On Sunday afternoon I knew I had a dead power supply. So I replaced that.
That evening I was pretty sure I had a toasted motherboard as well.
Doing research on Monday I figured out that my old Intel Core i7-950 required a socket no longer readily available. So I headed on down to Fry’s for a new motherboard and processor. I ended up with a Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H and an Intel Core i5-4590 3.3GHz Processor, both of which were on sale at the moment. Not sure if that i5 was a step down from the older i7. My hope was that it was at least on par with four years of updates.
Then I spent Monday afternoon and evening putting everything back together, only to be stuck for an hour trying to get the system to boot. I was worried how Windows 7 might behave with new hardware under it, so I got out the install DVD and tried to update it or, if I had to, install a fresh copy of the OS. Only after tinkering with that did I discover my next problem.
My system had two 1TB drives in a RAID 1 configuration, which is essentially two drives mirroring the same data, so if a drive goes bad you still have everything. I mean, what are the odds of both fucking drives dying at once?
The odds are greater than zero it seems, as I found that neither drive would spin.
This is where my heart begins to sink and I start feeling sick to my stomach. Up until this point it was all just a technical issue.
I have external drives hooked up and key data backed up elsewhere. All of our digital pictures from the last 15 years are copied to multiple drives. But a lot of my files were not backed up. I had not, for example, moved screen shots or notes in Notepad ++ or any number of other things off the main drives for a while. All of that is gone. Lots of data, lots of images, lots of notes and knowledge. I had full installs of Warhammer Online, City of Heroes, and Star Wars Galaxies. Not that those are all that useful, but I won’t be getting those back.
And don’t get me started about my iTunes library.
That means everything had to start from scratch again. There will, no doubt, be a blog post about what games I choose to install again and which games I let fall by the wayside.
I went out again and bought a 240GB SSD and a 1TB drive. No more redundancy, but at least a faster boot time.
I got the operating system installed, then the drivers for the various devices on the motherboard, and then started loading the updates. So many updates.
I got browsers install, but with the data loss all my bookmarks and whatever stored passwords I had are gone, so it is pretty much up to my memory at this point. For example, I bought Microsoft Office online and should be able to install it again… only I cannot remember the account I created for that. That is in a saved email somewhere, gone.
I am happy now that Trillian, which I use for IM, saves your settings at their site. I was able to get up on IM quickly enough.
Eventually I got to the point where I thought I could install a couple of games. I chose the two on my active list, EVE Online and World of Warcraft. WoW has a new expansion running and our guild is back and online a lot, including Gaff, who returned to WoW, while there are two CFC deployments going on in EVE and constant pings for fleets.
However, I noticed a new problem. The system, which comes up fine and appears to run well, restarts without warning every so often. This happens rather quickly if I run WoW, I cannot, as a measure of time, harvest garrison resources before the system begins to chunk, giving me less than a minute’s warning that it is going down. But this restart also happens with EVE or if I just leave the system sitting idle, it just takes longer.
At this point I have replaced everything except the video card, the RAM, and the case itself. I suspect there is an issue with the RAM. When I first loaded up the motherboard it indicated a fault initializing until I swapped around a couple of the sticks. So it is off to Fry’s again at some point today to buy another pair of DIMMs. But if that doesn’t solve the problem, then I am hosed. I don’t know what I will do then. I will have blown my discretionary budget on a bunch of parts that do not add up to a whole.