[USS Vanguard] OoC: A Bunch of Geeky Stuff for You Computer Fans Only

  • From: "Andy W. Ho" <andywoho@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 08:12:03 -0700 (PDT)

About the computer or about the posting?

For the post, I'll work on it throughout the day, when my co-workers
aren't looking over my shoulder to catch me goofing around. ;-)

For the computer, this is what I can tell:

1. I was adding a memory module to Jenn's computer. She has 64MB, I was
adding a 64MB module. Keep in mind this is a woman who's BEGGED me not
to play with her computer lest something EXACTLY like this occur.

2. I added the module to DIMM 2, hooked all the cabling back up, and
prepared to boot up the computer. As soon as I put the power cord in,
the computer booted itself up and wouldn't POST to the BIOS.

3. After I wiped the thin sheen of sweat from my brow, I opened the
case back up and took out the memory module. The computer still would
not boot up.

4. After doing a number of things to troubleshoot it, I couldn't bring
the machine up. I took out the CMOS battery, yadda yadda yadda.

5. Here's the interesting part: I tried to slave Jenn's hard drive to
my computer, and it fried my motherboard as well. Of course, I was
stupid enough (and too lazy) to take it out of her case, so I simply
hooked up my IDE cable and power to her hard drive's connectors, but
still, I don't see how a hard drive from a machine with a bad
MOTHERBOARD, either from static electricity or incompatible memory,
would affect MY computer.

6. So, Jenn cried and screamed at me a bit. I called the comp
manufacturer to find out about a new motherboard replacement. They told
me those mobos were no longer manufactured.

7. Plan b: Purchase motherboard, processor, case, fan, heatsink, and
just to be on the safe side, memory. I went with the Athlon 1600
(running at 1333 MHz), 300 watt case, and Elite Athlon motherboard. I
had wanted to go with an ASUS mobo, but the sales guy at the computer
store told me they had had a bad batch of ASUS lately. (I am not going
to argue with a guy who tells me that a mobo $50 less is a better
performer than a mobo $50 more. It's usually the other way around.)

An interesting feature of this motherboard is that it takes both DDR
and SDRAM memory (SiS chipset), so theoretically, I could have gone
with the old memory. But use anything remotely suspicious from the old
system? I don't think so. It's just not worth skimping out $40 and risk
blowing up another $350+ of new equipment. (I went with a generic 256
DDR module.)

The reason I went with a computer store as opposed to online is because
Jenn runs a Web site and updates every two or three days and needed it
RIGHT AWAY. (If you heard the crack of a whip as I did, guys, then
you've been there.)

8. I plied my Microsoft instructor with Thai food and he helped me put
the machine together. Keep in mind I've done different things to
computers, and I work in the industry, but it's the first time I put
one together from the ground up. The computer store guy put the
processor on the mobo and the fan on top of that (free if you buy the
bundle from them, and I just didn't want to mess with it). But as Vader
told Luke in "Jedi": "I see you've built a new lightsaber. Your skills
are complete." You can't be a computer geek unless you've built your

The hardest part we had to do was to get the LED connectors from the
case/power supply to the right connectors on the mobo. That by itself
took an hour. (Damn Taiwanese mobo insruction booklet. And, yes, I'm
Chinese by way of Singapore, so...)

9. I used my old ATI Xpert 128 (recommended lo, a year ago by our own
Alvon Stratford, by the way), and the machine booted up fine. Blue
screened a little, but keep in mind there was a load of new hardware
and a NIC and file sharing was turned on, and it needed a little
tweaking. As of this morning, it ran fine.

10. For all you curious, I haven't benchmarked it, although it's fast
enough to impress Jenn. The shame is, she'll probably never push it
even 50% of what it can do, but damn if she doesn't have the fastest
solitaire and Web surfing machine on the block.

If you're interested, write me and I'll give you a lowdown on exactly
the components I used and the troubleshooting I performed. (And, no,
for all you people whose eyes are crossing at this point, this was NOT
the detailed write-up. ;-) )

In two weeks: My Pentium 4 machine.

--- Cynan <kuhnahn@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Soo, what did you actually do Andy?
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Andy W. Ho" <andywoho@xxxxxxxxx>
> To: "USS-Vanguard" <ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Wednesday, June 19, 2002 5:28 AM
> Subject: [USS Vanguard] OoC: Posting
> > OoC: One computer back up, another to do in a few weeks. (If you
> have
> > ever thought the expenses of repairing one computer are terrible,
> just
> > think about doing TWO.)
> > 
> > Anyway, come heck or highwater, I'll post tomorrow and get us going
> in
> > a common direction again. Thank you!
> > 
> > Andy
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