man V technology

since time primeval man stood alone against the forces of the Earth, surviving on courage, luck, and cunning....
this is the story of one such man, and his mortal struggle to regain control of technology.

scour win98 drive for all relevant non-replaceables. methodically copy everything to the XP drive- very long process. run up against "no disk space" problem. not LOW disk space....zero. gasp! recopy 1.5G worth of non-replaceables to win98 drive. breath sigh of relief that only the copy process hung up. notice very interesting problem of XP not letting me rename the folder i was originally copying from.....made me think the computer hadn't actually lost the files it couldn't copy, but just sort of stashed them away in memory, somewhere they wouldn't show up in the folder's contents. breath big sigh of relief it only cost me a couple files and reboots, not complete system hang. bullet dodge #1. realize i have redundant files in another (yet uncopied) folder. phew! bullet dodge #1 + "drunken waterfowl blind luck style" technique.

attempt to burn remaining files to CD. commence Shao-Lin showdown with Nero 6, which stubbornly refuse to come with the proceedicles. Nero pulls multiple unexplained "lock up at 2% of write function complete" maneuvers; 1 buffer underrun error. throw away shiny new coasters. growl. attempt running CD-burn progs installed on win98....nothing work with XP.....scratch head. 98 no boot, back to square one. renew attack on Nero 6 with double ferocity! clean boot, engage application and carefully stealth recon every single option in every menu of Nero. initiate "Burn" maneuver....no go. FUCK! WTF?! hmmm. scratch head. smoke cigarette. doggedly try once more, reducing write speed to 4x..........BAM! bullet dodge #2.

write half a dozen CDs worth of non-replaceables.

take deep breath.

power down; physically uncable XP drive.

reboot. enter BIOS, change boot order to floppy first. boot to win98 rescue disk. run FDISK. pause at top of bridge and watch bridge burn behind me. delete partition data. repartition. reformat. reinstall win98. reupgrade to SE. boot. locate all hardware driver discs. reinstall video driver. nuthin'. re-reinstall video driver. nuthin'. scratch head. disc bad? disc no read. check disc. disc have big stain in bad place. attempt to spit clean disc. reinstall. success! no! no can read necessary file. growl. remove disc. scratch head. try to pick off particulate snot-like splatter on CD. is it food? hmmm. man need....solvent. get Goof-Off. put Goof-Off on shirt and wipe bad spot on CD. bad move. Goof-Off scores major damage with "fuck-up-CD-completely-forever" technique!!!!!

swear loudly. growl. remember ATI Radeon Excalibur upgrade card bought long time ago. power down computer. crawl under desk. blow major thick dust layer from open case. cough. blow more. get flashlight. uninstall ATI Rage Fury card. install Radeon Excalibur card. install Radeon driver.....SUCCESS! infidel does victorious "extra-hardware-in-da-house" dance!

smoke cigarette.

take deep breath.

reinstall XP hard drive. accidentally slam hard drive to front of case, notice no screws securing hard drive. sweat profusely. reboot machine. machine start to boot. boot from floppy. fuck. remove floppy, reboot, enter BIOS, change boot order to XP drive first, reboot. boot sequence aborts with "PRESS ANY KEY TO REBOOT" message. reboot, enter BIOS, change boot order to win98 drive, reboot. win98 boots. check out drive letter sequences, notice extra partition information on XP drive. shut down. reboot. same error. power down, reinstall XP drive cables. reboot. same error. power down. locate XP CD. tremble.

begin reinstall of XP. catch fleeting glimpse of "press F2 to enter installation repair mode" but attempt keystroke too late. tremble again. choose reinstall XP from menu. watch screens closely. choose to "let me designate the drive letter" to install XP on. watch screen closely. choose "repair previous installation" option. enter system console. follow directions to log on as administrator. realize i have no fkn clue what i'm doing. guess at administrator password.....lucky guess, i'm in. realize i still have no idea what to do next. choose to search for existing operating systems. it finds one in C:\windows, and another one it cannot identify. choose to enable that operating system. get asked for label. misunderstand command entry structure; accidently label newfound installation "1". growl. get list of available commands. read help sections on commands. find "bootcfg" command and run it. follow most logical-sounding options. choose another command that seems pertinent. run with most logical-sounding options. cross fingers. reboot.....

BAM! two possible boot configs. one named "1". growlz. choose it. XP boots! everything works still! win98 boots! way better vid card works! multiple monitor capable!

10 hours after beginning the epic struggle, infidel kneels, suffused with humility, radiating relief.

by the end of the week i should be back to being able to use my unusable-for-the-last-5-months-since-no-cabling-option-existed speakers and my unusable-for-the-last-5-months-due-to-op-sys-incompatibility recording hardware to pick up right where i left off.

so ends the latest chapter in the continuing saga of our hero, man triumphing over technology.....will he be so lucky next time?

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