Friday, March 20, 2009

Assisted Computer Suicide

On Wednesday when Scott came over for Riff Trax Night, we set to work on replacing the - apparently dying - power supply in Munin, my old computer, with the power supply from the former (and now nameless) Munin.
(As a refresher for anyone who doesn't know or has forgotten or hasn't cared, I generally like to have two desktop computers, and I assign them the names of the Norse god Odin's ravens, Hugin [Thought] and Munin [Memory]. Whatever I'm using as my main system is Hugin; the secondary becomes Munin.)
Scott easily popped the power supply out of the nameless system, while I started on taking out Munin's. Taking out Munin's power supply proved challenging, as the cable leading over to the hard drive was threaded under and around several components on the motherboard. Getting the cable out involved taking the (huge) heat sink off the processor, which involved breaking a seal and would have required picking up some thermal paste to re-seal it if I ever wanted to actually use Munin again.
The point became moot, however, as the nameless computer's power supply had none of the correct connections to work in Munin.
The main reason I wanted Munin up and running was to have access to some of the data on its hard drive, so I made the decision to just pull the hard drive and put it in Hugin, and just let Munin head off to Valhalla (or probably Hel), its suffering now at an end.
We put the drive in Hugin and saw that there was no SATA connection immediately apparent, though we saw what looked like SATA connections on the motherboard. Rather than just plug the drive in and hope for the best, we decided to look up the specs for Hugin's motherboard.
There was a brief pause to eat the food that had been delivered in the meantime, and soon, after digging through almost useful forum posts, we found a link to Hugin's manual and confirmed that the SATA-looking connections were, in fact SATA connections (Imagine that!), plugged the drive in, fired Hugin up, and waited.
My wireless keyboard and mouse often act flaky; after booting up I wasn't able to move the cursor around, even with the Cintiq, so I had to kill the power and try again.
I took a look at "My Computer" and found that the drive had not been added, so we assumed there was a BIOS setting. So we restarted, went into BIOS, enabled the other SATA drives, and rebooted. The computer then complained that SATA 3 and 4 were enabled, but had no drives connected, so I went back in and disabled them.
Eventually it booted up and I saw that the drive was available. Of course, adding the drive changed all of my drive letters, so I had to go into Administrative Tools to fix that, which seemed easier than updating all of the drive letter dependencies of my folders and whatnot.
The problem was that in order to reclaim the drive letter I'd changed the drive from I had to reboot. So I did. It booted up to the login screen, I entered my info, and waited. And waited.
After a while we gave up and headed downstairs to watch the iRiff of Superman IV. The movie was dreadful, but the iRiff was very good.
During the movie I went upstairs to check to see if Windows actually loaded. It had, so I set about changing the next drive letter, and rebooted. This time it loaded normally.
In any case, the main thing I wanted to mention was that Scott and I killed my old computer. What would you call that? Compucide, maybe?
Now, since I want to have a secondary desktop I need to buy a new one. I could revive the old nameless computer, but that thing was obsolete when I bought it four years ago.
My quest for a new secondary computer is a story in and of itself, and I'm sure it'll be the focus of my next post.


Merlin T Wizard said...


Matt McClowry said...

Hey, thanks for checking out the Superman IV iRiff and publicly voicing your approval. We really appreciate it.