Bazooka vs. Mouse

I'm sure everyone has a nightmare tale of laptop meltdowns, unrecoverable backups and precious data lost forever. I do too, but this is not one of them.

After having been burned by my own incompetence, I put many protocols in place to mitigate the next, inevitable disaster. The protocols were activated this past weekend, when I stupidly decided to cave in to Microsoft's Ransom Note:

Windows Update

Your computer needs to restart so we can hose your system. When's a good time for you?

[ ] Now   [ ] Right Now   [ ] Can I get the Vaseline, first?

Well, my wife can't have all the fun, with her blazing fast new computer. Right?

I gave Microsoft permission to update my machine to Windows 2020 H2. Hours later, I'm watching in horror as my laptop gurgles through a never-ending cycle of reboot, blue-screen error message, restart.

During the moment when my laptop comes up for air, I try to read the error message. Eventually, I work out that an important system file is on strike: it refuses to handle an EXCEPTION (computer-speak for human coding error.)

Who can blame the poor file? It probably got tired of getting the blame for everything that is wrong with Windows 10. I didn't take it out on the file, especially once I identified it as nvlddmkm.sys. Even its name evokes defiance, "Nevul dude! Make Me!"

Actually, those consonants mean Nvidia Windows Longhorn Display Driver Model Kernel Mode Driver and, it looks like someone left out the "w". (Read about this hard-worker, here.)

You have to understand, at 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning, I didn't know about any of this. All I saw was my poor laptop drowning in digital sewage. So, I threw it a shiny 4.7 GB life preserver called "Rescue Disk Windows 1909".

Okay, I seriously edited the sequence of events. I'm not going to bore you with how I swam out, dragged the laptop to shore, performed CPU on it and even opened its BIOS to rewire its boot sequence. I'll just skip to the end...

...the life preserver was ignored. Literally. I had to get an artificial heart from my wife's computer. That worked, but afterwards, my ASUS thought it was an Acer. LOL

And, guess what? The sewage rose and engulfed my Frankenstein's laptop again!

{more serious editing of technical, incompetent attempts by yours truly, involving looking stuff up on a Kindle Fire HD, between rounds of re-installing some version of Windows 10.}

Over 48 unsuccessful hours later--either through osmosis or reductive realization--I decided to rip out the Nvidia graphics card. By this time, I had already attempted to silence Nevul dude, using the Windows Device Manager. But, being an important worker bee and all, the file kept coming back with each reinstallation.

Before I could get my screwdriver, I had an epiphany: disable device.

Now, rewind back to the beginning of this sordid tale and insert the epiphany. What would happen? I wouldn't have destroyed the house, trying to catch a mouse.

I took a break from restoring data to write this out, in hopes of a cathartic release from the consequences of yet another inevitable disaster. In a way, I don't mind doing a clean install. It's politically incorrect to compare the experience to sticking one's finger down one's throat, but I'm not under a gag order and the relief is real.

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