Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fright Night!!!

Phew! Right now, I'm breathing one really, really big sigh of relief.

But since about 9 p.m. tonight, I was really on edge, nervous, okay, face it, I was downright petrified!


Because something was wrong with my computer! That's why!

What happened, we aren't entirely sure, but I was about at my wit's end, for sure.

A little after 9 p.m., Mandy sat down to use the computer and when she tried to log into her facebook account, she couldn't enter her password. Absolutely could not type it in. Although the cursor was blinking, if she tried to type in her password, nothing happened except the screen would change to reflect the computer's history. Go figure now, how would or could that happen, huh?

So she asked me what was wrong and being the computer whiz that I am not, I had nary a clue.

So I thought maybe there was something wrong and the innards was full of dust, ya know. I had asked Mandy a while back to pick up a can of that stuff you can spray around to clear out dust accumulations so I got that out, removed the side panel and sprayed away. Yeah, not proud of this but there WAS a lot of yucky dust in there.

Okay. Got that cleared out, panel re-inserted and time to test this puppy again but still nothing.

I clicked on my e-mail and was going to see if it was working and it downloaded what new e-mail I had okay. So I thought I would try opening a new message and see if I could send it to a friend who has helped me through some issues in the past but when I tried to type in the title of my note, nothing.

Seemed the keyboard was being obstinate and weird -as well as Firefox and Facebook.

So then I thought well, maybe somehow the keyboard had been accidentally disconnected, ya know. So I moved everything around the tower, went to move the tower out to check the back connections and the computer shut off on me.

So then I went through all the outlets into the surge protector to see if they were all plugged in completely (a few months back, Sammy -the dog -had accidentally bumped the connections, knocking them loose and that had created some issues for me then) and I checked all the connections into the back of the computer itself and one of them apparently had been pulled out just a tad so I got that re-connected, power re-established, etc., but still -no change to the way the computer was operating.

Now, as I said above, the last thing in the world I am is computer savvy about the innards of this thing or anything that is really the least bit technical. But I was on a mission tonight to see if I could do anything to get this sucker up and functioning once again. It had been working fine about an hour before Mandy had decided to log it, so what the heck could have happened to it in that amount of time with no one playing on it?

I did the disc cleanup -which, with Windows XP takes what seems like FOREVER to do its thing. After that, I did a defrag -another clean-up thing that also is slower than freaking molasses in January too. Those done, I then got Firefox to open and managed to get to a bookmark where I had a link saved to Micro Trend Anti-Virus (freebie thing, ya know) and I was able to click that open, click on to download the program thinking maybe I'd been hit by some kind of virus or some such that my regular anti-virus program hadn't picked up on.

I was in the process of watching the anti-virus program do its scan -which was roughly by then almost 3 hours after Mandy had first begun having problems with this puppy -when I happened to glance down at the keyboard and noticed the the "ctrl" key to the right side of the space bar appeared to be depressed so, on a lark, I touched that key and it popped back up (after I toyed with it briefly).

The anti-virus program ran, finished up, telling me I had one (1) threat -some spyware -which I clicked to have that fixed and after all that, then I re-opened Firefox and went to my bookmark for Facebook.

I clicked on Mandy's code there. It asked for her password which I was able to provide and this time, it let me type the password in and presto magic, Facebook opened right up.

Will you look at that? I AM a computer whiz after all, aren't I?

After wasting (well, not really -as all the things I did really DID need to be done) roughly three hours, worrying myself sick thinking my baby, my computer, was sick and probably would need hospital care plus a lot of moola that, of course, I don't really have handy to get it functioning again, and apparently all that was wrong was that this particular "ctrl" key had been depressed and got stuck in that position!

Whatever it took there to get this thing up and running again, I'm just really ecstatic that by accident I just happened to see the key that looked like it was depressed and possibly stuck and that it was apparently the problem and all is fixed, up and running again.

Obviously so -huh, since I am sitting here, typing away and seeing the letters all appear before me on the screen.

Yeah, me -the computer whiz-kid! LOL

But we have decided to make sure Kurtis isn't near the keyboard at all because Mandy thinks he was squirming around, touching things while she was holding him and trying to sign in and that's how that key ended up getting depressed and locking up the keyboard for us, but good!

Now, I can go to bed, relax, rest, get a good night's sleep and not have nightmares about computer technicians doing heaven only knows what to my poor little computer to get it up and running again!

Or better yet -maybe I should just change my name to "Lucky!"


Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

There is such a feeling of helplessness when something goes wrong on the computer...I hear you! My old laptop, as I realized after MANY hours of worry and struggle, had some screws/wires loose. Nice. Glad yours was just the control key...thank goodness you noticed before having to pay someone $$$ to tell you so! Buona notte :D

Dianne said...

I'm glad it was a relatively easy fix
although of course it's still so stressful
you would think computers could just tell us in English what was wrong with them

Marguerite said...

I hear your pain on computer woes! It is maddening when something goes awry! Glad that you were able to figure it out, on your own. Have a nice Sunday!

Travis said...

Good for you to go step by step through a series of ideas to try to get the computer working again. Even though it turned out to be something simple, you shouldn't did what you needed to do.

The computer problem I can ever remember having was due to something on the keyboard. Every time I tried to use my number pad, it did all this weird stuff. I panicked because I had no idea what could possible be wrong.

Turns out, my number lock key was off so the number pad was defaulting to whatever those number keys mean when they aren't numbers. LOL!

TechnoBabe said...

You probably are more technical than you give yourself credit for. You should feel good for starting at the beginning and working through till you got it to work.

Maggie May said...

You know...... all the while I was reading this, I could feel the tension rising! My worst thing is for computer to die and me having no one to help.
However, you ARE a computer whizz kid. Congratulations!

Nuts in May

Smalltown RN said...

Oh I feel your pain sister.....I would be freaking as well....I am NOT computer savvy by any means...more times than not I have to call on my hubby to figure the problem kuddo's to you for doing all that you did...and regardless if in the end it was just ca stuck figured it out...and viola!!!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, WONDERFUL!!! You ARE a wiz!! So glad you were able to get it all put back to rights...what a horrible feeling it is to feel cut off from our computers...amazing how attached we've become, isn't it? But they truly are a very necessary and useful tool! Hope you had a wonderful night's rest! ~Janine XO

fermicat said...

Good for you! It can be maddening trying to figure out what's gone wrong with a computer. Glad you got it figured out successfully.