The first commandment in computing has devastating logic: if it works, don’t touch it. Despite its logic and being a common-sense rule, we are always tempted by believing that what we are going to do will improve our quality of life, when in fact it turns our life into sheer hell.
Let me start singing “Mea culpa” (it means, literally, “my fault” in Latin) right now, because I spent 5 hours on Friday trying to revert my PC to its original state, even though in the end it was a little improved. (Yippee!)
For several days already, whenever I booted my PC it would run CHKDSK on the disk partition where I have all my work files. Since all my files are quite safe, because they are backed up daily to an external drive (I’d never loose over 24 hours worth of work), I was not worried about the possibility of loosing my work files but rather about the likelihood that the disk might be somewhat damaged.
Then I tried to defragment the work partition and the utility I run for defragmentation would detect that CHKDSK was programmed for start up and until then, it would not defragment my disk. Despite running CHKDSK, my utility would not recognized it had been run and would throw the same error if I tried to defragment my disk.
Then I read in the Internet that my problem seemed to be quite common among XP users and the only solution consisted of formatting the disk.
At this stage, I realized that since I had edited the registry (I am a naughty girl, and quite stupid too) trying to erase the configuration for CHKDSK, I had deleted my safety net, the program GoBack that allows the reversal of the PC to a previous state.
It was not just GoBack that had stopped working, but the whole Norton SystemWorks was kaput. Let’s put it this way: Norton is not a smart program. In order to reinstall it, you must remove even the faintest trace that you had it before in your PC or it will throw an error, in which case you’ll have to follow a detailed 30-step list prepared by Symantec.
Anyway, since I can waste time anytime, five hours to get CHKDSK not to start up whenever it feels like and to realize I am too old to fight Norton (I’ll be switching to something more intelligent next month).