Yes, I've been quiet of late - more on another time - but the last couple of days, I've been up to my eyeballs in computer problems.
And like waiting for a bus, nothing for a while, then they all arrive at once.
Yesterday, Kellie and Molly trundled off to Devon for Harrys 2nd birthday. The downside of this was the "leaving at 0430" part, so at half two that morning, I got up and helped sort out the last bits.
Once the girls were gone, I was at a loose end, so decided that Jaysens laptop - which gets very hot - needed cleaning out. So, being that I hate fixing laptops, I was careful, if not very cautious. Step by step by step. One of my nemesisis (!?) presented itself very early on, and that was ribbon cables - not the hard drive sort, but those without a connector on the end.
Never having dismantled many laptops, I wasn't entirely sure what I was doing, and thought space was very tight. But, none the less, I bless out the loose dust, sucked and brushed out the more stubbon fluff, and started putting it back together again.
The ribbon cables took FOREVER to get back in as space was tight (really tight) and there wasn't much give in the cables.
Forty minutes later/much teeth-gnashing later...
With the cables reconnected and Ty screws in place, I replaced the drives, memory and battery, fired it up, and...
A power light came on, the hard drive sounded like it was spinning up, but nothing. It was dead. All I did was clean out some dust! So out came everything again, disconnected the ribbon cables, made sure everything else was still connected, re-re-connected the cables and put it all back together.
Yes, another three quarters of an hour trying to connect them...
And it was still dead. By ten in the morning, I had bricked my sons laptop.
So I had a wander, stepped away, had a coffee, took a break...
Now, I am certain that I didn't touch ANYTHING or catch anything I shouldn't have. There's no way I broke it just by opening it
Well, unless you looked at the bricked laptop sitting on the side.
So I had a look at a few videos of others dismantling the same model... And I saw where I'd gone wrong from the outset. So I watched and watched how to strip it back.
And proceeded to completely strip it. Let me say at this point, this laptop was a BASTARD to take apart... The heatsink filter on the housing - the part that stops dust and hair and fluff - is SO inaccessible, its not even funny. To get to it, you have to completely remove the motherboard.
Two hours. Two hours of taking it part, disconnecting, unscrewing, dusting, blowing, brushing... Then putting it all back together again. Doing it properly, I should add, made putting the ribbon cables back in simple. Once it was fully assembled, the power button did the trick, and up came Windows
While on a roll, I realise I have to install some software on the boys laptops, and in doing so, have to make sure Windows is up to date.
Again, I have NO idea what I managed to do, bit on Doms laptop, I started getting Blue Screen of Death errors. Which are never ever good.
Safe Mode was throwing them out, normal mode was throwing them... Over and over...
It took me ages to find the problem - an errant driver that was new clashing with another... So o had to uninstall, find the cause, remove the old one, reinstall, find the new one, reinstall... Each un/re install requiring a reboot. No less.
By 1pm, I was tired and pissed off. I had had enough so decided to head upstairs and to carry on tidying up my computer (not my laptop!) which has been out of action for several months, and now was in dire need of updating, patching, removing old software and general maintenance. Nothing stressy, just what I consider to be sodding around on the computer.
It was running a bit slow, but then it was doing a trillion things at.once. This update, that new version, Windows update... Please reboot...
Upon loading, it didn't go to Windows, DSKCHK came up instead... Needing to check the drive integrity and file structure of one of my drives. Which can only mean one thing...
I panic and look to the drive info and while I am relieves its not the main hard drives, its my media drive... Full of music, videos, software.
So it runs its scan and the end result?
No idea, it crashed. Which is usually a way to make a bad sign worse.
So I try again, and it crashes at the same point which makes me think.its a physical error, not a buggered up file.
So I reboot again, skip the check and get some hard drive checking software. It takes an hour, but all the software points to the same thing: the drive is on its way out.
The golden rule of a dying drive? The more you use it, the worse it gets, so avoid using it.
Screw that, I want to save my data. So I go into Safe Mode and start copying everything across to my good drive. Folder after folder with the occasional "file cannot be copied" error, but an hour and a half later, I've saved everything.
I then proceeded to see if the drive was fixable. CHKDSK once more, SeaTools (Windows AND DOS!) a format...
Several hours later: its officially dead. Nothing fixed it, nothing would finalise it, nothing at all would repair it.
Pissed off, I huff downstairs, check.my mobile out the way - and notice the Internet is off. ANOTHER hour spent looking at settings, spent configuring and reconfiguring, spent checking and going over stuff... And ended up with a Factory Reset and re-entering all the settings..
And voila! Internet. Still have NO idea what happened, but still...
I spent last night flopped on the sofa, watching CSI with Dom.
This morning, I plonk my way downstairs, sit at my laptop and fire it up...
Disc Error. Run CHKDSK...
This time, its my main drive. I'm pissed off up to the eyeballs.
This error was at 0730. It's now 1400 and DSKCHK is done, errors repaired, apparently fixed. But I'm going to run some more scans now, just to make sure...
If you read down this far, well done. I'm at my wits end with computers at the moment, so now, CSI is back on.
The final straw? I seem to be missing several of my CSI box sets.
Couldn't make it up really.