.. and it isn’t even February yet. It started out with a desire to de-dust my machine mid morning yesterday and turned into a nightmare which saw me start a major re-install late evening.

After cleaning out the case, I attached the peripherals cables into the rear USB ports, hit the power button, but soon realized that not all was well when I couldn’t use the spacebar to get beyond the Windows 8 lock screen. Attaching a PS/2 keyboard and cheap USB mouse got me beyond login, but it didn’t get any better.

The MS Comfort 5000 desktop set, LX3000 headset and Realtek card reader were the only USB devices NOT working. The HP printer, Canon scanner, and external hard drives were fine.

A system restore did nothing, and an upgrade over 8.1 didn’t get anywhere either. The MS Mouse and Keyboard Center refused to uninstall, claiming missing files and corruption, and you are not allowed to install a clean version unless the old one is gone.

After hours of messing about and deliberation, there was only one course left to me and that was to re-install from scratch, I don’t customize anything these days, so the thought was not as daunting as it would have been a few years ago.

Twenty four hours has passed since I booted the computer into the Windows 8.1 DVD, and I have a good working machine again. Windows 8.1 was installed along with Start 8 by maybe 11:30 last night, and Office was the first and most important installation for the morning. The rest of the day has been taken up with me being my normal productive self.

Why do I think that Windows 8.1 couldn’t do anything with some of the USB devices? Well, it went deeper than USB, and there were small errors and glitches now and again, but nothing big enough to bring the OS to its knees until the point where it was forced to recognize a device that had been attached to a USB port previously occupied by another device.

Tomorrow, I will run through the Windows.old folder, extract what I want for an archive, and then use Disk Cleanup to take the rest of it out.

Event Viewer is starting to show a system which is settling down, and all is well until the next time.. Smile