Mario Villalobos

Attacking Life From All Angles

I sat in my office when my phone rang. It was a student calling from his teacher’s phone. One of their computers was down, and has been down for over a week, and they needed my help in fixing it. He described the problem vaguely over the phone, and from that information, I decided to take the Windows 7 installation disk as a precautionary measure. The problem with the computer was that it started into Startup Repair mode, but except of fixing it, it kept saying it couldn’t find any errors. The computer would then restart and boot straight into Startup Repair again. It was a vicious cycle that I couldn’t get out of. Starting Windows into Safe Mode would take me straight into this screen again, so I inserted the Windows 7 disk and booted into it. I ran the Startup Repair from the disk, and it gave me all the same issues. I tried running some commands through the command prompt, but none of them worked because this Startup Repair had told Windows it needed a reboot so it could complete its repairs. An essential kernel file was corrupted, and I couldn’t do anything about it.

After some time researching the issue on Google, I ran a few more commands, deleted some files, recreated others, and ran another scan. The scan said it would take an hour, so I left to do other work. I came back maybe thirty minutes later and found that the scan had finished and that it didn’t find anything wrong. I did some more research, ran a few more commands, and finally, I was able to fix it. What had happened was that Windows Update was updating Windows, but that it had somehow failed. Once I was able to boot into Safe Mode, Windows reverted all the changes from its failed update, and I was back to the login screen. I rebooted and logged into a normal Windows state, and everything seemed to be working fine. The teacher came up to me and said, “It works,” in a surprised and relieved way. I said, “Yup,” and left.

I went back to my office and opened up my calendar on my computer. I was here until 4, and it was almost noon. I wanted to revise my daily schedule, to push some things earlier so I can try to make it to bed by 8:30 PM. It’s 8:37 PM right now. I spent a bit longer reading than I imagined I would, but that’s okay because once I write this entry, I get to go to sleep. I get to go to sleep earlier than usual because I want to make sleep a bigger priority than it has been in my life. By scheduling almost every minute of my days, I was able to see where I could cut, where I could improve, and how I could be better.

To fix the computer, I had to figure out the underlying cause for all the symptoms. In order to become better, I have to figure out every aspect of my life that can be improved. I’m cutting back my TV watching habits and replacing that time with productive tasks to do. I’m starting my routines earlier so I can go to sleep earlier and have more energy to live my days when I’m awake. More energy means more work I can do to be better. And that’s what this is all about.

To be better, I have to attack every aspect of my life from all angles, and I cannot quit. If I quit, then I’ve failed. I can’t fail. I won’t let myself fail.