While dealing with the whole kernel panic and backup problems I was also faced with Windows XP problems. I look after a client’s website which requires me to use Internet Explorer under Windows as I have to access a Microsoft Content Management System, editing and approving contributed material.
I use Windows XP Professional running under Virtual PC 6 (VPC). I’d like Virtual PC 7, but the upgrade isn’t a priority in times of constrained budget.
Pretty well every day I start up VPC, then Internet Explorer, log in to the site, copy text from the various notices, edit it with Tex-Edit Plus on the Mac, do various record-keeping activities, paste it back to Windows and then approve the item. Last week, suddenly, this wouldn’t work. I couldn’t get the Internet connection to function until I’d done a reinstall of VPC and the Windows drive images. Perhaps this was a flow-on effect from the kernel panics — maybe something had been corrupted, but it was very annoying and time-consuming to fix.
At some point I had to revert to working on my old (slow) machine until I fixed it on the newer one. Because I’d reinstalled too I had to “activate” Windows, which I couldn’t do without the Internet connection. Is it not enough that I had to type in both a CD key and a serial number already?
Anyway, knowing how vulnerable Windows is to everything I spent several hours updating only to find today that I could log in to the website, edit a page and then was unable to save those changes. What should have been a quick half-hour update turned into the loss of my whole morning.
It was demonstrably not the server, because, again, the process worked fine on my old machine. WIth the help of contributors to the Wise Women mailing list I was able to determine that the functioning setup was running Service Pack 1 while the non-functioning setup was using Service Pack 2. Obviously Microsoft’s update had broken operability with Microsoft’s Content Management Server. Of course. Worst of all is that I’m quite sure I already dealt with this problem last year …
Anyway, after hours of messing about, changing things in the hopes of fixing the problem, I copied the old, functioning, Windows disk image to the newer machine and everything now works smoothly. It’s not a fix, but it does allow me to do the work I’m paid for.
It’s already extraordinarily infuriating that I’m forced to use not only Windows but Internet Explorer to do work I should be able to do on my Mac, but to then find that Microsoft’s updates break functionality with other Microsoft products just adds insult. What a relief that I could just copy a drive image from one machine to another to get up and running again.