Arrrrrgh.......spent the last couple of days working on the wife's PC and all that entails.
It all started out when.......
She came to me the other night and said her PC no longer recognized her password and she couldn't log in to the machine. No problem, I'll just get my software tools out and reset her password to blank characters. Since she'd been allowing the grandson to pound away on the keys while logged in to her account, I figured maybe The Little Guy had randomly slapped some combination of control-alt-Windows key-delete or something and hosed her account.
First, I couldn't locate my discs. I used to keep a ton of stuff in my laptop bag so I could fix/repair/read out/etc the various systems I used to work on. I had several special discs with various software tools on them, a portable USB CD/DVD burner, a USB floppy drive, cables, adapters, and other "misc junque". After I hung up my spurs, I unloaded that 10 pounds of stuff, which lightened the bag, and slimmed it down, too.
BUT......where'd I put the damn discs?
After spending an hour or so, I gave up and went online to find the tools again. Spent several hours doing that, and trying out "Trial Demo" programs that wouldn't do what I needed, I broke down and paid the $20 for the "Full Version".
I reset her password, rebooted the machine, and called her over to enter a new (or the old one) password, and when she tried it kicked back an error message about "Could Not Load The User Profile". She turned and said "See? It still doesn't recognize my password!".
Oh, boy..........that's a COMPLETELY different error message than "Password Incorrect. Try Again".
So having wasted (not "spent", but wasted) several hours, I had to research what the real error message meant, and fix that problem.
Hours later, after having implemented every single "answer" that Micro$oft had to fix this problem and getting nowhere, I decided to replace the hard drive with a new one, reinstall/update everything, and then go about collecting her data off the 'old' drive.
And as long as I'm at it, I'll replace the DVD drive that won't eject.
And upgrade the memory from 4GB to 8GB, the maximum this motherboard (Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4) can handle.
Wound up replacing both DVD drives with two NOS ASUS drives I had, and replaced the 300GB hard disc with a 2TB drive I had as a spare from some time back.
The DVD drives I had in there were IDE, with the big, flat ribbon cable, and the ASUS drives are SATA, with one small cable, and power. That meant I had to swap out the data cables and power cables to swap out the drives. So, another trip down to the basement to dig out the right cables, and BTW...where's my big tub of PC memory?
Finally got the cables and memory modules after 45 minutes of rooting around (it would have been several hours, but I've been sorting and binning stuff for the last several months), went back upstairs, and finished the hardware upgrade.
PC booted up just fine, and I started the Installation-Go-Round, with Windows 7 Professional, Office 2008, and all the drivers and stuff for the motherboard.
And then I started the Windoze Update go-round.
It's just finishing up the latest round of updates, 184 in all, and I'm sure once it's been rebooted it'll still want more.
And then I can reconnect the old drive and start moving files. If I can't get them using Windoze, I'll pull the drive and connect it to one of my Linux machines, and move them over the network.
And The Little Guy will no longer be allowed to pound on the keys while the computer is on.........