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Punched in the eyes

Last post 01-08-2010, 7:14 by icelava. 1 replies.
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  •  01-07-2010, 7:52 6305

    Punched in the eyes

    Hi, I am Aaron.

    (Hello Aaron)

    I am a repeated victim of dismal hardware failure, too. I cannot get enough of it. Remember the desktop workstation DIABLO with the upgraded video card to provide two DVI outputs? I thought I was reaching a state of equilibrium with its setup and could finally just use it in peace. Heck i could even stand-by and hibernate it now.

    *reaches for handkerchief*

    And so last night I once again kicked in the new habit of pushing the casing power button before i went to sleep. Up the next day, I press the button again it snap it out of hibernate. Except, this time round it does not resume operations. The computer continues to remain in carbon freeze. On another power cycle attempt, it gave the dreaded BIOS beep tones to communicate hardware failure of some sort - one long beep, three short beeps - no video output.

    Welcome the New Year. Along with all its New Problems!

    Looking through Internet suggestions, conflicting reports about Award BIOS state that it is either RAM or video card problem. I tried resitting the RAM modules, card-shuffling all four of them, to no avail. I put in an existing pair of old DDR2-667 modules that I haven't sold yet. Still the same beeps. In plugging in the video card from my gaming PC, the beep code still persists. What is wrong? Did I mention that IKEA is scheduled to deliver and assemble some furniture in the afternoon?

    Fighting against time, I eventually did the illogical - reset the BIOS CMOS. I did in on a hunch, thinking something about the BIOS setting was not all well with the video card. Lo and behold, the computer was able to boot up thereafter. But one gotcha here. I could only make use of the onboard GPU chipset; the PCI-Express video card was no longer accessible and would not output any signal. Despite it being set as the primary display adapter. After further attempts of troubleshooting, I had to give up and conclude the PCI-E slot of the motherboard has toasted permanently.

    For a short period of time, I was just stuck with one monitor. As a computing professional who has grown so accustomed to twin-monitor setups, did I ever mention that using only one monitor is like literally being blinded in one eye? It's like staring into a black zone on one side, not being able to see (use) that desktop area. It is truly frightening. Well, since the onboard GPU has both a DVI port and DB-15 port, I had to revert one monitor back to DB-15 display quality in order to "open both eyes". Yucky, but had to make do with what's available. That is, until i was reminded that this abysmal chipset cannot even let me properly logout, let alone reboot.

    It would seem like as I begin this year in a new home, I am being forced to transition to a new hardware setup too. Might as well.

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  •  01-08-2010, 7:14 6307 in reply to 6305

    Re: Punched in the eyes

    It's funny. As a PC enthusiast (well, at least i once was) I have put my computers through the decades a barrage of component upgrades; few things come close to bringing a satifactory glee to my face like witnessing the new hardware component bringing in new levels of performance or functionality to my computing. But one type of upgrade I have avoided is, the motherboard upgrade.

    You see, traditionally Microsoft Windows can more or less handle hardware component changes in ancillary places, including processor and video card. But when the very rockbed foundation - the motherboard - is disturbed, expect tremours that promise to shake the operating system at magnitudes equivalent of shifting cities from one crust plate to another. It was just not pretty. So in the past when I concluded that a new motherboard is needed, it also called for the setup of an entire new PC, and a fresh new OS. Even at this age, I was no where close to thinking of what Jeff Atwood would do.

    But this time round, after reading how "easily" Mr Atwood went through the process, I was convinced Windows Vista/7 had reached a new level of stability to withstand forces beyond 9.0 on the Gates scale. Besides, I really am NOT interested in building a new OS on blank hard disks all over again at this stage of time; I had wasted too much time in the past one month packing and moving house; I just want to return back to self-development in technology. So I bit the bullet, swallowed the red pill, and drank the kool aid.

    S$1.3K worth of hardware purchases later, I got back and booted up Windows Vista on the fresh new (and still wet) platform. I may complain a lot about failures here and there about Microsoft's software products, but here is one day when I can tell you the good developers at Redmond should be proud of themselves. Windows Vista steadily detected the utter change in hardware and asked for drivers. I popped in the motherboard CD, and it took care of the rest. A couple of reboots and I have transitioned from AMD Athlon64 X2 platform to Intel Core i7. I have nothing against you, AMD, but the amount of trouble I have endured through the years with AMD-based motherboards has been too much to bear. I have suddenly shot up from two to eight cores; more than I know what to do with them.

    my revived workstation

    Now, if only it was smart enough to know it is still the very same computer I am working on, and did not have to reactivate Windows and Office again...

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