I Have Returned . . .

After over a week of trying to get my computer back to being a computer, I have a computer. I have learned one truth from this situation . . . Microsoft needs to re-evaluate the abilities of it’s support provisions to the public. Don’t go getting your panties in a knot, this is the first time in over 20 years I have not supported Microsoft. Here, you tell me if this makes sense to you:

I purchased Windows 8 when it was just the “release candidate” for $39.00 online. Later Microsoft upgraded it to 8.1 for free. So, when my computer takes a dump, it is running Windows 8.1. To use Windows 8.1 to repair your 8.1 you have to purchase a 8.1 product key. I purchased the Windows 8.1 back up cd from Microsoft with the idea that I would be able to boot my system and use the utilities on the disk to repair my system. Nope, won’t work. The 8.1 back up disk will not repair an existing 8.1 system unless you have an 8.1 product key to make it work. So to reset my computer I had to retrieve my Windows 8 product key from Microsoft, which at least three of their staff said I did not have such product key as I never bought Windows 8. The User product history retrieval that Microsoft has online showed only the last 2 months of my activity with Microsoft. Have you ever wondered why you “register” your products with the manufacturers? Isn’t so they have a record of your legal rights to that product? Well, Microsoft searches some other database to see if you bought their stuff because it took over a week for me to find someone at Microsoft that could retrieve my product key from 2012.

Now mind you, at this stage I am about “bonkers” because I have never seen or been party to such a “run around” by anybody in my life, including the military. You used to be able to contact Microsoft and get resolution quickly. Now, they play “support shuffle” sending you to the support desk they believe you belong to. I must have talked with 25 different people at Microsoft before my situation resolved.

My situation was somewhat unique as I could only find a few hundred links to similar issue on the Internet. Have you ever had to tell the same story over and over again to the point that even you were tired of hearing it? Yeah, well try telling your support issue repeatedly for 10 or so times without resolution, it will piss you off as it did me. I had to go to their “Customer Support” desk to find someone capable of retrieving my product key, but nobody from prior contact bothered to tell me so while they repeatedly had me walk them through my issue.

It gets better! I cannot use a Windows 8.1 disk to repair my system because I do not have an 8.1 product key. Why don’t I have an 8.1 product key? Microsoft upgraded my Windows to 8.1, why don’t I have an 8.1 product key? Anyway, to reset my system I had to download Windows 8 and use it to repair my Windows. How the hell is it repairing my 8.1 to go back to 8.0? After installing 8.0, I then had to do all the upgrades for 8.0 prior to being able to install the upgrade to 8.1. It just seems that it would have been a lot easier to repair 8.1 with 8.1 had I have had a 8.1 product key, which I could have bought for $199.00 for the Pro version or $100.00 for a cheaper version. But, they gave me Windows 8.1 for free!!! By the time Microsoft’s support staff got through with me I was threatening to never use a Microsoft product again and would use a notepad and pencil instead, and I was not very polite about it either. I am sure they got a real kick out of pushing me almost “postal” during our interactions.

Well, as much as I would like to say “It doesn’t matter now, my system works again” it is not the case. I have been left irritated by a support system that in my opinion needs better communication between desks, and software that can be repaired as the version it actually is. I do not know if you aware of the differences between Windows 8.0 and 8.1. I did not realize there were so much improvement between the two but there is. If they had just given me a product key for 8.1 at the onset of my need, it would have provided me the ability to fix what broke. But, by my repeated attempts of trying to find a “work-around” I made things significantly worse. I have made my own “recover” disk. I will guard it with my life if necessary as I will not be able to ever again tolerate such a support nightmare. The lesson learned was both mentally defeating as well as a huge financial loss in lost programs that I will likely have to repurchase. Actually, not too bad financially but a significant pain in the anatomy saving all my data that would have been lost due to having to reset.

What the heck! I’ll get over it after a bit. Right? Regardless . . . Folks, I Have Returned!  

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