Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I was going to have a Tummy Tuesday post today, but haven't got photo capabilities installed on the new computer yet. New computer? Yes, we broke down over the weekend and bought a replacement desktop. We thought we had better hurry because of the rapidly decreasing likelihood that we would find an XP box for sale, not wanting to deal with Vista for at least a couple more years. We got lucky and found a refurbished HP media box in the clearance section of Micro Center. It's very similar to the "dead" box, with the essential things (XP, card reader) but not most of the bells and whistles (TV tuner).

I haven't given up on the old computer, though. I think I have most of my documents and photos backed up, but DH has some photos that are not, that he would really like to recover. So today I hooked up a USB-to-SATA cable to take a look at the hard drives. They're perfectly functional, but I can't get the data easily because we have two RAID 0 drives. Having done a little more reading, I am kicking myself for buying this option. WHAT WAS I THINKING? RAID 0 stripes the data across two drives, making it extremely difficult to recover once disconnected from the computer, and providing no protection against data loss if a drive fails, anyway. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

But at least I have confirmed that the drives are not the problem. Next I called a local repair shop, who said they would be happy to look at my dead computer in a week or two, but did not seem optimistic that it could be repaired for less than the cost of a new computer. While I was deciding what to do, I powered up the old box to see what would happen, since it was open. Whoa... it starts. Windows runs. Everything looks normal. For about 2 minutes, then I smell that faint burning odor and the power cuts off. I don't see anything burning, melting, or smoking, but the power supply is very hot and I don't recall seeing the fan running.

OK, I'm going with a faulty power supply. A new one is on order from HP. I'll leave the old box reclining on the operating table, and we'll see what happens in a couple of days. Again, any advice is appreciated.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

HP media box? Card reader? USB-to-SATA cable? RAID o drives? The veil has descended. I've no idea what you are talking about! Advice? None at all, just breathless admiration - and humble gratitude for my 3 offspring and charming guru from PC World!