Tag Archives: computers

PC Woes

Regardless of the upgrades I received a few months ago, the computer is still struggling. I was trying to play Sims 2 and it completely crashed the system. Now usually what happens is the screen goes blue and the mouse turns into the hourglass so you know the system is doing something. That’s what used to happen when I had graphic problems (sometimes it’d clear itself, but then it would do it again and then nothing would happen you’d be stuck with that screen). Now, however, the screen turns off. Yes that’s right my monitor suddenly says “No signal received” and it switches off. You can play around with whatever on the system, or you can try unplugging the monitor and re-plugging it into the system and still the message “No signal received” appears and it switches itself to standby. What’s worse is that I can’t reset the system. The reset button no longer works. Actually it hasn’t worked since I got it back from the workshop – along with a number of other things that don’t work. I have about 6 (or it might even be 7) USB ports, but 3 of them don’t work now; the jack for the headphone that sits on top of my machine causes the headphones to heat up till they are almost burning your ears off, and at first I thought it was the headphones but it wasn’t as they worked perfectly fine with any other equipment.

So I had to power down… only after I powered down, it wouldn’t switch on again. In fact it didn’t want to do anything. I opened up the front of the machine (it opens up on the front separately from the side) and discovered my new dilemma… the power button had dropped out of its hole -_-;; So I had to open the entire machine up, move the hard drive and the floppy drive out of the way and try and stick the tiny little bugger back in its place. After much fiddling for an hour, I finally managed to get it back into its spot, put everything back the way it was and sealed it all up. I then switched it on and… well everything was fine, the hard drive was fine which was the important thing, but now the DVDRom drive doesn’t work – the computer doesn’t even know its there! Luckily its not my burner, that is still recognised and it works so either my DVDRom drive has crashed, or when I was putting the wires back I may have accidentally pulled its connectors out (though I don’t see how since they’re ‘miles’ apart… >_>

Anyway things are okay for now, I’ve just uninstalled all of the Sims2 games that I had and will have to just remember what it was like to once play that game :\ However, there is an option that has come before me in the way of salary packaging. There was a little pamphlet in my payslip last week all about salary packaging for a laptop. Its actually a pretty good offer – basically you pick out the laptop you want, then the price is deducted from your pay and this is done over a period of time that you select. Its similar to taking out a loan but you don’t have to pay any interest. The good points are that you don’t have to pay for the laptop up front, and you pay tax on a lesser amount. The bad point is the reduction in pay lol, though if its what I think it is, it won’t be all that bad.

I still have to think about it though. I’ve not heard anything bad about it, though most people who use the salary packaging option are usually earning more money than me!

Withdrawal Symptoms

Yes, I did suffer from withdrawal symptoms after being without my PC for 5 days… Though I don’t think it was as bad as I thought it would be lol. I guess it would have gotten worse had I not been able to pick it up today though.

So I sent it in on Thursday night last week for the company who first put together my computer many years ago, to upgrade it for me on Friday. It should then have been released to me on Saturday, thus only being absent from me for a total of 1.5 days. Unfortunately that wasn’t to be. I had asked for an upgrade in RAM however early Saturday morning I received a phone call from them saying that there were problems upgrading the memory. It seems that the two extra slots on the motherboard were dead. So the Technician had decided to undertake some tests by pulling my PC apart and trying to locate the source of the problem (and whether they could fix it). I didn’t receive another phone call until late that afternoon, close to when they shut down for the day, and they said that they could not fix the problem, that the two extra slots were dead and I’d have to live with my current motherboard and memory configuration for now, and look into upgrading the motherboard (plus memory) later down the track. A bit disappointing really but I guess it can’t be helped and I really couldn’t afford to by a whole new computer so this will have to do.

So what got upgraded? Just the graphics card and the DVD burner. It was kind of funny when they rang me on Friday and asked which DVD player to replace! My system has two, a player and a writer. The writer was the one that caused problems so they’ve changed that for a spiffy new one. Both the DVD player and the old writer were that pale cream colour that was so popular back in the day, which makes them stand out on my jet black case. (Though they are hidden behind a panel most of the time). The new DVD burner matches my case perfectly – nice jet black colour. I’ve not yet tested it, after all I’ve only got the PC back tonight, but as I’m downloading a huge amount of stuff to catch up with (namely anime), it won’t be long before I soon give it a test run. They also cleaned up the inside of the computer, as well as replaced the filters on the fans (I have four fans since its an AMD Athlon 64) so its almost shiny new lol. Haven’t yet done anything to see how the graphics card performs, may play a game this coming weekend if I’m not too busy and see how it copes.

Speaking of games, as I didn’t have my PC over the weekend, I ended up resorting to playing games to while the time away. Being an off-pay week (and only having enough to pay for the upgrades), there wasn’t much to go out to do so I was quite happy veging out at home in front of the TV playing a game. I’ve restarted Final Fantasy XII. I have finished that game a while ago, but I really enjoyed it and have been meaning to play it again. I’ve actually moved along a bit quicker, though I can’t remember if I’m at the same level now as I was when I previously played it. Currently my little team is out front of the Golmore Jungle for their first time. We have Larssa on the team too so its always handy to have an extra pair of helping hands. But before I head into the Jungle, I’m going to turn them around and have them run around Ozmone Plains for a while to level up. I think their levels are a bit low, though I could be wrong. Interestingly enough, in facing off the bosses ‘Demon Gate’, ‘Belias’ and ‘Vossler + Soldiers’ – all I used here were Quickenings and I defeated all three bosses in my first go. Usually when I get to the boss stage, I switch Vaan’s Gambits off so that I can manually control him. In each of those three boss phases, I immediately got him to begin the quickening chain and managed to get up to 8 in a row for one of the bosses. I think that only ‘Demon Gate’ was the one that was still alive after I had used the quickening chain against it (including the end sequence) though just barely. After only a couple of hits from Vossler’s sword and Basch’s axe it was down anyway. Nobody lost HP which was great 🙂

Oh, now onto other stuff. I bought a new action figure not long ago which arrived last week just before I had to give up the PC. It was Axel from Kingdom Hearts II. Now when I got him, he looked great, however once I took him out of the box and tried to change his hands, I discovered problems with it already. His left foot was bent to the side and regardless of what I tried to do, it wouldn’t bend back. Now it does have an actual articulation in his ankle to be able to move it, however it just keeps moving back to its angled spot. His right hand did not come out of its socket… it broke almost immediately. I was not rough with it, but on trying to pry out the remains of the hand, I could see that there would have been no way that I could not have broken it. It was just wedged in way too tight. And the final thing is that it doesn’t come with a stand. Action figure stands come in handy, especially if said action figure cannot stand straight due to a bent foot. Of course, its not made by Kotobukyia, who I would say make the best articulated action figures – especially for video games. Shame they didn’t do these figures, they would have done a better job.

And now back to my PC… One thing that I had done was move a lot of my stuff over to my external hard disk drive (EHDD). This was only because I’d run out of time to burn it all to DVD. The intention was to leave it there temporarily and then sort it out once I got my PC back and burn off what I didn’t need to move back to the main hard disk drive (HDD). The most important files I had were for my websites, so I started to move them over first. With no warning, the EHDD suddenly spat out an error message and then disappeared from the “My Computer” list. In fact it got replaced with a letter instead of its name (My Book). When I tried to click on the new lettered drive, it popped up with the message “This drive is not formatted. Do you want to formate it now? Y/N” I completely panicked!! Here I had only just begun transferring stuff and now it was telling me it wasn’t there anymore!!! So I shut the computer down completely and unplugged it from the back of the PC. Then I replugged it back in, but into a different USB port and restarted the computer. When I looked into the list of drives under My Computer, I was relieved to see “My Book” sitting there once again. I clicked on it and thankfully everything was still intact. Only one folder is corrupt and it won’t delete it, though its empty so it doesn’t matter too much. I’m just glad everything else is okay!!