First-World Problems

st ultcomp15

It's been a week—more, really—of frustration here aboard StarshipTim, with the various components of my computer infrastructure all choosing to crap out on me in quick succession. Things are on their way to normalcy, but the journey has been a bit more adventurous than I'd prefer. I would not call it fun. Lots of time ended up being wasted and delays were/are getting a little extreme on some other items needing my attention.

And I missed out on some stuff I had intended to be quite attentive to this week, including the DNC. I did watch most of Wednesday night's convention program in real time, that was the slate I was most intrigued by, with President Obama and Senator Harris headlining. (And they were both great, by the way.)

But this technofiascofubarmeltdown, which really started a few weeks ago when I decided my laptop had met the end of its usefulness as a portable device, isn't over yet. I'm able to type this on my office PC now only through tenacious determination to make the frakking thing work.

Anyway. Laptop: replaced. The replacement machine is very nice, I'm pleased with it despite it arriving with a small problem of some stuck pixels on its screen. Fixed for now, but I wonder how often that problem is going to recur. It's a refurbished item, bound to have some issues, but for that I could afford it was a pretty sweet buy.

Office PC: under repair. This computer is a bit of a Frankenstein's monster, starting with what at the time I acquired it was a new motherboard and case and CPU, then gradually added onto over the years with expanded capacities and swapped out components and pieces recycled from old PCs. During the setup of the new laptop, which I had networked to the office in order to install common software, this PC spontaneously rebooted to a backup drive. First sign of trouble, and since I didn't even remember I had installed  the backup drive the last time I had a drive failure, it freaked me out a bit until I realized I still had all my stuff. Anyway, a little restart repair procedure and all was well again, or so I allowed myself to think, until little chirpy noises started to emanate form the desktop box. Weird, but I figured it was a fan and swapped in another fan from my box of random parts. Then it spontaneously rebooted again. Then crashed. The OS drive—the "Bridge"—isn't that old, I thought, but run some checks on it.

All tests fine. Hm. OK. Let's clone it just in case. OK, but the clone wouldn't boot, even after rebuilding the boot manager. (And that chirping was back.) Not good, corruption was in the mix pre-cloning. Still, I had everything backed up, so we'll just use that backup drive—"Auxiliary Control"—and load everything onto that, turn it into the main drive for now. It's old, though, so once that's up and running try and fix the Bridge drive. No bad sectors, after all, and of the four HDDs in the thing it's the second-newest. While we're doing that, put Windows 10 on it so I can have a dual-boot system for those times when I want something that runs on one system but not the other, and for consistency with the laptop.

All going fine, if a bit tediously, getting all the software reinstalled and the programs back to the way I like them. Then, as I'm about done, the damn thing spontaneously reboots again, only this time it gets stuck at the reboot process and when I do get it to start it sometimes lets me choose which drive to boot to and sometimes not, and either way takes nearly 10 minutes to do it, and the chirping, STOP THE CHIRPING!

This afternoon's crash, after finally getting my backups reloaded, I admit defeat: This drive is kaput. No bad sectors, no apparent corruption of data in the new installs, but crashes and ten-minute boot sequences and chirps—now definitively NOT from any fans—and the latest symptom, failure to be recognized by the BIOS, and I have to call it. TOD: 11:43pm.

Working from Auxiliary Control is fine for now. It's got all I need. But it's much smaller than The Bridge was, and quite a bit older, so I will once more be scouting the eBays for a new drive. With luck, the Bridge can be recovered and transplanted with the aid of EaseUS or similar help; if not, well, we'll just do all this setup one more time.

But for the moment, I think we're good. I'll install any remaining programs as their need arises and can now get back to the requests of some clients and covering the Mariners on grandsalami.net and paying stricter attention to the news and fixing the deficiencies on my catio and catching up on the Reading Pile. Oh, and I see the new season of Lucifer is on Netflix now, so...

OK. Got through this long rambling post and not once has the computer so much as hiccupped. So I think it's safe to shut it down without fear of never getting it started again. Here we go.

Comments

  • Posted by Bill on August 22, 2020 (34 days ago)

    Wow, what an unholy mess of probs. Tim, thanks so much for taking time in its midst to update the www.drcanard.com site so it could introduce the latest installment of my funny webseries "Dr. Canard." Once again, folks: 1) Funny. 2) www.drcanard.com :)

    Joe Biden's speech last night was unexpectedly outstanding, both in content and delivery. Highly recommended. Earlier in the con, John Kerry's was brief but forceful.

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