Windows or the curse of the helpdesk

Computers are useful tools………….but they can also be a pain in the seating area. My work computer is running Windows 7 and Office 2010. It is an upgrade from XP. I know the above sentence says enough about the trouble it could mean.

From upgrade day (Jan 2011) it has been a pain. Installation 1 turned out to be incomplete and hence not working. So it was repaired. Again, not working and thus reinstalled. It worked from that point onwards – well sort of. But at least I had the idea that I could do stuff.

With working I mean that it freezes, the screen going darkish and other some other minor issues. It was tolerable.  I learned that when the screen or other minor trouble occurred that it was the computer telling me I needed to get some coffee or tea. Computer and I had come to mutual understanding on that topic and while not perfect, we had a working relationship.

In Korea things were a bit different. Loosing saved stuff and barely managing to get back again. (Phew!). Thanks to proper training by SO and some other friends (“Use search function” “try this that and the other”. “Office saves more than you think it does” etc etc),I did not panic and managed to keep going. Opening a one page Word document was hard and took at times 5 minutes. Don’t get me started on pdf though. Opening a pdf file proved too much on occasion.

Of course I complained to the helpdesk on my return. They suggested a new mirror (reinstall). But given that takes nearly half a day I was not willing to do that. And it as not until I lost information twice, despite autosave being ON, that I began to think it to be the only option left. So this week when my computer decided to throw everything off, go darkish and only show my background logo, without any shortcuts that I decided enough is enough.

I called and explained – helpdesk tried something new and no re-install was the best option. Would I need to save my favourites in Explorer, as this is what we needed in January? No not required. Re-installation was started by remote control.

In the mean time I cleaned up one of our filing cabinets. I mean cleaning out filing cabinets is a summer job, so let’s make the best of the situation. So far so good.

On start up after installation I get this weird message about a key being expired. I called the helpdesk. Oh that is nothing, just reboot. OK you are the experts re-boot it is. Next reboot the sign comes up gain I reboot again. Then the message is gone. I thought nothing of it. After all it is Windows Reboot is the answer to all queries.

My computer starts up nicely now. Happy! Not. My explorer lost all bookmarks! I call the helpdesk again. “Oops sorry  about that”. The exportfile from January I had deleted and could not be detected again (duh) and well too bad. Mucho sorry. Unhappily I went back to work, at least I thought I was.

Turns out that my specific template is not working anymore, nor was out specific dictionary installed. Too bad that the use of these is somewhat essential to the business. Oh and did I mention the deadline? You guessed it – helpdesk. Happily poking around they came up with: ziltch, nada, nothing, regarding the template. They did manage to install the dictionary. I checked with my co-worker and she could open my files – with template and we found what was missing on my machine.

By that stage I’d had enough sorry to last me the whole week and went home. The next day I was on the phone again as soon as I got in. “Her again” you could hear them thinking.

Yep her and with the solutions that I would have expected from a helpdesk. The still could not find the folder I needed. So I suggested a search (duh) and lo and behold it was there – a copy to my part of the server et viola it was working. Of course this is the partition that was not going to be affected by the reinstallation At least I could open the stuff again, but an ini file was missing.

Finally after that they did the Office repair thing and all of a sudden we had lift off! So all in all it took 8 hours, several phonecalls to friendly but rather useless helpdesk staff and me helping them finding the solution.

I did manage to finish my project in time. But I am going to charge back my time to the helpdesk This was ridiculous!

Monday 1/8 Edited to add: Phone helpdesk;

“Howcome my spellchecker says there are no spelling errors in my document, when I am clearly seeing two in there?”

“Oh then we need to install this little piece of software” Off it goes the little green line.

“Uhm, should that not have been installed with the re-installation last week”

“Well no, as not everybody wants it, so we want people to call us”

Speechless I hung up


About Gilraen

My blog is simply about my life. I moved countries for the first time in 1993. I lived in the Netherlands, UK and NZ. The initial idea was to keep my overseas friends up-to-date with what was going on in my life. The blog, like me, is always changing and evolving.
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2 Responses to Windows or the curse of the helpdesk

  1. miekje says:

    How does none of this surprise me? I specifically bought my Toshiba netbook because it came with XP, not Windows 7 installed. Unfortunately my work has migrated to Office 2007, which I hate. It takes me twice as long to do anything as it did in office 2003. And yes, I too have lost stuff. Unrecoverably. A whole day’s work on a powerpoint presentation it was. I hate Windows.

  2. Gilraen says:

    Anybody that knows Windows is not surprised. But one has to admire the way they managed to conquer the world with a rather inferior product

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