For those of you who appreciated the relative silence from me the past three days, here\'s the scoop.
I\'m playing along, trying to finish up a couple of pieces for a deadline, when strangely, the latency of my main Giga box seems to be increasing bit by bit. Strange. I reboot.
Nothing. Blackness. Silence.
OK, no biggie. I\'ve lost power supplies before, and since Giga-boxes tend to keep the hard drives humming, they eat power supplies at an accelerated rate. I make the trip to Fry\'s (1.5 hours including drive time is my average), and install a nice new Enermax PS. I boot up, and weirdly, as Windows finishes loading, I get a spontaneous reboot. Odd, but the OS loads this time and everyhing seems to be working. Happy times--I finish my pieces, deliver the CD, and drop into bed much later than anticipated, but all is well with the world.
Then I wake up. Make coffee, stumble into the studio. The monitor is black again, all hard drive lights are lit.
Odd. I reboot. Blackness.
Now things are getting a bit suspicious (doh).
First, I remove the new PS, and try one from one of my SFX boxes. Same behavior. The Enermax, on the other hand, works in the SFX box. So, I load up the **first** power supply that failed. It works in the SFX box, too.
The sinking feeling begins.
I pull the processor. Ugly black mark. Now that the Flower Cooler (yes they rock) is removed, an even more alarming black mark, about an inch in diameter, is reavealed on the motherboard. The sinking feeling deepens.
I start pulling hard drives. More sinking feelings.
The eventual shopping list:
Three hard drives
Now, here\'s where my defensive purchasing at least saved me some grief. When I buy hard drives, I always buy multiples of the same kind, and make sure that there\'s always a duplicate that lives outside a given computer. This was a lifesaver. The circuit board from a single remaining drive enabled me to transfer data off the fried drives (this only works with exact model/revision products, though...). So, I was able to recover all the drive data and the OS by gutting each drive and copying the data with the good remaining boards, using another machine.
The video card was the last casualty, and oddly not because it fried but because the new MOBO was not compatible with 2x AGP. This final \"insult\" occurred about 7:50 pm last night, but I was able to speed to a nearby CompUSA and get in just before they locked the doors.
Moral of the story: Even if you are extremely well prepared (which I was), a computer nightmare can put you out of business for several days. In my case, I had machines to get me through, but had the deadlines been any more intense, it would have been touch and go.
Be prepared [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img]
The upside--I replaced the Athlon 2200+ with a 2400+. I wanted to go for the 2600, but the damage was so expensive I couldn\'t justify another $80. As it turns out, the 2400 is a much quicker and cooler chip than the 2200, and it only cost me around $100. I also put another RAM stick in the box (bringing it to 1.5 GB). Anyone who is using Giga in WinXP take note: It\'s worth the money to do this...that little bit of breathing room made the box load more quickly. Unfortunately, I didn\'t do before and afters on instrument loading capacity, but when I get caught up in a few weeks, I\'ll pull the RAM stick back out and post some hard data.
There you have it. Look out. Mercury is in retrograde, and they say that is bad mojo for computers. I believe it.