An elderly couple asked me to order them a new computer to replace their nine year old Compaq desktop (Windows XP, pentium 4 cpu, 512 MB of RAM). I ordered them a brand new Lenovo Essential H405 7723-1MU. They were extremely excited and I was eager to help them set everything up so that they would truly have an enjoyable computing experience.
The computer arrived and I went through my usual set up routine (uninstall crap software, install the necessary good software, get all of the important Microsoft updates, set up their email account, transfer personal data from the old computer, install a good free antivirus program, adjust their display, etc.). I took the computer to their house and it was in pristine condition: dual core processor, 2GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive, Windows 7 64bit, the works. Man what a change from the old Compaq! I turned the machine on for the couple and they were thrilled. I installed their printer/scanner, their wireless mouse and keyboard, and finally a Logitech C210 webcam. I showed the couple how to use their new computer and they were on cloud nine! I was ready to leave.
After one final update I attempted to shut down the machine but it would not shutdown! After about three or four minutes of the spinning blue circle, the machine finally blue screened and then rebooted itself. I immediately figured it was some kind of driver problem and I tried all kind of fixes but to no avail. I went through my whole “bag of tricks” but nothing! The brand new Lenovo continued to blue screen upon shutting down and would then reboot itself immediately. After over three hours at the clients house I was extremely frustrated and more than a bit perplexed.
Then I found it!
The Logitech USB webcam software had installed its own microphone drivers and the Lenovo Realtek sound card software of course had its own microphone drivers installed too. Both devices were enabled and there was a major conflict! I disabled the Realtek microphone recording device and lo and behold – no more blue screen and no more reboot. The machine shut down in normal fashion and behaved just like a new computer should. My clients think that I’m a genius!!
Professor Randy says: If you’re going to fix computers you must learn to be patient and persistent. Two of the fruits of these two characteristics are self respect and customer respect.