Yesterday, a young upstart in Belfast drawled that he thought my problem was probably software. “But”, I explained, “this wasn’t a problem before I sent it into you last August.” Yes, he said, but these things just happen sometimes. “Yes”, I continued, “but this wasn’t a problem before I sent it into you last August.”
The problem is that the laptop won’t turn itself off. It comes to a certain point in the shutting down process, and then just stops dead with the screen brightly lit and nothing going on behind it. That’s not a hugely ridiculous problem, of course, and that’s the reason why I’ve waited until now to send it back to the laptop hospital – everything thing else on the laptop still works. After a fashion.
I continued to explain to m’laddo down the phone that nothing really works up to speed any more. “For example”, I explained, “I have to start Word up three or four times before it will respond normally.” Yes, he said, that definitely sounds like a software problem. “But”, I argued, “this wasn’t a problem before I sent it into you last August.”
He suggested formatting the hard drive and reinstalling Windows. I repeated again my opening gambit, the bit about the laptop not shutting down properly. If it doesn’t shut down, you see, it won’t re-start. If it doesn’t re-start, it’s impossible to reinstall Windows. Yes, he said, but it sounds like a software problem. If you re-install Windows, and it still doesn’t shut down properly, then we’ll know it’s a hardware problem. I tried one more time, with the not-shutting-down and incapable-of-restart and the this-isn’t-going-to-work and young bucko in Belfast responded again with his software-problem and reinstall-windows and software-problem. “But”, I whimpered, hanging up the phone in defeat, “this wasn’t a problem before I sent it into you last August.”
Last night we formatted my hard drive. Then we tried to re-install Windows. It won’t restart.