Saturday, 18 June 2011

Computer Upgrade–or Computer Nightmare?

This is getting beyond a joke… Phoned Kevin the Computer Man this a.m. and he said it sounded like a hardware problem, and explained to me how to download a program called “SeaTools” from Seagate, the manufacturer of my hard drives, and use it to run a test of the discs. The second hard drive passed, but the first (drive C) failed. I rang Kevin again and he said take the  faulty disc out, put the other one in the 1st drive position and reinstall Windows onto it.

I did this, and was a bit fed up because it meant all the work I’d already done, reinstalling all my progs and data, would have to be done again. This I proceeded to do, and all went well until I allowed a major Windows update to take place, which failed towards the end (90 items!) – I then had to restart the computer and………

It failed to boot. Black screen, small white blinking cursor in top right corner. Tried booting from Windows CD. Same thing. Ran the BIOS and was told……… No data! Replace disc!! What? 2 hard drives failing in as many days? Is this coincidence?

Tried booting from the Windows CD, and started the Startup Repair wizard again, but it told me there was nothing wrong, and to unplug anything I’d plugged in, e.g. external hard drive, digital camera. I never got far enough to plug in anything apart from the mains lead!

Tried to boot in Safe Mode, and a message came up that there was a failure in configuring Windows updates, and it was reverting changes. It then shut down, restarted, and showed me the same message. Then it shut down again, and when it started again, it was the black screen and the blinking (I could actually think of a stronger word now!) cursor.

Been on various forums which say that it could be a PSU (power supply unit) problem, or faulty RAM. Or various other things.

The upshot is, my computer has died. I can’t think of anything else to try. Of course, it’s Sunday tomorrow so I can’t do anything. First thing Monday, I’m phoning Kevin again – I am reluctantly admitting defeat, and it will have to go in for inpatient treatment.

My hubby will have to take it in for me. He’s being very good about it, but I have no idea what he’s up to on Monday and if he will have time or not. He made one very unhelpful remark this evening: “Why didn’t you just leave it as it was? It was working fine before you started messing about with it.” He said it was like in Star Trek Voyager. There they are, stuck in the Delta Quadrant, trying to get home, and what do they do? They investigate every single spatial anomaly, and answer every distress call, and it ALWAYS ends in tears… He says they should ignore them all, and just try and get home! I tell him that would make for a very boring TV series.

He’s right, of course, but my computer wasn’t quite up to doing what I wanted it to do, and I was keen to have an upgrade. The other computer was fine when I upgraded to Windows 7, and I thought this would be the same.

More fool me. Grrrr.


Later – small hours, Sunday a.m. I decided to try one more thing – booted into Safe Mode and ran a System Restore to the point before the last Windows update. It worked! I am now back in Windows proper, and everything seems fine so far. I’m in the process of running SeaTools on Drive C – the short test resulted in a pass, so I’m running the long test just to make sure. Not sure if I’ll stay up to see the result – last time it took over 2 hours, although it might be quicker if I’m only testing one drive, and if it fails, it will stop then anyway.

If it fails, the computer will have to go in to Kevin next week. If it passes, I am going to have to try and find out which Windows update caused such a devastating result – I shall phone Kevin on Monday anyway to tell him what’s happened and seek his advice, whether or not I find anything out.

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