Wow. Tonight turned into just an absolute nightmare with Cathy's computer.
We went to Walmart tonight to look at an LCD TV to put in the bedroom so that we could move the 32" LCD down to the basement so that we could hook up the new Xbox down there. We found one that we liked but it was $40 more expensive at Walmart than it was on their website, so we left.
We stopped at Target and found the same TV for the price of Walmart's website so we snatched it up. It's a 26" Vizio 1080p LCD. It looks great in the bedroom...quite a bit better than the 32" LCD that was in there.
I then moved the 32" TV downstairs and hooked everything up. Grabbed my wireless adapter from the Xbox upstairs and checked it downstairs. It worked. So Cathy decided to go and grab a new wireless adapter for the Xbox downstairs so we could get them both hooked up.
We got it hooked up and running, but it was cutting in and out. I did a bit of searching and found out that if I upgraded the firmware on the wireless router maybe it would help a bit with the range.
That's when the nightmare began.
In the process of updating the firmware, the router reset itself which killed the internet entirely. Well, I'm no network whiz so I was now flying blind. I tried to just connect the desktop PC to the modem so that I could at least get some information back, but that wouldn't work.
So I called Comcast and they reset the connection so that it would work with the desktop again. I then found the manual for the router online and downloaded the PDF file. Everything should be simple now, right???
I went through the process exactly as described in the manual for the router...and...nothing. In fact, nothing actually was what the DESKTOP would now do. It wouldn't load any programs. It wouldn't shut down. It wouldn't close any open windows. It would literally do nothing.
So I shut it off, which just seemed to make whatever demon lives inside of it angry. The process of things not working continued to snowball until I finally tried a system restore. In the middle of this the computer basically just stopped...when I shut it down it started telling me I needed my Vista installation discs. Uh oh.
I ended up finding the discs, and about two hours later had Windows reinstalled. Yes, a fresh install. It wouldn't work trying to repair itself. It wouldn't do anything. So the fresh install was required.
On top of all of that, the darn thing wouldn't find the drivers for the uber-graphics card that's in it. After about an hour of fiddling around on the net I found the stuff for that and got it up and running.
So here are some good parts of the nightmare: the desktop is running again, it doesn't have any of the original "bonus" software that Dell had installed that we never use, and it seems to be fine.
Now here are the bad parts: all of the stuff Cathy had on the hard drive is gone...pictures, music, games...it's all lost and will need to be reinstalled, I still don't have the wireless network back up and running, who knows what other small drivers might be missing that I just haven't become aware of yet.
I guess in the next few days I'll have to go and get a new wireless router...hopefully one that will effectively install itself!!!