Sunday, 8 August 2010

Computer misadventures

I am so very the pissed off! Yesterday was a right royal day of misadventure. I've assembled a desktop computer before and I thought that it would be a breeze to do it a second time. If only I knew....

But first, I had to go to Butterworth to buy some computer component parts on Thursday: an Intel CPU, an Asus motherboard, a 2GB memory chip, a 1TB harddisk and a new casing to put everything together. DVD writer? LCD monitor? Mouse and keyboard? No problem, I intended to salvage them from the old broken-down desktop that I had loathe to throw away previously.

So I rolled up my sleeves yesterday morning and got down to putting them together. Everything went smoothly. Then I decided to go and pick up another 2GB of memory for the new beast. That done, I settled down to connect the peripherals and instal the new Windows 7.

That was when the problems started. The first sign of beep tone from the computer when I switched it on. I peered down into its innards. The CPU fan was turning merrily. So was the chassis fan. But apart from these, nothing else happened.

I spent quite a long while pondering what to do next. And after dinner, I thought perhaps I should be checking the connections. Looked thoroughly but couldn't find anything wrong. I even removed the CPU fan and readjusted the Intel chip. Who knows, maybe it was misaligned. But it was okay. Yet, still no beep from the computer.

In desperation, I removed one of the memory cards. Hey presto, I now heard a beep tone. So it was the card after all. I replaced it in another slot and yes, the computer beeped again. Yes, the beast was gurgling along now. Oh, happiness at last, except that it was short-lived. Because, after I hooked the LCD monitor to the new computer, nothing showed up on the screen! I stared at it....

Shit, the monitor had finally died on me. It was already threatening to go kaput about a year ago but somehow, it managed to stay alive. But not now. Now it is dead. Stone dead. Just to make sure that it was well and truly dead, I decided to give the new beast a workout with an old CRT monitor that's fixed presently to a struggling second computer in the house.

Yah, now I see the light. After the initial beep, the computer went into the bios. I changed the setting to boot up from the DVD-drive. And here, I hit the other problem. Yes, the DVD-drive was dead as well. I couldn't believe my luck. The tray wouldn't open, and that put paid to all my efforts with the new beast.

But this was not the end of the story. When I fixed the monitor back on the old half-dead computer, now it was the old beast that refused to boot up. Kept freezing up at its bios boot-up and telling me that I've a keyboard error. "Press F1 to continue" but how the heck to press F1 when the keyboard cannot work?? To cut a very long story short, I finally managed to get it working again but this time, sans the audio card. That is now not working. I told my wife, that's enough tinkering for the day. The tinkerman's done. If she want to use the old computer, yes, she can use it....but not for playing music through it.

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