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I pride myself that I don't scare too easily, with one exception:
After a recent clean install on my machine (A Dell desktop), I thought it's a good time to run Dell's update utility. It gave me the dreaded message: "Your BIOS needs updating"! I do understand a little about BIOS systems and what can happen if you write a new BIOS to the main board and the process gets interrupted or fails for any reason. In many instances you can kiss your main board goodbye!
So with trembling fingers I told Dell Update to proceed, eyes glued to the main monitor. I blush to disclose that I may even have uttered a silent prayer - my first in a long time. Things did not seem to go very smoothly. The machine must have restarted about 5 times. At this stage my nails were gone!
Finally after many minutes, the machine restarted a final time and I was greeted with the running cursor as Windows loaded. I breathed out and collapsed behind the keyboard. What a hair-raising experience!
In the old days, nine out of ten program installs required a reboot (ignoring those where "installing" was nothing but copying an .exe). This carried over from DOS to the early Windows versions, and five reboots for an entire, complex update is nothing, by those standards!
It annoyed people so much that MS introduced some mechanisms that made reboots unnecessary (e.g. a program already running could continue using the old version of a DLL, while programs started after the installation would use the new version, and the old version would be flagged for deletion at the next reboot). If you wanted a "Designed for Windows 95" sticker on your product, one of the requirements was no reboot required for installation. It turned out to be too strict for some classes of software, so the requirement was later dropped.
I agree that five reboots is a little on the high side, but I do not blink over two or three. Maybe that is because I have seen far more reboots in the pre-Win95-days. (Admittedly: Rebooting DOS and early Windows was a much faster operation than rebooting a modern Windows, especially when you consider the speed of the hardware.)
The strange part is: The old BIOS seemed to work fine since I got the machine a year ago. And: I don't see any difference with the new version. I wonder what can be different, but I assume Dell know what they're doing.
Does anyone, ever? Nowadays, these updates usually take care of rather obscure scenarios only. I'm sure Dell has a page that describes what the update is supposed to do, but I'll bet even if you read it you'd wonder why you bothered. Not that I ignore firmware updates.
If that scared you, wait until you have an actual update failure.
Had (and still have) an expensive HP printer, inherited through an office shutdown, that had been working fine forever...for sh*t and giggles one day I went out looking for updates...sure enough, it was years behind. So I grabbed the latest...and it essentially bricked the printer.
I don't recall the procedure, but I did manage to force it to revert back to the original firmware, which might have involved some voodoo, black magic and the sacrifice of a virgin to a volcano god.
The printer's still working fine...too bad about the virgin.
You know what else they should redo? Babylon 5 ... take the characters as they were in the last series - at their best - and put them back to the beginning. Then go through the Telepath War as well - there is so much they could do now that they couldn't then, and all the foreshadowing for it was in the original series in spades.
Gonna upset a load of purists, though!
"I have no idea what I did, but I'm taking full credit for it." - ThisOldTony
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Last Visit: 31-Dec-99 18:00 Last Update: 20-Jun-21 2:00