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A pat on the back with a healthy dose of headdesk


Entry 05/05/2014 08:31:09 AM – Mentat 698

Sometimes I feel like I’m between wanting to give myself a pat on the back and wanting to bang my head against the desk repeatedly. On the latter is because of the computer rebuild that I was left to do… And for the former the same reason(s). Okay so this was the deal…

I got fed up with the black screens that occurred when I was playing games: Rift and even Star Trek Online (which surprisingly isn’t a video card intensive program like Rift, Star Wars: The Old Republic, or even Warframe). So I decided on doing a roll-back on the video-card drivers based on the information provided on a couple of the forums that I was reading that had the same problems.

All right, easy enough. Shouldn’t be too much of a problem, I thought to myself. I began the process of uninstalling the drivers for the nVidia Card. Rebooted as instructed and let Windows try to install the generic nVidia Drivers.

Generic my ass! The drivers that Windows was attempting to install were the very same drivers that I just uninstalled! So uninstalling them, rebooting one more time and canceling the installation process, I tried to delete the nVidia directories as instructed and then tried installing the drivers I had before this debacle: 332.21. Successfully installed and restarted one more time….

…to be met time and time again with black screens during the boot-up process. I couldn’t get into windows at all no matter how hard I tried. Getting into safe mode though was a breeze. So in to Safe Mode I went to remove the drivers and give it another try to load up the generic drivers. And once again I was met with nothing but black screens during the reboot process.

Left with no choice, I decided to go into the closet to pull out the images for the drive. Gone… Any of the recent loads that I had set up for this system (Motherboard and vid-card specific) had been thrown out apparently. Back-up plan #2, grab the old-time Windows 7, Office 2007 and load up from scratch there. I took a look at the Windows 7 CD and it turned out to be the old 32-bit OEM version for the older system (long since dead). Apparently I also threw out the 64-bit version of it instead of 32-bit version along with the images that I was supposed to keep.

Ugh, I thought, It’s time for me to look online for the 64-bit ISO file.

It’s a good thing that Microsoft has entered into the digital age and allowed a couple of third-party companies to allow free distribution of the ISO images so that someone — like me — who has the license number stored on an external drive to pick the image up for a burn.

Following the instruction provided I was able to pick up the USB Stick burner for Windows and the 64-bit ISO while in Safe-mode. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to load up the USB image program in safe-mode, so a couple of attempts of trying to get windows to recognize the missing video drivers, I was finally able to back into Windows normally and install the imaging program. Realizing that my Thumb-drives weren’t big enough, I rushed over to my mother’s to pick up the one that I knew was well big enough to run the image on. And after explaining the situation to her, was back at the house burning the image to the thumb-drive in record time.

The install didn’t go as well as I expected the first time. Not formatting the Local Disk as I normally would, I tried to run the re-installation allowing Windows to create the Windows.old instead. It halted about ¾ of the way though and wouldn’t continue after almost 30 minutes (Looking back as I’m writing this, I should have realized what the problem was, but I was too annoyed with myself and the foibles that these nVidia drivers had caused). I restarted, formatted the drive and reinstalled.

This time it was a success and I was booting from the hard drive in about 30 minutes from installation. And in spite of the fact that I was able to download Windows 7 SP1, this still meant that I would have quite a lot of updates to download from Windows Update Center. 175 to be exact.

4 hours later I was finishing up the Windows update and on the last reboot and final 4 updates, I decided it was time to register Windows. This is when I see less than my usable RAM being listed: only 3.98 GiB usable. Then it hits me — I have the 32-bit version of Windows 7 installed. (And this is why it hung when it did before… you can go from a 32-bit to 64-bit architecture, but not the other way around).

At this point I spent 7 hours trying to get the system back to running properly and I was getting frustrated and tired. It was about 12:30 AM at this point and I decided to call it a night and try fresh the next morning.

The next morning with about 6 hours of toss & tumble sleep, I was back at it, trying to get the correct ISO burned onto the Thumb drive and while waiting for it to complete, double-checked the site I had originally picked up the ISO from. Sure enough, the 64-bit URL was for the 32-bit DVD. So fortunately I had picked it up from a different site and with it being over 3 GiB, I was more than reasonably sure I had the 64-bit Operating System. Now came the long haul of reinstalling everything I could as quickly as possible.

I was able to get the older nVidia drivers installed (version 332.21) because I had set Windows update to “Remind me Later”, and with a little work everything was back to running smoothly, in spite of the fact that I had more than 172 updates to go through and all the programs, utilities, games and what not.

9 hours later with some strange quirks I didn’t expect from one game (Rift) and two utility/programs (iTunes and KeyText), I was 95% installed to where I used to be. For Rift, apparently I need to have some special files from DirectX 9.0c SDK in order for it to run properly. Without it, the opening cut-scenes will cause anyone with epilepsy falling into a seizure. iTunes went terrorist and when I connected my iPod Touch to perform a sync revoked permissions to the music directory causing iTunes to lose track of where the music was stored (adding a file://localhost/ to the beginning of each file of music it had in its database). So, after re-establishing permissions for the directory on the drive, iTunes was completely copacetic ​and didn’t try to get schizophrenic about the music location again. And KeyText… Well, it’s telling me that the system was different than the last (only thing different at this point might have been the driver versions since the last install… So instead of writing an e-mail to the developer to ask for a different license key (I did so years ago and he was surprised I was still using the program), decided it was time to move on and find a freeware alternative. For the time being I’m going to need to break myself of the habit of launching a majority of my most used programs with a simple three-key combination. Fun times there as I caught myself almost clicking CTRL+SHIFT+G to launch Google Chrome more times out of instinct than naught.

Then during my long haul wait installing Windows updates on the wrong version of the operating system Saturday night, I was sitting at the table in the kitchen on the laptop playing a game of e-mail tag with someone from the local LGBT site that said as a start, “I have always wanted to meet you…” Of course, I had one of my “always? Always is a long time, and chances are I don’t know anyone in this state for that long…”

At first I thought it was that well-meaning but disorganized man from the Metro-Boston area that I had given up on years ago when he transposed his phone number a couple of times (and one that I called with a woman’s voicemail), and then after leaving a clear message with my callback number, wrote me to tell me he had accidentally deleted the voicemail message). Turns out it was another man from the Metro-Boston area that I recall having a short conversation with that was not only hell-bent on simply meeting up but also was… simple… in that limited way where I had visions of having a conversation after work that goes something like this:

Him: “What did you do today?”

Me: “Well it was a tough as fuck day with us trying to track down why there was a flutter in a dark fibre connection only to discover that we had to drive out to the middle of nowhere because we had to splice the optics back together due to a Cable Locator nicking the cable. Took a couple of hours of work, but it ended up right as rain. Then the phones came off the hook as we found out that a node for an area decided to take a break and just shut down. It’s not up right now, but fortunately for the fact that we weren’t authorize for OT, the second team that came in will have it running in an hour. What about you? What did you do today?”

Him: “I like turtles.”

The e-mail conversation was going pretty much the same way as before with me asking very poignant and pointed questions and the answers I was getting from him were one-off/odd-and-not-in-a-good-way (that didn’t quite answer the questions posed). After about the fifth not-quite answer, I reminded him why the last conversation we had ended so abruptly some years back, wished him well and went my merry way…

Friends, family and sometimes total strangers that hear me express my opinion (to the positive) on long-distance relationships wonder why I prefer starting most of them this way. I tell you why… When knowing that physical proximity is an issue that prevents instantaneous meetings and shading first impressions on physical attraction, you have to make impressions based on mental acuity. You also need to have the ability to express feelings not only in facial expression (when talking on web-cam) but also in words and written phrases.

And let’s face it, I’m not 20-something anymore. Sex isn’t something driven strongly by hormones… or used as a handshake (not that I ever did that, I never handled that casualness really well). With age comes experience, and bruises… As I said to the man while I was doing my reinstall, “…we’re at the point where we have baggage and luggage from the hurts and pains life has offered to us. A slow approach is best to work those issues out…”

Since coming home (to New England), I’ve gotten a lot of the sex as a handshake approach — from men my age too. Like the lessons we were put through from the time we were able to hit the clubs and mingle with other queerfolk haven’t been learned at all. Hell, I remember some years ago telling someone that I’d rather take it slow and was retorted with, “…slow at our age wasn’t an option… that we needed to jump right into bed and make the most of it while it still worked, we still had our looks…” That certainly put me off of men my age when that sentiment was resounded by someone else I had spoken to a couple of months later.

*Sighs* Anyway, I’m losing steam on this. I’ve said this stuff before; more times than I care to count. The fact is, I prefer to take my time — even if it’s long-distance. That and at least I won’t have to deal with New England Queerfolk that I’ve had horrible experience with since I moved away from the area back in 1993. Not unless there’s someone — anyone — around here that doesn’t come off completely unstable and is capable of expressing themselves.

Well, I need to run for the time being. Until the next time.

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