Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tech Support 101: Recovering Windows 7

A friend texted me a few days ago, asking for help when his windows laptop wouldn't boot. His IT guy insisted he drop the laptop off so he could "reload it" and that would "fix it", or so he said.  My friend decided to call me for a second opinion.

I asked: "Well, what's the problem with it?"

He replied: "Since installing a particular update, I can no longer connect to my home wireless network."

Wow.  I mean: Wow!  For that, his IT guy felt it necessary to "reload" the laptop from scratch.  Losing all sorts of valuable data, files, etc.

I suggested a System Restore from the day prior to when the update was installed.  (for the record, it was NOT a Microsoft update, but rather a third-party trashware crapplication update).

I explained over the phone how to power it back up, and when to start frantically and hysterically smacking the F8 function key like a Tourette's patient with an IV drip of Red Bull and a bottle of caffeine pills in his stomach.  Then choose the option to restore the laptop to a previous system state.  After the restore finished and rebooted, I advised him to remove that particular piece of crapware entirely and life would be good.  Oh, and to also take a few minutes to back up all his valuable files from his laptop in case something bad ever happens again (laptops often have bad things happen to them).

Needless to say, that worked perfectly and he was thankful enough to ignore everything else his IT guru would ever suggest to him ever again.  We also drank a few celebratory beers.

Lesson: Wiping your computer to recover from a mishap should never be option 1, or "plan A".  It should be way down your list of options to try.  That is, unless you really don't care about saving anything off of it before you wipe it out.

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