Thursday, May 12, 2022

Thief Of Time

It finally happened! I missed a day! The daily posting streak that lasted more than eight months has come to an end at last. 

It wasn't by choice but I can't say I'm sorry. I don't have an addictive personality but I do hate to break a streak. That's how I gave up drinking without even meaning to.

Posting daily hadn't been any kind of a problem until we got the puppy but these last few weeks have been something of a challenge, as must have been obvious in the quality, or lack thereof, of some of the posts. I wasn't expecting looking after a puppy to bite quite so voraciously into my leisure time. With me only working a couple of days a week there's certainly plenty of it. Even so, it turns out it's quite hard to do anything much with a dog asleep on your lap.

Really, though, it's been gaming that's taken the hit, not blogging. I've dropped from several hours a day to maybe a couple, if I'm lucky.  Most of what I'm doing is dailies and point and click adventures. It doesn't offer an enormous amount of inspiration for posts... although you'd be surprised what I can spin up out of almost nothing. Or, I guess, as a regular reader, you probably wouldn't.

Despite all of that, I was determined to keep the streak going, even though of late I've been cutting it very fine, not starting until eight or nine in the evening. That's what I was doing last night, when Windows 10 piped up to tell me there'd been a calamitous error and it would have to go and lie down in a darkened room for a while.

I was literally halfway through a short and boring post about Overseer in EverQuest II (Which we'll still be getting, so don't start cheering just yet.) when the whole thing shuddered and shook, then disappeared. It's taken me until a couple of hours ago to get things up and running again.

I still have no idea what went wrong but I know what happened afterwards. My PC turned into a time machine and took a trip back to 2016. 

It was very weird. The PC closed down and restarted and when it came back my desktop was completely different. Not only had the screen resolution reverted to something I haven't used for about fifteen years, there were only about a third as many icons and most of those were different, some for things I didn't even recognize.

To cut to the chase, after a some digging around in the debris I discovered all three of my hard drives had swapped letters. The E drive had turned into the D drive and D was now C. 

As it happens, the Drive Formerly Known As D used to be the C drive in a previous PC. I'd added it to the new one a few years back. I had three bays, so why not? I just popped it in as it was and I've been happily using it ever since. 

It never really occured to me that it had a full installation of Windows 10 on it. When the drives swapped names after The Incident, the entire operation switched across on reboot, kicking me out of everything I'd been logged into, removing all my saved logins and passwords and generally making it impossible to do pretty much anything.

Oh, and The Incident, whatever it was, also completely removed all the graphic drivers along with all the Ethernet drivers and a bunch of other stuff as well, some of which I've probably yet to discover. It was not pretty, I'll tell you that much.

It was also late and for once I managed to act like an adult. Instead of either trying to get a post up using my laptop or staying up half the night trying to fix things I just shut the whole lot down and went to bed. As I said at the start, if I'm honest, I was relieved to have a good reason to miss a day's posting.

This morning I spent several hours trying any number of possible fixes with no success at all until just before lunch I finally managed to get the Ethernet adapter working again. It really helped a lot, being able to look things up and download stuff on the PC I was trying to fix rather than having to do it on the laptop or my Kindle Fire.

None of the obvious solutions, like just renaming the drives, changing the boot order or physically swapping them over worked. The C drive refused to change its name, I couldn't even find the boot protocols and the motherboard doesn't care which slot the C drive is in. 

Reinstalling Windows didn't work because I couldn't make a boot disk thanks to the laptop and an older PC I happen to have lying around refusing point-blank to believe I have admin rights, even though it literally says right there on the screen that I do. Several other bright ideas turned out to be dim. I was starting to get annoyed.

What turned the tide was finding the original installation DVD for the motherboard and using it to reinstall every driver and then physically removing the graphics card and re-seating it in the other PCI slot. Even after the drivers were all installed, for some reason it was only moving the graphics card that got me back online. I have no idea why.

After that I decided to accept the new normal and just give the old/new C drive permanent status. Not that I had much choice. It took me the rest of the afternoon to copy all of the necessary files to recreate something as close as possible to my old profile in both Windows and Firefox

It involved a lot of security checks and verification codes, most of which got sent to devices that either I no longer use or own. Even the ones I do use seemed to be having problems of their own. I really need to get all of that sorted out. It's a perpetual nuisance. 

It was not a fun time but as I type this I'm pleased to say things are near enough back to where they were twenty-four hours ago. The only concern is that I still have absolutely no clue what original failure was about so it could very easily happen again at any time.

The upside is that everything now seems to work a lot faster. It had been bogging down horribly for quite a while and I'd been thinking of doing something about it. Now I can forget it again!

As for the blog, I am going to take this opportunity to stop posting daily. Or rather to stop feeling I have to post daily. If I have things to post, I'll post them but I'll probably go back to my old pattern of mostly not posting on work days. 

Of course, there are only two work days in my work week so that still leaves plenty of time! No-one's safe just yet!

1 comment:

Wider Two Column Modification courtesy of The Blogger Guide