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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Calling All Geeks!

Greetings and Salutations to All my Kith and Kin and All the Ships in Outer Space:


Oh, by the way, Merry Christmas, or "Nollaig Cridheil, y'all!"

I'm sitting here using the public access computers provided for us residents by the Soldiers'Home.

That's because MY computer is totally on the fritz.

First of all, my wi-fi connection has gone.

That's no big deal, because I can call Comcast and order a regular high-speed Internet connection, along with high definition cable.

It'll be expensive (my wi-fi connection was FREE!!!), but at least, it'll be dependable.

Today, I was listening to Christmas music on my computer, using the Windows Media Player.

Nothing unusual, right?

Suddenly, the music stopped.

When I checked, I had lost ALL sound on the computer, and there was a large icon of a speaker with a big red "X" on it, and the icon stayed on top of every window and program I opened.

So, I decided to do an anti-spyware scan, followed by an anti-virus scan, followed by a disk clean up, followed by a disk defrag, followed by a reboot.

Because this would take some time, I switched over to watch television, as my television and my computer monitor are the same thing.

As I switched, I saw the icon disappear, and I knew the problem was solved.

Sure enough, a little later, when I switched back to my computer, I had my normal sounds back.

So, now what's the problem?

I went ahead and did all that maintenance, and when I rebooted, I had my normal Christmas Nativity desktop wallpaper, but - - -

I had no taskbar, hence no "Start" menu, and when right clicking my mouse on the screen, there was no response.

I kept trying to fix the problem by doing the "three finger salute" (ALT, CTRL, DELETE), but each restart resulted in the same thing.

I have sound, but with no taskbar and no right click display menu, I can do nothing with my screen.

By monkeying around, I did manage to run a systems diagnostic check with my PC Doctor program, which indicates nothing wrong - - - , except I can NOT open my Control Panel.

I can see the icon, but it won't respond.

I tried running my System Restore disc, but the first time, nothing happened, and the second time, I got only a blank blue screen.

Microsoft only markets the Windows XP Media Center Edition installed in new computers, and not as separate software, so how can I repair or restore whatever needs fixing?

What I need is for my taskbar to come back on my screen, so I can access my "Start" menu, and I need to be able to right click my mouse and access my display properties.

Do any of you have any advice?

I may decide to call the local "GEEKS ON CALL", which will be expensive, but since it's Christmas, it'll probably be another week or two before I can get anyone.

I wish Microsoft had put that operating system on a disc instead of instructing the user to make their own.

I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but my disc doesn't work.

Anyway, I've given up and shut it down completely.

At this point, I don't have a clue as to what else I can do.

It's frustrating, because I'm sure it's something simple.

If I had an Internet connection, I bet I could fix it right away, using my notebook and my USB memory stick.

I wonder if Microsoft has a phone number?

This HAS to be something simple!

Any suggestions, y'all?

Thank you.

John Robert "SAIGON" Mallernee, KB3KWS
Official Bard of Clan Henderson
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Washington, D.C. 20011-8400

NOTE: "My unpopular and controversial personal opinions are independent of my Scottish clan."

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