I’ve had a long break from blogging.

Mainly because I’ve have had some major computer hardware issues. My main system packed it in. The system had been intermittantly crashing for some time. However the crashes were so random I was unable to determine the cause of the fault. Of course I attempted to rectify the problem. I kept replacing power supply units because that seemed to reduce the incidents. But in the end, no amount of power supply replacement allowed the system to remain functional.

What happens, is that the monitor will go off. At the same time the hard disk drive indicator lights up steadly. Thats it. Complete loss of all functions. Resulting in a forced reboot. Microsoft error reporting is activated on reboot. Which rarely is able to identify the cause of the problem.

The best I could get from Microsoft is that an error had occured in a Video Device driver. Microsoft suggested to turn down the acceleration.

Most of the time the error reporting reports back to Microsoft without any feedback whatsoever.

Interestingly I have been playing with multiple monitors for some time prior to the crashes. So of course when Microsoft reports to me its a video driver fault. I assumed that they were probably right. So I just put up with the crashes rather than remove my extra video card(s).

But looks like they were wrong.

Even with one monitor the system displays the same problems. In fact, last time I checked, it will crash within 5 mins when under load. On a totally fresh install from CD. (So unlikely to be malware unless it got in the bios?) I doubt its the cpu causing the problem because the Intel 3.0 Ghz processor has never been overclocked and I always maintained dust buildup. My money (literally) is on the MSI 865GM2 motherboard. I have ordered a replacement. (Not MSI either)

This system has always crashed at random intervals. Even though I purchased it new. So in future I will be wary of MSI. After looking up the 865GM2 on the net. I have a feeling that the 865GM2 has some issues.

So.. That was annoying to loose my main machine. But it didn’t stop me. Because here I am again. :) Bigger and better than ever?

Well. No. In fact the blog is smaller than ever. In fact we have stepped back in time.

This is the way it worked. The mainboard crashed. But all my data was intact on a 200 GB Western Digital IDE hard disk. I had burned a dvd back in October 2008 that contained all my website work. The 200 GB drive isn’t compatible with the systems I have left. So it remained in the cupboard until I can replace the 865GM2 with something.

Of course I had a problem. I could turn one of the XP boxes into a http server. Quite frankly running servers on XP although possible is damn annoying. So I built a Fedora Core 2 linux machine from a 466 Celeron and some old linux discs I had lying around.

So your not connected to an XP box anymore. :)

I avoided blogging because I wanted to get all my data upto date. Yet here I am and the data is (self confessed) out of date by three or four months.

I did attempt to get the data from the 200 Gig copied to a dvd. Unfortunately the person (nameless) who ‘helped’ me wanted to do it ‘In a couple of days’. So the drive was left with him. I instructed him to hook it up and burn the data. I told him how important this drive was to me. In fact initially I refused to ‘leave it with him’ prefering to do it some other way. But in the end I relented and left the drive there.

What a mistake. The nameless person’s computer apparently wasn’t compatible with the hard disk. So he spend one and a half days downloading all kinds of interesting utilities and trying them out on my 200 Gig. When I picked up the hard disk he informed me ‘Not to use NTFS’ because.. um.. he doesn’t use or like it. So obviously he tried all his ‘neat’ utilities from a FAT32 filesystem.

My 200 Gig now ‘thinks’ its a 139 Gig drive. I dunno what he done to it. But he has completely lost all my work, programs, mp3’s, website, blog data, important phone numbers and passwords.

There is a moral to this story. Keep regular backups and DONT trust a backyard computer expert to do the right thing. I should have seen it coming. I knew this guy wasn’t as savvy as he made out. But I was in a hurry to get the website back to normal.

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