I realize my posting has been very light the past week or so – and really light the last couple of days. I have been fighting – hard – with a number computer problems. First repetitive crashing on my main office computer, then the kid's installation of "fun" little games then a couple of software malfunctions that resulted in uninstall/reinstalls. The ridiculous crashing problem appears to have been resolved by deleting all – and I mean every single speck – of ATI software from my system and letting Windows simply find and install only the drivers for my video card. The kid's computer mess has been a long and ugly process, involving rootkits and registry scrubbing.
Then we get to the tipping point today.
I have a backup computer, if you will. It is a slightly less capable computer than my main one, but is a solid little system I built from an Abit IS7-V2 motherboard. It has an Intel Celeron clocked at 2.9 GHz and 512 Gbytes of (slightly slow) PC 2700 memory. While battling the problems with the main box, I was simultaneously updating the backup with all the latest Windows XP patches (the box hadn't been online in a while). All that went swimmingly.
Then I installed some better PC 3200 memory in the backup. And all hell broke loose.
Windows Genuine Disadvantage® tool decided my box was no longer compliant with the dictates of the mothership and disabled my internet connection and informed me I had to revalidate my legal software. All of a sudden, my wireless card was no longer on the system and I had no way to validate. I had to call, spend 45 minutes or so of my time trying to get the damned Windows software revalidated (which it was – hell, I had just downloaded 41 critical updates not an hour before I installed memory). Then I tried to figure out why I suddenly had no wireless card – I mean it was not even there according to Windows. Then I shut the computer off and on three times and suddenly the card was back and I was connected. (The card stopped working and disappeared from the system exactly when Windows decided I needed to revalidate it and only came back after I had.)
So now, it appears that Microsoft has decided to disable things on my system if I change or add components.
And I'm done with them. I'll keep my legal copies of XP, I'll keep running it on these computers I own until they die of old age. But I will be damned if I will ever buy another Microsoft product of any kind whatsoever.