All I can say is that I am really thankful my daughter has a computer and that that computer is online 24/7 because as much as I think I know computers, I find out that I really don’t know them at all. When something goes wrong and I can’t figure it out, I take it to Google. There is a lot of help out there on the internet, and once in awhile (after you have looked and looked and looked), something jumps out and saves you. Just when you can’t go on ANY MORE, there it is. For me, this was one of those times.
You know what it’s like (and if you don’t, just wait, your turn is coming) to be going along, having a good old time organizing family photos or downloading music or typing a letter on your computer, when all of a sudden – out of nowhere – your mouse quits. Or a program closes out. Or your monitor all of a sudden goes red. Needless to say, when something goes wrong, it is never at an opportune time, and it can be very irritating, to say the very least. And lately it seems that I have had a lot of inopportune times.
My latest catastrophe started a few weeks ago. I was sitting there at my computer, happily typing away and my “u” key stopped working. I blew it out (using compressed air duster) and it worked.
The next day it went out again. I blew the key out again and this time it didn’t work after the cleaning. I cleaned the whole keyboard thoroughly and when I went to use it, it still didn’t work, only this time the “n” didn’t work either. I blew it out again and all of the keys worked. I went about my business and totally forgot about it.
Now jump to the present.
I realized a few days ago that I hadn’t updated my drivers in awhile. I then proceeded to run a program (I will not tell you what it is in case it works for you – no use in creating (more) paranoia in the computer world) that told me that my display drivers needed to be updated.
I go to install the drivers. Now, I am not a stupid person, but sometimes I get lazy. “No need to back up anything,” I yawned. “It’s just a few drivers and this program is “the best”, so it’s cool.” I went to update the display drivers, rebooted, and yep, you guessed it. WHAM! Nothin’. A completely black screen.
I did everything my experience and common sense told me to do. Rebooted more times than I scratched my head. Used words that I forgot I knew and that other people in the house probably wished I had forgotten, too. Couldn’t get into Safe Mode and finally had to do a repair reinstall.
I put in my disk and began the repair. I put in my language (well, what dialect I speak), the applicable time zone, and then went to put my product key in. I typed in 2 numbers and then the next key wouldn’t come up. I tried typing in the rest of the key, but there were only a few characters that worked.
Hmmm. I hadn’t updated any keyboard drivers, so that wasn’t it. Naturally, the keyboard must be bad. Remembering the erratic keyboard behavior of a few weeks ago, I figured this had to be it.
It wasn’t. I took three keyboards and they all stopped on those particular keys. Huh?
So – since my daughter has a computer and the internet is on 24/7 – I took to the forums. And I found…nothing. I spent a couple of hours going all over the internet, and there was no solution anywhere. I had done everything (and more) that was recommended online. And where I had been just irritated before, now I was getting downright angry. My daughter came in and asked (very timidly) if she could get on her computer. I guess my look said it all, because she backed out of the room pretty quickly and didn’t come back.
I decided, “Okay, one more time”, knowing it was ridiculous; how many times can you “google” something? Well, from now on, I am going to always “google” one more time, because fifteen minutes after I came across some very small type at the very bottom of a very small website, I had a working keyboard and my computer was up and running.
Check this out:
When I looked at my key, I found that the key was not a product key at all; it was a serial number from another piece of software. I found my real key and the rest is history.
When you think about it, I should have known. I should have known when I was putting in my product key that it was wrong. Rather than blame my keyboard, I should have known when I hit the first character key that didn’t work that the key was intentionally disabled. I mean, isn’t this the first thing they teach you in How-Do-I-Input-My-Product-Key 101?
Whatever. All I know is that – besides the solution to the product key problem – I did learn something from all of this.
Always “Google” one more time.