Building a New Computer

In my world, computers tell you that they want to die.  They start doing something a little odd as an initial warning and then get progressively more troublesome.  I had been contemplating the replacement of my system for a while but recently, the CPU cooling packed up completely and I was stuck between getting some replacement parts or getting on with the new system.  I went the latter route.  This was helped by having a bunch of components on the old system that had been upgrades and could easily transplant across to the new machine.  This reduced what I needed to buy.

Things did not end up being plain sailing sadly.  I built up the system and got everything ready to run.  A press of the button and nothing happened.  In fact, that isn’t quite true.  There was a brief whirr from the power supply followed by a tiny wisp of smoke.  Great!  A dodgy power supply to start with.  Fortunately, the supply on the old system was good.  It didn’t have as many power plugs and the new one but enough to do the job.  However, the system still didn’t seem to be enthusiastic about starting up.  I gave up and visited a local computer place and they had a quick look.  It turns out my first problem was that a motherboard gets tied in to an OS installation and, since I was now on a new motherboard, it didn’t like the old drive.  That means a clean install which is a bit more time consuming.  However, that did not end the trouble.  The guys in the store couldn’t see anything else wrong so I decided to leave it with them for a longer look.

A problem connector proved to be the issue and then it was a simple process to get the installation of everything done.  Things seemed to be running fine for a while but then, when processing some video, it just shut down.  I thought it might be a memory error so ran a program called Memtest.  it came up with no issues.  I tweaked the BIOS settings for the memory but still it would get upset when working too hard.  I re-ran Memtest and changed it from Default setting to multi-threading and then it quickly failed.  A bit more information but still no solution.

Another trip to the shop and I left it with them.  They tried using one of their power supplies and it passed all of the tests with flying colors.  Turns out old power supplies degrade and often don’t have their full juice anymore.  A new unit with plenty of oomph and now I have the machine up and running.  it chews through things with relative ease.  I have also avoided reinstalling anything superfluous so we have a nice lean machine – at least for now.  Not sure I would build my own machine in future.  It was cheaper and gave me exactly what I wanted but it was a lot more effort than I had planned.  The extra to buy it might be worth it.

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