Ah, the Life of a Proctor (Part the Second)

2005-02-11 10:26:00 +0000

This afternoon I was in heaven. I was reinstalling Windows XP on two different computers simultaneously. Ah, bliss. Aaronʼs laptop finally caught enough ad/spyware to warrant a complete wipe, and I am repairing the computer of a friend from my French class last semester. Iʼve worked on that computer before.

Aaron had asked about a complete reinstall a few months ago, but I was hesitant because I had never done a laptop before. I had no idea if Windows XP came with all the necessary drivers for all that integrated stuff, so I decided to do the prudent thing and hold out. Well, Aaronʼs computer was nigh unusable, so holding-out days were over.

Of course, complications abounded. First, I was going to transfer Aaronʼs documents to my computer over the network, but one of the symptoms his lappy was experiencing was a profound inability to open “My Computer”. So, I had to figure out how to make the transfer using only the command line. Google saved my reputation once again and I scored with:


Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
(C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

C:\>cd "\Documents and Settings\Aaron"

C:\Documents and Settings\Aaron>net use x: \\legolas\shared
The command completed successfully.

C:\Documents and Settings\Aaron>xcopy /e "My Documents" x:

...

xxx File(s) copied

C:\>exit

With all of Aaronʼs files safely backed up on my own computer, he popped in the Windows XP CD and booted the computer into the setup program. At first I was telling him what to do, but after a while he thought it would make more sense if I just did the typing myself. I was sure to let him know exactly when his entire hard drive was about to be wiped.

While Aaronʼs computer was being assimilated by Windows XP, I took a look at the other machine. The owner wanted me to save the music files on it if I could, but it wasnʼt necessary. It wouldnʼt boot normally. It wouldnʼt boot into “Safe Mode with Networking”. I got it to boot into plain old “Safe Mode”, but I had no way of getting the files off. I wanted to copy them over the network as I had done Aaronʼs, but thereʼs no network in “Safe Mode”, unless you can get “Safe Mode with Networking” to work, which I could not do. I decided the files were lost, and started the reinstallation procedure.

Several tens of minutes later, Aaron is at the Windows desktop on his lappy and puts his driver CD in. Of course, one would expect to find drivers for the computerʼs hardware on the driver CD that came with the computer. Such was not the case. Itʼs a good thing there was another computer available that was connect to the Internet (namely, mine). I downloaded drivers for his network adapter, burned them onto a CD and installed them on his computer. He was then able to get online himself and download any other drivers his computed needed.

All this while, XP setup has frozen twice on my friendʼs computer, the same place each time. I assumed it had something to do with the network adapters because it was freezing during the network setup part, so I removed the internal wireless card and tried again, with success.

Aaron left for work, but not before I asked if I could install Service Pack 2 while he was gone. I was sitting comfortably in his swivel chair when my phone rang. Someone was calling from the SMF.

Now why would someone be calling me from the … crap. Iʼm scheduled to work at 15:00. Itʼs 15:05 right now. Crap.

I quickly collected my effects, and left both computers installing stuff.

So, I was late to work because I was having such a good time installing Windows XP on two different computers simultaneously.