It got to the point where I was supposed to connect the cable box to the pc and would go no further. The box wasn't giving the PC an IP address.

I call the tech support. I use the number supplied in the documentation which is an 0800 (free) number. After pressing 1 and 3 and 5 and every other damn key on the phone I get put in a queue. Whilst in the queue I'm bombarded with adverts for cable service - one of which is the one I'm calling about! I would LOVE cable internet access... so much so I've ALREADY ORDERED THE FUCKING THING... AND NOW I'M WAITING 50 MINUTES ON THE PHONE FOR SOMEONE TO GET IT WORKING FOR ME.

Finally - just when I think I'm going to loose my mind - I get through to a human. I tell them I am trying to install/register my cable modem so they give me another number to call.

<Insert scream here>

I call the second number which is an 0845 and probably costing somewhere between 50p and £1 per minute. Surely enough there is another menu to go through and another 20 minute wait. I finally get through to a guy who suggests I reboot the modem and PC.

Fortunately I've seen this coming - I've already tried most of what they are going to fob me off with. I inform him I've done this already. I tell him the box refuses to give me an IP address. He tells me to reinstall the network card. I counter with a second PC. He uses the joker - try with the USB cable knowing I'll need at least 1 reboot for the bastard thing to register...

I hang up defeated. I go through the USB cable installation and it fails - as I guessed it would.

In the mean time - I have brought the wireless AP/Router to my parents - so I attempt to go through how that will work when they get the broadband working. Attempt because the power supply doesn't fit. This was the power supply sent to me by the dodgy bastard who sold me the new Wireless AP/Router that i was using at home.

I get Jo to give me a lift home and I pick up the original power supply. I'm still under the impression that the new power supply will work with the recently installed AP/Router at home. When I get back to the 'rents I connect Dad's PC to the router and Mum's connects via the built in wireless card - and all is fine and dandy waiting for the cable people to fix stuff their end.

When I get home I try to plug in the power supply to the new AP/router. It doesn't fit. That's when I realise the guy I bought the damned thing from was a dodgy bastard. Trouble is I'm far to cunning for that to stop me... I have plenty of power supplies at home! I look on the power supply for the voltage/amp requirement. It doesn't dawn on me that the reason this doesn't fit is because it shouldn't be used for this AP/router. It's 12V and 1000mA - so I get one of my universal supplies - and set it to 12V and 1000mA. It works! My PC is online and I toy with the idea of playing some EVE. I decide against it and go to bed.

Saturday morning arrives and my PC won't connect to the internet. I look at the AP and the only lights showing are power and diag. It's fucked. Turns out the AP only needs 5V and less than half an amp. Whoops... I've fried it. I connect my cable box directly to one of my PC's and it fails to get an IP address. Things are not going well.

After testing cables and swapping PC's I finally give up and go to Gary's as I'd promised him I'd fix his PC. Oh the irony

I get to him about 12:30 and set about fighting with two versions of Norton and an XP upgrade. Seriously folks - never upgrade from ME to XP. It's a whole lot easier to just buy a new machine.

I try to install Norton 2004. Problem is - there's an earlier version already on the PC from when it was an ME machine. We get an error (1606 or some such) so I google it and get a whole bunch of hits. This looks good! I select one of the sites - a forum of sorts and there is the exact problem we have with about 50 replies to it. FANTASTIC! Except almost every single reply is "Me Too" What a fucking waste of space. What on earth does that accomplish?

After a couple more searches I finally come across an answer... and the install finally works. Things go pretty much the same for the fire wall and DirectX problem. Interesting fact - Microsoft suggests the only way of uninstalling a version of DirectX is to reformat your hard drive.

After about 4 hours Gary's PC is up and working... just got to go home and sort mine out now.

I call the cable guys. I get the same bull about reinstalling network cards and stuff - but I'm wise to them this time! Also they forget to get me to call the 0845 number - so the call is free!

After an hour on the phone - and the tech guy trying almost every thing possible - he admits to not knowing the cause! He suggests I reboot the box every now and then to see if it gets fixed.

Thankfully this morning our connection is working. I've nicked the old AP/Router back from the 'rents so we have access on all the PC's

I also managed to get the connection at the 'rents working too. When I get a replacement AP I'll install the old one back at theirs so they can all be connected at once.

All in all - it's been a scary weekend - the weekend with no internet!

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
Current Music: misty making dinner

3 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
thevanster From: thevanster Date: October 10th, 2004 11:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Reminds me of my last weekend.
tweezlebum From: tweezlebum Date: October 10th, 2004 01:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Shame on you for not warning us! ;)
teya_uk From: teya_uk Date: October 11th, 2004 04:09 am (UTC) (Link)
My bro is currently having a nightmare with NTL too, after his house move. 0845 is local rate, so you should be ok.
3 comments or Leave a comment