Busy busy

The new computer had a few hiccups, which have had me frustrated and preoccupied for the last couple of days. I think they are sorted for now. The problems included:

Corrupted downloads (cab errors when trying to install programs like MSN Messenger which did not allow me to install the program, unable to install Java to use my online banking), screen freezes, corrupted images when browsing – these were traced back to the damned NVidia firewall which I had installed with my chipset drivers. Apparently the firewall somehow corrupts some downloads – in this case my chipset drivers – it was a bugger to work out what was causing my problems. Luckily after a long time trying to work out what the hell was causing the stability/corruption problems (with a sinking feeling that I may have to resort to the dreaded reformat) I stumbled on a forum where people reported similar problems, and had fixed them by uninstalling the NVidia firewall. Uninstalled chipset drivers and firewall, reinstalled chipset drivers minus firewall – seems to have fixed those stability/corruption problems. Advice to anyone buying the ASUS A8N-SLI motherboard – do NOT install the NVidia firewall unless you want lots of headaches.

Upon booting up I would get this error come up: “Channel 1 no 80 conductor cable installed”. I had no idea what the hell that meant. Lots of research and emails to my brother revealed that my dvd burner was probably trying to run at a higher DMA mode than the current cable (40 conductor) allowed. My motherboard did come with an 80 conductor cable, which I used instead – alas! This caused my motherboard to not even detect the dvd drive. Well, yesterday I bought a new 80 conductor cable for $10 and it’s all fixed now – no more errors on bootup, the drive is detected correctly and it’s running at Ultra DMA 4 mode. This problem was also frustrating to troubleshoot, as I had to stuff around with checking power connections, IDE cable connections etc. It looks as if the 80 conductor cable that came with my motherboard is faulty. At least a new cable wasn’t too expensive. Once again, though, more time wasted troubleshooting.

My front intake case fan began making a loud clicking sound overnight (Wednesday night). It was noisy upon startup (when the fan started spinning), and noisy upon shutdown (as the fan stopped spinning). It was a bitch to sort this one out because I had to open up both side panels of the case to be able to remove the front of the case to access the fan to check it out. It turned out that one of the little LED lights on the fan was brushing up against the fan blades when they spun. A manual spin with finger reproduced the clicking sound but it wasn’t obvious that the LED was coming into contact with the blades. It was just a hunch that led me to gently and carefully bend back the LED panels away from the blades to see if that had any effect. Amazingly, it did the trick. No more clicking noise. Thank goodness – I was all ready to RMA the fan. I’ll see if the problem reoccurs (hopefully not). What a pain in the arse.

The first time I opened up the side panel of the case when testing out the motherboard-supplied (faulty) 80 conductor cable, Pixel came running in and I saw her little eyes light up with interest at the moving fans and lights in the case. Cats and moving parts in a computer? Not a good combination. I also thought it would be a good idea to avoid getting cat hair in the case if possible. So when tinkering with the computer I would keep my study door closed. Unfortunately, both cats were very indignant about this and protested together from the other side of the door. It’s very funny to hear their voices, Pixel’s a little higher than Billy Lee’s, in stereo, together. But then it gets annoying (I get annoyed with hearing them waaaaaay before they get sick of meowing). Anyway… fingers crossed I won’t be having to open up the case for more tinkering for a while.

So back to what I should be doing.

I have to write an abstract for a paper I hope to present at a seminar being held at uni in November, and I also have to keep working on the chapter I have been working on for the last… ages. My supervisor wants a draft of the chapter submitted to her next Friday or early the following week.

In other news, I bought a copy of Magnum P.I. – The Complete First Season for $24.98, marked down from $75.99 from JB Hifi. What a score! I loved this show as a kid. For those people who emailed me and asked for the baked cheese cake recipe, my mum is sending it to me, and I will post it when I’ve received it. Not sure if this weekend will provide food pornography opportunities, but the next weekend definitely will (stay tuned). Anyway, it’s time to get to work.

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