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Jan. 13th, 2005

matociquala shipped me her PC for some repair work and upgrades. Hoy! What a freakshow of a system. Reboots randomly. Reboots whenever you drive the NIC hard (I've swapped the NIC with another type, in a different slot — same result).

So, the question becomes, what's wrong with it? It could be a badly corrupted Win2k install — certainly possible. Could be a flaky power supply, but I don't buy that because it's a clean warm-reset not a 'glitch and power back up'. Worst case is a motherboard that's starting to go bad. I tried dropping the C: drive into a spare PC and got a BSOD (inaccessible boot device), to which I thought "WTF? These are both vanilla PCs with plain-Jane IDE controllers, this *should* work". Bah.

After a couple of hours of testing I'm on plan B: pull out both original disk drives and the known-to-be-bad CD/RW, install the new hard disk and CD/RW and build a fresh install of Win2k. If it gets all the way through installation and applying SP4, I can probably rule out a hardware problem. The next step after that will be stuffing the original disks back in in hopes of extracting their data. This certainly rates as the most vexing PC problem I've tackled in some time.

###

In other news, I visited my sister's place this evening to have a look-see at how her phone lines are setup and where in the basement I can set up Alpha and Beta. The phone situation looks good — the DSL modem kit even came with a DSL line filter for wall phones, and there's a disused phone jack poking up into a room right above where I'll put the servers. I'll hijack the line and thus will hopefully avoid having to run any new cable. There's even power nearby. I plan on doing the installation this weekend.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
shesingsnow
Jan. 14th, 2005 03:59 am (UTC)
Alpha and Beta? Oh come now - *grin* - perhaps Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Starsky and Hutch. Abbott and Costello. Spock and Kirk. Victor and Victoria. Eliza and Henry. Rocky and Bullwinkle. Tom and Jerry. Queen Victoria and John Brown. Fred and Barney. Pebbles and Bam-Bam. Anthony and Cleopatra. Chip & Dale. Opus and Bill. Calvin and Hobbes. Vishnu and Lakshmi. Shiva and Parvati. Snoopy and Woodstock. Bonnie and Clyde. Frankie and Johnny. Goofus and Gallant. Mustard and Ketchup. Cthulhu and Azathoth. Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. Charter and Oak. Nutmeg and Nayaug. Yikes! So many possibilities... ;-)

Talked to Beth last night - you were right. She's over both outbound and inbound.
netcurmudgeon
Jan. 14th, 2005 04:07 am (UTC)
Yes, but they've all been done! Alpha and Beta are classics! They're retro. They're original, in the "we got a written alphabet first, so nya nya" sense. C'mon, you gotta admit, the clean, logical ordering of these machine names is *cool*!.

It's, it's, joie de geek!

...Or perhaps it's just je ne sias dork.
shesingsnow
Jan. 14th, 2005 04:16 am (UTC)
LOL I figured it was the start of a line of computers... that way, a few years down the road, you can scan the basement and pat little old Epsilon on the head when you think fondly of Alpha and her last few moments. *snortgrin*

What about hot dog and hamburger? Or, wait, a line of vegetables (Avocado, Bean sprout, Cauliflower, Daikon radish, etc.) *grinning* Perhaps inventors are in order: first Ahearn, then perhaps Babbage, then moving on to Cousteau or Carver... *grinning wider*

Wait! Scientists! LOL Archimedes, then Bernoulli, then ...well, nobody'd know that many of these references.

*grinning* Alpha and Beta.
matociquala
Jan. 14th, 2005 04:14 am (UTC)
You know, I could manage to get it to boot from a win 2000 CD, even when it was really really persnickety.
netcurmudgeon
Jan. 14th, 2005 10:10 pm (UTC)
Yep. And it boots reliably in safe mode. What it will not do, even with a clean install of Win2k on a new hard disk, is run in full-blown 32-bit mode. I'll send you the gory details via email...
matociquala
Jan. 14th, 2005 10:12 pm (UTC)
Alas, poor Phred. I knew him, Horatio.

So we're looking at Phred VII, huh?
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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