Wednesday, April 3, 2013

My Kingdom for a Trouble-Free Computer

(Oh . . . I don't have a kingdom. Crap.)

Lately it seems like like every computer I touch just breaks down. I have to think that it's me. No one else I know seems to go through computers this quickly. But what could I possibly be doing that's causing these issues? I have my Norton up-to-date. It warns me if a website has been flagged as questionable (which happens quite infrequently). In fact I rarely stray from my "typical" websites -- Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google, Wordpress, and a few others, none of which have a reputation (as far as I know) for causing issues, as long as you don't click on strange links, which of course I don't.

My very first laptop caused me the most grief . . . and again, I'm not sure exactly why. To be honest I can't even remember what the specific problems were. What I do remember is that when it got to the point where it was pretty much unusable, my friend's mom -- who's very handy with computers -- completely wiped and reformatted it for me, and then it was fine . . . until it wasn't again. She did this for me a couple times, to get me through my last couple years of school. Each time, though, it reverted back to its unusable state even faster, and by graduation I was spending more and more time in the computer labs on campus rather than deal with the frustration.

Ever since then I've had computer glitches here and there, but nothing out of the ordinary, up until the last several months. At some point last year Pat and I switched computers, since my desktop was better for WoW (I'd stopped playing at that point, and he'd taken it up again), and I prefer laptops anyway. Shortly after that, the laptop which had worked fine for him for years suddenly crapped out. Granted, it was old, about six years. Not ancient, but pretty old in computer terms. I'd figured it was just an unfortunate coincidence that it happened right after I took possession of it, but now I'm not so sure.

Anyway, I got a new (used) laptop within a couple weeks, and all was well. Then a few months later, Pat's desktop went on the fritz. He took it in to be repaired and it seems to have been fine since. Still, this was my desktop for four or five years (can't remember exactly when we got this one) . . . maybe it was still my bad luck, just a delayed reaction.

And now, this laptop, my shiny new (*cough* three year old *cough*) laptop is randomly giving me issues. And I know that computers quickly become out of date, but that doesn't mean they should be dying this quickly! Not as fast, not as powerful, as what's currently out there, but they should still work!

Anyway, the main problem is that it will randomly shut down. No Blue Screen of Death, just *poof* off, like someone pulled the plug . . . only it's a laptop with a full battery, so OBVIOUSLY someone didn't just pull the plug. It seems to happen at the most random times, so I can't figure out a pattern to determine what the problem could possibly be.

The other weird thing that's been happening on and off for a while -- longer than the shutting down issue -- is that occasionally Chrome will flip out at me. Up in the address bar, the font will suddenly be WAY too big for the bar itself. And then I close Chrome, and reopen it again, and everything -- the address bar, my bookmarks bar, the tabs, etc -- is all super tiny, like I've changed my screen resolution. Only my screen is already on the highest resolution it can be.

I have no idea if these two problems could possibly be related . . . and the Chrome thing isn't even a problem, really, it's just annoying. Probably a bug in the program. But could it possibly be causing the shutting off issue? I wouldn't think so, but what do I know? After all, I have been in Chrome every time it's happened, to my recollection . . . but that's really not saying much because I'm almost always in Chrome. Even if I'm primarily working in Excel or OneNote, chances are I have the browser open as well. So . . . maybe it's time to switch back to Firefox? But I really like Chrome, and I love how it syncs to my Google account (which has made all this computer switching not quite so painful).

Is it really so much to ask for a computer that just does what it's supposed to?

Yeah . . . I guess it is.


  1. Poor you! I think there is really such a thing as computer karma. A friend I went to school with has amazing karma. He just needs to stand next to a troubled computer and it works again.

    Thankfully my computers are working fine. The last time I really had issues with my desktop was after I had it for 6 years or so. Let a couple of people look at it but they couldn't figure out why it was always restarting for at least 30 mins every time you used it. Turned out it was the hard-drive. But by then I had a new one.

    I spent most of last night and this morning trying to recover my iTunes though. Everything was gone all of a sudden yesterday evening and that was just so annoying. It works now though *fingerscrossed*

    As for Chrome, dunno, never used it. But maybe it has something to do with the graphics chip as your font seems to vary uncontrollably? Wish I could be of any help but I'm not. Hoping it works out for you though. I know how annoying it can get.

    1. I did a whole bunch of system maintenance stuff a couple days ago, just grasping at straws basically. Didn't have any problems yesterday, but today it shut down on me three times. I think it's time to bite the bullet and take it to a professional.