The Good, the Microsoft & the HP

Okay, let’s dial it back. Thursday I’m showing my daughter my very first voice over gameplay video of an XCOM 2 mission. Here is the link if you wish to torture yourself: Ransacked Turnip’s XCOM 2 Mission I know there are places where the game sounds drown out my microphone. I admit I had no idea what I was doing and this was my first time. Spoiler! At least the mission was successful.

So the computer suddenly turns itself off. I figure it has overheated. No big deal, I get the compressed air, I pull the side panel off and blow out all the dust. Computer turns on, but won’t stay on. I assume it is still hot, wait an hour, try again. Now the computer is possessed. It just turns itself on and off. I filmed its shenanigans: Possessed Computer

So we take it Friday to Microcenter and they diagnosed it for free! Said we need a new motherboard and processor. The computer is 2 years old and we intend to give it to our kids when my husband and I buy a new computer. So we paid the $210 for the new motherboard and processor. Paul spends the rest of Friday night installing while I went to work. He shows me that everything is working and trust me, while Paul was working on the computer it felt like a family member was in surgery. I was so anxious over it.

Today is Saturday. I get up, and I’m ready to go and finish XCOM 2. I’m on the last mission of the game. At the corner of the monitor it says: Activate Windows and then gives instructions to activate Windows. So I do as the instructions say and the settings gives me an error saying our product key doesn’t match our version of Windows. So I decide that I’ll ignore it and let Paul deal with it tonight. Well I fire up Steam and then XCOM 2, I’ve got all day, well until 4 PM to beat the last mission. I want to walk into work a winner!

There isn’t any SOUND. Me not being a total idiot, checked to make sure all the cables were plugged in, the speakers were on, and then I did a test. The speakers played sound. So I try the game again. Still no sound. Then I open YouTube and click on a Markiplier video. No sound. So I get this idea that maybe this Activate Windows thing might have something to do with the sound. (It doesn’t but I didn’t realize that until I actually got to typing this blog post. The actual problem is that for some reason the monitor got set as the sound system.)

So first thing I do is look on my tower for the Windows 8 product key sticker. I DON’T HAVE ONE! They were always on the tower. I never noticed that ours didn’t have one. So I start going through old documents, even found the HP Quick Start Guide from 2 years ago when we bought the computer. No Product Key. I do have these little slips of paper saying Certificate of Authenticity with a Product ID on them. So I decide finally time to contact Microsoft and see if they can give me the product key that goes with these product IDs.

(We bought the computer refurbished from Microcenter Valentine’s Day 2014. The Manufacturer’s Warranty expired in June 2014, we purchased an extended warranty that expired on Valentine’s Day 2016.)

Microsoft gives me several options to contact them. I chose the chat with a tech because I really didn’t want to wait on hold for 30 minutes. The tech comes on and I immediately explain my predicament. I bought a pre-built machine, it came with Windows 8, we did the free upgrade to Windows 10, I swapped out my motherboard and now Windows says its not a genuine version of Windows. The tech was Rose J. and she didn’t listen to me at all. She tells me that my changing motherboards violated my EULA with Windows.  She then has me open the command prompt and type in some jargon. Nothing happens. She asked me to try again.

She then tells me to look on the tower for the product key. I explain that was the first thing I did and I don’t have a product key sticker. I explain about the slips of paper I have. Now this is a text chat and she doesn’t give any indication that she has read anything I have typed. (She also said, “Let’s get started,” about a dozen times, gave the feel of an automated response, but I think they were pre-typed selections she could just click.) She asks what stickers are on the tower, I explain HP make/model and serial numbers. She wants to know what the numbers are. So I type in the numbers. She tells me to contact HP. 
So I go to HP’s website. They do not have any options to contact them other than to download their diagnostic tool, post on the forums, FAQs, watch support videos, and get software and drivers. So I identify my CPU, and they tell me that because my warranty has expired that I have to call them! Hallelujah, except they said there is a fee for support.  Wait? What? I just need the WINDOWS 8 PRODUCT KEY MY CPU CAME WITH! I go ahead and take a chance and call them. Got directly in touch with a person and told her my story, about the texting with Microsoft, how I don’t have a tower sticker, etc. She tells me there is nothing HP can do for me, if I need a Windows Product Key I need to call MICROSOFT!
So I break down and call Microsoft, to get a person on the phone this time. The cool part is Microsoft actually calls you so you aren’t waiting on hold. Downside is I’m on the phone with someone in India. (I’m naive enough to think I got someone on the phone who had an Indian accent in the US, but when the supervisor called me, he also had an Indian accent and that was too coincidental for me.) She had me download some sort of tool that allowed her to basically use my computer remotely, I was a little uncomfortable with it, but I really wanted my Windows 10 to effin work! She activates Windows 10 and BOOM the little message goes away. I thank her, talked to her supervisor, told him good things about the girl who activated my Windows 10. Told him about the bad service I got with the texting and he says those people aren’t trained in Windows tech support. 
So I fire up Steam, ready to play XCOM 2. Got that last mission. STILL NO SOUND!
Cause I’m an idiot. 
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Author: Ransacked Turnip

I'm a dreamer, a coffee drinker, and a lover of animals.

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