XP? Vista? Sanity?

There’ve been a lot of people who have advised me against using Windows Vista, but so far I’ve been giving them a deaf ear. Yesterday, I realized just how truthful their words were.

My desktop computer is an ancient piece of garbage that belongs in the antiques department of a museum, and unwittingly, I decided to load Windows Vista on it, a few months back. It performed quite well, considering its age and capacity. Vista, being graphic-heavy, soon began to eat into my computer’s memory and yesterday, the damn thing just refused to boot. No matter how much I tried, it gave up and I could almost hear it scream for mercy. Being a kind-hearted guy, I decided to heed and made up my mind to switch back to XP. It was a simple task – remove Vista, install XP, be happy. But, being God’s yo-yo has its own perks and I soon myself in a rut.

I went to friend’s place where he gave a couple of XP installation CDs. I plugged in the first one, and saw that it contained the NFS game. I plugged in second one and saw that it contained the proper XP installation files. I happily booted the system from the CD and formatted the entire C drive, hoping to install XP. Halfway through the installation, I realized that I hadn’t written down the product key, which had been scribbled on the disk. I crossed my fingers and removed the disk and tried to write down the 25-digit product key, when I realized that I would have a long night ahead.

I couldn’t read what was written on it!!

It had been scribbled so badly that most of the letters (numbers?) were not easily made out. I tried different combinations – there was one particular letter that could have been an ‘H”, an “M’, an ‘N’ or an ‘A’.

I tried all these combinations, and none of them worked. There were 5 letters that were doubtful, and the number of combinations of these five letters came up to 349, according to my poor math prowess. So, I abandoned the effort and sent my brother out to his friend’s place to get another copy of the XP installation disk. I had to bribe him to go! The terrorist! Bah!

Well, he did finally and when I tried to install XP with this disk (thankfully, the product key was clearly written), the installation crashed halfway, claiming that the disk was corrupt and couldn’t be read. I was very close to pulling my hair out when the power went out and I was bathed in darkness. For fear of scaring my neighbor’s kid into having horrible nightmares, I held my scream of agony within me.

Half an hour later, the power came back and I decided to go to one of my .. um.. cousin friend‘s place to collect another disk.

“Come, macha! I have XP!” said the moron excitedly into the phone. Poor guy, I thought. He sounded so excited over the phone that I thought that he was on top of the world because someone had called him! πŸ˜€

I drove to his place (it was almost 9.30 in the night) and went inside. He held out a DVD in his hand and said, “Macha, this is Vista! Try it! It’s better then XP!” :I


I had half a mind to throttle the poor thing and relieve him of his miserable existence. “I already have Vista, dude. I need XP,” I said.

“Oh, I don’t have XP, man,” he said. There was a heavy flower vase on the table that looked really promising. Controlling my homicidal instincts, I said good night and left. Back home, I decided to give the damn thing one last try with a few other permutations of the doubtful product key. I switched on the machine, and got an error message, which said, “Boot Sector Fail. Press Any Key To Continue”

I pressed a key, and the computer shut itself down. It’s now a paperweight that looks like a computer.

Why do such things happen only to me?? Such a simple thing and I get into these weird messes that I don’t know what sin I had committed to deserve such treatment.

Shhh.. Listen carefully. Can you hear God laughing at me? πŸ˜€

Published by Nikhil

Nikhil Kumar lives in Bangalore with his wife and their stuffed dog. They are both advertising professionals and lead very exciting lives on the streets, dodging traffic. Their fridge is filled with cans of Diet Coke and their water heater doesn't work. He doesn't smoke (up) anymore.

43 thoughts on “XP? Vista? Sanity?

  1. “There was a heavy flower vase on the table that looked really promising.” hahahaha…that was funny!

    I really really think yu shud’ve tried tu ‘read’ the 25 alpha-digit key before formatting the “paperweight that looks like a computer.”

  2. Yup… i heard myself laughing too… πŸ˜€ unfortunately, i had a similar month-long disaster with my comp… there was this Win Genuine Advantage registry editor which enables us to use all microsoft softwares without troubling u about counterfeit copy bullshit… i was tempted and gave it a try… everything was fine for two days… later the booting time changed drastically from under 15 secs to over 4 minutes… it was very annoying… i simply re installed the OS… all was fine until my brother did the same thing… 😦 and lo! the same story continued… but this time it wanted revenge badly… the error spread to other drives and i was forced to format the whole hard drive after reinstalling XP for 13 times in two weeks… 😦 it was a deadly month… march 2007…

  3. @Scorpria
    Hehe!! πŸ˜€

    hahaha!! Hilarious, man!! πŸ˜€

    Yeah, I realized that yesterday! πŸ˜€

  4. lol .,…you must be having the largest paper weight πŸ˜€
    by the way i love XP no matter who says what // πŸ˜›

  5. Well I have faced more troubles because of my experimenting with my PC. Using every utility availabe, it showed my 80gb hard disk as 31mb!!! :O
    But yet I kept faith πŸ˜€ and found out the way.

    And next time call me up any time (any time!!!!) and ask the XP key. I have one which microsoft never detects as pirated and I even update my XP using Automatic Update πŸ˜€

    Don’t blame god now, I already told u he has Ubuntu 8.1 on his laptop πŸ˜›

    P.S> I can give one more FREE tip if anyone asks πŸ˜€

  6. By the time they sort out all the problems with Vista, it will be time to launch the next version!

    Quirky Indian

  7. Nikhil:

    Hate to say this but you are describing more than 1 act of piracy in this post. :-/

    If it is your work PC, your office should have the master discs. If they too resort to the same tricks as you, well…

  8. πŸ™‚
    I know the pains of installing multiple OS!
    I’ve had similar woes installing 95, 98, 2000, and XP over the years..

    The disc corrupt thing happened to me when installing XP last time.. after restarting the installation process few time the damn CD somehow went through the bad sector and worked fine! πŸ™‚

    I’ve not tried my luck to reinstall XP though i share my processor with few deadly viruses πŸ˜€
    One has even screwed my motherboard.. my comp doesn’t boot normally… says something has conked off.. press F1/F2 etc.. πŸ˜€

  9. My desktop refused to boot one day (6 months ago).. Being the liberal person I am, I let it be the way it wants to be.. I use my brother’s laptop or just blog from work πŸ˜‰

  10. Ha ha ha ha .. I m still rollin gon the floor laughing after reading ur post .. Man, u r too funny and this is the funniest post I hv ever read in my life..

    ** There was a heavy flower vase on the table that looked really promising ** –> This was the best thing .. Ohhh man, I cant stop laughing…

    But it does not mean I am not sympathetic to you…i can feel what yo umust hv gone through..

  11. No, I can not hear God laughing, but my neighbors can hear me laughing πŸ˜€

    The Vase was actuall promising πŸ˜€

    I guess u r kind of, like me in slef created misshaps πŸ™‚

    I have started believing that ppl like us have been made to give God his/ her daily does of laughter πŸ˜‰

  12. Okay here s what you need to do..
    METHOD 1
    plug in ur HDDD into any friends comp as a ‘slave’ (tech-talk ehm) now don’t boot from ur HDD instead from ur friend’s installation… format ur whole HDD or at least the c drive which has the darn vista.. now take it back home and install XP..
    METHOD 2
    Install Ubuntu… I mean format ur C drive into linux format and install the OS then reformat and install XP

    I would suggest method 1

  13. Nikhil:

    Seeing as inevitably solutions start emerging:

    Well, if you can stand the low battery life (my Wintel laptop battery gives me 7 -8 hours while the Powerbook gives me 2 hours at best), the lack of applications or the plethora of compatibility issues, and lack of consensus even amongst Apple vendors on what anti-virus and firewall to use (they like to believe viruses are not written for Macs, talk about navel-gazing), go for a Macbook or Powerbook.

    They do look nicer than Wintel laptops in most cases, except may be Sony Vaio. And you can work on them even with power failure – for two whole hours πŸ˜‰

  14. Well well…this has happened to me many times. I guess I have re-installed XP 5 times in the last two moths, which includes BSoD error thrice … 😦 and this all due a crap virus… grrrr…
    And ya did you get the BSoD error? I have a doubt on that..! πŸ˜•

    And ya I had also told you not to use Vista as it sucks big time. Better that you realized how bad it is now. And BTW did you install XP and did you find the key?

  15. HAHAH you and your antique computer….heheheee..damn funny….you’re god’s yo yo and your computer is your yo yo..C’mon Macha who installs heavy packed Vista on antique desktop da??? lolzzz..
    so finally is your machine finally up now????
    Must say I love the side bar widget thingy in Vista…and the search is faster too…

  16. even i’m on the list dude………….there was a power when i was in the middle of a boot and i don’t have a ups…………the total sector failed and i had to change the whole thing……………….
    And about this vista……….microsoft people recently stopped the sales of XP to increase the sales of Vista……………..how can they do that…..

  17. That was one hilarious post πŸ˜€ !!!buddy,u have been having a lot of problems with that prehistoric paper weight of yours. Y dont you give up on it and get a new one? I mean, how long are you going to fight with it?

  18. @Nik – After 24 comments, phew I am running late da macha! 😦

    Btw, I have promised I am not reading any of your posts in office!!!! I start laughing and my sexy boss gives me a weird look πŸ™‚ I think I am dragging myself a bit too far from the KISS πŸ˜€ πŸ˜›

    Super funny post da! Still laughing, smiling and planning to read it again! The vase thgy was damn cool, I could picturise the whole thg! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜›

    I have a vista, but I like XP more! Antique computers like Windows 98? You need that cd? πŸ˜€

  19. @Arvind
    Hehe! Yes! Biggest paperweight in the world!

    You’re my tech support from now on!

    @Quirky Indian
    Maybe that’s for the best, you never know!

    Piracy is a necessary evil… I am yet to mail you the details of the Indian Piracy Market…

    Lol… Viruses have left me alone so far.. .I know that they’re just round the corner…

    You’re liberal, I’m generous… I frikkin gave my laptop away to my cousin!

    Hehehe! Glad you’re rolling around..

    @ S
    38 years ago????? Oh my god!! I wasn’t even born then!!

    Hehe.. Thanks for the info! You’re my second tech support guy, ok?

    Hehehe!! Yeah, looks like it…

    Hehe… I don’t know what BSoD error is… There was a file called Driver.Cab, which was corrupt and wasnt copying and installation crashed…
    Finally, now I’ve installed XP but the sound card isn’t being detected… hehehe… I have no idea what to do now!

    Hehehe!! Yeah, I should’ve shown some common sense earlier… It’s working now, but it’s become mute.. sound card isn’t detected… sigh…
    And yeah, google desktop feature looks cooler in vista!

    Lol.. Thanks!

    @La Vida Loca

    Hehehe! Yeah, last monday was the “expiry date” for Win XP…


    Sentimental attachment, buddy…

    You’re alive!!
    Yay! I thought you had gone and killed yourself trying to drink 45 mugs of beer at the same time!
    And thank god you don’t read my blog at office.. They’ll think you need to be institutionailzed…!!
    I don’t like Win 98, thanks… I have had more problems with that than with any woman!!

  20. @ S
    I did.. This is so strange!! Ok, I’m actually honored! MirrorCracked has been here since 38 years, apparently! Wow! Talk about perseverance! πŸ˜€

  21. Oh, shooot….. that was wacko to read.. but am sure in real you were frustrated, pissed off and some more~~ yep, that heavy vase must have looked very tempting indeed~~ πŸ˜€

    I get so hopping mad everytime my laptop hangs, thankfully not that often…. i use Vista, its ok… not super fast, but works for me… maybe cos i dont have any softwares installed but for itunes~~~

  22. Terrorist bribed…lol
    Look its VISTA wow, its better…rofl
    permutations = bad

    Why don’t u install Ubuntu, its fun and not dumb. I can help u.

    Seems like I have to write a newbie linux post in my blog soon as exhorted previously by Su

  23. @Aarti
    Welcome to MirrorCracked! πŸ˜€
    I’m honored to be on your blogroll… I’ll do the same here…
    And yes, I almost pull my hair out every time my comp hangs, though I’m getting used to it now! πŸ˜€

    @ T
    I need help, man… I’ll shoot you an email with all my problems (comp-related problems) and lemme know if u can help me out? πŸ˜€

  24. @Nikhil: LOL… you wont believe this. After my installation of xp 5 times… my sound also stopped working.. 😐
    Assuming that it is DEAD… :((

    BTW try installing the drivers..might work!

  25. I go for intelligence.. Maybe I am not the hot date, but I am a woman! πŸ™‚

    But, can I just ask a question – Men act dumb all the time, why?? Your post asks men to stop acting dumb once the hot date talks.. But then again, how would I know what hot dates go for!? Hmm… Definitely interesting to note the lengths to which man would go to impress (or mate)!!? πŸ™‚

    Have you considered writing a book or a sitcom? πŸ™‚

  26. @Joel
    Where do i find these drivers, man?? πŸ˜€

    Um, I think you commented on the wrong post, but that’s ok… πŸ˜€
    Men aren’t supposed to BE dumb… They’re supposed to ACT dumb… And not that dumb, too… I mean, just enough to give the impression that they’re not nerds.. Because being a nerd is a bigger turn off than being too dumb… πŸ˜€
    And once the guy impresses the girl on the date, he needn’t act dumb anymore… hehehe… πŸ˜€
    And, uh… I have already written a book… πŸ™‚

  27. Ok, dunno about you, but, I am a bit freaked out!!!! Dont ask why! when I have it figured out, I will leave you a comment on the wrong post! πŸ™‚

  28. //Why do such things happen only to me?? //

    Oh yeah ??!! Puh-leseee !! Such things happen to me always !! You atleast have a younger bro who’ll run around doing your job. Everytime the comp crashes, I need to listen to my sis yelling at me. ( i’m apparently “irresponsible, have no sense, not grown up, stupid creature, can’t use my brain and root cause of all the problems” )

    I usually call the ‘comp guy’ to reinstal the OS. He does it for 300 bucks. Flirt with him a bit, he charges 150 bucks + gives me all the new versions of all the softwares.

  29. On xp
    Reading this post, I had a told you so moment.
    Anyways i realised that u were not on my roll and i added u pronto.
    Did u find the key btw , if u need one i can give it to you.

    /Why do such things happen only to me?? /
    well the fact is it happens to everyone πŸ˜‰

    The flower vase bit – Priceless

  30. @Everyone
    One costly but 100% efficient solution to all these problems:
    GET A MAC! πŸ˜€ or Linux will do just fine.

    Dude. You have a way with words. I was laughing like I was some crazy guy who lost his marbles. Almost fell off my chair. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Great post dude. So how about that Mac? πŸ˜›

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