or "How Final Fantasy XIV Made Me Upgrade to Windows 7," a short story by Quor.
today started like any other summer day really. after slogging my way out of bed around noonish, i did my usual wake up routine of firing up my desktop and checking the various sundry sites i frequent, such as cracked (great humor), free range kids (great cause) and alla (great gaming site). at the end of it all, i check my e-mail, since ive been eagerly awaiting re-assignment to a kid i work with in the home (im a behavior therapist for special needs children).
well, much to my surprise, i had an e-mail from square enix. at first i just glanced at it vaguely as i opened it, not really paying attention to anything aside from the sending address. but once i had actually read the **** thing it dawned on me; i was in the beta for ff14! i eagerly followed the links provided and downloaded the installer within a few minutes.
but it wasnt going to be that easy. its NEVER that easy. you see, not too long ago, i still used windows xp. more specifically, windows xp service pack 2. why SP2 and not SP3? because, for some reason, whenever i tried to install SP3, it gave me an error; C:/ntldr was in use by another program. because this ntldr file was in use, SP3 couldnt update. at the time SP3 was released, i figured nothing of it; SP2 worked fine for me, so why worry?
well, now i was worried, because this stupid stupid service pack was standing between me and my roegadyn marauder! or maybe thaumaturge, i havent decided yet. regardless, i wasnt going to let this stupid ntldr file get in the way of my beta testing any longer!
after about an hour and a half of restarting in all kinds of various modes (ranging from safe mode to debugging mode) and yet another hour of phone time with a microsoft representative, i came to the conclusion that it just was not to be. no matter what we tried, booting from the CD, doing a repair, downloading and installing a specific SP3 pack sent to me by the representative designed to solve issues like this.....nothing worked. ultimately we gave up and i just decided id hop on my computer, back up a few necessary files, then go out and grab a copy of windows 7 and finally upgrade.
but again, its never that easy is it? somewhere between the 15ish safe mode restarts and countless CD-rom boots, my entire hard drive and both its partitions became corrupted. so corrupted, that my mobo and bios failed to even recognize that i HAD a hard drive. a frantic call and half hour drive later, and i was on my way to a friends house in the hopes that he could help me in my time of need.
and so it was, that after much transfer of the hard drive from my computer to his and back again, we finally, at long last, managed to get a working copy windows 7 on my 300+20 gig hard drive. i say 300+20 because we could, for some reason, only see and access 300 gigs of the hard drive. the other 20 wernt visible in any way shape or form outside of the bios startup diagnostics. there was no way we could access it via windows or anything else we could think of. its just this small chunk of my hard drive that will forever exist as a phantom on the sidelines. my suspicion is that it houses the sins i committed while trying to install SP3. my friend believes it houses the malevolent files of a time traveling genghis khan, just waiting for the proper signal to break thru my "great wall" partition and lay waste to the fertile valley of my game drive.
yet here i sit, recounting my story for the benefit (and hopefully entertainment) of all who would read it. for those who arent keeping count, let me sum up the important events of the day:
1. i got into the ff14 beta!
2. SP3 sucks.
3. ntldr sucks even more. stupid file.
4. i lost everything i had on my old OS, including the contact info of some cute girls, not to mention the, er, contents of certain, uh...."folders." like the one filled with cute.....puppy pictures. yeah, thats it. puppies.
5. windows 7 64-bit really is pretty **** fast.
6. my friend is a computer god.
7. sam adams pale ale goes well with a pinot grigio chaser and some lemon risotto.
8. i could use another pale ale right now.