Hi, I am 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.