Saturday, May 6, 2017

Misadventures in PC Rehab

Aw, c'mon -- if you think that title refers to offering Gitmo detainees subsidized housing and free health care in the big American city of their choice as an incentive to tell their captors they've denounced terror, you just don't know me at all.

I have custody of two Windows 7 PCs that used to belong to Mrs. McG's late mother: an HP desktop and an Acer laptop. Yesterday I isolated the files on the laptop that Mrs. McG would want to keep, and copied them onto a thumb drive (the desktop's contents likely will require more than one trip). Then I gave the laptop a mindwipe, hoping the machine's peanut-butter-and-molasses performance would disappear along with the remnants of all of Marie's old software that hadn't come off the disk when I uninstalled it last year. Restoring the factory installation of Windows took some time, and Windows Update consumed some more hours installing all of the updates Microsoft had issued for Windows 7 over the years. Actually, there weren't as many individual downloads as I was fearing.

It did stop tripping over itself in trying to carry out the simplest tasks, but there were two tasks I set it that it just couldn't do. I tried to install the PC-to-cloud sync utilities offered by Google, Dropbox and Microsoft. Somehow Dropbox didn't even need to ask for my login credentials, having perhaps smartloaded them into the installation after I'd logged into the website to get the software. It worked like a charm, taking only minutes to sync the cloud account's contents onto the Acer's hard drive.

Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, however, couldn't find their way to the internet to log me in. Both installers had accessed the internet to bring in the complete software, but once the software was complete, nothing.

I have 17-plus gigabytes of data on those cloud accounts. Without a working live-sync utility, that laptop is no good to me.

Oh, and it's still slower -- by oozes and farts! -- than this Linux machine I've been using these last couple of years.

So, back to Gitmo with it. I'll eventually get around to lobotomizing the HP too, but I don't expect better results. Besides, I've had lousy luck with desktop computers since moving to Georgia. Surge protectors don't really seem to work all that well hereabouts.

Update, Sunday: I downloaded a version of ChromeOS from CloudReady, which installed okay -- but the screen flashes so much I could barely do anything with it. This Acer laptop seems to want to face the firing squad.

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