Windows 10 made a brick out of my laptop

In summary, my laptop with Windows 10 failed about 2-3 weeks short of graduating from college. I had triple booted two linux distributions and Windows 10 and was using a Windows program yesterday when it failed. I was forced to use linux to try and mount the Windows partition and found that Secure Boot was enabled, which I had disabled months ago. I suspect the failure was due to an automatic Windows update.
  • #1
fluidistic
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I bought a laptop about 1.5 years ago with the goal of finishing my studies with it. I didn't mind if it break 1 day after getting my degree, but it just failed about 2 to 3 weeks short.
Since I had it, I used to triple boot 2 linux distributions and Windows. I got the upgrade to Windows 10 a few months ago, all went well. Recently I was forced to use a Windows program and yesterday I was rebooting several times from linux to windows and vice versa. Until in one of those reboots, Windows couldn't boot anymore, showing a "unmountable ..." error message that I googled, and apparently there was no cure (many people had the same message and the Microsoft suggestion of using a boot repairer didn't seem to have worked for a single person). So I went into linux to see if I could mount the Windows partition and I couldn't, it would tell me something about "unable to mount..". I rebooted and went into the BIOS to check out if everything was normal and to my surprise it seems that Secure boot was enabled, which is something I had disabled months ago for linux to work properly. So I disabled it again and rebooted. And rebooting lead to a black screen. This is where my laptop is currently.
Can't enter the BIOS, can't start a live CD nor live linux thru usb despite usb being the 1st option to boot from, in the BIOS. Can't do anything. Just a black screen. I tried to check if this was the screen that was broken, by plugging a HDMI cable into a TV and my laptop, but "no signal", and this used to work.
I went to the CS department of my university and headed to the hardware support part. The guy tried to enter the BIOS, etc. He couldn't do anything. He checked out if it was easy to disamble the laptop and it looks very hard (in fact it's not meant to be opened, even the battery is not removable).
I suspect everything broke because of a background automatic windows update that messed up my BIOS or firmware or something. I am currently using a slower laptop that also has some troubles with Windows messing up the booting process by reinstalling the bootloader to bypass grub and therefore linux.

I must say that I truly believe that Windows is a cheap-toy OS not serious enough to be trusted for serious matters. I can't count on it. I'm going to have my first child in a few months and I'm not going to teach him/her Windows. I believe that this OS is for old people who don't want to learn how a computer works (which is just fine but far from the majority of people). I don't know about BSD and IOS, etc. but I feel like Windows should disappear from being sold by default in most places, and should be replaced by other more serious and solid OS'es where in order to break it, you must do it yourself. Unlike Windows where who has the superuser powers is Microsoft and anyone using administrator or super user options (which was not my case). A normal user should not be able to break the OS, and this is what I was when using Windows.

First thing I do when I get my degree and come back home: Remove Windows from the slow laptop I'm currently using.
Very saddened of what it's done.
 
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  • #2
Sorry to hear that. I am so glad that I fought against my computer's attempts to upgrade itself. I like Windows 7 the way that it is. No need to turn my computer into an auto-updating tablet.
 
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  • #3
My daughter upgraded? to Windows 10 , it worked for two months then she couldn't access her files. Tried to change back to Windows 7 but had exceeded some time limit for an easy exchange. Eventually got Windows 7 back and warned me to avoid 10.
 
  • #4
So many complaints for Windows 10! Aside from all the BSODs (now four times) I got, which I mentioned in another Windows 10 thread, everything is okay. I'm sorry you have so much trouble with your PC. Windows is losing its cred.
Borg said:
Sorry to hear that. I am so glad that I fought against my computer's attempts to upgrade itself. I like Windows 7 the way that it is. No need to turn my computer into an auto-updating tablet.
We've got one PC that's too old handle any major updates, but one day it started to update to Windows 10 by itself. We reverted back to Windows 7 for that old computer, but how does that happen??
 
  • #5
fluidistic said:
I must say that I truly believe that Windows is a cheap-toy OS not serious enough to be trusted for serious matters. I can't count on it. I'm going to have my first child in a few months and I'm not going to teach him/her Windows. I believe that this OS is for old people who don't want to learn how a computer works (which is just fine but far from the majority of people).
Seriously? I wouldn't go as far to say "cheap-toy". I've been told its still better than Macintosh and, well, anything is better than a Chromebook.
 
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  • #6
ProfuselyQuarky said:
We've got one PC that's too old handle any major updates, but one day it started to update to Windows 10 by itself. We reverted back to Windows 7 for that old computer, but how does that happen??
It is getting the upgrade from Windows Update. Windows Update used to be for software patches but not any more. Now it also decides which OS you should have. If you have WU set to automatically download and install, it downloads and installs Windows 10 automatically.

I have Windows Update set only to notify me of updates and, ever since they started this nonsense, I have had to carefully examine every "critical' patch because Windows 10 is listed as that in their downloads. Lately, about half of the so-called critical updates have been tools that constantly try to install it or 'updates' to prep your system for installing it. I literally deleted 20+ 'critical' updates last week because they were all related to installing Windows 10.

I'm not surprised that it breaks computers that have multiple OS configurations.
 
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  • #7
Borg said:
It is getting the upgrade from Windows Update. Windows Update used to be for software patches but not any more. Now it also decides which OS you should have. If you have WU set to automatically download and install, it downloads and installs Windows 10 automatically. I have it set only to notify me of updates and, ever since they started this nonsense, I have had to carefully examine every "critical' patch because Windows 10 is listed as that in their downloads. Lately, about half of the so-called critical updates have been tools that constantly try to install it or 'updates' to prep your system for installing it. I literally deleted 20+ 'critical' updates last week because they were all related to installing Windows 10.

I'm not surprised that it breaks computers that have multiple OS configurations.
Yes, we did get those updates for months, but I guess it just decided to "take over" in the last moment.
 
  • #8
ProfuselyQuarky said:
Yes, we did get those updates for months, but I guess it just decided to "take over" in the last moment.
I think that I have read that once Windows 10 is firmly entrenched on your computer, Windows Update is set to automatically install no matter what - you no longer have any choice about what it installs after that. They can keep that BS as far as I'm concerned.
 
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  • #9
Borg said:
Sorry to hear that. I am so glad that I fought against my computer's attempts to upgrade itself. I like Windows 7 the way that it is. No need to turn my computer into an auto-updating tablet.

agreed ... I won't be updating this PC to Win10 ... nothing wrong with Win7

Borg said:
I have Windows Update set only to notify me of updates and, ever since they started this nonsense, I have had to carefully examine every "critical' patch because Windows 10 is listed as that in their downloads.

yes, always the safe way to go ... I do likewise, and have done so for a long while

Borg said:
I'm not surprised that it breaks computers that have multiple OS configurations.

indeed !

Borg said:
I think that I have read that once Windows 10 is firmly entrenched on your computer, Windows Update is set to automatically install no matter what - you no longer have any choice about what it installs after that. They can keep that BS as far as I'm concerned.

and therein lies the trap :smile:

Trying to install it onto a computer that already has some other OS ( even earlier win version(s)) on it really is a recipe for likely disaster
(no, it isn't going to crash every single PC ... it increases the likelihood)

The safest way to do Win10 is to buy a new PC/laptop with it already installed as the one and only OS
I upgraded my laptop a couple of months ago, needed something much faster for doing my photo
editing in Lightroom and Photoshop
Got a Dell i7 quad-core,1TB drive and 8gig RAM and of course Win10
Have managed to get it looking as much like Win7 as possible and so far happy with its operations :smile:cheers
Dave
 
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  • #10
While Windows 10 has its issues, the issues described by the OP sound like hardware issues, not software issues. If the computer gives only a black screen and not even a POST or bios splash, that's faulty hardware -- there really isn't an easy way for an OS to do that. Correlation does not necessarily equal causation.
 
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  • #11
Borg said:
Sorry to hear that. I am so glad that I fought against my computer's attempts to upgrade itself. I like Windows 7 the way that it is. No need to turn my computer into an auto-updating tablet.
+1 on that !
 
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  • #12
ProfuselyQuarky said:
... anything is better than a Chromebook.
I disagree completely. It depends on the audience. My wife hates computers but loves her Chromebook. It does exactly what she wants, which is very limited, and does it quite well and it is REALLY inexpensive.
 
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  • #13
ProfuselyQuarky said:
We've got one PC that's too old handle any major updates, but one day it started to update to Windows 10 by itself. We reverted back to Windows 7 for that old computer, but how does that happen??

Check the thread "Discussion about win10" posts #111 and #116, the GWX control panel is great.
 
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  • #14
russ_watters said:
While Windows 10 has its issues, the issues described by the OP sound like hardware issues, not software issues. If the computer gives only a black screen and not even a POST or bios splash, that's faulty hardware -- there really isn't an easy way for an OS to do that. Correlation does not necessarily equal causation.
The CS guys couldn't access to the BIOS nor do anything so they told me to sent it to the hardware guys.
I'm getting it seen by a guy who works on electronics and is used to repair computers. He told me he will open it, remove the battery, hard disk and stuff like that and check whether all works fine. He believes the hardware is ok (we can hear the disk working, the cpu heats slightly, etc.) and that it's probably a misconfigured BIOS or something like that.
The problem is that this guy is very busy and I may get a reply next week or even later...
I don't think the hardware is faulty. I was in the BIOS, desastivated Secure Boot and rebooted. It would have been very strange that the hardware broke right in between!
 
  • #15
Borg said:
I think that I have read that once Windows 10 is firmly entrenched on your computer, Windows Update is set to automatically install no matter what - you no longer have any choice about what it installs after that. They can keep that BS as far as I'm concerned.
It even gets worse than that, I have had "updates" automatically reconfigure my custom default "apps" twice so far. Talk about an insidious OS, and then there is the matter of "telemetry" etc. :frown:
 
  • #16
If it were real BIOS, I'd be very confident in saying that any OS does not have anything to do with changing its settings or preventing it from working. (Even "can not", though not completely true technically... but certainly "can not in a generic, crossplatform and safe way", and thus "does not")

With the newfangled EFI business which the presence of "Secure Boot" sort of implies, things are a bit more effy though.

PS: On that line of thought, if you are absolutely sure that BIOS settings have reset themselves, I'd say the most likely reason is a dying CMOS battery. That could also have caused your system clock to reset, leading to various failures such as certificate validations and a ton other random quirks. Wouldn't expect it should ever prevent a boot, but who knows with today's tech.
 
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  • #17
phinds said:
I disagree completely. It depends on the audience.
Okay, so it depends on the audience. However, the reason why I dislike Chromebook is because, as you said, it's *extremely* limited. To be of any use, you mostly require Internet access, which is just annoying. When working offline, many of the apps cannot be used. Speaking of applications, that's limited, too. Google says that they have an array of online apps that can be used with Chromebooks, but, depending on what you do, it isn't a satisfactory list. All the programs that I use often are offline. My digital art software/programs, programs for creating 2D and 3D fractals, desktop graphing calculators (which are great for plotting lab data) all can't be used on a Chromebook. To add to that, the Microsoft Office applications are far more superior than Google Docs, Google Slides, and Google Spreadsheet. They're similar, but the latter ones offer less flexibility and options. I have more to say about this, but I'll stop for now as this isn't a Chromebook/Chrome OS thread.

phinds said:
My wife hates computers but loves her Chromebook. It does exactly what she wants, which is very limited, and does it quite well and it is REALLY inexpensive.
(Isn't a Chromebook a computer??) I agree, they're much more inexpensive than a "normal" computer (and they come is awesome colors, but I digress . . .) but I'd rather spend more money and maximize the use of any computer of my own.

@phinds Don’t you use your computer for more than just Internet searching and basic word processing?
 
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  • #18
ProfuselyQuarky said:
Don’t you use your computer for more than just Internet searching and basic word processing?
Other than game playing (which I don't), I'm a power user. I have an i7-based system w/ 16Gigs of ram, an SSD boot drive, a pair of 2TB hybrid drives, a Blu-ray burner, and more, plus numerous large applications AND I have dozens of applications that I wrote myself including one to manage my 170,000-file main web site. If I were limited to something as trivial as a chromebook, I'd shoot myself.
 
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  • #19
phinds said:
Other than game playing (which I don't), I'm a power user. I have an i7-based system w/ 16Gigs of ram, an SSD boot drive, a pair of 2TB hybrid drives, a Blu-ray burner, and more, plus numerous large applications AND I have dozens of applications that I wrote myself including one to manage my 170,000-file main web site.
See? You understand. So why did you say that you “completely disagree”? Oh, yes, I’ve got Visual Basic, as well (yet another thing that can’t be used on a Chromebook).
phinds said:
If I were limited to something as trivial as a chromebook, I'd shoot myself.
Clearly, you have issues :-p
 
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  • #20
fluidistic said:
I bought a laptop about 1.5 years ago...

The story of "root no verify" and the like messages of a damaged bootloader, dates back to the first editions of Windows. I had a PC about 12 years before or more, that was used exclusively on experimenting with multiboot configurations. At first, I tried to create a just two OS configuration with Windows XP and Red Hat and I let grub manage booting for both - there was such prompt in a configuration screen. That was a huge mistake, because simply Windows are not friendly to other bootloaders - especially Linux ones back then. So, I ended up with a hanged PC. I did the trick using a commercial boot manager as a "master", which had the responsibility of loading the specific boot loader of each OS and then pass the commands to it in order to boot the desired OS. This way and adding more OSs in the process, I managed to have a multi OS PC. But even with that, there were at times corrupted files of Windows, preventing Windows from booting and this, for various versions of Windows. Unfortunately, the same story goes on even with Windows 10 now, and it is really a risk for anyone's data, to have multi-configuration machine, as long as he/she uses Windows.

fluidistic said:
I must say that I truly believe that Windows is a cheap-toy OS not serious enough to be trusted for serious matters

I can't really say that, but surely enough, Windows are not an OS for experimentation, regarding its inner code and workings. Linux is far better in this regard and there other open source distributions, that are friendly enough to experimentation. This is just a manifestation of the difference between proprietary and open source software. But Windows are good enough, for not only the average user; they are good - at least from 7 edition and beyond for development too, especially from the point that Microsoft moved many IDE's, libraries and tools to open source. That said, I use Linux (mainly Debian and Ubuntu) for development too.

fluidistic said:
A normal user should not be able to break the OS, and this is what I was when using Windows.

Although I understand your anger about Windows very well and it's very frustrating to end up with a dead laptop, you did not break the OS, it is just that Windows are not friendly to multiboot configurations with other OSs and this can manifest itself in various ways. It maybe from a simple update, that did the wrong thing to BIOS, to something else. To my opinion, it's better to have a single OS machine (e.g Windows) and have a virtual machine like VirtualBox or some other, to host some other OSs.

Regarding Windows 10, because the OS is effectively in a phase of live testing by the users worldwide, it will take time to correct the various flaws and issues that pop up in the process, in order to be stable and robust. I think that it is fairly problematic at this stage.
 
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  • #21
ProfuselyQuarky said:
See? You understand. So why did you say that you “completely disagree”?
Because as I said, for the right audience, a Chromebook is a great computer. My wife has a low-end laptop and she hates it. Too complicated. She loves ther Chromebook.
 
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  • #22
phinds said:
Because as I said, for the right audience, a Chromebook is a great computer.
Ah, alright, I guess it's just that I don't know anyone who uses a computer the way that your wife does (except maybe my grandmother, but that doesn't count).
 
  • #23
fluidistic said:
I suspect everything broke because of a background automatic windows update that messed up my BIOS or firmware or something. I am currently using a slower laptop that also has some troubles with Windows messing up the booting process by reinstalling the bootloader to bypass grub and therefore linux.
I do believe it is something hardware related. However, I will not dismiss the OS messing with the bootloader with updates alone. Here is my case which I put in a spoiler because it's a little big. (I use Windows 8, not 10):
I have Windows 8 which I know it's not Windows 10 like in your case, but recently I decided to let some updates install. Error. They occupied 4GB+. And now it acts strangely in the sense that at times it doesn't even launch the anti-virus at startup and I have to manually start it. Sometimes it does it, sometimes it doesn't. This behavior was not observed before the updates, but it was observed immediately after the updates.

Another problem is the bootloader. I manually disabled the Metro Bootloader in favor of the legacy one, and after the updates it randomly selects whichever the hellish bootloader it wants to select. I have no control over which bootloader is going to appear when I turn on my computer. Sometimes it boots on legacy, sometimes on Metro. It makes whatever it wants and I don't like my operating systems to do things without my knowledge. I have used 2 different antivirus and 2 different rootkit scanners. Nothing, the OS is clean according to them and I still have no idea why after the updates the OS does whatever it wants. It is behaving very weirdly after the updates.
fluidistic said:
I must say that I truly believe that Windows is a cheap-toy OS not serious enough to be trusted for serious matters. I can't count on it. I'm going to have my first child in a few months and I'm not going to teach him/her Windows. I believe that this OS is for old people who don't want to learn how a computer works (which is just fine but far from the majority of people). I don't know about BSD and IOS, etc. but I feel like Windows should disappear from being sold by default in most places, and should be replaced by other more serious and solid OS'es where in order to break it, you must do it yourself. Unlike Windows where who has the superuser powers is Microsoft and anyone using administrator or super user options (which was not my case). A normal user should not be able to break the OS, and this is what I was when using Windows.

First thing I do when I get my degree and come back home: Remove Windows from the slow laptop I'm currently using.
Very saddened of what it's done.
Windows can sometimes be incredibly frustrating.
 
  • #24
Your problem is much more serious than the one a win10 upgrade gave me. Suddenly my desktop files were gone and replaced by some I had not used or seen in a couple of years. I was really upset for quite a few days. Computer was useable, but all of interest seemed lost.

My computer has solid state "drive C" and turns on very rapidly. I had not noticed the briefly appearing new user, me also, that I was actually activating. After I did my first I thought to kill the old one and all the old files it put on the desk top, but I still have plenty of memory so they are still there. Only change I made was to move the old user from top to bottom of the list of two. Now my recent desk top appears automatically when the start loading completes.
 
  • #25
"... I won't be updating this PC to Win10 ... nothing wrong with Win7."

I'd echo there's nothing wrong with Windows XP ! Works fine for me.
 
  • #26
pyroartist said:
"... I won't be updating this PC to Win10 ... nothing wrong with Win7."

I'd echo there's nothing wrong with Windows XP ! Works fine for me.
Windows XP could never run the software I'm using right now.

I switched to 10 and switched back when I couldn't connect to the internet. "Some network protocols are missing." A search showed this to be a chronic problem. I bailed out quickly.
 
  • #27
fluidistic said:
I must say that I truly believe that Windows is a cheap-toy OS not serious enough to be trusted for serious matters. .
Very saddened of what it's done.

I hate Windows 10 just as much as you, but let's not indiscriminately hate on Windows. I feel like you are letting your anger at this issue personally effect your view against it far too much, and it shows. Windows 10 didn't even break your system, because not being able to POST is a hardware problem, as your OS isn't even loading up at that point.

I realize that Microsoft has had its fun with trying to push it far more than it should, but it's compatibility and flexibility is unrivaled. I don't agree with where they've taken 10 or even 8, but I sure liked how 7 and XP ran. I honestly don't see why people are upgrading to 8 or even 10 if they don't have to. The benchmarks I've seen between 7 vs 8/10 show insignificant differences, and they don't really have any must-have features for me.
 
  • #28
fluidistic said:
It would have been very strange that the hardware broke right in between!

It would have been even stranger that it would be caused by software that wasn't even accessed between you changing your BIOS setting and not being able to post!

I've seen many systems in my time become unbootable from BIOS changes. Sometimes the BIOS gets corrupted, sometimes it's a device malfunctioning from the setting, and sometimes there's a problem with the motherboard that you just didn't see until X was turned on/off. Usually it's just a setting that a system does not like, and I'm a CMOS reset away from restoring functionality (which I don't believe most laptops are able to do, at least without cracking them open).
 
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  • #29
goat-on-a-stick said:
It would have been even stranger that it would be caused by software that wasn't even accessed between you changing your BIOS setting and not being able to post!

I've seen many systems in my time become unbootable from BIOS changes. Sometimes the BIOS gets corrupted, sometimes it's a device malfunctioning from the setting, and sometimes there's a problem with the motherboard that you just didn't see until X was turned on/off. Usually it's just a setting that a system does not like, and I'm a CMOS reset away from restoring functionality (which I don't believe most laptops are able to do, at least without cracking them open).
Yeah I believe the BIOS or CMOS (I'm not knowledgeable here) needs to be reset. I'm pretty sure windows changed stuff in there and me disabling Secure Boot hurted more than it should have, due to other settings I didn't check. I hope the hardware guy who's reviewing it will do this.
 
  • #30
So, here, like in thousands of places across the internet, we have people complaining about Windows 10. Making accusations, providing opinions. Average people - which is to say, people who do not maintain their computers, know little about computers, software, hardware, malware. People who have allowed all kinds of junk to inhabit their computers. People who never did - and never could - figure out how to program their VCRs. People who do not wash their hands after using the toilet. These mark the behaviors of average people.

Sometime, somewhere, there may exist a parallel internet - a parallel universe - where people will be self-aware enough to restrain themselves from expressing opinions about things they know zero about.

Unfortunately, this is not that place. Rather, it is a world of borderline idiots, lurching along and supporting one another - the blind leading the blind.

Thank you for reminding me that - yet again - I must unsubscribe.
 
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  • #31
YesMam said:
Thank you for reminding me that - yet again - I must unsubscribe.
Have a nice day. :smile:
 
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  • #32
I've had no problems with Windows 10 to date, since I got this laptop with it pre-installed boxing day (26 Dec) last year. Nor did I have trouble with it when I upgraded from Windows 8.1 to 10 on my previous laptop (except fixing an issue with Outlook, which took about 5 mins).
 
  • #33
My wife also loves Chromebook. It's like it was custom-made for her uses. So it's a great machine and system - for her. I can't project my preferences onto her preferences. Unless she wanted to be my clone or hand-maiden or ouch!... "I was just kidding, honey. Get back to your murder mystery horror chiller theatre." Can't understand why she loves those murder shows especially the ones where the wife plots to kill her husband - the Black Widows... hmmmm.
But, I will never use Win 10 (I hope - although I'm sure MS will build something somehow that I will HAVE to own which will be completely dependant on Win 10 but I would still really need to judge whether it would be worth my pain. Usually their trick is to 'support' a kickass new graphics card that only comes with a Windows driver (hmmmmm) so I'll need to install Windows or keep salivating until the Linux crew can make a driver that'll work.
W7 was good but since the sneaky Windows Update Win 10 Trojan Horse installation began, I have poured all my energy into Ubuntu 15.10. Don't even have anything from Windows and it's been a month or so and so far everything is OK. A few minor bugs at the start but all learning experience. And, really folks, there's nothing wrong with brushing up on Linux again. The day will come pretty quick when Billy Gates will be standing in the unemployment line.
Oh, and the OP?? I think you have a boot drive starting to go on you or theirs a break in your motherboard. Sounds like hardware. Go find a good laptop which is good to go with all Linux drivers and go for it. Find out the specs on the laptop of your dreams then go home and run each piece of hardware through Google and check if there are any issues with Linux. If not, get it and don't look back.
 
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  • #34
ebos said:
Can't understand why she loves those murder shows especially the ones where the wife plots to kill her husband - the Black Widows... hmmmm.
She's on to you, man! Run! :biggrin:
 
  • #35
YesMam said:
So, here, like in thousands of places across the internet, we have people complaining about Windows 10. Making accusations, providing opinions. Average people - which is to say, people who do not maintain their computers, know little about computers, software, hardware, malware. People who have allowed all kinds of junk to inhabit their computers. People who never did - and never could - figure out how to program their VCRs. People who do not wash their hands after using the toilet. These mark the behaviors of average people.

Sometime, somewhere, there may exist a parallel internet - a parallel universe - where people will be self-aware enough to restrain themselves from expressing opinions about things they know zero about.

Unfortunately, this is not that place. Rather, it is a world of borderline idiots, lurching along and supporting one another - the blind leading the blind.

Thank you for reminding me that - yet again - I must unsubscribe.
Don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out. Perhaps you work for Microsoft, makers of the wonderful Windoze OS. This is a science website/forum and I choose to come here for the intelligent conversation and advice. Science - Physics, Math, etc - requires a strong ability at computer use including hardware, software and networking which is usually quite close to cutting edge whether we can afford them or not because this ability is important for our continued successes and achievements. You may be visiting us from another dimension, or time or region of space. But, sadly and most likely, you are a bot trolling for some bot-approval from your superiors - us.
 
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