Technology hates me.

So I’ve had a hell of a couple of days with technology.

My TV PC (The one next to the TV for streaming and so on) has been acting up – resetting and basically being very loud so I thought I’d replace the motherboard. I had the same motherboard in my main PC and in the wifes PC and both are flakey as hell – lots of random resets and in the wifes case sometimes a point blank refusal to boot up. I replaced my mother board and all the problems went away – apparently these are the cheapiest of the cheap motherboards and the QA on them leaves alot to be desired.

Annnnyway, I replaced the motherboard (while replacing my DVD burner which also went out), then restarted the machine and then found that it reset even faster than it used to. And the noise was coming from the powersupply. So I cannablised another PC’s powersupply, hooked that in (and that’s no mean feat with this shuttle like configuration) and viola, it works.

*sigh*, that means I have to replace the power supply as well, and have to special order it because it’s a weird shape for the shuttle box.

As if that wasn’t enough, I bought a new Terrabyte drive for my file server – I have almost 2T on that box already but ran out of space (don’t ask. They aren’t even my files! It’s a lie officer! etc etc), so I bought a new 1T driver for $200 from Frys (which is a good deal by the way). It arrived today and I rubbed my hands and got installing it.

And then stopped dead. The PCI SATA driver card I have just won’t read the drive. Just stops the boot process dead. Damn. Now what?

So I start reading up on the card. It’s got an old bios! Hooray! Lets down load the new one, flash it and off we go. According the instructions I’ll need a new driver as well but that’s ok, I can do that too.

However the flash program for windows just doesn’t work. No joy at all. Bugger. I try jiggling the drivers to the latest ones to see if that fixes it – but windows doesn’t want to install the. In the end I force it, and as a result it no longer sees the card at all. Bugger. Roll back.
Now what?

Hmm, there’s a DOS based flash utility, perhaps that’ll work. Now, how to get XP to boot to DOS? Well, this box does have a floppy in it (it’s an old box) and I *happen* to have some fresh floppies here. Lets try that.

But Mais Non! The drive won’t format the floppy as a boot disc. In fact it won’t do anything. FFS.

As it happens I also happen to have on hand a floppy drive I bought a year ago for another such situation. Lets try that. Hooray, it works! It won’t format this disc, but lets try another. Joy! A good format, and I can copy the flash program and the binary onto it. Lets boot and see what happens.

And look at that! I got in. Does it flash correctly? No. Fuck. Why? Ah, it’s telling me the device numbers and so on, but apparently it requires them as passed in params to actually work. How dumb is that? It knows the numbers – it displays them, – but unless you pass them in it won’t work. Jesus.

Anyway, right, it works. The machine now boots and the SATA card recognises the new 1T drive. Progress.

But wait – it’s an old driver and once again windows doesn’t recognise the card at all. Hmmm, ok, well lets force the new drivers in there, that should fix it.

Reboot. No go. Still no card. Jesus Wept – at least he did if he had to fart around like this.

On last ditch idea. Lets go and use windows update and see if it finds newer drivers because the card has been flashed.

Well what do you know – it does. And now the 1T drive is recognised by windows. Finally, after 4 hours of farting around and trying things.

I hate computers and quite patently, they hate me too. This is 2008, we should be past all this crap by now.

Pass me the abacus.

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