Monday, February 25, 2008



on friday. *sob* happybox is dead.

i was trying to run a long, computationally heavy process on my home PC (which i had dubbed happybox) because my work computer was occupied with deadline-based work. i thought it was taking too long, so i popped into task manager to see how much RAM it was using, and discovered it was using much less than i expected. weird. i checked to make sure i had the right target total in my head and the computer only reported 1GB available. now... i could've SWORN i put 2 x 1GB sticks of RAM in the case, but y'know it's been a couple of years and i have no head for these sorts of hardware details. it's why i've never been a good gearhead. you can't describe a car as having "one of those 2.something litre V-whatever thingies" and expect to be taken seriously. so the total ram available was half what i expected, which meant it was time to troubleshoot.

so i shut 'er down, cracked open the case, looked into happybox and found 2 x 1GB sticks hanging out of the motherboard. right, then. that meant either one stick was not seated properly (and had never been?) or i had some bad ram. so i put rose to work on it, because i was frantically trying to finish that aforementioned deadline work. she swapped the sticks to other slots, but it still only reported 1GB, which meant that either one pair of slots (a channel) or one stick of RAM was bad, but we didn't know which. we tried swapping the sticks into opposite channels to narrow it down, and then the computer wouldn't boot. this meant the RAM in the primary slot was bad, and i assumed that because of this it wasn't reading the (nominally good) RAM in the secondary slot.

i didn't think it through because if i had, i'd have recognized at this point that my bad slot had fried the RAM in it and putting more RAM in the computer would be a waste of money. instead, i went to Fry's and bought more RAM. but when i got home, reason took hold of my brain before i even unwrapped the new stuff... which meant i tried to ID the bad slot before putting the new RAM in, just in case it was what had fried the old stick. either that first round of swapping sticks into opposing channels or something in this later troubleshooting step exposed my poor old good ram to a bad slot on the motherboard. i'll never really know. all i know for sure is that i have at least one bad slot on my motherboard, and by "bad slot" i mean "vicious ram-eating slot." it munched down 2 1GB sticks of ram on friday, and i'll be darned if i'm feeding it any more.

so, in light of this woe and tragedy, i'm buying myself a mac. because if i'm going to use MacOS, it's not going to be windows' bloated, big-brother-like version of MacOS (aka: Vista) it's going to be the real gosh-darned thing. and, well, mac runs wow in addition to VMWare, so all the fun stuff i want runs natively and anything i absolutely must have windows for, i can have on a Virtual Machine. color me silver. :)

1 comment:

BeBe said...

Color me GREEN with envy!

Love you, Sis!