A rebuild is a beautiful thing

How long do you put up with a problem before you fix it? Especially if it’s one of those ‘slightly annoying but I can work around it’ type computer problems?  Do you wait for a quiet moment at work (yeah, right), or for a time when you are feeling particularly unproductive or are avoiding another task that would be more unpleasant?  Or do you wait until another one .. or two .. or many other little problems join in the party and gang up on you?

The famed Christmas/New Year break is a great time to tackle problems such as these (and major website revamps) whilst the answer phone is on and the office is officially closed.  Yes, all of you small business owners out there are nodding in sympathy – what else do you do when it’s too wet to actually enjoy warm Queensland weather and no committments?  You work on your business.  On, not in.  There’s a big distinction.

So, with my list of Vista problems mounting … sorry ‘applications related to Vista’ problems, except for a weird ‘double paste’ thing in file explorer … out came the trusty Acronis True Image for a full pre-format snapshot.  Even though the current installation was riddled with errors like swiss cheese, a full image is a must for preventing that ‘bugger I forgot that file hides in C:somwherecompletelyobscure and I only backed up My Documents’.

Trick for young players that use the online service from the Australian Taxation Office for submitting your BAS – your digital certificate file (something.p12) does hide in a very obscure place on your C:, so make sure you have a recent backup of it.  It’s a pain to go through the revokation/new issue process when you find your only backup certificate was the originally issued file that has now expired.

Next step, make a nice little list from your ‘Add/Remove Programs’ or ‘Programs and Features’ in Control Panel, to figure out what you will need to reinstall – making sure you have the relevant installation files/CDs/license or serial numbers.

Then, take a deep breath, and start a new Vista installation, choosing to delete the existing partition and create a new one from scratch.  I must admit it was very weird to find that it took me longer to install all of my applications than it did to install Vista itself.  Gotta love Microsoft for getting with the imaging program for their software installs.

So far so good.  All of my little annoying problems have gone, my Samsung laser printer now wants to print in colour AND double-sided again.  Also, no more annoying ‘double paste’ thing (where file explorer refused to believe I’d chosen the paste command until I did it a second time).

However, I have yet to reinstall iTunes and my iPod shuffle (sigh).  Fingers crossed it will be OK this time!

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