When it comes to computers, I provide tech support for my family and friends. I enjoy it. I’m pretty good with it. The secret here is, most computer problems are fairly easy to solve and involve the computer user shooting himself in the foot.
Sorry – it’s true. They’re mostly self inflicted.
But what do I do… who do I turn to when I have problems? Mostly it’s my friends Peter and Kevin. The funny part is they often lean on me too! Sometimes just a different perspective is valuable.
Unfortunately, I have a problem on my main PC and I don’t think either of them can help me. The problem isn’t in knowing how to troubleshoot this PC. The problem is the sheer volume of possibilities that will have to be searched.
A month or so ago I started getting spontaneous shutdowns of the Windows XP operating system and, what computer geeks call, BSOD or Blue Screen of Death.
No matter what glitch or bug or error you get, there is nothing more sinister than a BSOD. By the time it is on your screen the operating system has stopped… well, it’s stopped operating.
There are a few cryptic clues like a reference to a specific error which is often associated with the computer’s software drivers. Great – there must be hundreds, maybe thousands of those. And each time the BSOD occurs the screen points in a slightly different direction.
I wanted to take a screen shot to post here, but once you get a BSOD your computer is pretty much dead in the water.
Luckily, this isn’t the only problem of late. Note the error message on the left. I have tried searching ever source I know… and come up blank. There’s nothing I’ve changed recently which should have caused this USB error. I’m guessing it’s related to my scanner and it very well might be related to the BSOD problem.
Please, don’t feel sorry for me. I collect computers like Steffie collects shoes. There are backups available (though I still don’t back up my data – another weakness of mine) and I have used them in critical situations, like taking tests for school. A computer crash there might be incredibly costly.
So, why am I writing this? Well, my friend Steve (who has received his fair share of tech support) was wondering why it wasn’t here. I had originally decided to wait until I solved it before writing about it – but that might never happen.