The Daily Derailment

It seems that every day there’s something that pops up that tries to derail me from getting things done. I think that’s a fairly typical thing, usually it’s something fairly easily handled.

This is not one of those stories.

My wife and I have virtually identical laptops. They are still, over a year after purchasing them, considered very high-end computers. When ordered, both of them had a solid state boot drive, a main optical drive, and a second smaller solid state drive for applications we plan on using often or need access to quickly. After about six months, my laptop took a hard jolt that unseated the optical drive, so it was replaced with a third solid state drive. Other than that, their specifications are identical.

Both of them run Windows 10. We pushed to the front of the line and forced the upgrade, and have been fairly pleased so far with the results.

At some point, my wife wanted to change the email address that she used to log into her computer, and in the shuffle of trying to make that happen, inadvertently disabled her Microsoft account through her computer. She can still log into the computer, she can still use it completely (with the exception of the voice-activation features of Cortana), but it won’t allow her to log out of that default account and into another email address on that computer. She can log into the account through Microsoft’s website just fine, so the issue lies in the computer itself and not with the account.

To make a VERY long and frustrating story short, she spent two unproductive hours on the phone with Microsoft technical support trying to fix the issue, and was told that she needed to perform a clean install of Windows 10 on the system. (Well, “told” is not accurate. She caught the Tier 2 technician attempting to start this process for her without informing my wife of what she, the technician, was doing, and that was just the last straw in a long line of customer service failures on Microsoft’s behalf this morning. She took command of the computer back from where the technician was remotely accessing the machine and disconnected the session.)

In attempting to try and find a resolution to her situation on MY computer, I managed to duplicate it. Now both of our laptops have similar login issues that will likely need to be resolved with a clean install, but at least we know what caused the problem and can see if there’s a more direct and less invasive way of fixing the problem than reinstalling Windows.

This had the potential of derailing my entire day, as we met friends for lunch and visited with them for the better part of the afternoon. I was planning on having a much more productive morning than I did. But I managed to get things caught up by the end of the day and I’m back on track with my checklist.

But now I have to get in touch with Microsoft one more time to see if there’s a quicker fix tomorrow. Wish me luck.

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