My new desktop, which had been working day before yesterday night when I went to bed, wouldn’t work yesterday morning It would try to boot up but would get stuck after a bit. I tried in Safe mode and it would get as far as loading the AGP drivers and then get stuck. This made me think that this was a problem with the video card and so I got a GeForce 2 MX 400 card later on during the day since I could get one for pretty cheap. I also looked into brackets for the hard disk while I was at it and it turned out that they were pretty steep – Rs. 400 over here … not so much when you convert though since it only comes to like $4 :p – and so I bought one set instead of the three I’d originally planned on.
I had to wait till I got home in the evening to try out my new purchases though. When I got home, I opened up the machine once more, switched video cards, put the hard disk that I’d had hanging by a couple of screws on the bracket and then tried things out. The machine started to boot up, the hard disk gave out a couple of ominous clicks but it never completed booting :p It now looked as if that the problem had all along been the hard disk, which incidentally had travelled by mail to get here from Sri Lanka and so I’m not sure how much it got thrown around <g>, and having it hanging lopsidedly by a couple of screws had probably not helped matters either :p So I added another hard disk to the mix (again securing it by only a screw since I didn’t have any more brackets but this at least rested better on the lower part of the hard disk rack thingy since it was a thicker drive :p) and booted up again. It booted up this time but got stuck at the LILO prompt since I’d obviously had Linux dual booting or something on that drive originally :p
So I went back to installing Windows XP on the new drive (the older drive incidentally wasn’t even recognized as having a valid partition by the XP installer) and I was again impressed at the speed at which the installation went on the machine. It takes about two hours on my Pentium III 1GHz notebook but on this machine it took less than 40 minutes!! Once XP was installed, I could actually see the older drive and access most bits of it and things actually seemed to work fine again So I decided to push things a bit and see how much punishment the machine could take <vbg> I installed WarCraft III and pushed the resolution up to 1024×768 at 32 bit colour and it seemed to work just fine. When I set the resolution higher than that though, it seemed to be slightly sluggish but I’m not so sure now if that was the machine or just the optical mouse acting up and so will have to try that again later since I didn’t try playing a game at that resolution. Anyway, I did play WarCraft III for a bit at 1024x768x32 and the response was very good indeed.
Then I installed Norton Anti-Virus 2003 and set up a full system scan and the system suddenly rebooted in the middle of the scan :p I think it might have been trying to access a portion of the other drive when this happened and so will have to look into what I can do about that particular drive. Maybe I should just boot up in DOS and run SpinRite on it … Hmm .. that’s a thought actually since I used to love SpinRite but haven’t had an occasion to use it in ages …