Windows Done Did Blow Up!

Another day of complete and total hardware failure 🙁  The plan was simple… help clean up the office by converting two computers into one by moving my aging linux desktop (mostly unused except for the occasional consulting project I get) into a virtual machine (using either Virtual Box or VMWare) on my more modern (but still 4 years old) Windows system.  Seems simple enough right?

First thing is that the windows box is only 32 bit, and that means I lose a chunk of the 4G of RAM I have in there.  So my plan went something like this:

  • Upgrade windows 7 to 64bit
  • Copy across settings, re-install programs
  • Create virtual machine for linux
  • Copy across settings, re-install programs
  • Decomission old linux machine

First step was to install Windows 7 64bit on my windows machine. I have a spare hard drive, so I disconnected everything else and started at it.  And it was slooooooow…..  Getting to the first screen took 5 minutes, the second 10, and when I finally did get to the installing part it was going at about 1% every 5 minutes. 

A bunch of reading suggested things like disabling floppy drives in the bios, disabling USB, etc, all of which were tried to no avail.  After about five hours of this I was getting near madness.  Mostly because I’d let it start going, it’d be horribly slow, and I’d say to myself “just let it go, it’ll take forever but it’ll be done”, then 20 minutes later I’d get in a rage that I should have to endure such sillyness and reboot and try another method of making it go fast that I’d found.  Finally I found that pulling 2 of the 4 G of ram out made it suddenly, magically work at full speed.

So now Windows 64bit is installed, booted, and ready to have me set things up.  So I shut it all down, put the RAM back in, re-connected the hard drives (I’d need access to my old hard drives to copy settings across of course), and booted it back up.

Except it didn’t boot up.  The power light on the motherboard went on, but no fans started, no hard drives whirred to life, and my “powerful” (as of 4 years ago) system seemed dead as a doornail.  Still is in fact.  I’ve run through about every troubleshooting scenario I can think of, disconnecting everything, re-plugging everything in, and outside of replacing the power supply (I’ll be grabbing one of those later this morning as all of the “spare” ones I have are old and ancient), my only conclusion is that the motherboard decided to fry itself.

Sucky for multiple reasons.  I do enough photography stuff that I need the “big” computer and the laptop won’t do.  So I want to hold off on replacing it completely with a decked out 27″ iMac full of RAM and hard drive space in a nice shiny box (a very expensive shiny box that is), and I don’t wnat to replace it with a “London Drugs Special” system that’ll kinda do what I want, but be still kinda sucky, and I really hate doing what I’m continuing to do which is upgrade bit by bit and have a box stuffed full of parts.  Bleah.  Fingers crossed that replacing the power supply will work anyway, and the damage will be only about $100 🙁