Bluddy HELL!!!

The next time someone asks me to fix a computer for them, remind me to RUN SCREAMING!!!!!!!!!

I used to do it all the time. For money.

Used to be good at it, even – hardware, software, what-the-hell-ever.

Obviously, used to be is the key phrase.


Ross is home – waiting for his buddy Don to pick him up to do another buggy job…. but he’s gone outside to avoid having to deal with me.

I THOUGHT it was likely to be just a power supply that needed replacing. Easy $40 – and I’d be saving the nice lady a hassle… yay me. Idiot me, more like.Tried one I had on hand – can’t find tester, so not sure it was good. Clean though, so it should work. No joy. Made trip to South end of Barrie to pick up a new power supply.  THIS one is known to work.

But of course not.

No such luck. When the power supply went, it took the motherboard out with it.

So fine – I didn’t LIKE it but whatever… talked to customer. Yes, she wanted new motherboard and for me to put it in. Wrong answer.

Another trip to the South end. Buy new motherboard. Have geek guy check cpu and RAM – they’re both fine. Buy more RAM for her anyway – WHO USES 256 anymore? Well – little old ladies – but still… it was under the price I quoted – might as well do it.

Came home, installed new mobo, cpu & RAM.

Power supply? Still dead of course. Replaced it. Plugged everything in.

Uh… would be nice if the power supply waited for me to push the button before it turned on. And turned off when I pushed button again. No such luck. And nothing on monitor either.

Using old monitor – maybe it’s given up the ghost. Or maybe there is a short between board and case – it happens. And given the funky turning on all by itself and off not at all, seems likely.

Rip the board out and try it again.

Now power issues seem better. Still nothing on monitor though. Charming.

*sigh*  Accept defeat and yank my own computer apart and plug monitor into hers. Video – woo hoo.

Now – about that mouse?

No mouse.

Whatever – will deal with that later.

Boots to Norton GoBack and throws a fit – date & time are wrong OMG THE WORLD WILL END. Yeah ok…so let me in to fix it. NO.

Eventually manage to get into BIOS settings and set the damn date & time. Yay me.

Now we’re rolling …. albeit it still sans mouse.

Boot computer. Right to the Windows XP activation screen.

That activation key is no good.

What the HELL????


Nope. It is not.

Who knew that eMachines, like Dell, have decided (probably with Microsoft) to not allow reactivation of their PERFECTLY LEGAL OEM activation keys if/when one must change the hardware.

Who knew that eMachines (and apparently Dell? Will be checking THAT out in a hurry since that’s where my laptop is coming from and I specifically asked about the software) – had decided to rip of nice little old ladies who paid for a perfectly legal copy of OEM software that they would like to continue to use on their perfectly legal computer that they PAID FOR????

Try to get a real person at Microsoft. Used to be able to – was that cuz back then I knew how? or did they make it harder. I suspect the latter. Whatever… screaming mad by this point.

Try to use eMachines chat/help thing… no joy. It wants the serial number that is on the sticker on the back of the computer. THAT IS WHAT I WAS TYPING IN THE CORRECT DAMN SPACE – but it won’t take it. Try with the letters, without the letters, with the spaces, without the spaces, etc….  swear copiously.

Call eMachines ~help~ number. Real person answers phone. Like as in almost right away. I’m thinking good things about eMachines … imagine – real telephone support!!!!

~help~ guy asks for serial number. *sigh* … the one from the sticker on the … yeah, whatever… give him the number; he tells me the model number. We’re all good now… right?

NOT. ~help~ guy thinks it is perfectly reasonable to explain the eMachines solution to the problem. I should run right out and buy a new copy of Windows.

Excuse me?

She’s already paid for a perfectly legal copy of Windows XP which she wishes to continue using on the exact same computer and his ~solution~ is that she should go pay for a new one?

Not helpful.

I get that they don’t want their OEM software going onto other computers… but if one of their computers breaks down and needs some hardware replaced…. that is SO MUCH BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


At LEAST on the DELL site there is help info re: how to preserve your Activation Key if required – not that that would have likely helped in this case, as I would not have been able to do it after the motherboard died – but there is some acknowledgement that they are creating a problem.

eMachines just doesn’t seem to give a damn.

What a crock!

Anyway … her computer is up and running… although it broked her AVG and AVG is no longer really free and doesn’t THAT just suck too!? I am sad about that… have been using it – and recommending it – for years.

NO MORE COMPUTER REPAIRS for me. Well…aside from my own, and my kids’, and I promised the guy at the liquor store … bluddy HELL!!!!!



  1. OK,

    I don’t know what AVG is, but I so know what you mean on fixing computers and the idiocy and corruption that is MS.

    I’m wishing you good luck and thanking all the Gods I’m not doing it.

  2. flitting Said:

    I MIGHT be finished now…. assuming that her modem installs with no problem …. just plugged it in to install it….

    got my fingers crossed that it will find drivers and get to working all by itsownself

  3. […] DO NOT FIX COMPUTERS ANY MORE. Honest! I’m sure you read Bluddy Hell!!!! (Part 1) , right? YOU know that I do not fix the damn things any […]

  4. cybergwen Said:

    Had to read the article that Hawthorne ate. We had a similar week with PC’s!

  5. This is a lesson I learned very quickly….pretend you know nothing about computers.
    Once your name is “public knowledge” as the Pc fixit person…you’ll get calls from people in grammar school.

  6. Troubles Galore Said:

    I am caught in the same cycle! Called e-machine before I even purchased the Mother Board; model too old, out of warranty etc. No mention of needing to purchase XP Home again as I found out by trying the activation over the phone, chat with E-Machines staff did offer telephone support (where for $200 the tech staff would answer any question) about the price of XP. Needless to say; looking for cheapest version of OEM software to sink additional money in an aleady expensive undertaking. I guess the better approach would be to dump the computer in to the waste stream and purchase another! Great for Mother Nature:(

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