Thursday, May 1, 2008

Computer resurrection

About a week ago, there was a power outage at my house. A few minutes later, the power came back on. Minus my computer.

Power irregularities can damage both power supplies and motherboards. In my case, I didn't have to try to figure out which one was gone: my power supply was integrated into the motherboard. Whichever connection had gotten zapped, the whole assembly was toast. So we bought me a new computer. And a more expensive surge protector, with battery backup.

My new computer is similar to the old one, and it mostly worked when we just swapped out the hard drives (so I have my old operating system and all my files). My partner also salvaged the RAM from the old computer to add onto the new one, so I now have super duper amounts of RAM.

Finding drivers for the new hardware did take a little bit of research. I still don't know what a chipset is, just that I now have a working driver for it. But only after finding that the manufacturer's chipset driver utilities, advertised to automatically detect my hardware and operating system and install the correct driver, did not work. The list of hardware made it fairly simple to find the chipset and video drivers, but my ethernet card was not listed. I tried opening up the computer to examine the ethernet bits, but there are no labels there, either. Windows suggested that I connect to the internet so it could automatically find the correct driver. Which was somewhat amusing, but not helpful.

Anyway, everything works now. Spare parts:
*Hard drive with Windows Vista
*CD/DVD player
*Compact desktop case (approx. 12" x 8" x 2")
*and possibly an AMD 64 Athlon processor, although this might have been fried in the power outage

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