Last minute: XP Anti-Contest Bug?

Remember my earlier post about XP acting up the week before CQ WW SSB? That one showed up again TODAY at 1200utc. Hit PANIC button! Right before CQ WW with less than 12 hours to go? This must be an anti-contest bug somewhere in XP. The message is that explorer.exe generates an error. Not Internet Exploder but the Windows (system) explorer.
System recovery didn’t help and Google showed many hits of a gazillion people being bugged by this yet no solution. A link pointed to the MS website but it was of no use. The symptoms they described were there but the causes weren’t and the solution offered didn’t help or was impossible to do.

Now what? Format C: and reinstall? With half of my antenna setup left to do this was hardly an option. One of the links pointed to Media Player so I downgraded by removing Internet Explorer 7 and Media Player 11. To no avail.
Another link told me to run "sfc /scannow" from the command prompt with the XP install CD in the CD reader. That did the trick but it took almost an hour to complete the process. Add to that the full hour lost to get to this point. I now have auto-updates disabled for the duration of the contest. I’ll look into this later on. First concern now is to survive the contest without PC problems. Fingers crossed!

Tower is up, all antennas are up, the 2el 40m sloper system shows gain and F/B and the 80m antenna was a pain to set up in the wind. Ideally this is a two man job but since I was home alone this afternoon…
I decided not to use the auto-tune solid state amp after all. Retuning / QSYing goes too slow and I don’t want to risk damaging another person’s amplifier in the heat of the battle. SWR is flat on all bands so the second rig will put out 100W and not fold back. I’ve done it like this for over a year so it’ll work out this time too.

Less than 4 hours to go. I’ll hit the couch and try to relax or even better: get some sleep.
73 / CU de Franki ON5ZO – OQ5M

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