Using Holiday downtime to speed up your computer. What could go wrong?
My iPhone and computer have both been running slow when loading anything lately so over the holidays, while I had some downtime, I decided to lighten the load so they wouldn't be so slow
First I dumped 3,242 photos from my phone onto my computer and, once there, I copied them to an external hard drive and removed them from the computer. Good plan and good so far.
Then, I moved all of the photos stored on my laptop to that same external hard drive. We should be lightning fast now, right?
Well, no. So, I had read an article about how to speed up your computer by cutting DOWN the number of apps that are part of the startup of your computer. It was quite a list so one by one, I was “uninstalling” each of these apps.
I was checking each one to make sure they weren’t related to the computer operation. They were things like "XBOX game something" and since I don’t even own an XBOX, we’re OK. "Vulkan something-or-other", I had to Google to see what that was but I carefully uninstalled about 15 or 20 apps.
One of the programs said it needed a restart to complete the uninstall so I restarted my computer. That’s when the earth cracked open and ate my world. Not only did my computer not work, it opened asking what kind of keyboard layout I wanted. What?!!! Windows was GONE. My files were gone and I had to make that dreaded call to HP Support.
I won’t bore you with the LONG story of what we had to go through but I will tell you a couple of helpful tips. Backup your entire computer to an external hard drive. Do it NOW. That will save you a lot. When we did get my computer working again, one option was to choose a "restore point" and it would bring back everything it had at that point. In my case, that failed because I had wiped out some sort of key file that Windows needed.
We actually had to wipe my computer clean and start over. But here’s the helpful part. As the HP tech was telling me, "this will wipe out everything", I said, “Wait. One of the other guys said we could keep my FILES and just re-install Windows”. To which he said, “We could do a ‘dirty intall’ if you would like”. What the heck is a “dirty install”? That’s where they install Windows after telling all of your files to go hang-out on a thumb drive for a while to be pulled in later.
Everything came back. It killed off a few passwords, my WiFi settings and some other things but the basics were restored. Had I not said, “HOLD IT”, my entire computer would have been wiped out. So, nasty as it sounds, if you ever need it – ask for a Dirty Install.
Let’s review what we’ve learned. People with thick accents CAN help bring your computer back from the grave, backing up your ENTIRE computer can save your life and a “Dirty Install” can save the day so keep that term in your phone. They were very patient and knowledgeable. When my wife has to talk with support techs, I sometimes have to help because I have an easier time understanding accents. I think it's funny how common it is for people to talk louder when they can't understand the person on the other end of the phone call. And no, my wife doesn't do that. She just hands me the phone.
BTW: If you haven’t already done so, create a folder in your phone for every password. That too saved the day.