I really ought to keep my mouth shut.
When a friend says, “we’ve been given a new second-hand machine and just need to set it up,” I ought to remain silent and perpetuate the illusion (or reality, depending on your perspective) that I know nothing and cannot help in any way.
But I have a large and active mouth and besides, all that was required was a basic shifting of the hard-drive of the old into the new, plus a bit of reconfiguration and whatnot. The same version of windows was on both machines. Nothing to it. Right?
I did our own new machine on Thursday night. Our old one final wheezed its way into oblivion. The whole process took me about two hours and that’s
to set everything up (printer, norton, adsl, second hdd, etc.), plus a bit of time here and there over the last few days to move files around and do some basic housekeeping. My intention for our machine is to clean off the old hard-drive, reinstalling and moving things over to the new 80Gig, format the old drive and then dump photos and John’s ridiculously over-sized pdf collection back onto the 30Gig. Not rocket science. Meanwhile, I’m deleting things I haven’t used in a dog’s age and editting what gets kept.
The computer owned by our friends should have been the same deal. Except it wasn’t. What they neglected to tell me is that they’ve been running DSL for years without a firewall or a virus scan. They use Outlook. Thinking that something was amiss, they downloaded all sorts of free programs to clean things up. They editted the registry, deleted dlls and basically put the OS in a blender. My inital reaction was to simply grab all the important stuff and then format. There’s a problem with Outlook, though, and it won’t let me export anything. They were most adamant about keeping their email records (who wouldn’t be) and are extremely attached to the eight different trial versions and free spyware, virus and registry fixing programs that they have and want to keep those. They’re not sure they want to buy an actual virus program and Zone Alarm won’t install because of the chaos in the C drive.
Come to think of it, a blender is sounding like not a bad idea.