Archive for the ‘Whinging’ Category

Just your typical OS installation process

My PC is three years old. About 6-8 months ago I upgraded the video card (to a GTX 275, keeping the old 8800GTS in the second slot), and I’ve thrown in another hard drive since I bought it, but other than that it’s as I bought it. Apart from the dust, that is :)

I’d planned to replace it but I actually had a hard time identifying why exactly, apart from “it’s just time”. I’ve never had a PC that’s able to remain current for more than a couple of years tops, but this one, while lagging a bit in the CPU department, has never felt slow and runs most current games just fine.

So I still have it. I’ve had W7 RC running for a while and it was going to deactivate itself in the next week or two (starting March 1st, it shuts down every two hours without saving open documents etc) so I needed to install a real version of it. Seemed like a good time to upgrade to an SSD for the main drive!

Here’s my installation process.

  • 1pm: I get back from the store, PC is already in pieces as I opened it up and prepared it for the new drive before I left. Disconnect the existing HDDs, install the SSD on SATA1, put the Win7 DVD in the drive and start ‘er up.
  • 1:05pm: The installation process sits for a while on a 640×480 W7 background, then kicks into gear. “Starting Setup” appears! Then it bluescreens. Goddammit.

  • 1:10pm: OK, try again. This time setup actually starts, I get to choose my language, it partitions the disc to give it a boot partition, and copies and expands the files, rebooting in the process. When it comes back, it gets to the “Completing installation” bit, and after a while I realize there’s no HDD activity and the mouse is frozen. After 20 minutes I give up and reboot.
  • 1:40pm: When rebooting I get a dialog box complaining that “there was a problem, reboot and restart the installation process”. Further reboots just bring me back to this screen with no option anywhere to do anything other than restart again!
  • 1:50pm: OK, I need to put my HDDs back in so that I can reformat the SSD from Win7 and start over. I do that, but it’s trying to boot from the SSD still… OK, let’s head into the BIOS to change the boot order.
  • 2pm: Right, here’s the bios, just page over there and… what the hell, the PC just turned itself off! OK try again… same thing. And again. Shit.
  • 2:10pm: Jump onto the internet via the iPhone. Apparently this is usually a problem with either a badly-installed heatsink, a failing heatsink installation sensor, the power supply, or bad RAM. Well, the heatsink is stock and fitted to the board like a rock. The memory has been installed for three years without any problems. Maybe power? My PS is a 750 watt monster that has been running 2 graphics cards, 2 HDDs and that’s about it so I doubt it. I dive back into the PC and start making sure all connections are solid.
  • 2:20pm: No luck so far. Still the auto-shutoff in the BIOS. I swap the order of the drives on the SATA cables with no luck.
  • 2:30pm: Back into the PC. I sigh and pull out the second video card. This actually involves pulling both cards out and flipping a small jumper card that in their INFINITE wisdom the motherboard manufacturer put right next to the first PCI-E slot, so that it’s underneath any card using it!
  • 2:40pm: The first time I go back into the BIOS it shuts off on me again, but the next time it survives! I look at the boot order. The computer has been trying to boot from a compactFlash card from my camera that I have in my external reader :/
  • 2:45pm: Boot into my W7 RC install to format the SSD. Decide to just run the new W7 setup from here.
  • 3:30pm: This time everything goes smoothly. I now finally have a fresh SSD installation of W7 Pro and can start reinstalling everything, thank GOD.
  • The story doesn’t quite end there… after dinner I came back up to the computer and it’d rebooted itself, and I got the “Windows has recovered from an unexpected error” dialog. So the saga continues! It survived the night however, maybe it was just a glitch… yes… just a one-time glitch…


    No Comments

    Make it stop

    Hottest day ever in Vancouver today apparently. I’m putting this up so I can look back on it in winter (ie. beginning Sept 15th) and laugh.


    That’s the temp in my computer room right now, with two fans going and the window open. Insert rant about Vancouver housing ignoring AC here :(

    No Comments