36 Chambers – The Legendary Journeys: Execution to the max!

January 20, 2011

The PC is dead! Long live the PC!

Filed under: Computinating, Computing Devices — Tony Demchak @ 3:54 am

I finally have a functioning PC again! I thought I’d share my story with you, the reader, so that you may benefit.

This computer (the one I’m typing on now) was purchased in October of 2009, after my attempts to build my first PC went horribly, horribly wrong. I still blame the motherboard manufacturer for making me improvise with my screws. For the most part, it’s this model, but with an older monitor I’ve had for even longer.

It worked pretty well for the first year or so. Shortly after it came out, I got Starcraft II, which was something I’d waited for for over ten years.

Then I discovered Starcraft II needed an internet connection, which I lacked at the time. Grrr. In August, I got the internet turned back on, which was nice. I couldn’t wait to play Starcraft II!

Then the computer died. At this point, I was cursing and threatening to destroy everyone and everything. Like when I get up in the morning, but much worse.

After troubleshooting, I discovered a problem with my hard drive, a Seagate 750 GB model. I’d formatted it three times, but was unable to install Windows on it. I decided to buy a new hard drive, and selected the Western Digital 1 TB Caviar Black. With my new hard drive, I installed Windows XP and Starcraft II. I finished most of the first mission, and went to bed.

The computer did not turn back on the next day. Worse, it seemed this hard drive had also gone bad. I called Western Digital, they sent a new hard drive. This one worked even worse. More anger and fury ensued. I tried booting Ubuntu from a USB drive, and it worked, but I couldn’t do much. Ubuntu could see the hard drive, though, which Windows could not.

I called WD tech support (a very good group) and they had me troubleshoot everything under the sun. I even switched SATA cables. They concluded my SATA controller had failed.

Fast forward a few months later. I finally got the board I needed, installed it — and nothing happened. See, Windows 7 couldn’t see it and neither could Windows XP. The Rosewill RC-222 had no Windows 7 drivers that worked! XP wanted a floppy disk, so after consulting with Kevin, I built a slipstreamed model of Windows XP with the appropriate drivers. This got me to a Blue Screen of Death.

I was about to throw this piece of shit in the garbage, when Kevin recommended checking the error code out online. Using my laptop, I found an interesting suggestion — change the BIOS setting from AHCI to IDE. It didn’t fool Windows 7 — but it did fool Windows XP. I can’t use Windows 7 until Rosewill comes up with less crappy drivers. But I can play Starcraft II. Huzzah!!!

Wait, what’s that? There’s a new semester starting? Winter break is over? Son of a …

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