The Haphazard Blog

Tag: hard drive crash

Rebuilding a PC and J2EE Standalone

by on Sep.16, 2009, under Computer Hardware, Software Development, Technology

It looks like the hard drive controller also went bad on my PC. I can’t get it to boot in any way. I tried to create a bootable USB flash drive loaded with Windows XP.  It worked on my laptop, but no matter what I tried on the other PC it would crash on the same driver. I tried new cables and different drives. So I think it’s just a giant paper weight. Replacement Dell main boards are quite expensive, so that was an unlikely way to go. My company offered to try and put together a temporary machine and send it out to me, but I just decided to use an old machine I have. It will only be temporary though. Looks like I’ll be getting a new PC.

So I’ve installed Windows XP and have been installing all the applications I need to get by. This takes a lot of time. Reboots, updates, configuring. I definitely need to push for a RAID 1 setup on my new machine. Storage is so cheap, an extra $100 is well worth avoiding data loss from a drive failure and having to rebuild a machine.

This brings me to J2EE. My Java IDE (IntelliJ IDEA) uses libraries to help with syntax checking, auto-complete, etc. I don’t understand why Sun does not make J2EE available as a standalone download. I have to download and install a J2EE application server to get theJ2EE JAR file. Given that, Jet Brains should bundle it with the IDE. I use Apache Tomcat as the application server and it does not require or come with J2EE.

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I Think My PC Died

by on Sep.13, 2009, under Computer Hardware, Technology

It appears my PC has decided to blow up. I was doing some work yesterday evening and went to eat dinner. I came back to find the dreaded BSoD. These are a very uncommon occurrence for me. I think the last one I had was 4 years ago.

I rebooted and the PC just wasn’t going into Windows. I tried a lot of things with no luck. Of course, I didn’t have a Windows XP CD to run the recovery console (I didn’t get one with the machine, Dell Dimension 8300) so I had to use other methods. I used the built in Dell diagnostics and all signs pointed to a bad hard drive. Just to be sure, I tried the hard drive in another older PC I had. No luck, so it looked like my primary hard drive was dead and I likely lost about a week of data. (I try and backup my data every Sunday morning.) So I put a working drive into the machine and was still having problems.

Now I really have no idea what the problem is. It’s my work PC and the warranty ran out over 2 years ago. I’m going to have to talk to our company’s IT people and see where to go from here. I’m starting to think that heat finally destroyed the thing. When I first got it, it was so quiet, even under full load. Over the years, the CPU fan would get going under load, and eventually it got to the point in the Summer where if the temperature in the room was 80, it was ready for lift-off regardless of the actual load on the CPU. If it really is finished, I’d like to see if the thermal compound or pad was destroyed. I saw some users on the Dell forums complain about the noise levels going up over time. Some people recommended replacing the fan. Oh well. If it’s dead, it has worked well for me for over 5 years. I only had to upgrade the RAM (added 2 GB) in all that time. Not too bad all things considered. In hindsight, I probably should have replaced the PC before the 5 year mark.

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