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Dead Computer.

Alastair Grant | Friday 6 June 2003

I've been having a lot of computer problems recently, I hope it will come to an end soon.

It started with the heat. Something in my system was overheating and forcing my hard drives to power down, although it wasn't the actual drives as they have enough cooling and rarely get more than warm. I thought maybe my south bridge. But a jab with my finger found this was cool.

I have a 2.4GHz 533MHz FSB P4 on a BL7 mobo, which only supports a 400MHz FSB, so perhaps it's the overclocked FSB. But I have a rather large heat sink on my north bridge, and even running at 400MHz it still died.

Then after a bit of ingenious something another I checked my mobo status on an especially hot day. Just before my drives spun down my +12V input from the PSU dropped to about 10V and started fluctuating. And continued until the entire system rebooted itself.

Solution, new PSU. Unfortunately the day before it arrived I was presented with a new problem. My computer no longer wanted to boot up. Windows 2000, black screen loads, splash screen appears and loads fully, GUI... er... gui? It never appears just hangs.

So I put on a second drive and installed 2K onto that and booted up fine. I re-enabled my highpoint RAID controller (my primary system running on RAID-0) and it locked up again. Which is odd, as it obviously works as Windows starts loading off of it. But it doesn't complete loading. I'm guessing something fried in it.

Armed with a brand new Abit IC7 Canterwood, 512MB DDR400 RAM and a screwdriver, I fix it all up. Plug in and start up. Spend a good 2 hours to try and get it to recognise my RAID. Finally realise that it only supports Serial ATA RAID! Yes, it doesn't support PATA RAID, just this new fangled technology that most people don't have.

How annoying is that. I could replace my hard drives, but I have twin 80GB Western Digital Caviars, which are damned good. Plus it would be expensive to get SATA drives.

So I've invested in a couple of SATA/PATA converters off of Asus. £15 a throw, insanely expensive for a bit of PCB and a single micro chip. Hopefully this will work.

To pour salt into the wounds my brother has just got a Dual Xeon 2.8GHz jobbie. Grrrr...

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