Sat 10 Jan
Despite the best efforts of a colleague who went out of his way to help me, it took nearly a week to reformat my troublesome Hewlett Packard Pavilion 701 and reinstall a fresh copy of Windows XP on it. This machine had been on its last legs for months, sputtering along with an installation of XP that had been painfully accreted with innumerable Microsoft patches and who knows what kind of damage inflicted from countless crashes and errant programs.
We had hoped that a reformatted hard drive and a like-new installation of the operating system would have given me a new lease on life, so to speak, but it wasn’t so easily. The first time we attempted the installation, the machine was inundated by the blaster worm almost as soon as it came onto the network, before we even had an opportunity to apply any of the security patches. The resultant mess was enough to scrap the attempt, reformat and install from scratch yet again — this time being sure to leave the Ethernet cable unplugged until we could apply the security patches via CD-R. This was successful, but not without some hiccups, as you can see from the photograph I took of the screen here. At some point, I just have to wonder if it’s really worth it.