Microsoft Help

When your computer does something unexpected, has a little flutter, a program shuts down without reason, Windows is there to help. Up comes a new window in Windows and tells you, ‘An error has occurred. Microsoft will now look for a solution. This may take several minutes.’

All most commendable and in some way reassuring. Now for the research part of my post. Is there anyone out there who has actually been helped by this Microsoft intervention? If so, please make yourself known to the rest of us.

My experience is negative. E.g. I sometimes use a modem, running over the mobile phone network. It is a fantastic device, running at commendable speeds, but sometimes I have to turn it off, or close my computer. I go through the disconnect procedure.

‘Aha,’ says Windows. ‘Something stopped working. The next time he switches on and tries to restart that application, I shall tell him it stopped working and shut it down for him – and offer to look for a solution.’

So, the next time I fire my modem up – bang! Windows shuts it down. ‘We’ll have none of that until we know why it shut down last time,’ it says.

I restart the modem (again). Windows helpfully shuts it – and so on!

The only way to silence Windows and get out the loop, is to detach the modem, wait for Windows to realise it has nothing more to complain about, and carefully reinsert the modem into another port. Fingers crossed Windows doesn’t spot the ruse or it will helpfully intervene once more, or twice more or ten times more.

In fact, if Windows spots my evil cunning, I will have to shut the computer down and restart.


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