Don’t let this man fix your computer

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I may have been staying quiet about the total clusterfuck that occurred on my main computer… For obvious reasons because it was I who fucked it!

I have been getting “Out of space” error messages on my machine for a little while now and have been pretty much ignoring them. I had XP installed on an old 4gb drive and to save on space, most of the program files were installed on my D drive which was 40gb. Both these drives are remnants of my old Compaq computer, which is now relegated as the kids computer.

With the price of storage now at an insane low, I decided to get a new drive to fix my problems. The plan was to move everything off the 40gig drive onto a new 80gig drive and then use that 40gig drive instead of the 4gig.

All was going well. I installed the new drive on Wednesday evening, disconnecting my CD burner, and started partitioning it to suit my requirements. On Thursday I moved all the programs around and cleaned up what I didn’t use any more. Then I used a drive copy utility to move the Operating System from my old 4 gig drive to the 40gig.

Everything was going well for a while, until the machine started beeping, and I mean really beeping!

Checking the thermometer on the front of the case, I realised the CPU was getting towards the warmer end of its operating range. That’s when I realised that the rear fan was also connected to the same line as the CD burner and it had been disconnected for well over 24 hours.
I plugged the fan back in, but it just wasn’t cooling down fast enough. I was starting to panic at this stage, wondering what I was going to do now. I didn’t want to cancel the transfer for risk of stuffing something up.

Then I remembered the side panel had another cooling fan, so I grabbed it and went to plug it back in and…

POP

SHIIIIT!!!

I blew the power supply, half way through copying the Operating System.

STUPID

STUPID

STUPID

I should know better than that. I was rushing around, and not being careful.

Using a different power supply, I rebooted the computer to assess the damage. It wouldn’t boot with anything on the second IDE controller, and even when just the old drive was connected, it wouldn’t boot as far as the windows login screen.

I was up until 2am trying to fix it, knowing that I really wouldn’t be able to sleep anyway. I was stressed out that I had lost all the data on the 80gig drive as every time I plugged it back into the machine, it wouldn’t boot.

I’m not going to bore you with the trials to get the machine working again, but it pretty much wrote off Friday afternoon and then the evening after I put the kids to bed.
In the end the problem was the boot disk, which was corrupted and the disk I was writing to, which was also corrupted, and the OS on that machine was an upgrade on an OEM version of windows 98. I couldn’t use the original OEM disk because it kept telling “This is not a Compaq computer”, and the Compaq computer wouldn’t install the OEM because the boot sector was corrupt.

In the end the solution was to copy the windows 98 OS from another machine to the corrupted 4 gig drive, boot into it in command prompt safe mode, fdisk the 40gig drive so I could format it. Install the OEM software onto the 40gig drive then put that drive back into the main machine and reinstall XP.
All my motherboard problems were driver related, so once XP went back on, everything worked fine.

So that was my Saturday night!


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