Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How to fix your computer

This applies to 70% of you (maybe more!).

It's called Factory Reset.

Does this sound like you? You bought your computer in a big box store, took it home and took it out - of that big box - and turned it on. Windows XP or Vista loaded up and asked you a bunch of obvious questions. Now, it's anywhere from six months to five years later; everything is slow or screwy or both.

Oh, the crazy stuff you did to fix it! Did you enjoy anti-spyware hell? Did it really solve your problems or was it all in the mind? And what about all those ghosts of programs past that you've already deleted? And yet they torment you by loading but not really loading and never leaving your program list! Some of you have even attempted complex registry editing to "fix it at the roots" but all you did was make it worse. Sifting through the crap on help forums left you feeling exasperated and helpless.

Someone out there told you I was a computer genius. In actuality, I am a third-rate hobbyist, but I still know more than you! "Hi, I'm Whoever, Someone told me you're good with computers?"
"I'm ok, I guess."
"My computer is slow and blah blah blah," you go on to describe a multitude of buggy Windows behaviours - everything from "hesitant response time" to "Blue Screen of Death (BSOD)!!!
"Great news!" I confidently assure you, "Do a simple factory reset and all your problems disappear. It'll look and run exactly as the first day you brought it home and turned it on."
"But wait!" you whine, "All my music and pictures are on there! I'll need to back them up first. That's a big job - is there an easy way to do it?"

But before I can answer, some other dude has loaded a website to show you the latest cleaning product. Its flashy colours and bold claims suck you in. Oh, so much easier than backing up all that data (not to mention putting it back on!). This one is so comprehensive: it cleans spyware AND the registry AND blah blah blah.

Well, just remember this, ingrate: your hard drive is slowly dying and one day it will quit for good. All will be lost. Have fun wasting your time with XP CLEEN ULTRA MAX and losing all your precious data. I gave you the opportunity to both revive your computer and backup your stuff and you brushed me off like so many Subway sandwich crumbs.