deep in the heart of taxes

I’m in a very distracted state. In addition to my worry about my dad, I was trying finally to do my taxes tonight, and TurboTax is having a lot of problems on my PC. The one-click update over the net won’t work. I found the manual update files on the website and tried to install them, but the manual install wouldn’t complete properly, complaining about a file that was, somehow simultaneously “missing” and “not the same size,” and then the application wouldn’t restart at all, and had to be uninstalled and reinstalled. After three times through this cycle, I went online for tech support… their suggestion when this occurs (and it’s near the top of the troubleshooting FAQ, so it must be a common problem) is to try to update manually; then, if you get the problem I did with the manual update, they suggest–what else–uninstalling and reinstalling. Nothing about what happens when that doesn’t work, either.

And I need the update, because they’ve made a critical change, apparently, to the Virginia forms.
So I’ve installed it on the laptop, where the update functionality works fine (on Windows 98, whereas the desktop is XP and theoretically more stable). But, they’ve instituted a new process this year whereby, like XP, you have to activate the software, so that you can only print and file your taxes from the first machine on which it is activated, and this software already was activated on the desktop. So I’m going to try one of two things:

  1. Install all the updates on the laptop, and then just copy the directories back to the desktop, and see if they work, in which case I can go from there; or
  2. Complete the taxes on the laptop, but transfer just the tax file back to the desktop, where I can print and file it. The thing that concerns me about this is the possibility that, since that’s assuming it doesn’t have the updates, it might not calculate correctly

At least I have options, but it’s taken the better part of the evening to deal with this. Very frustrating.