This might be a post you want to skip, although I think the ending is worth muddling through the little bit of mumbo jumbo sprinkled through it. I could be wrong.
So, my dad calls me at work today and leaves me a voicemail that he broke his computer.
I don't get this voicemail until 10 minutes before my work day is done because, as usual, I was in meetings for most of the day.
I call back, get my stepmom, gruffly tell her I need to speak with my dad, he gets on the phone, and I gruffly ask about the problem. He tells me his understanding of the problem and I realize it won't necessarily be an over-the-phone fix because I don't believe my dad has done everything he says he's done to troubleshoot the problem himself.* I gruffly agree to go to my dad's house almost directly after work (I need to stop at home to feed and pet the kitties) and agree to eat sloppy Joes at their house for dinner.
I arrive to my dad's house and see the UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME error.
Because my dad is so insistent that this is a hardware problem I run hardware diagnostics and go to the other room to do some googling. While I am there someone (*ahem*) interrupts the hardware diagnostics and starts them over.
I return to my dad's computer and someone fesses up to interrupting the scan. I take this opportunity to skip out of the hardware diags and instead boot to the recovery console and run chkdsk (/p for kicks) /r on the drive. While it jumps from 50% to 75% to 50% to 53% to 60% to 50% to 55% to 100% we eat sloppy Joes with grated parm and corn. (Fine dining, I tell ya.)
After chkdsk completes I restart the computer and quietly boot it into safe mode successfully. Everyone notices and starts to celebrate (prematurely, if you ask me). I shut down the computer again and quietly restart in normal mode. While it's booting everyone keeps talking about it as if everything is fine, as if the computer was just naughty and now it's had its timeout in the corner and is back to being a productive member of society. And, fair enough, the computer does boot to normal mode successfully and my dad is able to check his Juno and his eBay auction bids and his instant message client and his Gmail and his bank account and his Hotmail and (Jesus, Dad, when did you become so ... computery?).
I would just like to point out, and I know it's silly, but Poppy doesn't talk about computers while they're booting up after misbehaving. In fact, Poppy crosses her fingers and babies the computer and promises she doesn't assume that the problem is resolved. She closes one eye and peers through her fingers and thinks happy thoughts and yells at anyone who tries to talk about the computer being fixed or not fixed. It's magic when computers decide to resurrect from the dead, and talking about them only jinxes the repair. So, I implore you, don't undo all my work by talking about the computer. K? Because that's just rude. And next time I'm making you fix the damn thing yourself.
*I have trust issues. I fully admit to this. If you've dealt with as many computer users as I have who lie through their teeth that they didn't do anything, the computer just stopped working, how they promise they've done everything you've advised them to do over the phone when you can hear it in their voice that they've just been sitting there eating chips while they pretend to follow your instructions, you'd have trust issues too.