Saturday, November 6, 2010

PITA


Had to restore a PC to the factory settings, wiping out all files, then had to reinstall all programs from scratch... Ouch, a royal you know what. Then when installing Zonealarm Free Firewall, had to abort during the install when it got "stuck." Subsequent attempts to install generated an error message stating that the installer was having trouble closing down the earlier version of Zonealarm and that I should reboot the computer and retry... Unfortunately this simply repeated each time. A minor annoyance... However, then noticed that the browser could not connect to the 'net even though it appeared that the connection should be good. Realized that the failed Zonealarm install may have partially succeeded and that it was what was preventing the browser connection, and thus the answer would be to undo the partial install.

Unfortunately however the program did not show up in Control Panel's 'Uninstall a Program.' OK, so looked for a 'process' to kill in 'Task Manager.' However, could not identify a process that might be the guilty party.... Temporarily stumped. Next ran 'msconfig' and looked at the startup services, finding "True Vector Internet Monitor.' Unchecked it, rebooted, and was good to go i.e. it now allowed me to install the program without error messages...

OK, so should it really be so complicated? If installation of a software program does not complete appropriately, should the software allow for a partial install both prevents a normal reinstall and also messes up other programs? One would think not! However, that's how computers and software often are... Too complicated.

And, no, the answer isn't Apple. It is true... they do make the installation, updates, etc. fairly automatic and transparent to the end user... However, when they fail, which they do occasionally (at least on Windows computers) you are often left high and dry - your installation/update/etc. didn't work, but a) you often have no idea why not, and b) you have no configuration or other files to look at and/or tweak, etc. Too far the other way (i.e. too simplified). Hmm, guess there's no middle ground.

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