March did not prove to be a good month for me.
On an idle Monday in the middle of March, my primary computer rebooted, then rebooted again until I put it into Safe Mode. After that, it ran in safe mode happily enough, but simply would not go into windows proper. It seemed an easy enough fix, as rebooting is either the OS, memory, or heat.
That seemed something I could do after I took a break though, so I turned on my television, which went Pop and died too.
No tv to watch, but I had a computer to fix, but system restoring to the previous Friday worked fine, but accomplished nothing. The computer still rebooted. A windows repair was in the works, but resulted in the message that the windows 7 cd could not be used to repair windows 7.
I was confused. The next step was a complete wipe and reinstall, so I spent the rest of the day backing up my drives, and on Tuesday I was ready to go. Several attempts later, the computer was refusing to boot off the CD, although I could read the CD and run files from it without issue from within Safe Mode. Another twenty minutes managed to deal with that, I told the install program to format and reinstall to the SSD, and got a message that the file format was incompatible. That demonstrated why the computer was rebooting though, since obviously the SSD had died (the things have a five year practical lifespan, so mine dying after four was unpleasant, but possible), so I pulled the SSD out of the system and told the computer to format and install to the hard drive, only to get the same file format incompatible message.
This was a problem, but I could at least test, but my memory tested fine, my monitor program showed no abnormal heat at any sensor, and below normal operating temperature on the chip and video, since both were being operated at a lower clock speed due to Safe Mode.
The computer went into the shop. I have a lot of test equipment here, but they have more and are able to swap out components that I do not have spares of. That led to a problem though, as I normally would be using my laptop for work (and had just taken a huge contract the week before), but have been having issues with it.
My laptop runs window 7 pro, but since I wanted at least one system in the house running windows 10, as I know virtually nothing about it, I had upgraded my laptop to win 10 on Microsoft's assurance that a three year old laptop was fully compatible with that OS. It turned out the video chip used on that laptop was most certainly not compatible, as it gave me a black screen upon completing the upgrade and rebooting. Checking the Intel site (the brand of the video chip) returned the information that the video chip could not run win 10, so I got the computer to revert to win 7 (an interesting experience when you cannot see what you are typing or clicking on the black screen). That produced other issues though, as messages started coming up telling me my version of win 7 was not authentic.
I talked to Microsoft, offering them the serial number for the version of windows I had installed, but was told they no longer supported win 7, so could not help me. Their advice was to go to win 10, and when I reminded the customer support type that win 10 is what caused the issue in the first place, I was told it was the only solution he could offer, although I could probably find a win 8 disk around if I went looking at local computer stores.
As win 8 would cost me $175, I had put off the problem, deciding simply to avoid using my laptop.
But my computer was broken, so I bought a new laptop. It cost a bit more than $175, but I could at least guarantee it would work, and I used it for my work for the few days estimated for my main system to be repaired.
The repairs were not being done in a few days though, as two thirds of the techs at the store phoned in sick for a week. My laptop was working, although it had taken two days to get running due to all the commercial junk that is stuffed into a new laptop these days, but I needed access to a few programs needing better video card operation than my laptop could handle (my fault for not buying a larger laptop, but was feeling at the top of my spending range already). My second desktop would have to take the load, so I removed it from where I normally use it, brought it over to my main desk, connected all the meriad cables, and it refused to POST, much less boot.
My third destop was of no use, since it is a 486 - 100 used with LINUX as a hardware firewall, so back to the laptop to make do I went, for the additional week until I got my main system back at the end of March. I managed to find the time to replace my tv over that duration, but it turned out the issue with my computer was the video card. Neither the tech nor I had ever seen a video card cause a computer to reboot, and I really hated to part with the Titan Black which was my folly, but with a 1080Ti installed, I was back in business.
I am hoping whatever gremlin elected to take up residence in my house in March has moved on as of April.
Littera scripta manet - The Written Word Endures