Every session was between eight and 14 minutes long and ended either in the blue screen of death or in a freeze. I tried several strategies:
- Ignore the problem. (This didn't work very well, since I couldnt' answer more than two Qbank questions in a row.)
- Live without a computer. (This only worked for a few minutes as a castle in the air.)
- Live in safe mode. (But Safe Mode doesn't have internet.)
- Live in save mode with networking. (But then I can't open my Qbank!)
- Uninstall some unused programs and see if that works. (Nope.)
- Try to install windows updates. (Compy couldn't stay on for long enough.)
- Run Defender and AVG virus scans. (See above problem.)
- Choose a restore point and put the computer back to normal! (Then I discovered that there were zero restore points. That's never supposed to happen and I've never seen it before.)
- Reinstall Vista.
It was keeping time as though we were still in California where I bought it. It was installing software and sometimes noting the installation date as 2013, but sometimes 2008. And today it had to install four years worth of windows updates (which was a surprisingly modest 93). A very eery experience.
The plusses are manifold, however: I still have all my files (thanks to an external hard drive), the BSODs are gone, the computer might be a teensy bit faster than it was before, and I got to rename it. It used to be called "Secretary," since I was optimistic in college about having an efficient and helpful machine to minimize all my paperwork. This time around I called it "Belfry," being disillusioned and aware that this machine is absolutely batty.
(Make your own error message.)