That’s pretty much how I feel when I experience computer issues. For me, a computer is a device that zooms through the internet, allows me to learn without spending hours in a library, lets me explore artistic possibilities with digital photography, and create pretty documents with unlimited typefaces.
So when my computer throws a hissy fit, I’m at a loss, and am reminded how strange it is to use and enjoy something so thoroughly yet not know anything about it. Fortunately I have a wanting-to-die laptop that, despite overheating and missing the ‘P’ key, will still, begrudgingly, surf the ‘Net. Thank goodness because I haven’t worked an IT help fund into my budget (though I certainly will in the future) and my computer decided to freeze and not start properly the day we left for the Smokies two Tuesdays ago.
My husband was updating his iPod with good travelin’ music and it suddenly started asking if he wanted to close the application. He clicked ‘No’ and it came right back. Trying to X out of the request as well as everything else simply didn’t work, so I asked it the computer to restart and upon restart I got this:
I was immediately worried that this was the Blue Screen of Death that everyone talks about; I had never seen this before. I commanded everything that looked safe – ‘Save & Exit Setup’, ‘Esc’, ‘Load Optimized Defaults’, etc. Nothing worked – the computer would immediately go back through the steps on the left and go back to Mr. Blue Screen. I then noticed that it said, ‘Prepare to Enter Setup’ which I definitely didn’t remember in all the other time I’ve used this computer so I wondered what was making it suddenly default to the Setup Utility screen. I was pretty upset, because this computer is one of my favorite possessions and very necessary for the kind of art that I do. I called my friend who helped me buy the components and he said he had literally no idea. Ugh, this is bad.
Google and my gasping laptop proved to save the day. Initially, mention of the ‘Detecting IDE drives . . .’ as above revealed talk of computer jargon I couldn’t decipher and elements to unplug and replace; it sounded expensive. A few hours into searching for an answer, I found a forum thread detailing exactly what I was experiencing. It turns out that the poster’s ‘Delete’ key was stuck down. Bingo! I raced over to my keyboard and there it was, stuck down too. A firm press and up it sprang and no more issues for me!
I’m a huge advocate for education and my hope is that someone else staring at a befuddling situation finds this and takes another peek at their keyboard.