6 hours, 32 minutes…

… and counting. This is another snippet of my life that went down the drain thanks to Microsoft (not to mention how my candidate sleepy snowy sunday afternoon turned into a living hell).

Today my parents asked for some assistance, again due to their smart card woes I’ve been muttering about already. This time they had a brand new, and assumingly supported, SC reader, but they were unable to install it. I logged in via VNC and started uninstalling previous versions of various softwares, in order to start from the cleanest possible situation. I was asked to reboot, and I did: in a couple of minutes my parents were on the phone screaming about a BSOD. The computer wouldn’t boot anymore, all we got was a STOP error with a very informative “c000021a” cause.

From there, we were stuck. Safe mode boot was unavailable, and there was no way on earth to obtain even the simplest command line to attempt a manual rescue. Browsing the web brought a whole wealth of panicking information, not to mention a couple of official Microsoft statements along the lines of “er… yeah, you know, we must have screwed something up with dependency management: would you mind reinstalling the whole thing? Sorry about that and, by the way, where do you want to go tomorrow?”. Well, I don’t know where I want to go, but I’m pretty certain on a number of places I would like to send the whole Redmond team responsible for such a gross mistake: isn’t it time you just start behaving like a normal operating system that dumps on a console (no, COM2 doesn’t qualify, sorry) what’s going on with the boot process so that diagnosis and rescue can be available even to those poor guys who don’t happen to have a lab on their desk? Or, even better, isn’t it time you make sure that a mundane task such as removing software isn’t allowed to screw the whole computer making it not only unusable but even unable to boot?

I’m actively looking for a country in the world where I could sue companies for wasting my time in such a stupid way. If anyone happens to know, I’d love to share thoughts, real estate estimates and immigration plans.