Monday, February 23, 2009

My Latest Hoot

DIY a PC has always been a joy.  I always enjoy everything about it - from picking up the price lists from the shops [in Sim Lim Square] to tweaking the operating system. 

Ah, but not with my latest hoot.  Somehow, there are just unexpected problems right after the hardware were installed.  I spent, and kinda wasted, days troubleshooting the whole system.  Both the hardware and software are *argh!* giving me headache.  Though the system seems to be running now, I still *see stars* figuring out the actual problem.

Geez, and I am telling myself to be happy! That, at last, I have a wide screen 23" HD LCD and a higher and, supposedly, faster quad intel chipset.

The Journey

It starts with just a casual remark to upgrade our laptop.  I have never favoured a notebook.  Don't know why but I just find it cumbersome - feeling kinda awkward with the size, the mouse pad and the small screen.  Perhaps, as I spend a lot of time sitting infront of a computer everyday, I just prefer a desktop with a larger LCD screen. 

There are always something to venture with a desktop and, particularly, overclocking the system.  My last DIY - overclocked Intel Core2Quad Q6600 on Asus P5K Deluxe motherboard, still serves me well.  We just want to replace our four years old laptop.  And, it is all because we have started to play online mahjong!  The laptop screen is a little small to see all the thrown tiles.  What a way to come up with a better excuse for a PC upgrade!

Thanks, and with deepest gratitude, to two friends who helped transporting the things back to Reiki Sanctuary, I got my things last Tuesday.

Problem and Problem Again:

Day One
I suspected the motherboard 'shorted' with too many fitted screws to make it sit inside the chasis.  The graphic card just refused to load.  Swapped with an old existing graphic card and still faced with the same problem.  Gave up the task for the day.

The good thing - no beeping sound from BIOS.  Motherboard can power up.

Day Two
Re-installed all the gadgets and the setup was ready for OS installation.  However, format failed.  Found out the windows CD got some scratches resulting in a failed read of some files.   Installation terminated.

The diehard me tried to install with a friendly version just to satisfy the frustration.  And, it loaded well!

Day Three
Decided to get a new windows xp OEM installation CD.  Format went well.  Activated windows.

Itchy-backside-me decided to install additional motherboard drivers [not important] and windows prompted to re-activate.  Called M$ Help Desk and problem solved.

Noticed lag on every boot-up.  Found out that the Windows prefetch folders and files were missing and causing the system to lag.  Real strange problem!  Later, found out it has to do with Service Pack 3 - some hardware drivers are still incompatible.  I suspected it is the graphic card driver.

Day Four
Decided to re-format.  The lag problem re-surfaced.  But this time, another problem - system BSOD four times whenever there are intensive memory run!  S**T!, and not when the system is yet to overclock. 

Day Five
Spent the day cleaning-up and running maintenance programs.  Problems could not resolve.  M$ program's WhoCrashed didn't help either.

23 February
Braved myself back to Sim Lim Square to get a new kit of RAM.  Suspected it could be the problem.

Ram prices are cheaper now and that make the decision easier.  This time, I chose a higher FSB.  I should have listened to my heart the first time and could have avoided the hardware problem.

The system runs faster with Kingston Hyper-X DDR2 8500.  So far, *touch wood*, it has not BSOD.  Am so tempted to flash to the latest BIOS .. hmm *still deciding*

Well, for now, I am just going to enjoy the new PC.

Viwawa now, anyone? Hehe.

    About Me

    I am a certified Master in Traditional USUI REIKI and KARUNA REIKI. I am also a certified practitioner in MAGNIFIED HEALING and INNER DANCE.

    I have been teaching and conducting spirituality, healing and energy works (including Breathing Techniques, Meditation and Spinal Qiqong) for more than two decades.

    These are the classes I conduct:
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