Computer Woes…Again!!

Warning: techie computer talk contained herein; if you are a non-techie type, feel free to skip it, since in the end, it’s just grousing anyway!

Hello, my name is Nadine, and I’m a Computer Killer. I don’t know what I do to these things, but I think I’ve been through three CPU’s in about four years. It’s become the family joke, at this point. The last one (actually a rebuild of the one before with a new motherboard, so it counts as a new one) lasted only 11 months, which is pretty scary. So here’s the recap: I got up Saturday morning planning to get in some serious quilting time, and I checked email and a few other things on the ‘Net as usual. Then I get a window that pops up and says that iTunes, QuickTime and Safari want to update, so I let it do it’s thing, and then restart. And then…nothing. Upon restart, the whole thing is stuck at the Bios screen. Can’t press F1, F8, Esc, nothing. I tried twice more to start it up, and got the same thing. The third time (after unplugging from the power, discharging residual power and plugging back in), I get something like this:

The overclocking or overvoltage has failed. Press F1 to enter Setup and change your configuration settings or F2 to continue.

Neither F1 nor F2 got me anywhere no matter how many times I pressed, so it was still stuck. I looked up this error on the Internet using the MacBook, and found something that indicated that it might be the Bios chip, or maybe it needed a Bios upgrade. Well, I had this Bios chip already here that the motherboard manufacturer sent the last time it all did something weird, but I’d never put it in (by the time it arrived in the mail, the weirdness was gone, so why fix it?). I decided to see if it would fix it now, since I’d definitely never seen this particular problem before, and at that point, I’d nothing to lose.

No joy though; putting the new Bios chip in got me exactly nowhere. It didn’t even get to the Bios screen then, it just sat there with a blank screen. The lights were on, but nobody was home. I put the original Bios chip back in, and it didn’t even do what it was doing before the switch, just gave me the black screen. ITMan had no sage advice, except to get in the car and go buy another at the PX. Sounds simple, right? No, not really, thanks to my admittedly picky reqirements.

Two trips to the PX later (we had to take choice #1 back, since there weren’t enough USB ports, and it didn’t have a decent sound system), I’m now stuck with a Vista machine, and of course some of my (rather critical) programs won’t work properly on Vista, and the printer isn’t networked anymore. A machine with XP wasn’t an option, not now that Vista is taking over the world :sad:. Moving into a new computer is just like moving into a new house. You don’t know where anything is when you get there, you don’t know if all the stuff you have will work in the new place, and there’s lots of unpacking and adjusting to do in the beginning.

I can’t say I love Vista, and I don’t hate it. It’s just different, and it’s annoying that I’m going to have to shell out some more $$$ to upgrade some of my programs so that they’ll work with it. I’m having trouble getting used to the new keyboard, so typing is no fun at the moment. And I still have huge amounts of programs to load, even after being at this since Saturday evening after dinner. Just about the only thing that has been easier than I expected was configuring Firefox again: I expected to have to spend a week getting it just the way I like it again, and I didn’t figure I was going to be able to get my passwords and bookmarks out of my old drive, and that was really going to put me out! Well, I installed the old hard drive from the dead machine into an extra bay in the new machine, and I managed to transfer over my whole Firefox profile to the new machine (including passwords, bookmarks, add-ons and even the tabs I had open right before the crash). I also grabbed my .pst file for Outlook, so I didn’t lose any mail, either. Little rays of sunshine during the hurricane.

This is definitely cutting into my quilting time!!! And now I’ll need to spend some time on the phone to the motherboard manufacturer this week to get them to send me another one, since it’s not even a year old and it’s turned up it’s toes already. 😡 Computers aren’t supposed to be disposable, are they??? I may get to quilt sometime next week after I get it all put back together…