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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

In a Blue Mood or Does Not Compute

blue screen Sadly, that’s been the case recently with my “old” (8+ years) HP Pavilion® desktop. It’s not that it doesn’t  run. I’m composing this blog post on it. Rather, it’s become erratic and slightly unreliable …make that REALLY unreliable. 

Lately (more often) it’s been going to a BSoD – called the “blue screen of death” (or doom) depending on how gloomy your mood.  Even worse and really annoying is the computer shutting down without displaying the BSoD – like taking a shortcut? Some days, it could run for hours with no dire messages. Other times, it would click off, despite the power button still being lit and would not run. Solution? Count to a high number, cross fingers and toes, turn it on  and hope for the best. Usually this worked, but then the problem would return.

A BSoD is actually a Windows STOP message.” The PC flashes a blue screen message and then shuts down without warning to prevent damage to the PC. Sorry, folks there are no announcements for the “blue light”, or in this case, blue screen special. And it gets WORSE because you will lose any unsaved information, so save and save often – sort of like you should do with money. As dire as the BSoD sounds, it doesn’t come with any in capital  or flashing letters. The first line reads:

A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.

Unlike this more appropriate, but untrue, warning message:

WARNING -- Because of something you did, Windows is highly unstable. You can try to restore Windows, although that probably won’t correct your stupid computer.

Choose from the following:

  • Press any key and get another blue screen – probably saying that the system is critical
  • Offer the computer an apology since it has to do all your work
  • Sacrifice something to Bill Gates and hope he takes pity on you
  • Press CTRL-ALT-DEL to restart your computer. It won’t make any difference, you’ll end up crashing it again anyway

After doing online research, I learned that while incredibly frustrating, the BSoD is sort of a good thing and can prevent a PC from being damaged beyond repair. Sometimes, problems are the result of a kernel error, essentially a small program in your system that runs or “drives” the hardware. Other causes can be a power supply malfunctioning, a component over heating or memory going bad. Hmmm this last one sounds almost “human.”

SOLUTION: At over 8 years old, any system or hardware malfunction that involved HP PC-GIF editmoney for new parts or service, seemed not the best choice. It was time to shop online, and under the HP Quick Ship choices I “found” this new PC which arrives on Friday. And with 6GB memory and a 750GB hard drive it should keep me going for at least another 8 years, maybe longer, if the BSoD doesn’t come flashing.

And along with this decision came another one to replace two older printers with a single new HP Photosmart all-in-one wireless. The old (still working) printers are going to HP Printer-GIF edita good cause – the local Hospice thrift store.

And the old PC? its DVD drive will be added as a second DVD drive on the new one. Other parts may be salvageable too.

PS, I really like the bamboo leaf motif on the new PC and it came FREE.

11 comments:

possum said...

Hmmmm, is this the computer with the fan problems? Used to run all the time, now doesn't run anymore???? I noticed the words over heating...

Ginnie said...

I've never heard of that blue screen. I appreciate the info but hope I never see one !!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Yup, Possum, it's the same PC and the fan doesn't run nearly as often (hardly ever) since Grenville "aired" everything out with the canned air. He checked all the connections last week and said wiring is all hooked OK...so could be failing power supply or memory problems. In either case, definitely not worth spending $ to diagnose and then replace parts. Funny thing is that the darn thing was working perfectly all yesterday afternoon, late evening and early a.m. Go figure...maybe it heard about the new PC on it's way?

Hi Ginnie...hope you never do see the BSoD too! But if you do, there is lots of info on the internet about causes, solutions, etc. Only problem is you need access to a PC to get to them. Minor detail is the only one you're using has a blue screen!

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Grenville T. Boyd said...

Memory Problem????? You sure that PC wasn't made by Al Heimer????? I heard he had problems now and then. Well i think i heard that....
Will there be a celebration for the new puter???? Hard Drive racing, USB Bus rides, Memory Contest? All held under the Blue Tent (made of blue screens stitched together)?

Reclusive Hermit said...

Get a pencil and paper. Never had any problem but a dull point. Sharpened it with my bear killin' knife. Easy to use by oil lamp.
Bah!!!! Humbug!!!!!

Anvilcloud said...

I imagine that it comes with Windows 7, which has been pretty reliable for me so far. Minds you, so was XP -- for me anyway.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Yes AC it does come with Windows 7 plus a whole lotts programs I won't use and need to delete before installing my own. I've read that oFFICE 2007 WILL work with the 64-bit PCs and that's good cause I don't plan to buy the just-released Office 2010. I have Photoshop CS and it's "iffy" whether it will work - read a lot of online forums and some folks say it does but Adobe doesn't claim it will. Their solution is to upgrade to a whole new program and at over $400 that just isn't happening! If the Photoshop install doesn't work, I'll use Paint Shop Pro (less costly programI bought last year)but it works with a 64-bit processor. You would think Adobe could work something out other than a costly purchase, but wait this IS Adobe we're are talking about!

Lois Evensen said...

back up, back up, back up.... Ah, yes, back up so you can take your data to another computer in case of the dreaded blue screen.... Seriously, I am thrilled to have a couple of computer geeks (one who is paid big money to be one) in the family.

Enjoy that new computer. :))

Krista said...

BSoD... I have other acronyms that describe what I think of the BSoD but I will spare you. ;o)

I have experienced the utter frustration you describe. It's no fun and really has made me want to act very irrationally at times. LOL! I'm glad you have a new unit on the way. I LOVE the bamboo motif. ;o)

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Lois, backing up is very good advice and I do that a lot and always save documents while working on them, but I have known lots of folks who don't so it's always good advice.

Krista - thanks for the comments. While it was frustrating when the older PC started acting up, it has served me well and faithfully and since I back up regularly onto an erxternal drive, nothing will be lost. The new PC arrived today and the bamboo motif IS really nice - too bad the unit won't be in a location where all can see how pretty is looks! Now starts the fun part this weekend of customizing it to the way I want it and clearing off all the junk that comes with any new PC.

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