It was already before my trip to the Czech Republic. In the evening, one or two days before my departure, the screen of my computer in Vienna suddenly began to flicker, and then it went black. A crash, I thought. Happens rarely with Windows 7, I thought.
Well, it turned out that rebooting didn’t help. After a few minutes the screen simply turned black, and from then on the computer wouldn’t boot at all.
What now? I could rule out the monitor. The most likely culprit was the graphics card, an ATI Radeon 4870.
When I had bought the computer, some HP Pavillion, I was sick of building my own computers. I just wanted to go into a shop, buy one and use it.
I quickly learned that I was wrong. I had expected to need a new graphics card, but of course I also needed a new power supply, and in the end the case was so crammed, that I couldn’t add RAM without removing the graphics card. Even worse, I couldn’t remove the graphics card without removing the power supply first. Theoretically there would have been enough space for my third hard drive, but in order to put it into its regular bay, I would have had to, well, probably tear apart the whole case itself. Thus I just jammed the drive into the case and fixed it with a cable binder.
You see, this computer was thermically encumbered and I always wondered how it could work at all without overheating. Fact is it did. Knowing about the danger, I had already bought a nice Coolermaster replacement case (same as in Carinthia), but of course I shied away from actually using it. Now I guess I have to.
That’s how my computer looks at the moment. Of course I could have just put everything into the case, but there are some tiny problems left. The motherboard is an OEM board custom made by Asus for HP. Thus Asus does not support it, after all it has been made to the specifications of HP, but HP doesn’t support it either, because they feel that as a customer you are not entitled to replace parts of your computer. Seemingly the correct way is to just buy a new one.
The experiment of last night was to put the parts together, connect the power switch, reset switch, power LED and HD LED and see if it works. It does, although without documentation I will not be able to connect the front audio connectors.
Apart from that I’ll also need a new card reader. The one that came with the HP case works perfectly fine, but of course it is a non-standard size that won’t fit into anything but that particular HP case.
Whatever. The message is, if you think you can save time or money by buying a computer at the next electronics dealer, forget it. They are under-powered, have useless graphics cards and are made to be non-extensible. Apart from that you have to buy another Windows license, even if you already have one.
The Song of the Day is once again “Everything Is Broken“. I already had it in “777 – Everything Is Broken“, but this time it is not Bob Dylan singing, this time it is Ben Sidran on his 2009 album “Dylan Different”. Hear it on YouTube.