It all started on Monday. My dad called Monday night with a computer problem. This, quite thankfully, is quite rare. It was also in the middle of me being online with Patch finishing off my latest defeat in ASL. >.<

Anyway, he had picked up a really obnoxious scareware program, that had also locked off access to the internet. It was very easy to find out which one it was, but the recommended cures did not get it back on line so the program could rooted out with a dedicated utility. (The settings that it changed were easy to reset, but it still didn’t get back online.) Eventually, I thought to have him revert to recent restore point, which put the system back in a state before the scareware was installed. This thankfully worked. Two hours gone, I stayed up a bit late, and really dragged on Tuesday.

Getting home, there was good news, packages from Amazon and NewEgg had arrived. Amazon was a couple of books, which I don’t get to buy too often. NewEgg was my new mouse (I have been struggling with a mouse with an intermittent left button for entirely too long) and Smudge’s copy of Windows 7. About four days is a nice improvement over the three weeks that the last package from NewEgg took.

And then Smudge’s machine, Micca, died Tuesday evening. It was technically operating, but suddenly it was taking forever to load programs, and there were a lot of slowdowns inside of programs (like changing zones inside of WoW); all the while, the CPU was sitting at 1 or 2% activity. The file system had finally blown up again, and it was taking forever to retrieve data off the drive.

Micca had died less than two weeks before I had blocked out time to rebuild Micca—hopefully into an all new machine. I had recently inherited some some parts (motherboard, processor, RAM) from a friend at work, and about I knew about them is that they were on a more modern platform than Micca’s (Socket 939 to AM2). Sadly, the parts had spent some time just hanging from a doorknob in a bag (on an active door…). So, I traded out the parts (including a more modern graphics card that we inherited elsewhere) and started it up. The power came on, the fans started up. But nothing else happened, and I could hear a fan constantly spinning up and down.

Something was wrong.

Trading out video cards for a more primitive one got rid of the problem with the fan (was probably the video card fan, then) but still nothing else. The motherboard was quite likely dead. I contemplated just buying a replacement board, but the first thing to do was to find out just what kind of CPU was under that heat sink. Sadly, it turned out to be a single-core Athlon 64. It’s a more modern chip, but at a lower speed, and with half the cores of Micca. So, it’s back to the old hardware. What to do with 4 GB of DDR2 RAM…?

So, Micca is back with a new video card and Windows 7. Same hard drives, with a wipe and rework, so that will bear keeping an eye on. Win7 did mention that the data drive (the one with all the blowups) had an unsupported version of NTFS. Yeah. Okay, no more third-party partitioning software, even if the OS is refusing to see the entire drive (the original problem that led to all this frustration).

The hardware took up Wednesday, and Thursday was the initial install of Win7 on Micca. Friday night was raid night on WoW, which went smoothly, though the microphone wasn’t working yet.

Friday was also when we found out our rent check bounced. Everything had gone exactly as it should, except my deposit into the house account had gotten a 10-day hold on the check. Saturday had a fair amount of time wasted with me going back and forth, trying to figure out what happened, and getting a money order made and delivered to the landlord. Wells Fargo says the money went out of the account on schedule on the 4th. Chase is saying that Wells held it. >.<

Considering that I saw the money go out of my account on-line during this period, and the records are in accordance with Wells, I’m believing them over Chase at the moment.

Oh, and I spend three hours on Saturday trying to get Smudge’s Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro to work properly. I eventually found someone on the Creative forums has been working with the installers and getting all the old driver packages to install properly on modern systems. That got a lot of more detailed control panels, and some utilities I’m not familiar with active. The ports on the external box are active, but the controls, like the volume knob are not working. *sigh*

But the rest of the hardware is active and working now. The software install is still going on. And I need to find time (real soon now) to get her Mozilla profile fully active (including email).

Sunday was wargaming with Mark. Partway through the morning, my dad called again. Internet access was out for both my parents. Thankfully, it was pretty simple, and a reset of the cable modem and router sorted it all out.

This morning, I’m dealing with the fact that my work has moved from Outlook to Gmail en mass. I can’t say I’m happy with it, but there are some logical reasons for it. Hopefully, this will be the end of the computer emergencies.