Just update this, they said. It’ll be easy, they said.

Why yes, we are taking care of some things, aren't we? Windows 8.1 is very perceptive.

Why yes, we are taking care of some things, aren’t we? Windows 8.1 is very perceptive. This was Daphne’s computer last week.

This, my friends, is my new reality at Them Days. Editor, you say? Why no, I am an IT person now!

(The rest of this post is illustrated not with my own photos, but with scenes from Office Space, a movie you must watch if you have ever worked in an office, particularly for a large corporation or government.)

It all started when Daphne’s Simply Accounting program updated itself automatically. Turns out, it’s not compatible with Windows XP (why yes, we are living in the computing Dark Ages–we are called Them Days, after all), and the very act of either installing it or trying to open it rendered not only the 2015 version unusable, it also caused the old version to stop working.

So the only solution was to be brought into the 21st century, kicking and screaming.


Through the lovely folks at TechSoup Canada, we were able to obtain licenses for Windows 8.1 at a cost that was affordable for an organization like Them Days, and we set about backing up the computer and installing the new Windows. It went great, until we realized (too late) that backing up all your files doesn’t actually back up all your files–buh bye emails.

We did Daphne’s first, because it was most important that she get her accounting system back up and running, especially before the new issue of the magazine gets back to us (it’s been at the printers for almost three weeks now). My computers would wait.  Daphne’s computer wasn’t working that great, anyway, so we hoped that the upgrade would get rid of whatever it was that was the problem before (yes, we defragged. yes, we got rid of unnecessary things. yes, there was plenty of empty space–40 gigs worth. yes, we ran virus scans and malware detectors).

So that was last week.

This week, I wasn’t in any particular hurry to install the new Windows. I’d have to re-install many more programs on my computer than the Office Suite and Sage 50, and there were SO MANY EMAILS to think about not losing. But I knew it would have to be done soon.

Well, my home laptop ran an Adobe Flash updater in the morning, so I wasn’t surprised when my work computer ran it as well. So I ran it, installed the update.

Fast forward to the early afternoon, when there were a ton of people in here and it was hopping! (For some reason, it can be quiet here for days, and then all of a sudden, there’s a rush of people all wanting to tell a story, look up a photo, or renew subscriptions.) One of the customers was looking for a particular photo, and I couldn’t find it. I told him to come in my office and he could review the photos if he wanted, as it was possible that the photo wasn’t labelled and he had a better chance of recognizing his relative than I did. He came in, and I set about closing all the programs I had open (I always have a ton of windows open at once) and the computer was suddenly VERRRRYY slow, unusual for my desktop. Adobe Acrobat, in particular, was freezing up and wouldn’t close. Hmm.


Anyway, he looked through the pictures and left, and I went back on my computer. It kept freezing and programs would end…it just wasn’t going well. So I restarted it.

The restart process was SLOW. And things kept going wrong. So I kept restarting. This was the lovely error that would pop up every time Windows restarted.


The instruction at “0x77d0b653” referenced memory at “0x77d0b653.” The required data was not placed into memory because of an I/O error status of “0xc000009c.”


Doing a bit of research on another computer (well, my phone because Tabea was deeply embroiled in a search for some archival photos for Snowblind and Seal Finger–more on that later) I learned that it was likely caused by an update or installation issue with registry files. I’m guessing that just like the new update of Daphne’s accounting program, the Flash update wasn’t compatible with XP. I did find instructions on how to fix svchost.exe problems, but I figured it was just time to bite the bullet and update Windows. But first–those emails!

Restarting and restarting and restarting wasn’t helping any, so I decided to start it up and let it load overnight when I was gone home. It was really THAT slow. It wasn’t a good day. I definitely had a case of the Mondays.


I wasn’t sure what I would come back to this morning, but things had loaded and it seemed to be doing okay. Mind you, it was still mighty slow–click on a menu and it would react in about a minute, no word of an exaggeration, but it was working.

So I set about backing up all the emails in two email identities, spent hours at it, only to find out that you can’t import them into Outlook 2013. No kidding. Microsoft doesn’t support its own file types. So currently, I am now exporting the files to Outlook, and then from Outlook, I’ll export again, to save it for when I do a clean install and get the new Windows. It’s a LONG process, and I want to backup all the files again before I delete anything. It was backed up recently, but better safe than sorry, right?


So if you need me, I’ll be sitting in front of my computer, waiting for it to do something, getting some reading done or other needed tasks that don’t need a computer.


P.S. Daphne is currently muttering about her stapler, so I’m pretty sure that we are in a scene from Office Space right now.

I’m just thankful nobody has asked for TPS reports yet.


1 Comment

Filed under Aimee

One response to “Just update this, they said. It’ll be easy, they said.

  1. doug

    I’m not sure how it happened, but when Windows XP expired on our PC’s Microsoft replaced the systems with Windows 7 Home and Windows 7 Professional on our two PC’s here at home. I didn’t do anything for that to happen.
    I hope that the rest of this wonderful season is brighter for you now that your files are getting sorted out and, hopefully, speedier.
    It sure is nice and sunny down here in Florida. Just thought that you’d like to know.

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