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 money 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 a 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.