Patti (whipartist) wrote,

Tech whining

Last Sunday I decided I'd had quite enough of my PC being slow, and made a pilgrimage to Fry's.

I came home with:

- P4 2.8Ghz
- Asus P4C800 Deluxe motherboard
- 512K of gofast memory
- random big hard drive

Sunday night I copied the old drive to the new one, and tucked the old drive safely away as a backup.

I hooked up all the new hareware, and it didn't work. (Surprise!) In particular, the (quite useful) voice POST kept saying, "CPU Fail during startup" or something equally tasty. This, as it turns out, translated into, "you need a new power supply." Monday morning I went to Central Computer and got one.

Monday night the machine would get past the CPU failure message, but then the machine would just stop and power itself off after about three seconds. Nothing I could do would get it past this point. The Asus website was useless. A Tuesday morning call to support has yet to be returned.

Tuesday night I mucked with it again and got it working, but when I tried to boot from the hard drive it threw a stop error-- BOOT_DEVICE_INACCESSIBLE. As it turns out, you can't just take a Win2K disk out of one machine and plug it into another and expect it to boot, 'cause the IDE drivers are probably incompatible. There's a trick to doing it, but you need to plug it into the old hardware.

I set up the old motherboard and power supply, hooked up the new drive, and plugged a video card in, then powered it on. There was a flash of smoke, and the smell of burining circuit board. Ruh roh! Repeated experiments showed that the motherbaord seemed to be a bit fried. Sigh.

At some point during all of this, I found myself using a screwdriver to short across some pins on the (new) motherboard to simulate a power switch.

There was much mucking about with a PC I have laying around, but I needed to edit the registry on the new drive, and I couldn't figure out a good way to do that without booting from it, and it wouldn't boot in that box either. Fucking Windows. In a Unix-like OS, this would be easy. My Win2K CD was nowhere to be found. It's in the great wall of boxes somewhere, I'm sure.

I finally got the machine operational tonight by borrowing a Win2K CD from a coworker and recovering the OS that way.

I'm a trained professional. Kids, don't try this at home. How do non-geeks ever manage this stuff?
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