Well, SOMETHING'S missing!

It's a few minutes before closing time at this small computer repair shop where the typical customer is an average home user, says the pilot fish who runs the place.

"We were standing in the front area, shooting the breeze while waiting out that last two minutes to close," fish says. "A middle-aged man noticed us standing there, so he came in and said he just had a quick question."

He begins by explaining that he has a laptop, and a friend who just did a little work on the machine to "restore" it.

Fish groans inwardly -- he knows this kind of "restoration" usually leads to problems like missing drivers, Windows Activation failing or worse.

But the new might-be customer continues, "Yeah, he put all that Dell stuff back on there, and fixed the games. And it runs great! It was really bad before, but now it runs perfect!"

OK, says relieved fish, so what's the problem then?

"Well, he put everything on there but the Windows XP," says the customer.

Wait, says fish, the computer can't work without an operating system. And if your friend restored it from the Dell disk, it must have Windows XP on it.

But the customer insists the laptop works fine. He's just unhappy that "it doesn't have that Windows XP on it! It has all the other stuff, just not the Windows XP!"

Sighs fish, "After ten minutes of this, I finally told him the only thing I could: "Bring it in tomorrow, and we'll take a look at it for free. We'll figure out how to get that Windows XP in there for you."

Sharky is pretty sure that customer is just missing the Windows XP splash screen. Meanwhile, I'm missing your true tale of IT life. Won't you send it to me today at sharky@computerworld.com? You'll get a stylish Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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