The saga re the computer continues.... it arrived in very timely fashion, plugged straight in and I was up and running (Windows 7 Home) with reboot disc, drivers disc, another one for wireless network (no idea how to set it up or what to do, so I passed on that one) and I was a very happy bunny.

BUT... having listened to advice, I wasn't content to let well alone, and invested in Windows 7 Ultimate (£166 + postage, I might add) as  the theory was: if the Home bundle is good, the Ultimate has to be even better. NOT SO.

The Ultimate booted up - with gigantic icons, everything all over the place. I panicked, thought I'd done it wrong, or the 64-bit was too high powered for the machine - so I loaded up the 32-bit instead. Same result. More panic - then I realised I hadn't put in the drivers disc. This did work, but the icons were still rather large, although things seemed to be working. So I thought, Aha! That's what I did wrong the first time, so obviously I need to have the other disc - so uploaded the 64 bit disc again. So that's 3 times the machine was wiped.

Heading for a nervous decline... panic station ahead!
Yes, I reinstalled the drivers. Yes, the screen was better (although the icons were still huge). Then I tried to open one of my documents. Disaster. No word processing programme that I could see - the document opened in Notebook - with all the pictures missing! Bear in mind I'm talking about 15 years of magazine articles, tutorials and teaching notes, all with diagrams and photographs - all gone!

Then I saw that there's something called a Virtual PC and also Virtual XP - which have to be downloaded from Microsoft. So I did all that (the downloads took around 2 hours). And guess what - I STILL couldn't open my documents - Virtual XP couldn't read them. The next link suggested I download a Reader. For which you have to pay. Or buy Office - again, more money! I think £166 (roughly $300 is ENOUGH money!)

So... I dug out my old Windows XP Pro disc (vintage 2000) and guess what again... this worked like a charm.  So I asked myself what exactly had I been paying for? I couldn't see any benefits in the Ultimate programme over the Home (which had been installed in the machine in the first place).

Therefore I did the only sensible thing in the entire saga - used the System Recovery Disc that came with the machine. This reinstalled Windows 7 Home - no need to reload drivers or anything else - the screen size was perfect, I was on the web in a matter of minutes, the antivirus downloaded immediately... all was right in the world again! Photoshop 7 (again, circa 2000) and Windows XP Pro have loaded like a dream, I have all my documents to hand again (with illustrations intact).

I contacted Amazon, not very hopeful as I had used the discs. I typed in the reason for return - and lo & behold, I don't qualify for a credit note or replacement... under the circumstances, I get a full refund and even £2.75 towards my postage!

Are Amazon wonderful or what! Hats off to Amazon! What a company!

Nearly driven to the Demon Drink!
I can't tell you how relieved I am - this entire episode has rendered me a nervous wreck (Dear Husband muttering in the background: Have you fixed it yet, dear? Are you sure you know what you're doing?... NO! Duh!!!!) and it just goes to show that if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

I sincerely hope I've learnt my lesson now, not to meddle. And thank YOU all for putting up with this very long and extremely boring saga - although I hope this all might stop someone else making the same mistakes.
Sorry to everyone who's wondering where I am, and why no posts! Because I am a Lady In Waiting, waiting for my new baby - I am finally a...