My home PC — not even two years old yet! — has decided to die. Either that it wants to kill me.
First the power supply fan started making a grinding noise. Blowing out a pile of dust didn’t fix it, so I got a new power supply. That seemed to go in unusually well. I should have known that the Fates were marking me for trouble.
While installing the power supply I stuck in the replacement for the backup disk which had gone bad a few months ago. Then I fired up the hardware RAID to mirror the main disk. It wouldn’t. I tried a lot, lot, lot of things, finally finding a software product that told me the old disk didn’t want sector 1 read. That is potentially very bad – sector 1, if I recall, is where the disk keeps its partition info. The first step in a solution, if solution there be, was to run CHKDSK /r (scanning for bad sectors).
So I ran CHKDSK /r. Took a while. Found a bad cluster in one old file, otherwise was no excitement.
Rebooted. And now my display is all funny. The text is corrupted even during the bootup process. Once I get into Windows XP, there are funny lines everywhere. Not good.
So turn it all off, unplug, reseat the ATI 9800 AIW video card, check wires, change the oil (no, wait, that was last month when I was fixing the generator, different story). Fire it up again.
Now there are blocks of rainbow along the bottom half of the display when I boot up. And, once in Windows, the entire display is corrupted with a sort of moire vertical line pattern at every resolution except 1024 in which only the right half of the display is corrupted.
I’ve checked the monitor and the cord and they display perfectly off a different computer.
So I think my AGP video card is fried. And even though it’s probably inside the warranty period, I bought a modded one with a silent Zalman heatpipe and fan, and I would imagine that this just might void the warranty.
I will call ATI help soon, but they’ve never been any use in the past (“reinstall the latest drivers” “but I did that twice before calling” “reinstall the latest drivers”). So now I have to find a reasonably fast AGP video card that doesn’t make too much of a racket.
And then I can go back to worrying that my disk is about to crash.