So, my computer is broken.

Well, not completely. It started a couple weeks ago, I turned my computer on and it wouldn’t boot, the HD LED came on, the Power LED didn’t and all the fans started spinning. Holding the power button turned it off. I checked for loose connections but found nothing so I reset the CMOS. This time it booted with the message “CMOS checksum error, settings loaded from defaults” (or similar), I hit F1 as instructed and it continued to load windows.

A week later the same happened, and again two days after that. Now it won’t boot up without me clearing the CMOS each and every time. This wouldn’t be a huge problem except that now I have to take the battery out to get it to boot rather than using the jumpers and my 8800GT graphics card is so big it covers the CMOS battery so that has to come out as well. Fortunately I can still put it in standby[1] so I don’t have to leave it fully powered up all the time.

Thanks go to the people on The How to Geek forums for helping me narrow the fault down to the PSU or the Motherboard. However without a spare PSU of a suitable rating to test (and a hunch that is is the motherboard anyway) I have decided that now is the time to do a major upgrade and make the jump to a Core i7 system[2]. While I’m at it I will be replacing my naff and rattly case and, well I’ll be replacing almost everything, I don’t think even Trigger’s broom argument could call it the same computer as the only original part will be one of the hard drives [3].

Anyway, I intend to specify and order the parts this weekend. And will post to say how I get on, probably with pictures when I start putting it together.

Old Computer:
Mobo – ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe
CPU – AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ (not overclocked)
RAM – 2*2GB OCZ 667MHz DDR2
GPU – 8800GT 512MB
PSU – 600W FSP Group

New Computer:
Mobo – ?
CPU – Core i7 920
RAM – ?
GPU – 8800GT 512MB (keeping it for the time being to save money)
PSU – ?

Oh well, every cloud has a silver lining. In this case an expensive Core i7 lining.


[1] Or sleep as they now call it in Vista, presumably for the same reason they changed the name of everything else whatever that may be.
[2] hell its not like that money sitting in my bank account is getting me any interest, thank you Gordon brown.
[3] And maybe the “onboard” wifi from the original motherboard which it turns out is just sat in one of the USB headers anyway.


2 Responses to “So, my computer is broken.”

  1. March 26, 2009 at 16:02

    My first computer is not quite a year old so I haven’t experienced this yet.

    Sounds like a nice system you’re putting together. I have an 8800GT and it can still hold its own at the moment.

  2. March 27, 2009 at 10:29

    Yeah, I figure that with most games being cross platform and therefore poorly optimised for PC hardware it isn’t worth upgrading the GPU just yet as most games hardly use it these days.

    When I do upgrade the GPU I intend to keep the 8800GT as a dedicated PhysX card, this is causing me grief in picking a PSU though as I want a modular 650W with multiple PCIe power connectors. I think I might just have to make do with adaptors to get the extra PCIe connectors when I need it.

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