|Friday, December 7th, 2001|
Blah. Is too late, should be in bed, but wanted to make entry before doing so.
So the power supply finally arrives. Woo! I get it in, plug it in, pull my computer apart to get the graphics card out (apparently the card I want is arriving at the resellers tomorrow - they said to call and order it directly, and I shall, and get it delivered fast, too :P) and turn the computer on and nothing happens.
Well, okay. Maybe I've got something badly seated. I pull out the only other PCI card - soundcard - reseat the graphics card, reseat the RAM, try again.
I don't want to touch the CPUs because they were tough enough to get in the first time, and I doubt they're the problem. So I start pulling the rest out and finally get a beep code. Aha! What does the beep code mean?
This is when I find out that Tyan doesn't provide beep codes for the Tiger MP.
A little more testing, I find out it doesn't care if there's a gfx card, it only beeps if there's no RAM. Hrm. Eventually I end up going over to the person next door and browsing their site with her computer. Well, turns out that since it's ECC RAM, the Tiger wants to scan it before even initializing the graphics card, to make sure it's good. Okay then! I turn it on, leave it on, and woo! . . . a different beep code.
I do determine that the delay time is cut in half with only one stick of memory, though. Seems logical. Next step! . . . to the public computers to contact Minotaur's tech support.
After a rather fruitless half hour, we locate a FAQ page that says sometimes the RAM is hard to get in (ironic, huh?) Unfortuately I have dinner at that point, and then I have class, so two hours later I finally get back to it. Yeah, that RAM *doesn't* look fully in . . . I try pushing on the top of it. No luck. Well, what the hey, it's still under warranty, right? I push REAL hard, hear a CLICK, and feel it shift about a millimeter further down.
This time it boots. Finally!
Well, waste half an hour plugging things in (and testing) . . . had a little problem that one of my IDE cables isn't quite long enough. Not sure it's making good contact . . . if I have problems I'll have to move a few hard drives around. Not the end of the world.
So it's finally time to install. Set the SCSI BIOS to boot off the CD-ROM, set the CMOS to do the same thing, put the WinXP cd in, and watch it die! NTLDR not found.
Fruitless hour spent playing with CDs.
Win2k wouldn't work either. Win98se would, but if I tried to boot the WinXP or 2k installer off 98 commandline, it said it wasn't running under Windows. Well, um, no. I tried booting off my old hard drive, and after trying to reinstall most of a computer (not pretty), I didn't have SCSI drivers. (Guess what both my CD-ROM drives are.)
So I went over to a friend's to get a boot disk and a spare Win2k CD. Came back . . . same deal. Finally I ended up playing with settings in the SCSI, and after changing one random setting that I still don't know what it did, it worked! And winXP installed.
And finally I have a working computer.
It needs a LOT more work to get it friendly again - need to get f@h set up as a service, need to get watchcat up and running, need to set up the start menu how I like it. But it's a working computer, and GODS is it fast. Opens mIRC almost instantly. I opened edonkey2000 - a process which involves it reading and hashing about 600mb of data - finished surprisingly fast. Closed it, reopened it, and timed it at a whopping eight seconds. After I stopped gaping I tried to duplicate the feat with Zidrav and succeeded.
However, now I'm finding that once it gets past 200mb it slows to a relatively sedate 20mb/sec.
I can only wonder how much it's caching. Windows task manager informs me that I have 730mb of free physical memory . . .
oh, this is sweet indeed.
Now I'll stop bragging for a bit :)
(but it's *running*!)
current mood: ecstatic
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