And all because of a little CD HP didn’t send me. Round 1, external HD goes on the blink. Or so I thought. Turns out Windows just decided it suddenly didn’t know what it was. Well, after getting frustrated with that, I decided to go right on ahead and start following these instructions figuring, y’know–it isn’t working anyway so how much more can I possibly screw it up? Turns out that fixed it, at least temporarily. But, about… oh I wanna say 3 weeks later, it went kerpoof again. And, in the attempt to see what flopped this time, Windows seemingly forgot where it put the *internal* HD. Brilliant. So, it continuously went through the endless loop of startup, logoff, shutdown, restart. And it decided to play the welcome and logging off sounds repeatedly as it went through, indicating it *could* find at least part of the OS–really, really, anoying… I turned off the speakers after a bit. I screwed with it a bit, then decided to bug Trish and see if she had any ideas–she’s damn near my equal so far as this crap goes, so it made sense. She dinked around with it on her own, got about as far as I did, and I think we both kinda just… randomly decided the thing was getting repaired. Call it the last act of a desperate couple of techs who don’t want to do a complete format. So now, after the repair–for the record, a repair instalation of Windows on a 40 GB HD with 512 MB RAM should *so* not take 2 hours to complete–we’re right back where we started. Except with a working machine. And an apparently missing Internet Explorer–easily cured by the fact it didn’t touch Firefox. So, this little piece of crap lives another day, giving me time to complete the downloads I’d like to complete, and possibly email myself the crap I wanna get off this machine–I don’t plan on keeping this for much longer, since I can get a faster laptop for cheap, even if this thing lasts another 4 years. And with the new email setup now, prompted largely by the near catastrophy I just narrowly avoided, I can actually do that and not run the risk of not being able to pick it up on the other computer–which, for the curious, is now hooked up and just awaiting me to get around to installing the drivers. What can I say? Vista lasted about a minute and a half before the format process kicked in. But that’s in another entry when I don’t feel quite so geeky and want to. This one’s rambling on long enough about things probably only understood by about 2.5 people, with the rest going “Zuh?!?!?!”. So now, I go do stuff. Like… clean. Or sleep. Or laundry. Or watch one of the CSI eppisodes I can now access again, thanks to a now fully functioning external HD. Hm. The possibilities are endless. Should they feel that way on a 4-year-old machine that only barely meets the minimum specs?