Computer trials and tribulations!

Mar 31

Well – I know I work in IT but really! Sometimes I properly hate computers…

A while back I rebuilt my machine at home with a new motherboard, memory and groovy dual core processor. It had had an AMD single core in there and without too much hassle I had a much better performing machine. (Well after a motherboard failure, memory issues, and ending up with one more motherboard than required but that is history!)

The computer performs well enough – photoshop, lightroom, games of not too modern a nature. But I twigged (after a long time) that only one core was showing in task manager performance. And this went hand in hand when the computer would hang on certain operations – like starting up outlook – when you might think a core 2 duo would easily cope.

And as it turns out my machine has been running at half mast!

So I turn to the internet to help with the problem – it turns out when you go from single to dual core, windows XP may need to be re(pair)installed. There is something called the HAL (hardware abstraction layer) which is not reconfigurable any other way. So I tried a few suggestions that claimed to avoid reinstall on the internet, changing a file here and there, disabling my machine in the process. One restore of the files I had moved in windows safe mode later, I realised I needed to do it the proper way.

So I got my windows XP install disc, did a repair install of windows and after a few oddities – couple of hangs, couple of crashes – just kept retrying – got windows back. Then I had to patch it back up and this was a nightmare. Windows update just didn’t work, so I downloaded service pack 3 off the microsoft site (no mean feat to find).

That wasn’t much help as it wouldn’t install without SP2 (contrary to what I thought it said on the MS site).

So got SP2 and installed that, took several tries as it kept hanging. For hours during the install. Turns out there was a process running that conflicted with SP” installation – when I killed that process off in task manager it worked like a dream. SP3 then installed on top.

Great. Except some of my software wanted to go to the internet to revalidate (presumably because of the changes to windows) and they couldn’t, as something had killed my internet connection.

This led to a very frustrating period of unistalling, reinstalling, and again of the driver for the WLAN. I stopped the zero configuration utility service as advised and got occasional connections but flaky and rather oddly seemed to only work every other time  I logged in. And then not at all. Oddly it was particularly unhappy if, on the occasions when it was working, I tried to open up an internet browser with lots of simultaneous connections (8 or so). It would freeze the PC. Also, removing the USB cable, or uninstalling the driver would blue screen the PC too!

Eventually I gave up and tried another wlan adapter from linksys and after getting the drivers via another computer everything seems (fingers crossed) fine.

So a multitude of problems! Still at least now I have my dual core running on all (well both) cylinders, and I avoided a having to do a fresh install of windows XP.

I did think of upgrading to VISTA but as I didn’t know if my rather old version of CUBASE SX was compatible I didn’t want to risk it (or the ¬£400 upgrade to a VISTA compatible version!)

But anyway – it’s working now. Yay!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *