kowaiyoukai: (Star Trek Spock infuriated)
[personal profile] kowaiyoukai
OK, I've got MASSIVE COMPUTER PROBLEMS. And am in DIRE need of assistance.

My computer was having problems for a while (not opening files, randomly re-starting for no reason, etc) when a friend told me she thought she could fix it. She switched around a bunch of parts inside (replacing old stuff, that kind of thing) and replaced the hard drive, etc. Basically, that means I have no idea what's in my computer now--what year it was made in, what company it's from, the condition of the pieces, etc. I do know everything's really old and needs to get replaced anyway. (This wouldn't usually be a problem--she did help me out by working on it for so long--but read on.)

I was originally using Windows XP (which I LOVE), but after she switched the hard drive (my old hard drive was broke regardless) she installed Linux (Ubuntu). I don't know how to use Linux, and more importantly, I don't have access to the internet at my house. Apparently, Linux more or less REQUIRES internet use to fix problems that pop up and install programs or get help with anything that randomly flips out. A few examples of my current problems with Linux: the movie player doesn't play movies or read DVD discs; video editing software doesn't read music files or 75% of video files; iTunes doesn't work (and my iPod hasn't been updated in a few weeks); Word files (all of my writing) don't open correctly (the formatting gets screwed up) and they get saved oddly; no way of opening old picture files I had (to make icons, manips, etc)... and so on. I've actually had so many problems using Linux that I don't even remember them all. ALSO: the library doesn't let me download 95% of programs for websites, so even searching for fixes and trying to get them doesn't work because the programs won't save to my USB. I don't know any programming code anyway.

So, after about two months of attempts at fixing my computer, the end result is that I can't do anything I want to, nothing opens correctly, and I'm about to go on an insane killing spree to make me feel better.

Here's the main problem: I'm totally broke, I've got no way of fixing this easily, and Linux won't let me install Windows XP onto my (newer old) hard drive. I've tried installing it from TWO different discs, and both say the same message: "Error autorunning software. Cannot find the autorun program." If I double-click on the disc, it says "Opening setup.exe" and then it disappears with no message at all (without opening the program). This happens both directly from the disc AND when I copy everything into the C: where Wine is located. (BTW, Wine sucks. Nothing opens correctly using it. I get that a Windows emulator is a good idea, but it should WORK.)

I can't ask my friend about this because she asked me not to (she said she was stressed out and needed a break), and although I know other RL people who are techy, they all are saying I should have the internet with Linux. One guy at work was like "WTF how are you even USING Linux without internet?" so apparently I'm screwed unless I can find a way to install Windows XP onto a hard drive that already contains Linux WITHOUT using Wine (or a similar Windows emulator program) and without uninstalling Linux first--because if I completely uninstall Linux and then Windows XP doesn't properly install, I'm basically screwed and will be completely without a computer at all. At least now I can use Notepad and VLC. Nothing else, but I'd rather have something than nothing.

So... any suggestions? Is there an easy way to install Windows XP onto a hard drive that already has Linux? Should I just say fuck it and start saving for a new computer? Would it be possible to find an older hard drive that would work with my other old parts and put it in the computer? I'm wary about that idea because everything's such a disaster right now that I've got this feeling that it just needs to get completely replaced.

The programs I use the most are VLC (and other media players), iTunes, Fireworks, Vegas 7 (not 8, I HATE 8), and Word. I need those programs to work ASAP.

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