We weren’t home an hour yesterday (from the State 4H Horse Show) when Delaney reported that her PC wasn’t working. It worked fine when she shut it down last Thursday. It appeared as though something was wrong with her graphics card. So I plugged the monitor into the on board graphics port and rebooted. It appeared to be working fine so I went back to what I was doing. 3 minutes later she was tracking me down again. She had no task bar or start button. 30 minutes of tinkering and googling later I learned that this is a known bug in XP. If you have a second graphics controller in the computer and aren’t using it the task bar vanishes. You’re right, that makes absolutely no sense. It also turns out that just deleting the graphics card in XP isn’t enough. You have to physically remove the card in order to get the task bar back.
After that I rebooted and now graphics was fine, but there was no Network connection. I reinstalled the wireless card and drivers. It still didn’t work. I plugged the wireless card into Breck’s computer and it worked fine. So I took Breck’s wireless card and plugged it into Delaney’s PC and installed it. Still nothing. Finally, just for the hell of it, I switched the USB ports of the wireless card and keyboard. Like magic, the wireless card came back to life.
I’ll say it again, fracking Windows! The PC is an ancient 1.6 GHZ single core Celeron, about 7 years old. I’m thinking maybe Santa might want to bring a new computer to her this year.
I hope Santa still reads my blog.