I have waited over twenty four hours before writing this entry. I am distressed. I am upset. I have killed the main PC!
It would seem that the data is intact, so that’s not my worry. However, this was a custom PC, built on my kitchen table and office floor. I don’t want to start over.
The back story goes like this. My PCs were too noisy. As I mentioned a few days ago, I ordered some quieter cooling from Zalman. It’s an ingenious design, and my auxiliary machine is a few orders of magnitude quieter than it was. A very pleasing outcome.
Last night, I attempted the same surgery on the main computer. Since the main PC has a slower CPU, throwing off less heat, this technique should have worked even more efficiently. Everything went together with no trouble. It’s really a simple swap.
And then, I turned the PC on.
Instead of the series of beeps I normally hear, the computer set out a continuous set of two second beeps followed by four seconds of silence (I had originally written 2+2 but just actually timed it). The computer would not boot.
I have checked all the connections and reseated both the video card and memory. Nothing. I got the same result after resetting the BIOS.
If it were the new fan causing these problems, hitting the Insert key should have brought the computer to a state where I could work on it. It won’t.
At this moment, pieces of the computer are sitting on my office floor and I am befuddled. It could be the memory, or CPU, or the motherboard itself? I don’t know. And, though most of the motherboard beeps are documented, this one doesn’t seem to fit the patterns that are listed.
I’m not sure where to go – other than the state of denial I now sit in.
I could just order a new CPU and motherboard, giving myself a speedier, newer PC in one fell swoop. The problem is, this machine is built around a RAID. Without going into the technical minutiae, two disk drives are acting as one to allow speedier access for video. But, without the RAID controller the data on these two drives is useless and unaccessible.
Though a few years old, it’s still possible to buy this motherboard (Soyo SY-K7V Dragon Plus) and the dated CPU that plugs in. And, even though that would mean sticking with an older computer, that might be what I do.
At this point I can’t do anything, because I haven’t isolated the problem. Later today I will try and force myself into troubleshooting mode – though it really is painful.
There is a rule of modern machinery that fits this situation: “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken.”