And once again some of the pettiest of issues come back to trouble me and prevent me from accomplishing the simplest of tasks, granting me hours of frustration and absolute zero pleasure.
I couldn't even install World of Warcraft
on my desktop PC
It would seemingly have the CPU raging full throttle while processing the file terrain.MPQ. Forever. Searching around the Internet, I found similar woes
that all seem to hint at a common issue: RAM. People were reporting success after re-positioning or removing certain memory modules.
Oh and I knew that way too well. The RAM position combo on my desktop server
has to be just right
for the motherboard to even boot up. The many wasted days I have spent on this machine....
Well, I did buy a new slab of 512MB to boost this desktop of mine to 1GB a few weeks back. But it had been operating peacefully with the existing twin 256MB pieces up until I tried to install the World of Warcraft
. (They are all Kingston PC2100 CL2.5 for your info) Guess indeed nothing like a monster game to truly stress and test the stability of your system to the max. Fine, I plugged all memory modules out from their original positions:
- Bank 0: 256MB
- Bank 1: 256MB
- Bank 2: 512MB
- Bank 3: none
And set them as (theoretically speaking, they can be positioned anywhere, unlike the designs of old that required sequential paired droppings. And jumpers to boot.)
- Bank 0: 512MB
- Bank 1: none
- Bank 2: 256MB
- Bank 3: 256MB
Now here's when all the interesting sparks and smoke started flying. First start up into Windows showed my network card was unplugged. No it was not. Nevermind I replug the network cable and it went into a perpertual drunked state trying to establish DHCP. And since my keyboard/mouse (hooked on via a PS2-USB converter because my PS2 ports are toast) was not detected no matter how many times I replug, I forced a hard reset.
Next up? The critical services.exe terminates abnormally on startup and state it has to shut down the system. But never does on expiry of the countdown. Another hard reset. The next few times have random items crashing (e.g. explorer.exe) before the system automatically decides to reset itself, saving me the trouble of a manual reset. How thoughtful....
Out went the pair of 256MB modules and I (finally) got a bootable and eventless Windows. Somewhat unsurprisingly, the game installation goes beyond terrain.MPQ and prompted me for following discs.
What can you draw from these? More evidence that RAM is the most sensitive, fussy, and uncooperative of computer components. Always consider running through the permutations that the RAM modules and motherboard slots offer you - such immense fun with mathematics.