The trouble with being able to fix your system is that you do and so more drastic things don’t happen. Late in the fixing process, while waiting for some interminable check to finish it occurred to me that the old darling had never had a complete overhaul once in all of seven years. Imagine how much junk had accreted – forgotten downloads, registry edits, hastily removed virusi…, half-wrecked bits of source and unsatisfactory IDEs… let alone all the marketing stuff that pours in no matter how much you try to block it. Hmm…
From a stray thought about a complete fresh start, it grew overnight into a compulsion. Even as I finished up the next day and made sure everything was functioning adequately it kept coming at me. Since the rest of my life is being forcibly deconstructed, why not….
Lunchtime, I was itching and twitching. Weighing up the loss of some vital item against the thought of starting afresh. I could barely pack a box! As I threw out another pair of old shoes, I finally cracked and set up for a complete backup onto the external hdd. I should have done another one to cloud storage or something really, but by the time the first was done I was too impatient. As it happens I haven’t needed the backup anyway and will most likely delete it in favour of a new version with things as they are now.
Late in the night we were ready, the laptop and I. My days long boringstuffs were done, lists made for what had to be reinstalled and while I went through my day I had also unistalled just about everything I could find on any drive – theoretically not necessary but saves on stranded data layta. I wanted the external HDD just about completely empty – only holding a few current pictures, documents and the like (and the full backup) after the … was sort of hard to think of the actual moment ahead of time. I usually put a lot of other stuff on the external HDD – try-out games, downloads, general whatnot. Inevitably there are some links to the main drive for this which means that if the link to the main drive is invalidated, leftover stuff on the external drive=lost storage. Sorry if I’m not explaining properly. (Aw ok, I was on a roll with the clearing out again, empty folders, old game saves… )
Midnight (ish) deeeeep breath. F8. Destructive Recovery. No Going Back! and then it was done.
A day to reinstall and update, all done slowly while doing other things, calmly – hiding the turmoil inside – what if, despite all precautions all my work was lost! what if she just suddenly made a strange noise in the middle of an update and… bsod! oooo
But mostly reinstalling was just long and boring which neatly matches everything else I do just now. It was quite a good thing to have going on in the background. I had decided not to make partitions or do anything unbasic. Laptop is going to be semi-retired soon and I will probably only reformat and partition when I start playing with Linux. Gradually a working system was pieced together again and it’s nice. Uncluttered now, kind of sleek. I like it. So does the laptop. Naturally with so much less work to do (far fewer things at startup or running in the background), the fans are not going so much and when they do – she sounds, I’m sure I’m not imagining it – really quite smug and sort of got-the-creamy.