January 11, 2006


I don't understand it. But I don't have to.

After a week of enduring lack of access to my MP3 collection, all my blogging work-in-progress, no dialup, borrowed computers, and a 3-year-old installation of Linux from when I didn't know what the hell I was doing, I managed to solve the evil "reboot loop" problem.

In trying to troubleshoot this problem, I found out that:

  • it is ubiquitous amongst Windows 2000/XP users (i.e. you may be next!!!!); and
  • the number of potential causes of this problem, and therefore potential solutions, is almost as big as the number of sufferers:
    • restoring corrupted files from a "clean" installation
    • repairing the system from the installation media
    • resetting the BIOS to the factory defaults
    • and removing all USB devices (Windoze apparently freaks out if you mess around with plug-and-play devices, such as I did when I took my Pilot cradle with me over the Christmas break)
    • waving dead chicken entrails over the computer while dancing naked in body paint
    • other solutions too esoteric for me to mention

None of them, however, worked for me. What did work, though, was pulling out my RAM stick and re-inserting it in a different slot - the very last possibility on my list of things to try.

I don't know what I did, or what I forced Windows to do. And I don't care. As long as it works - that is, insofar as Windows works at all, as opposed to not working at all - I'm a happy little Canadian.

I also learned that perhaps the infamous Spontaneously Combusting Hard Drive of Doom is probably not going to do a repeat performance and kill me in my sleep. This, too, is a Good Thing, but I'm still not turning my back on it.