We got the backup ‘puter up and running so at least I’m online again. (See previous post for the particulars.) In the process of doing that we may also have figured out what was wrong with my main and now DOA computer. While there were none of the classic signs, we’re pretty sure the hard drive died a gruesome death. Luckily I had my critical files backed up in a couple of places, and hard drives are easy to find and install. Still a pain in the ass, but a lot easier on the wallet than replacing the entire computer.
The current computer is running on a 40GB drive so I won’t be dealing with any large files saved here. The idea is to try and get the other one working within the next few days, or replaced on my next check. We obviously can’t afford new but the plan was already to replace G’s existing machine from a nearby repair place that sells decent refurbs, including one year warranty, on the cheap. If we can’t get my ‘puter working we’ll get G the upgrade and I’ll take his current unit until we can afford another upgraded electronic beastie.
Like I mentioned earlier, the suspected culprit is the hard drive. This anachronism I’m using now did the EXACT same thing as my old HP was doing: it would freeze without warning, generally only a couple of minutes into the session. Turning the machine off and back was hit and miss (with far more misses than hits). Sometimes it wouldn’t go to a boot screen at all, other times it would boot at an abysmally slow pace and freeze right away once logged in. G tried reinstalling Windows, figuring since it actually ran in safe mode it was most likely a software issue; but it wouldn’t even finish an install without freezing. Ergo, not a software issue – definitely hardware.
G ‘s been hoarding old hard drives for a while so he dragged out one of those to get this machine operating. We’ve got a few more in reserve but they’re all very smallish (even smaller than this 40G) so not a good long-term solution. If it’s not the hard drive, the second most likely culprit is the RAM. Fortunately there are two sticks in my old HP, a 1G and a 2G. Like the hard drive, RAM is an easy fix and easy to check. Yank one stick of RAM at a time and try to replicate. If the RAM solution works, get another stick of RAM and call it Christmas. Or something like that.
The dead computer’s four years old so kind of middle-aged. When I bought it, the box proclaimed it was an easy upgrade to Vista, which came out just a few months later.
I’m zoned today, too much so to type anything very coherent.
Makes me smile, though. For my birthday – forgot to mention this back when it happened – I received a nice mug that reads, “Shhh! Mommy’s not coherent yet!” How awesome is that?
The original plan was for me to write this weekend. Um… no. Not happening, not on a crippled computer. So instead I’m going to go zone out to an overdose of the History Channel and its neighbors. Hope everyone else’s New Year is starting out right!