Monday, January 17, 2011

The end of the mother-in-law board

As of my last blog entry, I was waxing philosophical having replaced every single part of my mother-in-laws computer but was feeling confident that putting in a heat sink for the CPU would be the coup de grace. It turns out that I was a tad optimistic—but only a tad.

Sunday afternoon, I installed the heat sink, powered-up, and it booted into BIOS. That wasn't quite as veni, vidi, vici as it sounds. To put in a heat sink, you have to put in the heat sink bracket. This requires removing the motherboard and reinstalling it. Fortunately, what was once an act of dark magic to me has become a piece of cake having done it repeatedly. Repetition is the mother of learning. I seem to have heard that somewhere.

But I booted it, it came up in BIOS, and it stayed there instead of turning itself off in a fit of pique. I then looked at the settings, pressed escape to exit like it told me to, and then—the bastard—told me to power-down and reset the jumper so I could boot for real. This was something of a disappointment in my new motherboard, as the ancient motherboard that I am running Windows Home Server on did not require a jumper reset to boot for real. Oh well.

Anyway, I did that, pressed the button on the DVD-ROM drive so that I could put in my Windows install disk, and nothing happened. Nada. Zip.

I came to the conclusion that my DVD-ROM drive was a dud, so I headed over to the Best Buy in Joplin today to get another one. The cheapest they had was over $50.

As we teach our children, "Just say no!"

You can get them for under $20 on the Internet. I will pay a few dollars for convenience, but I decided I could wait a week for $30.

In the meantime, I'd been thinking. I've always been taught never to force anything. This is a good idea in general, but I began to wonder whether in plugging in my power lead on the DVD-ROM I hadn't been firm enough. I went back to my mother-in-law's today and reinstalled the DVD-ROM, this time being a little more firm.

To spare you my rendition of Also Sprach Zarathustra, let me just say that my mother-in-law has her computer up and running again. The power cord is the only part that is the same, but hey, it works.

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