Life can be so frustrating sometimes. Here I am, finally getting my feet back under me after the well-intended but unhelpful attempt to terminate hormone replacement therapy, when another stumbling block pops up in my path.
I have no computer! Before you start asking yourself “How honest can that be – she’s writing this post, isn’t she?”, I will explain – I using a friend’s computer for this. But I can’t take it home with me! It doesn’t have all my saved data. I’m writing in an unfamiliar location. Like I said, frustrating!
I’m not sure what happened to my computer. A couple of weeks ago, the display would randomly decide to change – increase in size so that it was too big to fit all the page on the screen. You could actually see the grain (pixels) in words and drawings. I would get a message that the nv4-disp driver has stopped working normally. If I rebooted, it would be back to normal — for a while and I could not predict how long that “while” would last. Sometimes it occurred frequently; sometimes I could be on the computer for hours with no occurrence.
Since the computer is a Dell, we contacted the Dell Online Support site. They sent us a link to download a new display driver. This seemed to help for a day. Then we were back to the same problem and the same message.
My husband decided to call the Dell Support team and speak to a human being. They linked up with our computer to try to diagnose the problem. My husband did everything they asked him to – unplug, replug, reload, reboot, ….. and it seemed to help. So he hung up and I went back to using my computer. That’s when the real problems started!!
Now, instead of going huge, the display screen would “go to black.” Since we aren’t talking about the final scene in a movie, fading out was not a good thing. This was occurring far more frequently than the previous problem had been. Back to the phone – back to Dell Support. They took control of my computer remotely to test it and “diagnose.” They supposedly fixed it.
I say supposedly because it got even worse after that and we feared that we would lose everything on it – all my photos (which are backed up on discs, thank God), all my family history research (only some of that is backed up), my address book, my favorite links, my saved e-mail, etc. My son, who had been at work while we were working with Dell, was surprised that we had used Dell Support. “Don’t you remember what happened when I did that for my computer?” he asked. No, can’t say that I did recall. “My computer crashed and I had to have it rebuilt.” Oh . . . .
So we called to have someone (not Dell this time) come out to the house to check it. In the meantime, I was discovering life without computer. I realized how dependent I had become on that little machine for work and entertainment. I pondered whether that was a good thing or a bad thing – after all, I had lots of time to use for pondering. The only appointment we could get was Sunday morning. I went to church to pray for my machine while my husband waited for the technician. After checking things out, he thought it might need a new video card and that the operating system might be corrupted. He couldn’t do these things, so there was no charge for the visit.
When I got home with the groceries I’d bought after church, the desktop was sitting on the kitchen table top – not a good sign. My husband told me we had to take it in to the Geek Squad at Best Buy for a complete diagnostic. This is akin to having your car break down on the highway and the roadside service man tells you it needs to be towed to a repair shop you’ve never used before. As I put the groceries away, my husband asked me if I wanted to go with him to do this. I think he was annoyed that I said no, but how many people does it take to bring the computer to the store? With my fibromyalgia, standing/walking in stores and malls really takes a toll on my body. I was just getting back on my feet after 2 months of dragging myself around. I wasn’t going to jeopardize my well-being to go stand in a store.
He came home empty-handed and I felt the anxiety start to rise. Apparently the diagnostic they needed to run would take about 24 hours. Then they’ll call with the results and cost of repair — still sounds like we’re taking about an auto repair shop, doesn’t it? If they can fix it and the price is right, we’ll have it by the end of the week. If they can’t fix it, it will need to go back to the factory – now we’re talking several weeks. It almost seems easier to buy a new one. Right now, we’re waiting to hear my computer’s fate.
I have been trying to figure out what caused this problem to occur. Yes, it could just be a machine breakdown. Or maybe “planned obsolescence.” But I had had no problems with the computer itself until recently.
First, the cable connection to the internet would go out. Since that also effected the other computer in the house (my son’s), that repair call went to Charter. The young man fixed the problem and even suggested some good ad-ware/spy-ware removal software. We were all set – or so we thought.
After that service call, I decided to add a Genline subscription to my tools for researching family history. Since my maternal grandfather’s parents emigrated from Sweden, Genline, which gives access to some actual Swedish Church records was invaluable. I also located a couple of web sites for Swedish-English translation. Could one of these new resources brought me more than I had bargained for? Very possible.
I had also checked a social networking site that my Lakota godchild has used after she was assaulted. Could it be possible that the problem was caused there? Also very possible.
In the end, the cause doesn’t really matter. I just want my computer back, safe and sound, with its data intact.
What are the odds of that happening?