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Computer Issue
Old 07-24-2012, 03:13 PM   #1
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Default Computer Issue

So the computer is back. Not fixed, but back.

Dave Barry couldn't find anything wrong with it, though he left it on all night. I think he thinks I'm nuts.

He really IS a young Dave Barry, looks-wise. The only way I know he's not the real Dave Barry is the real Dave Barry is older than that now.

I mean, he is so Dave Barry that you just know his entire life is hearing about how he looks like Dave Barry, and so you don't dare mention it. You can tell his life has been practically ruined by being a Dave Barry doppleganger, and that he has significant issues with it. Like he doesn't really trust people or relax with them until he's sure they're not going to bring up the Dave Barry thing.

(Well, actually, you can't just know all of that, but I'd still put money on it.)

The problem with the computer was the monitor screen keeps going black.

The first time, they put in a new hard drive. I guess new hard drives are the standard way to fix anything.

Soon after I got it back, it started going black on me. I'd fix it by wiggling the wires at the back of the computer, or by turning the computer off and on again.

Then yesterday, when we got back from camping, it lasted fifteen minutes, then five minutes - and then wouldn't stay on any longer than the word "Dell" began to show up on the monitor.

"Transistors in the motherboard," they said on the phone. We took it in.

Well, no, NOT transistors on the motherboard. Not this, not that, not the other, not any sign of any errors in any logs.

By this morning they called to say that the thing absolutely refused to malfunction.

Taking a last stab at it, I said, "Well, I still think it might be the power cord." (Even though they were using that power cord there.)

So they sent it home with two new power cords, and charged us nothing.

It's been on for like an hour and a half now, and so far, the screen still isn't black. I've got my fingers crossed, but without a lot of hope that it's not going to happen again.

So, I just don't know. But it's why I now have an ipad.
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Old 07-24-2012, 03:17 PM   #2
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could even be a hairline crack in the motherboard, that causes issues when it heats up.

try placing it in a better ventilated spot of you crash again.

(this is one of those times I wish you had Skype, Coco.)
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Old 07-24-2012, 03:25 PM   #3
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Loose nut at end of keyboard.
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Old 07-24-2012, 03:27 PM   #4
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Loose nut at end of keyboard.
. . . you mean me, huh. Took me a while to get it! I was about to look on the ends of my keyboard.
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Old 07-24-2012, 03:32 PM   #5
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Ohboy Easter egg hunt. I hate those.
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:54 PM   #6
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They replaced a hard drive to fix a video issue?

Coco, you have Dave Barry working for you, beyond a doubt; not a look-alike, but an actual clone.
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
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They replaced a hard drive to fix a video issue?

Coco, you have Dave Barry working for you, beyond a doubt; not a look-alike, but an actual clone.
She described the monitor going black. If the HD fails: That can happen, though a blue screen is more likely. Unless it's real bad.

It's also going to happen if the memory shits up real bad, the mobo fails, the video card fails, the power supply shits out, any number of connectors and wires go bad, or the monitor dies. In short: everything could cause this.

But if the machine stays on, stays powered on with the video dying: I'd say it's probably the video card, the mobo, the memory, the monitor or the monitor cable.

Power supply should be fine. Fans too. Those both tend to have other unique things happen when they shit up (Namely the entire PC shuts down).

This is why I don't work on PC's for a living. I don't have the patience for this shit. And at my pay rate it's cheaper for the company if I just throw it the fuck away and buy a new one.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:08 PM   #8
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That's what I said!
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:17 PM   #9
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They already replaced the hard drive, and that didn't fix it.

On the plus side, it hasn't gone black since we got it back.

Maybe it just missed Dave Barry, and wanted a conjugal visit.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:27 PM   #10
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And to give Dave Barry 2 his due, the hard drive may have been going bad, and he hoped that replacing it might fix the black screen problem, however unlikely that result would be. As Jorus has been pointing out, fixing complex systems is often a complex task and in a cost conscious world, fixing something may not be the most economic thing to do.
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:11 PM   #11
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Have you tried praying about it?
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:37 PM   #12
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Have you tried praying about it?
I would try the laying on of hands, very roughly.

P2
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Old 07-25-2012, 12:22 AM   #13
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Have you tried praying about it?
No, I don't pray about stuff like that.
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Old 07-25-2012, 01:04 AM   #14
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No, I don't pray about stuff like that.
Because, clearly, God doesn't know how to fix computers?

P2
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Old 07-25-2012, 01:08 AM   #15
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Because, clearly, God doesn't know how to fix computers?

P2
Probably uses a Mac and doesn't ever run into these problems

s





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Old 07-25-2012, 01:10 AM   #16
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Yes, I'm sure the HARDware on macs never goes bad.
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Old 07-25-2012, 01:14 AM   #17
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Probably uses a Mac and doesn't ever run into these problems

s





If I pay $3000 for a computer it had better damn well use the best products available at the time. (By the way Mac's don't use the best products available at the time, you are being ripped off).
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Old 07-25-2012, 01:14 AM   #18
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Yes, I'm sure the HARDware on macs never goes bad.
Not to be a snot about it but except during the Scully era Apple has always had by far the best MTBF record in the industry.

But I'm not here for an Apple vs PC fight. I was just adding onto P2's joke
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Old 07-25-2012, 01:15 AM   #19
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Side note for the geek curious: the most likely thing to fail on any given PC is the hard drive. After that it's generally a fan or power supply.
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Old 07-25-2012, 01:16 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Not to be a snot about it but except during the Scully era Apple has always had by far the best MTBF record in the industry.

But I'm not here for an Apple vs PC fight. I was just adding onto P2's joke
Not to be a snot about it but every hand built PC I've ever cracked together lasted it's entire runtime (Entire runtime being me retiring it years later) without a malfunction: used better parts than Mac, and cost about 80% less.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:20 AM   #21
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Probably uses a Mac and doesn't ever run into these problems

s





This explains his bad temper, his capriciousness, and his ego, all at once.
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Old 07-25-2012, 01:21 PM   #22
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Anthropomorphism.
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:23 PM   #23
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Hey Jorus,

How do you feel about Cloud back ups? Our law firm is required to back up our computer files once a week - I thought maybe getting an external hard drive, then storing that in a safe deposit box at the bank might work, but we've been using Cloud automatic back up; it backs up Trout's entire computer once a week into somewhere magical. I have two dummy questions:

1. Is this a good way to do our backups? Is it safe? Like, will some virus or hacker get into Trout's computer that way?

2. I know you don't know the law, but is this a worry for lawyer/client confidentiality? Can someone go and read our files about Joe Schmoe and then blackmail him or something?

Thanks!
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:19 PM   #24
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Quote:
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Anthropomorphism.
Isn't it that the story goes that we--or at least Adam--were made in His image; deo-morphizing?
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:42 AM   #25
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Hey Jorus,

How do you feel about Cloud back ups? Our law firm is required to back up our computer files once a week - I thought maybe getting an external hard drive, then storing that in a safe deposit box at the bank might work, but we've been using Cloud automatic back up; it backs up Trout's entire computer once a week into somewhere magical. I have two dummy questions:

1. Is this a good way to do our backups? Is it safe? Like, will some virus or hacker get into Trout's computer that way?

2. I know you don't know the law, but is this a worry for lawyer/client confidentiality? Can someone go and read our files about Joe Schmoe and then blackmail him or something?

Thanks!
1. Sure it's safe, it's unlikely to be used as a vector of attack.

Ultimately there are two proper questions to ask in a backup situation:

How easy it to back up. Cloud tends to make this really easy.
How fast can I restore. This is where Cloud kinda sucks.

If you want my honest suggestion: untie your customer data from the PC entirely.

Get one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/Synology-DiskS...keywords=Drobo

Back it up to a USB drive that you dump in a safe deposit box.

2. Is it legal? That's a question for the provider of the service actually. If they can't answer it dump them.

But if you want to keep your customers data safe, look into:

http://www.truecrypt.org/

This.

It's free. I use boot encryption on all company laptops. If anyone jacks the laptop, unless they can guess the encryption key I set (And I set a fucking annoying one) it's a brick. They can pull the hard drive out and mount it up: all they will get is gibberish.
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Old 07-26-2012, 12:42 PM   #26
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Awesome, thanks!
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Old 07-28-2012, 01:01 PM   #27
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Now the screen is pink. This started Thursday night. Sometimes it flickers back to white, but now it's almost always pink.

Any ideas?
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Old 07-28-2012, 01:07 PM   #28
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ah...

A pink Screen is typically an MLP issue.

You need to delete everything to do with MLP from your system.
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Old 07-28-2012, 01:20 PM   #29
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A My Little Pony issue?
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Old 07-28-2012, 01:22 PM   #30
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Coco - is this an LCD or an old, boxy CRT type monitor?
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Old 07-28-2012, 01:26 PM   #31
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LCD - that is, it is flat and thin, not a big old box.
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Old 07-28-2012, 01:51 PM   #32
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That rules out one of the bloody guns going on you ...

-passes it on to someone else with a soft chuckle-
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:00 PM   #33
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I really think you should try prayer.
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:48 PM   #34
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Color distortion usually means either the monitor is dying or there is something wrong with the video card. First check and make sure it's "fully seated" meaning pressed in fully and correctly. The check and update drivers. Last get some g33k to try a different driver card to see if that works. If so, then you know it's your card (and probably bad video memory.)

If that doesn't work, check the nut at the end of the keyboard again
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Old 07-28-2012, 03:54 PM   #35
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Ha! You didn't get me that time, didja, Lucifer! And it's usually so easy, too . . .
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:36 AM   #36
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Do you have the computer and monitor plugged into a UPS?

Pick up a cheap video card, replace the video card.

Download the Kombuster program from MSI Afterburner, see if it happens under load.

Has the video cable from the monitor to the PC been replaced?
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:03 PM   #37
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Quote:
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Do you have the computer and monitor plugged into a UPS?

Pick up a cheap video card, replace the video card.

Download the Kombuster program from MSI Afterburner, see if it happens under load.

Has the video cable from the monitor to the PC been replaced?
They gave me two extra cables when I got it back from the shop last time (which was for the screen going black).

So we tried that; also tried rehooking it all up again.

I don't know what "plugged into a UPS" means.

As for the happening under load, it's pink all the time now.

I'm going to call the repair shop.

I figure they might want to replace the video card. However, I would want them to replace with one similar to what is in there now, as what is in there now I have specifically on account of Second Life. So a cheaper one wouldn't be as good, right?
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:28 PM   #38
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Well, I called them up, and BOY WAS HE A SNOT.

Can anybody explain that one? Perhaps he's been reading here where I compared one of the guys to Dave Barry and they took issue with that?

I told him what it was doing and he said to get a VGI cable or new DVI cable (or something like that).

I mean, he said it like, "Go out and do that, you idiot who we've lost patience with." *

"And then if it's not that," he said, "get a new video card."

So I said . . . after sometime of a pause (in disbelief that this was his attitude) . . . "Well, could we bring the computer in and you could do that?"

He says, "Sure."

I mean, like, ISN"T THAT WHAT THEY ARE THERE FOR???? Is the guy having PMS or something?

He was familiar with the computer, and at one point, when I said, so you weren't the one who worked on it then (because he had said "they"), he said, "Ma'am, we've all worked on it."

Why so fricking snotty?

* This asterisk is here because I want you to know almost no one ever takes an attitude like this with me. We've been to their shop maybe 4-5 times. First time was over a year ago, when they mirrored and replaced the hard drive.

They were quite nice then.

I also brought my other computer in to them to basically clean up its whatever virus issues.

Everything fine. Then recently the screen started going blank. So they replaced hard drive. Still going blank. Brought it in again. They watched it overnight. Found nothing wrong. Seemed reasonably friendly in the shop.

Though - as I said - they were starting to act like I was crazy.

They also, as I said, gave me two free power cords, and didn't charge me for anything. They seemed friendly enough then even (though they also acted like their hands were tied to fix it).

Mind you - when I first went to these guys, they were perfectly fine. And I believe it is the same (four) guys.

So why this sudden attitude of, "We're out of patience, it's all your fault, and don't darken our doorstep again?"

It's like they don't BELIEVE me about the screen turning pink (or about its having been black earlier), and like it's my problem, not theirs. It's like he wanted me to beg to bring it in, and then he'd deign to consider fixing it. So I did.

Totally different from the way they were to us a year ago.

I was happy when I found these guys. I don't want to get new guys. But I don't understand this. They are in the freaking job of fixing computers. I can understand PERFECTLY WELL that sometimes it takes time to see a problem, or that the first stabs at it won't be the final stab at it.

Now, they have since the start had a tendency to treat me as if I am going to be offended, thinking they think I'm stupid or something. It's a hard to articulate point - but what I mean is, it's like, they'll say, "Now pardon me, I don't mean to be insulting here, but . . ." and then tell me something that either I already know, or, usually, that I WANT to know. It's what I'm freaking paying them for. I'm not fucking worried about being fucking insulted.

But that is a small point, and I could handle that. (I considered it as coming under the umbrella of general chauvinism, which I've dealt with all my life.)

But this is new. And no one elsewhere is ever rude to me like that, as I'm fairly charming and understanding with everyone I approach in businesses (or anywhere) to buy something or get service or something.

So WHAT THE FUCK IS THEIR PROBLEM?

Why do they not want my business? As appears to be the case.


P.S. I looked up reviews for them again. (Which I did when I first chose the place.) They are still getting positive, recent reviews.
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:49 PM   #39
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Looked up more reviews. They are also glowing, and similar to the way I felt about the place, too.

So maybe this is just some sort of aberration. I'll just keep being friendly and hope it is.

P.S. I'm going to decide it's probably partly a Monday thing, and keep looking at pink and not take it in till Tuesday.

Last edited by Cocoanut Koala; 07-30-2012 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:24 PM   #40
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Throw it the fuck away.
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