Sunday, February 7, 2010

Amir Hafizi, Computer Diagnostician

Fucking hell, man.

My computer was experiencing problems. Every time I leave it off for more than a few hours, it won't start.

Meaning, I would turn it on, the lights would be blinking, but no display. It didn't even go into BIOS. No BIOS beep. After 20 times or more of restarting via the power button, it will be okay again.

It can't be RAM, cause that would generate a blue screen. Can't be a number of things, cause no blue screen. Just... nothing.

I suspected either:

a. graphics card burnout

b. temperature problems

c. Hard disk dying

d. Power supply issues

Of all this, C is the worst possible scenario. I have in these hard disks, 14 years worth of stuff I accumulated.

Thankfully, most of the important documents are saved in my portable hard drive as well as the Internet.

So when I have a problem, usually I call one of my friends. He came here, and tried to fix it. But, couldn't diagnose the problem properly. He showed me taht the temperature of the CPU is quite high - 52 degrees Celsius, on a rainy day, without running anything.

Diagnosis: system too hot. Fans might be dirty.

Treatment: clean the fans, perhaps install a cooling system, a new power supply, and a new large copper heatsync for the processor, re-applying the liquid coolant.

Cost: around RM200.

Then my brother just announced that he will be staying at my apartment for one night. Asked him to take a look at my system, as he has over 20 years experience with this shit.

He says that temperature is the least of my problems. What I was experiencing sounded like:

a. onboard battery failure

And the treatment is:

a. buy a new motherboard battery

Cost: RM7

He did some stuff to my PC, when I was watching House, and then went to sleep.

When I checked on my PC just now, I discovered that after rebooting, my login screen has gone 800x600, was in 16-bit High Color and was stuttering like an old lady with aa walker, humping a mailbox.

My brother's already asleep, so I had to use computer skills I haven't accessed in more than 10 years.

I rebooted several times, hoping the problem would just go away. Nada.

I left it for 10 minutes, hoping it would go away. Nope.

I restarted in safe mode. Success! Resolution was back to 1024x968.

Fiddled a bit, defragged C:, ran scan disk, checked for viruses, rebooted normally.

Still the same problem.

Rebooted and entered via Ubuntu.

Did ssome real thorough checking for stupid shit disk errors and possible bullshit viruses or trojans. Nada.

Restarted, same problem.

Did a rollover. Restored system config to a safe backup.



Here's my diagnosis:

A. My computer is too old.

Even at 1.76GHz dual core, 4GB RAM, it is a bit old.



I don't need an entirely new PC. I just need an upgrade.

A new motherboard, with a new processor. I am keeping the RAM. A new hard disk - 1TB and power supply.

I'll keep everything else.

Cost: I can't afford it, unless some things happen soon.