Today was a great day for me. I finally have my laptop back to almost normal. I've been having trouble with it disconnecting from our wireless network for no apparent reason. That problem was supposedly fixed last month when I sent it in to HP, but it came back with the same problem.
Late last week, I decided it was time to update my anti-virus protection and attempted to uninstall my current program (ahem...Norton...ahem). Somehow during the uninstall process I (according to the Norton/Symantic technical people) made a mistake and messed up some of my Windows files. Well guess what, when you mess up some of your Windows files, many of your Windows functions don't work (can you believe it). Well, after trying all sorts of things and reading all sorts of online posts about similar problems and trying to use the restore function on the computer and calling Dad to fix it for me, I surrendered and called HP.
Well, the telephone HP man was less than helpful. I guess that I don't qualify for help in restoring my laptop if my warrenty has expired and it would only cost me $99 to get phone support for the next year. Now that is just phone support, not any type of support for hardware or sofware...that would cost me another $100-$150! He highly encouraged me to get the $229 package so that they could fix the laptop for me if we couldn't fix the problem over the phone. I played the helpless wife (I don't do it often) and said that I had to ask my husband before I spent that kind of money. The phone HP man wasn't pleased, but told me that if I wanted I could use the tech support offered online free of charge. FREE! Now that's my kind of price!
Today, the online HP tech guy was very helpful. He pointed me in the right direction, helping me to help myself. I love when that happens. I now know how to restore my PC to its factory settings, seemingly fixing all the booboos I (apparently) gave it over the past week or so. And, ironically enough, I have not been dropped from my wireless network for the past hour or so (knock on wood). I nearly cried when Windows XP started without any error messages this afternoon. Now all I have to do is reload my Office software. Luckily when I used the restore function, it saved all of my files (although I backed them up just in case).
I'm glad online HP dude taught me how to fish, rather than just give me the fish. It is so much more empowering to learn how to do something, rather than just being given the answer. Thank you HP dude!