Friday, February 13, 2009

Computer Woes

I’ve been having head-banging-against-the-wall computer difficulties. When my husband unplugged my daughter’s computer (W2K Pro) to move it, he didn’t know her password was timing out and would soon be deleted by the system, and that waiting to reconnect would result in big time log-in problems.

But the CPU’s insidious memory chuckled mercilessly as it counted down the hours, then minutes, to lock out – and when it reached “zero,” it did just that.

Old passwords no longer worked and I entered every password, and variation thereof, I could think of. No luck.

An epiphany: log on as “guest.” Epiphany wasted. The “guest” function was unavailable.

I spent two days in an eye-crossing search of the internet for a solution. I’ve encountered BIOS, read not to mess with BIOS, and learned that passwords used in restarting the computer have nothing whatsoever to do with the Windows user names and passwords.

Furthermore, the Windows administrator – who is God in the computer system - is missing, and I’ve learned that she hides behind strange codes and locked doors that one must have the correct computer key to enter.

I’ve discovered NTFS and SCSI-controllers, SAM and EFS files, CMOS and PDC, and all sorts of other alphabetical gobbledygook that I thought only the military had a patent on. Additionally, I’ve been trying to figure out what the heck the PCI bus is and if I can ride it to the solution to my problem.

Working on my computer, I have downloaded zipped boot disk images and SCSI-drivers in order to create a bypass disk. But, the install failed and a window said the .exe file needed was not on the same path. Huh?

So I closed the window and doggone, there the .exe file was, staring at me from my screen. Unfortunately, as I leaned forward, my hand hit the wrong button and, just like a naughty child, the .exe file ran away and is currently listed as “missing in action.”

My woes didn’t end there. During the process of downloading both programs found on the internet specifically designed to help recover lost passwords, these rebellious programs linked to mirrors that didn’t work or were so indecipherable in lingo that I hadn’t a clue what to do.

I have punched the “help” button so many times it has popped loose from my keyboard.

So what results did all that tedious, mind-boggling reading uncover? It was very simple (as most computer answers are – once you know them): W2K makes no provision for recovering lost log-in administrator and user passwords in a non-domain computer.

Since I couldn’t get the recovery programs to work and didn’t want to pay big bucks for non-freeware, the only option left was to do a clean install of W2K Pro, which would erase all other programs and files.

Why the heck couldn’t I have found this out in the first ten minutes of my search? It would have saved me the hospital expenses incurred as a result of my head-banging concussion!

Turned out, in the end, we never did get the password. We didn’t have the original disks. We ended up giving it away, and hoped that someone else would use it.


unwriter said...

ah, the advantages of XP, the recovery program. Of course you could always contact a tech support person. Oh, I am one and my rates are very affordable, as in free.

Anonymous said...

OMG! I HATE it when that happens. Glad you could move on and not be TOO fretful - making a gift - good karma.

Deb Hockenberry said...

Oh, Katie,
You have my sympathies! Especially with the administrator password. I had an old computer that my mom gave me. She bought an old rebuilt one. The person who rebuilt it was the administrator. Well, when Mom gave it to me I decided to make it my own. Administrator priveliges & all. Well, long story short my computer savvy brother spent hours here at my place fixing it.
Deb :-)

Margaret Fieland said...

Katie, my sympathy, Did your hubby shut the computer down when he moved it?

I'm not well organized enough to keep the boot disks, but my sweetie is, thank goodness !!