When I started writing my review of Windows 10, I was trying out all kinds of things on our PC. My wi-fi connection was very slow, so I called Time Warner (a wonderful adventure, always), and she said I had to turn off all the wi-fi devices except for one so she could test it.
I turned off the wi-fi on the Windows 10 machine and finished my lovely call with Time Warner. When I hung up and went back to my blog post, the FLIPPIN’ WI-FI CAPABILITY DISAPPEARED! I mean… gone. I looked everywhere. I saw Bluetooth and dial-up options and troubleshooting wizards… but no wi-fi switch to turn on. Finally I Googled the problem I was having and found out it is a major glitch.
If you’re interested in the details of the bug, Microsoft says that people who upgrade from a version of Windows (various editions) where they were using a VPN (virtual private network) may have problems with disappearing internet. I knew we didn’t have VPN, and I thought we didn’t upgrade from any of the noted versions, but since that seemed to be the problem, so I dove in.
I tried Microsoft’s own fix, but that was a mess. First it said you can download the automatic repair software… this to a computer that couldn’t connect to the internet? (You could use a hardwire if you had one, but… Come on.). The second set of directions for the fix were to edit the registry, which is a very scary thing. Most of us should never, ever mess with the registry. But I patiently tried it (it’s not easy to find the Admin Command Prompt), and it failed, which didn’t surprise me because I knew we didn’t have a VPN.
I went on some of the forums where people were complaining that they had tried the registry edit without success. That led me to instructions that worked… going into the device manager and enabling the wi-fi card. Getting into the guts of the Windows system showed me how very little some of these features had changed. I feel like Windows is trying to be a Tesla on the service when there’s still an Edsel under the hood. It’s not quite that dramatic, but a lot of the old, old, old Windows interfaces and features are still lurking.
With the 30-minute call about the wi-fi to the 90-minute frustrating search and painstaking attempts to repair the machine, I ended up wasting about 2 hours. I fixed the damn thing seconds before I heard my husband’s car door slam in the driveway. The PC is his primary computer, and I had been frantic to fix it before he got home.
The stress was too much. D.J. walked in the door, and I burst into tears (I forgot to mention that I had spent 4 hours at the dentist that morning, didn’t I?).
“What the heck happened?” he said. And I sobbed out the story, which sounded ridiculous even as I was saying it. “And then the wi-fi went out…. and I had to find the Command Prompt for ADMINs… and I didn’t finish my blog post…. and… and… and….”
I’m going to chalk the breakdown up to the discomfort and drugs from the dentist, but Microsoft (and Time Warner) played a huge role in a nerd’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.