December 9th, 2011

Pensive Kevin

Another Computer Rebuild Attempt

After yet another bout of the hard drive on my personal machine refusing to boot (black screen, blinking cursor), even after having done exactly nothing since the last reboot, I decided that I needed to try something new.

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Another bit of information I found while trying to find something about this problem that I hadn't seen before — most of the advice on the internet involves variations of stuff I've already tried — was a tidbit that the Dell D600 laptop's BIOS (latest revision A16, which I do have) doesn't handle hard drives >137GB very well. Some of the Dell documentation says that while the BIOS still will tell you that you only have a 137GB drive, it can actually address everything above that with WinXP SP3 or later operating systems, but other things online suggest that once something on your computer writes anything above 137GB, the drive will get confused and refuse to boot.

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Now I'm going through the laborious process of re-installing software. But being paranoid about this, I'm going slowly, and after the next re-installation (the drive-cloning software), I'm going to make a complete clone of this new 3-drives-in-1-box before installing any more software. And I'm going to reboot after installing each new program, and probably re-clone several more times along the way. If it really is a software incompatibility with one of the programs, I'd like to try and isolate it!