The Unforeseen Consequences of a Dead HDD

I have an old email address that got compromised years ago and subsequently deleted by google. All my gaming accounts were tied to that email and I thought I’d changed them all to a new one. Then I tried to log in to GOG and apparently I haven’t done that in years. They want me to confirm my identity by clicking the link sent to the dead email. Yay!

Admittedly, I could re-enable that email if I knew the password to an AOL account so old it doesn’t have password recovery. And I do remember leaving AOL because it kept deleting emails it considered spam, which by the end was almost all of them…

So there go all my retro games.

I considered contacting GOG support but, I wouldn’t believe my story.

On a more positive note, I’m replaying Dragon Age. With more mods than should be allowed and it’s made for some amusing surprises.

Like Bann Teagan’s impeccable sense of dress.


I had a save with half the Redcliffe militia fending off undead naked. Removed a mod, they got dressed again but Teagan didn’t.


Leaving Windows

After I got that trojan and all traces malware off my machine, things went fine for a few days. Then the bluescreens increased dramatically. It took me a few days to narrow it down to a failing hard drive, which by the way, was the thing I suspected before finding that trojan… So, I basically spent almost two months fixing the wrong thing.

I figured it’d be easy enough to pop in a new drive and reinstall Windows. But, of course, this laptop came preinstalled and I never wasted a thought on backing up my system. After all, all my important files are backed up online. Big mistake. Turns out the motherboard will only accept an Asus specific version of Windows 8, which I’d have to buy from them. Since I was already playing with the idea of switching to Linux, that wasn’t happening. I just didn’t want to switch cold.

After a lot of back and forth and trying to force 8 on this machine, I caved and made a Windows 10 install iso. Of course, that worked and the stupid thing even activated itself somehow. Despite my not entering a product key…

Thing is, I went for a new HDD rather than a new laptop to avoid Windows 10 and it’s so much worse than I’d feared. I don’t like the way it looks or the way it handles. I’m running Linux Mint Mate in a virtual box now to get myself used to it while I finish up a few things I don’t want to try and port over just yet.

I’ve known for a while that this would be my last Windows machine. I just didn’t expect it to be so soon.

I guess this is goodbye.

Sidetracked by Malware

On Thursday evening, with a mere 300 words left to write to hit my NaNo-target, Chrome crashed and wouldn’t restart. When it finally did, it was locked into starting with some stupid search engine homepage and no way of switching back to start with previous session. I got that fixed and spent about an hour setting my tabs up again (no further writing done that day).

Friday, the exact same thing happens. And now I’m pissed. I don’t mind these hijackers as long as all they do is insert some popups and try to make me use their search engine but touching my sessions is unacceptable. I keep about two dozen or so pages, mostly forums or stories, open at all time, many of which have no easy way to go anywhere other than first or last page. So, now we’re at war.

Turns out, the hijacker I thought I’d removed about four years ago, has been real busy. I got about 12k hits with some stupid software that wouldn’t remove them unless I bought a subscription first. Yay! Queue days of chasing down folders and registry keys. Finally came up clean Sunday night. Whether I actually am remains to be seen.


After a Week of Struggling my Laptop Decided to Live

About ten days ago, I came home from a quick grocery run to find the threaded BSOD gracing my screen. Rebooted and everything seemed fine. Until an hour later my laptop decided to crash again. I ran repairs and updated drivers in between hourly crashes.

Around Friday, it crashed while booting due to unmountable boot volume. And though, I loathe the thing, I’ve never been so glad, I kept my old desktop. At least, that allowed my to look up possible solutions (I’m a smartphone hater). Got it running again after about five hours.  Now featuring infernally long boot times.

After some looking around and for a bit, amidst several more crashes (now about once every twelve hours) I narrowed down to bad sectors on my C: drive. And as most of these occurred sometime after running Baldur’s Gate 2 Enhanced Edition but never without or during, I figured the two were related. Then in a last ditch effort, because I won’t have

Then in a last ditch effort, because I won’t have time or opportunity to get a new drive until next week at the earliest, I moved the Documents folder to D: on Monday. It’s the only thing Baldur’s Gate accesses directly and might try to modify during or after shutdown.

Whether I was right or not, my boot times are back to normal and I haven’t had a crash since.

Back on a Desktop for Now

Yesterday, I got it into my head to see if my old computer still worked and if it was worth getting it a new graphics card. I always looked down on the poor machine because it has a Radeon card and I despise those. Had nothing but trouble with them throughout the years.

That computer is somewhere between one and six months older than the laptop and I hadn’t used it in a good 3.5 years… So, I spent an hour searching for a power cord that might well have still been at my mother’s. Found two in the end and have no clue where the other came from.

I kind of expected to find a rather pathetic i3 1.7 GHz processor. All my memory supplied about this computer was desperation buy therefor bad. I found a nice 3.3 Ghz and the fan keeps blowing cool air at me. And the hard drive is so nice and empty.Laptop’s been warning me about low space for ages.

Now I just gotta settle on a nice graphics card and I’m all set. Provided I don’t blow the thing up installing it.

It’s kind of weird to use only one screen, though. Haven’t done that since at least 2012. I miss watching movies on the side (Yeah, I’m one of those no-TV people).