Did Microsoft sabotage my tablet, I ask myself, as my last-ditch attempt at repairing it runs into yet another can’t-do-that message. I stare at the mournful blue screen in that dreaded reboot-loop-of-death and confess, the only option left is to phone the manufacturer. Luckily my tablet’s not a Surface Pro. The Microsoft website says send-it-in-for-repair when a Surface Pro hits this problem. But a phone call will surely be easier (I hope). And just one simple line of code, inserted in all the right places, would have redeemed me long ago.
So no, I don’t really think Microsoft sabotaged my tablet. But I do wonder how the programmers failed to put a virtual keyhole into every error requiring a virtual key, and how the qa engineers failed to spot the problem, and how the sales people failed to notice it might annoy customers accustomed to performing their own software repairs.
My tablet’s all backed up, of course. The novel’s still out there, waiting for its edits in the cloud. Fred and Joe are still barking up many wrong trees. Book reviews are ready to be posted. And I’ve lost nothing but time, time, time and more time. But WHY ?????????
So, if you have a tablet running Windows 10, enjoying the invisible default protection of the dreaded Bitlocker, beware.
Bitlocker, it seems, encrypts or locks your drive, or some partition thereof, whenever your computer feels threatened, stolen, or sabotaged. Unfortunately, failed Windows updates can be perceived as a threat. So Windows will helpfully try to restart for you, then demand a key. Luckily Microsoft tells you how to find the key at this point, and provides a nice long space where you can type in those 48 (!!!!!) characters. Less fortunately, the computer will continue to feel threatened when the restart fails again, so guess what…
There you are, sitting, not at the blue screen of death and restart, but the blue screen of helpful options, and none of them work because the drive/partition has locked itself again. But this time there’s no keyhole for your 48 digit key. Just a message – can’t restore windows, can’t repair, can’t re-install windows, can’t, can’t, can’t, can’t, can’t… because that drive or that partition is locked.
If only they’d thought to provide that virtual keyhole whenever you’d need a virtual key, I’d have a working machine. But Microsoft didn’t sabotage me, not really; it’s just a Windows update gone wrong – it might even have been the one that would fix the problem. And I did at least manage to mend the other machine – the one I used to look up reboot-loop-of-death and how to use those helpful options. It broke the same way on a failed Windows update the following day. But, of course, that machine didn’t have Bitlocker protecting it.
I feel un-protected.
Meanwhile… back at the writing group… it seems we have a fairly appropriate upcoming writing prompt:
- The eyes are the windows to the soul.
- Windows is driving me insane (see above).
- Double glazing is wonderful (we just had it installed).
- Cataract surgery is wonderful too (I no longer have triple vision – I’m not an alien!).
- And defenestration is truly a wonderful word (even tempting at times like this).
Which one caught your imagination? Which story will you tell?