End of Term Blue Screen

So here we are. We have arrived at last at the final day of term. I don’t actually have any teaching today so I’ve just been pottering about at home trying to tidy up a few loose ends.

My (work laptop) has for some time been hassling me to restart it to do an update but I’ve been too busy. This morning I consented. The screen stayed as shown above for 7 minutes. As I write this, an hour later, it is on 17%. Sigh.

UPDATE: two hours later I can at last log in to find this:

It seems to be working again but it has removed my desktop background and has replaced it with solid black. I wonder what other settings it has deleted?

The problem with this device (apart from it being a Windows machine) is that it is encrypted with Bitlocker so whenever it restarts I have to type in my PIN. That means scheduling an “out of hours” uodate is pointless as it will just grind to a halt at every restart. Anyway if and when it finishes doing its business I am going to set an “out of office” email and that will be that for work until after Christmas.

I have to confess that I’m completely exhausted and my own systems need a full refresh.

I’m also very much afraid that the Covid-19 situation is going to be very grim next year as infections increase over the holiday period. Cases are already starting to rise.

I won’t be at much risk myself, however, as I intend to stay at home on my own for the entire break (unless I run out of wine and am forced to venture out to replenish stocks).

4 Responses to “End of Term Blue Screen”

  1. Phillip Helbig Says:

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.


  2. Bryn Jones Says:

    The computers I’ve bought over the past 25 years came with Windows preinstalled. For each one, I wiped the hard drive at the outset and set them up as Linux/Windows systems and reinstalled Windows. I generally used these PCs under Linux, only booting into Windows when absolutely necessary.

    However, installing Windows updates was always slow and often hung completely. My reaction to Windows becoming unusable after an upgrade failed was to abandon Windows thereafter and stick to Linux.

    • Phillip Helbig Says:

      I’m approaching my thirtieth anniversary of using VMS: VAX, Alpha, and soon x86 (I skipped Itanium at home, but used them at work). Implementing the referees’s suggestions for a long review paper at the moment. (Note that much of LaTeX was developed on VMS.)

      • Bryn Jones Says:

        I doubt VMS is an option for Peter at the moment.

        I have fond memories of VMS myself, but last used it at some observatory in the early 2000s.

        We were banned from using LaTeX on a VAX for a period when I was a PhD student because compiling LaTeX was too CPU intensive for the available facilities. This rule was dropped before I started to prepare my thesis fortunately.

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