Lil Things to Be Thankful For

So, my fav “Big Box Computer” went belly up about six weeks ago. Mobo issues. Yes, motherboard. Trust me, I am (have been, was; whatev’) a professional; I know these things. *heh*

So, the question was, “Buy identical mobo or a minor-to-moderate upgrade?”

You know what I chose. But why not go all out and upgrade to a mobo/cpu/memory combo like Son&Heir’s (really fast) i7 quad core, 16GB Barn Burner Christmas Build of a year ago? Well, for one thing, I don’t really need that kind of power. A little boost? Nice. Supercomputer? Notsomuch. *heh*

So, after waffling and wavering and deferring (heck, procrastinating) for more than a month, I finally ordered a nicely-featured mobo and a dual core AMD Athlon II that is significantly faster than the Athlon dual core I’ve retired (a lil epoxy, some gold-washed chain and it’ll make a nice keychain fob). Not a big boost in capability, but Good Enough for my uses–web browsing, image manipulation, editing/watching videos, writing, editing, playing music, etc.

So, I broke one of my own rules (don’t do computer work when my eyes are propped open by toothpicks) and popped the mobo/cpu, etc., together last night, booted the thing and…

Win7 found all the hardware and loaded “Good Enough” drivers. I loaded the driver disk from the mobo manufacturer (MSI this time; I like Asus a lot, but just decided to go with this) and had better drivers in no time flat.

Played around a bit, then finally (after the “a bit” turned into a couple of hours and it was past 3:00) shut it down and sawed some “Z’s”.

Booted this a.m. and Win7 told me that I needed to validate my Windows install, since I’d changed hardware. Clicked the lil button. Validated. Bob’s your uncle.

Soooo much nicer than the crap so many folks had to put up with when they changed hardware on an XP machine. I know. I talked to M$ tons of times for these folks whose Windows installs stopped working on them (cos they just couldn’t get through all the hoops, it seems, or were intimidated by the process).

So, thankful this was such an easy micro-mini-upgrade/fix. I needed one of those right now.

Update: Well, “easy fix” until… no boot last night. No, seriously: nothing, nada, zilch, a big zero with the rim kicked off. Not even fans stirring. Hmmm… Lots of stuff later (just followed a typical diagnostic tree), a screwdriver jumping the power switch pins on the mobo started the power supply. Attached hard drive, etc., and booted to Windows. Powered down and added another hard drive. It balked, giving a memory error. Swapped memory out. Booted just fine.

So, two problems: poor mobo/power switch connection and a bad memory module. Been fine since, as I have added peripherals in one at a time. Almost completely “rebuilt” now and working PDG.

It’s always (well, usually) the little things. One of Pournelle’s laws is that 80% of computer problems are bad connections, but that was formulated before Windows, I think. *heh*

Oh, and THAT reminds me of a problem recently with the sound on someone else’s computer. It took fixing

  1. A corrupted Windows Update process (so I could block updates to drivers)
  2. .NET Framework (on a Vista computer, no less *sigh*) and
  3. COMPLETELY uninstalling the “right” sound drivers–both the one Windows found (it was a Windows Update that “updated” a working driver into oblivion) and the one the computer manufacturer INSISTED would fix the issue, and yes that meant digging Registry references out and nuking them manually, AND
  4. MANUALLY editing the Registry in a way, urm, not recommended by Microsoft to effect some permission changes Vista did NOT want to allow

to get sound working on the computer.

Yes, it really took all four of those things. Really. Oh, and fixing the .NET Framework components? Nothing more than discovering that EVERYTHING on the computer had been set to be denied permissions invoking .NET. *sigh* Then? Reset ALL those permissions.

Thankful that wasn’t one of my computers… 🙂

3 Replies to “Lil Things to Be Thankful For”

  1. Not saying I know anything; but the other computer we have kept shutting down and Firefox was having trouble loading. I decided to download Firefox as if we’d never had it and that solved all the other issues. I felt like we’d won the super bowl.

  2. Hi David, It appears that the fix page I mentioned didn’t work. Would you be able to email me via the link below and maybe we can take it from there. I think you may also have another email address for me as comments require one to be entered but it is never shown. If you email me at that address instead I’ll know it is you and not some random person seeing this comment. Of course you coudl always decline to publish this comment.

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