Stupid Computer

December 19th, 2006 at 7:56 pm by Mark
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I’ve had this HP Pavilion 513W sitting here for a while now, but when the guy first asked me about it, it would lock up when it attempted to load the AGP driver — even in safe mode.
Now, I don’t make it a habit of working on Home machines for obvious reasons, but I know him, and was pretty sure of what was going on with it.  Told him I could take a look at it, but in the meantime, he wanted to see what HP said.  He had already made up his mind to buy a new system and was looking for the best time to buy new electronics on Nerds On Call, but upon my words to wait a few days till I have a complete look at it, they decided to wait. Apparently, he and his father also decided to do a system restore one last time, erasing all of his data.  Still, each time it got to Disc 6, the system would stop writing to its 80GB Hard Drive and halt.  Given all that, I was reasonably sure the restore CD’s were scratch just bad enough to quit working.

After finally locating an HP Operating System disc and trying that, I realized the machine would never boot into XP.  I changed the hard drive to no avail.  I changed the memory, power supply, and even the CPU, and even used the best thermal paste available on places whre it was applicable, and it still kept happening.

Today, just for a test, I unplugged the Combo CD-RW/DVD that came with that particular Pavilion.  To my amazement, the system booted right up, no problem.
Confused, I plugged up a Sony DRU-14A DVD-RW and the original 80GB drive, and XP Home is installed just perfectly (on a drive which previously complained intermittently).

Eventually, everthing was right.

Or so I thought…

The next hurdle was Windows Activation.  After a half hour on the phone with Microsoft Customer Service, they gave me a key required to activate Windows XP, and everything was good.

This is why I don’t work on Home machines … Strange things happen with Home computers that never happen on Business machines.

I wonder what’s gonna happen when he upgrades to Windows Vista next month?  😉

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