Friday, January 8, 2010

Risen From The Ashes Like The Phoenix

Wow! What a way to start the New Year.
Started out in ashes but ended up like the rise of the Phoenix.
Day after New Years I turned on my computer. It powered on then off. Turned it on again. Powered off.

Time to troubleshoot it. First thing I did was disconnect all my drives, Ram and video card.
Tried powering it on. Few seconds later it powered off. Only thing left is the power plug on the motherboard for the cpu. Disconnected the connector and turned on the computer.
Powered on and cpu and case fans spun up and continued spinning. Hmmm??
Turned it off, disconnected the power supply and did voltage tests on it. Tested good.
That meant either the motherboard or cpu was shorted out.

To old to update it. It was a cheap closeout combo I bought online about 3 years ago.
A micro-atx motherboard with a 3.0 Ghz single core AMD Sempron cpu and 512 Megs of DDR Ram.
It was only a matter of time until it died. Unfortunately it happened right after the holidays.
Made a few phone calls to get a loaner until I could order new parts. Here's where the story really begins.

Got a loaner motherboard and cpu. I was using an AMD setup. This was an Intel based motherboard with a 3.0 Ghz Dual Core cpu and 512 Megs of DDR2 Ram. What's going to happen to my Linux install or the XP I have installed on a small slave drive that I use when helping people still using XP?
Time to find out.

I picked up the loaner board. I must make a note here that the heatsink mounts on Intel cpu's is very cheesy and cheap. Reason I say this is because the heatsink had been removed and I had to redo the heatsink thermal compound then mount the heatsink. Put the loaner board in my case and fired it up.
Booted into Linux and held my breath.

Linux starts it's normal boot up routine but just before it boots in to the desktop it sits on the splash screen. Uh-Oh! But another 30 seconds later it finishes the boot and there is my desktop. I check everything out including the network card. It all works!
No downloading drivers or uninstalling old ones. Linux reconfigured itself during the boot to use the new hardware it found. Amazing.

For fun I restarted and booted from the grub menu into XP. That didn't fair to well.
Blue screened with a Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap. Oh well! I didn't expect anything less. LMAO!!
No big loss. Going to eventually run XP in Virtual Box anyway.
So I reboot back into Linux.

Meanwhile I ordered a new Asus AM3 socket mobo, AMD 2.8 Ghz Dual Core cpu and 2 Gigs of DDR3 1333 Ram. It arrived yesterday and I installed it last night. That meant removing the Intel board and installing a new AMD board with a dual core cpu. How will Linux fair with this 2nd change in under a week?

Got everything installed and powered it up. Linux boots up and gets to the last part of the splash screen before the desktop. Sits there for about 20 seconds and there is my desktop and all my software.
Totally amazing. What's more amazing is that it found the 7.0 surround sound audio chip and network adapter chip both of which are built into the motherboard. And for once my 5.1 surround sound speakers work properly in Linux.

Again I had to do nothing for all my hardware to be installed or configured. No installing drivers, no reinstalling OS, no nothing other then boot up and get ready to use it.
As for the new hardware performance?
Fast!!! As in extreme speed.
When I originally bought the AM3 socket mobo I had plans to possibly update to a quad core later in the year. Forget that! This dual core is more then sufficient.

The only thing I will need to upgrade is my power supply. I have 2 brand new Sata hard drives waiting to be installed but my power supply only has 2 Sata power connectors on it which are already in use. I looked at the price of IDE to Sata power adapters but the price of 4 of them including shipping is about 35% of a new good quality 600 watt power supply. It's not the price of the cables that they get you on. It's the S&H charges that kill you.

So from the ashes the Phoenix has risen. It's my new pc that is now flying with jet engines instead of propellers.
I plan to do some stress testing on the new hardware by trying some video conversions and rendering some Blender 3D scenes.

Catch you later if I don't overshoot this page.
It turned out to be a Happy New Year after all.



rokytnji said...

Niiiiiice Taz. I am Green with Envy.

My big purchase for 2010.

One of those old ergonomic Microsoft Keyboards with the cable that splits into a Y with one end PS1 and the other end USB, Salvation Army Price, $2.00

Linux picked up a few of the zillion functions on this keyboard.

TaZMAn said...

Green with envy Rok?
I'm the one green with envy because of all the computers you have. LOL!!
And a netbook to boot!

Man that's an old keyboard you got there but it was a great price.

I've been trying out the 64 bit Ubuntu just for the experience. Even installed the Flash plugin which is nothing more then copy and paste. The 64 bit Live is as fast as the 32 bit installed. Very tempting. LOL!!

So what goody functions does that keyboard have? Sounds interesting.


rokytnji said...

Top row small round buttons
Prev Track
Next Track

Far right top
My Computer

Between Windows Super Key and Cntrl
I think there is a Hotkey for Notepad (it is a symbol)

Every thing else looks standard, but is broke into sections and keyboard is wavy like a ocean wave since it is ergonomic. It is HUGE and takes getting used to.

Shoot. You got enough room to run 64 bit along side 32 bit on another
partition. Heck. I have Windows 2000 Pro (for running Bike tuning software), AntiX 8.2,8.5 Beta,8.5 Beta 3, 8.5 Beta 4 (all testing for AntiX developers), Puppy 4.31, all on a 80 gig HD on my IBM T23 and still have 16 gig of unallocated space to play with. So if I can fit all that on 80 gig. Heck you get the idea.

d0od said...

Go with 64bit, go on ;)