the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur (plonq) wrote,
the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur

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On the road again -- Soon

This evening has been one of bustling about, readying, packing and making ready for a couple of weeks on the road. Naturally neither of us feel entirely prepared, and we will inevitably remember important items or tasks when we are a couple of hours down the road. Still, it is hard to shake the nigh ineffable feeling of satisfaction in seeing neatly packed bags and camera cases lined up at the ready to pack out to the car.

I still have a small list of things I need to do, some of which I will mention here as a reminder to myself.

- Shut off the file server.
- Locate my tripod.
- Wash the cats' food dishes.
- Scoop the basement litterbox, top it up with fresh litter.
- Pack up my notebook computer.
- Leave a note of addendum information for the house sitter.
- Dig out a couple of games in case of rain.
- Hug the cats.

I had not originally been planning to take my notebook along on the trip, but at the end work today I dug it out and blew off the dust. I will want to (maybe that is not the right word choice - I should) remote into one or both of my desktops at work while I am away to ensure they continue to run smoothly while I am gone. We do not have enough bodies just now to give me proper vacation coverage.

I think that when I disconnected my laptop the last time, I had meant it to be a temporary move, because I apparently slept it instead of powering it down completely. When I hauled it out today, its battery had been sucked drier than a pithy metaphor. I hooked it up to AC power, let it rest for a few moments and then fired it up. It posted fine, and windows booted right up.

Or not.

It posted fine, but though Windows started to boot up just fine, it stuttered badly as it played its irritatingly-cheery start-up tune and then froze up like a Winnipeg winter halfway through entering my password. After equal parts cussing and rebooting, I concluded that it was not going to work. I could not even get it to boot up in safe mode. Finally, after a bit of experimentation, I got it to boot up into a command prompt. Not much, but a start.

I wondered if something had corrupted when its power ran out mid-sleep, and I had heard that deleting the pagefile.sys file could sometimes help. Naturally it would not let me do anything with that file. I could not change its attributes, rename it, delete it, nor even speak ill of it without feeling mildly silly. I finally went into the system settings and disabled the swap file to see if that would get rid of it. After all that, Windows still refused to boot up.

Ah well, I had been thinking of playing with Ubuntu anyway, so I burnt a bootable DVD of it and fired it up to see what it would do on my notebook. I did not install it (yet), I just wanted to see how well it would perform if I ran it from the DVD. It performed reasonably well. I restarted the system once I was done playing with it, and Windows fired right up as if it had never even experienced a hiccough. Perhaps it felt threatened.

The rest of the evening has been spent updating and patching. According to the timestamps on my MSE signature files, I have not used the laptop since December 23. I am not surprised that it was a little reluctant to start. Also, I am still not ruling out Ubuntu. I freed up enough space on the drive to run it in parallel if nothing else.
Tags: laptop, packing
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