The saga re the computer continues.... it arrived in very timely fashion, plugged straight in and I was up and running (Windows 7 Home) with reboot disc, drivers disc, another one for wireless network (no idea how to set it up or what to do, so I passed on that one) and I was a very happy bunny.

BUT... having listened to advice, I wasn't content to let well alone, and invested in Windows 7 Ultimate (£166 + postage, I might add) as  the theory was: if the Home bundle is good, the Ultimate has to be even better. NOT SO.

The Ultimate booted up - with gigantic icons, everything all over the place. I panicked, thought I'd done it wrong, or the 64-bit was too high powered for the machine - so I loaded up the 32-bit instead. Same result. More panic - then I realised I hadn't put in the drivers disc. This did work, but the icons were still rather large, although things seemed to be working. So I thought, Aha! That's what I did wrong the first time, so obviously I need to have the other disc - so uploaded the 64 bit disc again. So that's 3 times the machine was wiped.

Heading for a nervous decline... panic station ahead!
Yes, I reinstalled the drivers. Yes, the screen was better (although the icons were still huge). Then I tried to open one of my documents. Disaster. No word processing programme that I could see - the document opened in Notebook - with all the pictures missing! Bear in mind I'm talking about 15 years of magazine articles, tutorials and teaching notes, all with diagrams and photographs - all gone!

Then I saw that there's something called a Virtual PC and also Virtual XP - which have to be downloaded from Microsoft. So I did all that (the downloads took around 2 hours). And guess what - I STILL couldn't open my documents - Virtual XP couldn't read them. The next link suggested I download a Reader. For which you have to pay. Or buy Office - again, more money! I think £166 (roughly $300 is ENOUGH money!)

So... I dug out my old Windows XP Pro disc (vintage 2000) and guess what again... this worked like a charm.  So I asked myself what exactly had I been paying for? I couldn't see any benefits in the Ultimate programme over the Home (which had been installed in the machine in the first place).

Therefore I did the only sensible thing in the entire saga - used the System Recovery Disc that came with the machine. This reinstalled Windows 7 Home - no need to reload drivers or anything else - the screen size was perfect, I was on the web in a matter of minutes, the antivirus downloaded immediately... all was right in the world again! Photoshop 7 (again, circa 2000) and Windows XP Pro have loaded like a dream, I have all my documents to hand again (with illustrations intact).

I contacted Amazon, not very hopeful as I had used the discs. I typed in the reason for return - and lo & behold, I don't qualify for a credit note or replacement... under the circumstances, I get a full refund and even £2.75 towards my postage!

Are Amazon wonderful or what! Hats off to Amazon! What a company!

Nearly driven to the Demon Drink!
I can't tell you how relieved I am - this entire episode has rendered me a nervous wreck (Dear Husband muttering in the background: Have you fixed it yet, dear? Are you sure you know what you're doing?... NO! Duh!!!!) and it just goes to show that if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

I sincerely hope I've learnt my lesson now, not to meddle. And thank YOU all for putting up with this very long and extremely boring saga - although I hope this all might stop someone else making the same mistakes.


Sorry to everyone who's wondering where I am, and why no posts! Because I am a Lady In Waiting, waiting for my new baby - I am finally able to afford a NEW computer!

It's been quite a saga with the old one, as many of you will have read, so I won't bore you with that again. Suffice to say, usually you need to ScanDisc and Defragment your computer weekly (certainly monthly, to keep it running nicely and clear out all the old stuff that's slowing it down). I've been defragmenting daily - sometimes twice a day, and it's like running through wet sand, the poor thing is so slow.

Well, I ordered and paid for one last week - all ready to update to Windows 7 - and guess what I got? A computer without an operating system, and the updated graphics card I paid extra for was only for XP and Vista. So not exactly updated, was it? The clincher was that I couldn't even open the CD/DVD drawer to insert the disc to activate the motherboard. So, in other words, a heap of junk that wouldn't work at all. This, from a company that was recommended. It went STRAIGHT back!

Isn't this a sight to instill a little glow of pride?
You'll be glad to know I got an expedited refund, and bought another one on the same day the refund came through (Friday) - so I've just bought a 12.8Ghz Quad Core 8GB 1TB desktop HDMI Windows 7 computer with an updated  graphics card:Radeon 1GB HD 5450. So I have some serious power under the hood and cannot wait to get my hot little hands on it! And it's off eBay!

I'll keep you posted.