Friday, January 8, 2010

something you never want to see on a computer screen

STOP: C0000218
Registry File Failure
Cannot load hive
software or log or alternate is corrupt absent or not writable

It didn't start this way, but this was the message that finally told me to stop messing around, and just start over. Start with a nice fresh hard disk, load Windows (thank goodness I had the CD and not just an oem version). Then I had to download all the updates, load the drivers for the new motherboard, reload my software, pick a security strategy and load it, and now I am finally on the last step:
recovering all my data from the old harddisk.
That one is proving to be tricky but not impossible. I finally adjusted the jumper settings on the back of the old drive to force it into slavery (gosh that sounds mean...all I really did was move a plastic 2mm box 1 mm over to the left).
And YAY! all my itunes I had downloaded over the past half year are back. I am still working on importing the pictures.
and then, because I have learned my lesson, I will be making a shitload of photo and mp3 CDs so that if this Hitachi drive crashes, I won't actually lose stuff.
In the meantime, my husband has jumped on the ubuntu wagon and brought home a spare computer in order to have a linux model for himself. I am not sure what he is going to do with it, but I will be interested to see.
I put Karmic Koala (ubuntu 9.10 release) on my little netbook, and I like it a lot. The only downside was that it did not come with a log off or a shut down hot button, but it was an easy fix. Overall, Karmic Koala seems to be intended for a little more savvy of user of ubuntu - seems to have more capacity to customize and all. So if you want the easy version, you may have to hurry to still be able to get Jovial Jackalope. Earlier versions than that one seem to be absent entirely, which is a big change from ubuntu a year ago. I liked JJ, too as it was very easy AND very pretty to look at. I know that is just so girly, but I can't help it. I like staring at soothing colors while I putter on the 'puter.
As far as hardware changes to the old desktop, I changed three things: the motherboard, the RAM and the power supply.
I am fairly certain that the old power supply was bad. First of all the symptoms of just turning off mid-computing like it did seemed to indicate it. Also, when I was playing around with hooking different drives up, checking power connections, it totally failed to work, even enough to power on components at one point.
I also changed the motherboard because when I first checked inside the box and unhooked the extra peripherals, it failed to even send signal to video. And because the screen has its own plug, my husband suspected that the motherboard was intermittently bad. I am not convinced it is, but I am also not using the old one, and probably won't worry about using it later.
The RAM we were able to test with a neat utility called memtest86 (downloadable) and it showed that our old stick of 1 gig and our new stick of 1 gig work just fine, so now I have both. Yay speed!
Running memtest86 with the old components lead to freaky-bad results, so it really was either bad psu or mb.
The new power supply is more robust, has two fans, and a cool/spooky red glow. It also powers my SATA dvd drive directly without an adapter. So its great. All components were purchased on for rock bottom prices.
And, yes, I did move my socket 754 AMD processor chip myself over to the new mb, and added new thermal grease, and it was no problem.
I am an awesome nerd!