Adventures with Lexmark & VISTA – Part Two

Did I mention I hate VISTA?

7:56pm My cellphone says, “Call from Mama and Daddy. Call from Mama and Daddy.” Even though it’s 4 minutes until my blogtalkradio Talkshow, No Out There, I pick up the phone. After all, it IS my parents. At ages 80 and 84, anything could be going on. I flip the phone open with one hand and it closes just as quickly terminating the call.

I vow to get back to it as soon as the show is over. I shouldn’t have answered anyway. It’s time for my show with Jorj Elprehzleinn talking about Life Transformation System Z (if you want to know more about this, visit I have fun on the show. Jorj is funny, enthusiastic and informative. The hour passes quickly.

9:05pm. I call Mom and Dad. Mom answers. She says, “Your father was having trouble with his computer.” “What?”, I ask incredulously. “He says he keeps getting some message and he can’t get in”, she replies. Dad gets on the phone.

“Nina, is your show over?”, asks Dad. Nina is my father’s nickname for me. He’s called me that since I was a child. “I can’t get into the computer. I keep getting this same ‘Access denied’ message.” “OK” I say and then ask, “Are you going to be awake for a while?”

9:11pm Dad: “What time is it?”

Me laughing: “I’m not going to tell you that. You may decide it’s past your bedtime.”

Daddy laughing, “No, I’ll be up for awhile. I took my nap today.”

Me: “Give me about 20 minutes. I’ll come down and see.” We live in a 2-flat apartment building. I live upstairs. When they come in the summer – they live downstairs. A WONDERFUL arrangement. We’re together, yet not together.

9:38pm I go downstairs. The computer is off. I press the Power button. The Windows Vista icon appears in the center of the screen. The Windows Vista chime sounds. Then there in the middle of the beautiful Seafoam Green screen the following message appears: The Group Policy Client service failed to logon. Access denied. Underneath the message is an OK button. I press it.

The screen disappeared and reappeared. VISTA is looping.

The Windows Vista icon appeared in the center of the screen. The Windows Vista chime sounded. Then there in the middle of the beautiful Seafoam Green screen the following message appeared: The Group Policy Client service failed to logon. Access denied. Underneath the message is an OK button. I pressed it.

I repeat this ritual 2-3 more times each time the same result.

I KNOW this has something to do with the Ram and Remote Assistance. I go over last night in my head. Didn’t we stay online after the last time he restarted? We printed that page and then logged out? I had to reset Dad’s homepage from Toshiba to Netzero so he could get his mail. Why was it at Toshiba’s home page anyway? I saw it twice when Ram was doing something – maybe it came up after he deleted one of those files. I wish I had read that page.

I call Lexmark. Get somebody named Ren. I thought he said Ram. He says Ram isn’t working today. I tell him what occurred. I give him the error message. He gives me the party line about this is a Microsoft problem. I say, “YOUR guy Ram caused this. He must’ve deleted a file that VISTA needed.” Ren asks me for the error message. i tell him. He says, “No problem. I will help you. If this does not fix the problem, then you have two options: contact either Microsoft or the manufacturer of the computer.” He then has me repeat the ritual from last night until HE understands it’s looping!!! He then says to completely shut down the computer, when immediately after I restart it – press F8 and keep pressing it.. I get a black screen with white characters with words I understand: SAFE MODE, SAFE MODE with Networking, SAFE MODE with Command Prompt. AH, now we’re cooking with gas. He says to choose Safe Mode. I do. The system restarts . Nothing different happens. Same error message. I do it again and this time select SAFE Mode with Command Prompt. Same thing. Then Ren says, “There is nothing more I can do. This not a Lexmark printer problem it is a VISTA software problem.” I take the number to Microsoft.

I call Microsoft and get Anne. I didn’t ask her how she spelled it. Her accent told me her name probably wasn’t Ann either. I left it alone. I tell Anne the error message and about the looping. She says, “No problem. I can help you.” She asks for the requisite information; name, Genuine Microsoft VISTA number. Dad, where’s the disk? What disk? Here are all the disks I brought with me. Mom looks through the stack. Hands it to me. No disk. I tell Dad he should have gotten a disk with all the preloaded software on there OR a separate disk for each individual software preloaded. He says he didn’t get that or it must be in Arizona. Anne who has heard all of this then says, well, you can request paid technical support $59.95 per incident or I can give you the number to Toshiba. Then she asks if I want the per incident technical support. I say no, because if they need that disk – the VISTA disk, we’re outta’ luck so what’s the point?

She asks if I want the number to Toshiba. I say yes. She gives it to me then says it’s probably a Toshiba problem anyway because even though VISTA is a Microsoft product companies purchase it and make changes to it so it can work on their laptops/computers. I understand. She says she thought I would.

Now I’m steaming. Been through this before with some other system. Each company passes the buck. Eventually the problem is remedied by ME or the computer owner shelling out hundreds of dollars. I’m committed that something different happen this time, however, it doesn’t look good at this point.

10:05pm I call back to Lexmark. I’ve decided to ask for a supervisor to REPORT this. They’re closed!!! I call Toshiba. He asks my name – doesn’t give his. I’m past the point of being friendly and polite and don’t ask for his. He requests the serial number off the BOTTOM of the laptop. I notice the Genuine Microsoft VISTA sticker there too!!! I tell Dad, if you have to talk with Microsoft. THIS and I point to the sticker is the information they want. He asks which set of numbers. I say, give them ALL. Let them figure it out!

After getting my Dad’s information AND they us the computer is under warranty until Feb someteen 2009. GREAT! I explain Lexmark and the error message. He looks it up and asks for the Restore Disk. I tell him we have no disk. Then he says the restore disk for this computer wasn’t released until June 30th 2008 and it cost $39.99. Do I want to order it? I say, “NO.” I want this computer fixed. He says, “No problem.” Whereupon he asks me to shut down reboot and press F8. He too suggests safe Mode. I tell him I did that already with the Lexmark folks. He asks what happened. I tell him. He asks me to do it anyway. Then he asks if there are any important files on this computer. I say probably not and check with Dad. He says he doesn’t think so. The Toshiba tech then says he recommends we restore back to the store defaults. I say without that disk we can do nothing. Again he asks if we want to purchase it. I look at Dad. He looks bewildered. I say we’ll sleep on it and call in the morning.

We call it a night and shut down the computer.


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