We have 2 computers in my office; the one in the inner office, which has Quickbooks installed on it that we don't download anything onto for fear that we'll get a virus and lose everything, and the one in the outer office that we use for the Internet, Microsoft office, and other general purposes.
Since the outer office computer is like an electronic junk drawer, it's been running slower than normal lately. In an effort to remedy this, I though I'd remove some of the superfluous files and programs from the C: drive.
As I highlighted and deleted old pictures and Word documents, accidental downloads and unnecessary shortcuts to programs whose icons were already on the desktop, I felt good. With each deletion it felt as though the computer was responding that much more quickly.
Finally I hit up the Add/Remove section and got rid of a few music players and other such programs we "never" use, according to the Add/Remove task manager, and I felt like a true techie. I restarted the computer with the confidence that once it had rebooted it would fly through the Internet with the greatest of ease... and then I tried to open Firefox.
"Internet connection not detected."
Surely this was incorrect. After several attempts at quick fixes (including an additional reboot, hey, you never know), I admitted that I needed help and called tech support.
Apparently I had uninstalled a program called "D-Link" which supported my wireless router. Awesome. Over the next half hour I located the antennae and determined that the Internet card was internal, removed the side panel to find a solid centimeter or dust, cleaned the machine, had several sneezing fits, determined the type of card I had an downloaded the proper driver on my netbook (thankfully I didn't take out the Internet for the whole office, just the main pass-the-time-machine).
Unfortunately I don't have a CD burner on my netbook, nor do I have any burnable CD's at work, so I'll have to bring in a flash drive to transfer the driver from my netbook to the computer tomorrow. Thankfully I had said netbook and so I'm not totally disconnected for the rest of the day (heaven forbid I read my New York Magazines which are quickly piling up).
So the lesson learned?
When trying to free up space by removing programs from your computer, don't uninstall something just because a program says that it is used "rarely" and hasn't been run since 2006 because you may need that.
Perhaps I'll stick to clearing the browsing history and cookies on my Internet browser from now on when I'm feeling the need to cleanse.