I’ve been away awhile and it has been a combination of a few things, work gettting in the way of life, a stint wrestling with writers block and finally the creeping meltdown of my PC.
Deep down when the PC was taking a long time to shut down and doing minor, irritating things during operation I knew it was time to do a format and reinstall. The real problem was I just didn’t have the time or will to deal with a comprehensive reinstallion of Windows XP never mind all the apps, drivers, codecs etc.
Still this is exactly when fate reaches out and slaps the back of your head … I was having what I called a Bad Hardware Karma Month, it seemed work laptops, my cellphone, my watch and other hardware would stop working on me for no apparent reason.
I decided that I needed to draw a line in the sand and that would be the task of getting my desktop PC back to full operation.
First I did an inventory of the hardware, OS, service packs, hot fixes and drivers using Belarc’s Advisor Tool and for the drivers the very neat Drivermax tool.
I created a plan and then set to work ensuring that I had downloaded everything I needed to install and put it on Disk on Key and a backup DVD. All the data was backed up to the Seagate Free Agent pocket USB Hard Drive.
My biggest indecision was all the updates; how was I not going to sit in front of the PC ding Windows and Antivirus updates? I thought about creating a slipstreamed DVD but in the end decided to do the install over two evenings and use my laptop until the Desktop PC arose from the dead.
My install disk fro Windows XP was Service Pack 2 and I had the ISO install of SP3 so much of the hard work vis a vis the OS was done. I decided to do all the Windows Updates in one go via the Custom option which includes all the critical updates (Hotfixes, security patches, service packs etc) and all the other stuff you can choose to install or not.
The truth is the process was pretty fast and all in all took about 3-4 hours. In short this was the classic adage:
Proper planning prevents problems.
Now as you can tell I am back and hopefully the writers block is gone.. time will tell