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Just Another Tech Blog

Anything and everything having to do with technology, computers, science, and most of all... Linux! The documentation of my Linux endeavor.

A tale of a new case, fried hard drives, a save by the unofficial "Super GRUB Disk", and Windows oddities...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

UPDATE: My new SATA2 disk has arrived. Its installed right now, and awaiting a fresh install of Ubuntu!

Well, I got my new case in the mail about a week ago, the Raidmax Smilodon. At any rate, an awesome case. Sadly though, I had been moving for the past week or so, and wasn't able to put everything in the new case. But, yesterday, I managed to find time, and put everything together. Things were going fine until I went to turn my computer on again... it didn't work... I looked inside, found nothing wrong, and tried again. Didn't work... but this time I noticed an odd smell emanating from the case. My first though: "Crap, my PSU is dead." So, I made sure not to turn it on, and put in the PSU that came with the case. Again... no start up... and I noticed that the PSU I had pulled out didn't smell any. Now I started to worry, "has my motherboard been fried?" So, I started some troubleshooting. First, I disconnected every device, save the motherboard. On power on, it worked. Good, at least it wasn't my motherboard. Then I connected my graphics card. It worked. Next, the network card. It worked. Next, the CD burner. It worked. Next the DVD burner. It worked. Next, my old 40gig hard drive. It worked. Next, my new 250gig. It didn't work. Crap. That's not good, considering that is where I have all my stuff. So, I disconnected it, and the system worked again. I checked all the jumpers, all the connections, all the pins... everything fine. I happened to inhale while close to the hard drive and I realized that that was where the odd smell was coming from! So, I came to the conclusion that my hard drive was fried. How, I don't know, perhaps splitting two fans off the connection wasn't good... but I had done that multiple times before without any problems. So, I spoke with a good friend of mine, who recommended I put the hard drive in the refrigerator. Yeah, I too was thinking "WTF?" But apparently, it is a method known to restore hard drives for at least enough time to make backups. As of right now, it is still sitting in my fridge.
So, since my GRUB config was on my 250gig, which died, I couldn't boot into Windows. But, I was saved by the unofficial "Super GRUB Disk." I love that CD. Its saved my life about three times now. Kudos to its developers!
Now, being able to boot into at least Windows, I was a bit more relieved. Off I go into Windows, looking forward to some time on The Internets. But wait... what is this? My network card doesn't exist? Hmm... maybe a poorly inserted card. I take pull out the card, replace it (even in a new slot), and try again. No such luck. I reinstall the drivers... everything. No go. So, now I am thinking "Great, a fried hard drive and network card. There goes any thoughts of a CPU upgrade..." In a last effort, I boot into a Ubuntu LiveCD. Hey! The wireless card works! So... what does that mean? Another Windows oddity I suppose.
That brings me here: working off a LiveCD on a computer with only one hard drive (with Windows), and a network card that Windows has chosen not to like anymore. Great.
At least I can get a loan for my new hard drive, and I don't have to buy anything else. I'll see how the refrigerated hard drive goes. I have a feeling it won't help, but I hope I am wrong.
Until later then!

UPDATE: Using the latest drivers from the RaLink website... network card works again. New hard drive ordered.
posted by linnerd40, Sunday, March 18, 2007


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