Okay, turned the computer off for a while, took a deep breath, (so I wouldn't push it off the desk), did a System Restore and 95% of my problems were resolved...even my anti-virus program remembered who I was. HOWEVER, I still have to deal with the inability to download files off the Internet. Let's just say I'm not up-to-date on a few things. Ironically, the anti-virus program is able to update and a scan shows no viruses present. Weird.
I only wish System Restore worked on Big Name Computer Company employees.
Silly me, trying to use common sense and logic. I figured if following THEIR instructions caused the problem, THEY should be able to advise what to do next. I will take responsibility for the fact I can't remember the danged error number. After all, I didn't discover there was a "problem" for over a week, at which point System Restore had created new helpful points past that date. But hey, those employees all seem to read out of the same manual when you want help so telling them WHAT I'd done (and why) should work.
Only in "real people" world. Not in Tech World.
I decided online chat was the easiest. No stereotyping. No condescending sneer in the tone of the Great One who was trying to aid me, She Who Messed Things Up. I'm not stupid. Hand me simple directions and I'm a do-it-yourself kind of gal. But they need to be in my language.
Chat started simple enough. I was advised "Joy" would be with me in just one moment as a photo of a smiling, confident woman appeared on my screen. I grinned back in irony. I could use some joy, considering I'd contemplated murdering my computer. And then, like an unfulfilled promise, she disappeared as I was politely advised she was currently busy with another customer.
Little did I know that a glimpse of joy was all that would come of this conversation.
Waiting for the next representative, I read that I "might" have to pay for this advice. Hmmm. Your updates created the problem, I followed your directions and I might have to pay you to fix it? I decided my first question would concern what problems involved payment. After all, worse comes to worse I can do a System Recovery. Yes, I'd have to load everything as if the computer just came out of the box, but it'd be nice to know my options.
Another face appeared on my screen. "Angelique". Hmm, from joy to angels. Maybe this would work. And then I glanced at her photo. She looked less certain about computers than I did. I hoped her expression of terror mixed with doubt just meant she didn't like having her picture taken.
Sadly, it did not.
Oh we started out good. Introductory welcome followed by mandatory, "How may I help you?"
I said hello, then inquired what types of issues warranted payment. The screen assured me she was typing a reply, so I waited.
....and waited. And waited. I prepared for a lengthy answer. It was 2 sentences.
At first I thought she was an attorney, because the answer was crouched in double talk. It "depended" on how much was done on their end. We would discuss it prior to payment being made.
Fair enough I thought. So I explained my problem. Succinctly. To the point. Windows update kept failing. Error message gave instructions to delete that Temporary Downloads folder. I did as instructed. Now I couldn't download anything. I sat back and waited for the magical words of wisdom which would put me back on track. My screen advised that she was typing....
After five minutes of nothing, I wondered if this was her first day, envisioning her thumbing through the manual in panic for an answer. Maybe she'd wandered off to aid another customer because she was just that good. Or maybe she'd gone to the bathroom.
While I waited, I re-read her original answer. That's when I realized we had a communications problem. English wasn't her first language. It wasn't the misspelled words or wrong verb tense, it was gaps of missing words. My brain had filled them in as I skimmed, but re-reading made me cringe. I felt bad for her. Why would someone put this woman in the position to be helpful when she didn't have the basic tools to do the job? I took Spanish in high school (many moons ago) and while I can ask if you speak English and where's the bathroom, I certainly couldn't give helpful instructions in Spanish. This company had basically set her up to fail and become the punchline for yet another comedian. Oddly enough, it made me even angrier. For her.
At minute 6 when the screen indicated she was STILL typing, I typed 2 words: "Never mind". It felt the kindest way out for both of us. She would have her dignity and think I was a cheapskate and I wouldn't lose my temper and become another type of female stereotype.
As I reached for the key to end our chat, I found 3 sentences. Same garble of words asking for the error number which I couldn't give her. I put both of us out of misery by hitting the "End" button.
So on Sunday, if the other "answer" I found doing research doesn't work, I'll have to take a deep breath and return my computer to Factory Condition. I won't like it because it has so much info on it. But as someone who likes Do-It-Yourself projects, I'll just think of it as that, rather than The Big Company Won. Besides I'll be on vacation for 2 weeks.. I might get it done by the end of that.
Y'all have a good weekend!