Home > Uncategorized > Hello, computer! (UPDATE: Annnnd goodbye…)

Hello, computer! (UPDATE: Annnnd goodbye…)

I am writing this post on my desktop computer, which I’ve finally gotten up and running again.  Swapping out the defective hard drive for the one from my father’s old computer was rather easier than what I went through to obtain the drive.  I just followed the instructions and it was fairly straightforward.  I just had to be careful to keep touching the metal frame to equalize potential and to keep track of the screws.  (There were even four handy depressions in the inner casing which made nice little bowls for storing the four screws to the hard drive case, and being slightly obsessive-compulsive, I made sure to keep the screws separate and return each one to the same hole it had come from, even though it probably didn’t matter.)  The person who’d removed the drive for me had left in a couple of screws which blocked its insertion into this PC’s drive casing, but it looked to me like they were simply mounting screws for the old computer, not needed for my purposes, so I removed them and set them aside.

Then it was just a matter of reinstalling Windows and the drivers using the disks that came with my PC (as I think I mentioned, it’s designed as a kit for home assembly; the store I bought it from had it on sale pre-assembled, but included the setup disks).  I had a bit of trouble getting a USB connection to the DSL modem, since the driver installation thingy told me I already had the USB drivers installed but I still wasn’t getting a connection.  But the help files told me how to uninstall the modem from the list of installed components and then search for it so that it would be reinstalled the right way, or some such thing, and it worked.

So that just left reinstalling the software — some from the original CD-ROMs, some from online, and some from installer programs I already had in my Downloads directory and copied from computer to computer.  Plus setting Windows to work the way I want it to.  It went rather more easily this time than it did when I had to restore my laptop two months ago after the malware incident, I guess because I already had the procedures figured out from the last time.

It also helps that the desktop is much faster than the laptop, with considerably more memory, so downloading and installing stuff goes more quickly.  I’ve already installed at least 150 automatic updates from Windows just today; on my laptop, it took the better part of a week before that process ended and it slowed me down agonizingly.

So I now have all the essential stuff reinstalled on the desktop, and I can go back to using it as my primary online computer and my laptop as my primary writing computer.  The laptop will perform better if it just has WordPerfect running without my mail program and browser running at the same time.  And hopefully being offline when I write will keep me focused better.  (Later on I’ll get around to installing the nonessential stuff like art and photo programs, AcrossLite, and Celestia.)

Though I should still probably try to go online with the laptop periodically so I can keep it updated with virus definitions and stuff.   Not sure how I’ll work that out.

My one concern is that I’ve gotten a couple of disk read errors on startup just like with the old hard drive.  I looked at my Event Viewer, though, and though it shows a lot of disk errors when I first used the new drive and again when I started it this afternoon, the error alerts then stop.  Maybe the disk check it ran on bootup fixed the problem.  I’ve had no trouble with restarts since then, but I’ll have to see what happens tomorrow morning when I start up from a full shutdown.

The good news is that the problem my monitor was having before, an occasional wobbly image that was getting increasingly more frequent, has apparently vanished.  The image is rock solid.  Maybe it had something to do with the problems the old hard drive was having, though that seems odd to me.

Anyway, I’m back to having two computers again.  And given how failure-prone they’ve both been the past few months, having that kind of redundancy again is a relief.

UPDATE: Well, it lasted less than three hours before the thing froze up.  And I got disk read errors every time I tried to restart.  Then I turned it off and on and got a disk boot error message and a request to boot from the Windows CD.  Waah!  So I’m back on the laptop now.  Dammit.  If the thing was gonna die on me, I wish it had done so right away instead of waiting until I’d just finished reinstalling everything!  That’s just mean.

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