Saturday, October 31, 2009


Thanks to everyone - all one of you* - who suggested possible titles. I actually sought out assistance in the Comments over at Slacktivist and went with one of the suggestions from someone there: Blood Drift.
Even after switching to the different wireless adapter, Munin continued to exhibit the problems it had been having under Windows 7.
I decided that the thing to do was to restore it to factory condition, download a BIOS update that I didn't think to download before upgrading - and which wouldn't run under Windows 7 - and some firmware updates for the hard drive and DVD drive, then try a clean install of Windows 7.
During one of the brief periods in which I had Internet connectivity I found a newer driver for the built-in wireless adapter, but installing that didn't fix the problem.
That didn't really surprise me, as it was clear that the problem was bigger than just that one driver, as no USB device connected to the computer would work properly.
Attempting to copy files to an external hard drive, for example, would result in the transfer eventually stalling out and the hard drive light actually turning off. The drive would still appear to be accessible - I could explore it, but not actually open any files on it - but clearly wasn't working.
This was actually a major fly in the ointment, as I needed to back up my internal hard drive before doing the factory restore, which reformats the drive and erases everything on it.
After several vain attempts to get the files copied over to my external drive I finally hit upon an idea: download an .iso of some Linux distro, burn a CD, boot from that, and copy the files over to the external drive.
So I found some random distro, burned it to CD, booted...and found that it didn't have drivers for my display, so once it actually loaded up I couldn't see anything.
Undaunted (well, somewhat daunted), I found a distro of Ubuntu Linux, burned the .iso, booted from that, and success!
With that accomplished, I dug out my recovery CDs, booted up...and realized that I didn't actually need the CDs, as the recovery files are stored in a partition on the hard drive and I could have just hit F11 during bootup to run the recovery from there.
Worse, I completely forgot that the restore process actually gives you an opportunity to run a back-up before proceeding, so it's possible I could have skipped the whole Linux process (though I'm not 100% sure on that; choosing to "Backup Now" might have just booted me back into Windows, where the backing up wouldn't have worked, given the USB communications issues.)
After doing the factory restore I found that my BIOS was actually up to date anyway.
It was very late by this time, though, so I waited until this morning to reinstall Windows 7.
This time around the problem with the wireless adapter appeared right away.
I didn't even bother trying to download the new driver.
Instead I opted to disable the adapter and pick up one of those power line networking kits.
It actually works pretty well. You hook one adapter up to the router, then plug it into the wall outlet. Then you take the other adapter, hook it up to the computer you want to add to the network, plug it into the wall outlet, and voila, the network signal is traveling through the electrical wiring in the house. So far with that method I'm able to network Munin without the problems I was having with the wireless adapter(s).
I may buy another adapter so that I can hook my Blu-ray player and media extender up to the network (it's faster than the wireless connection my media extender currently has, and the Blu-ray player doesn't have wireless).
So it took more than a week, but it seems that - knock on wood - I finally have Windows 7 running properly and can now actually enjoy some of the new features.
Apart from messing around with Windows 7 and doing the usual comic book and grocery shopping, in the late afternoon/early evening I decided to bail on any trick-or-treaters and see a movie. Unlike last year, when I bailed on them but left candy - which some little bastard promptly stole, apparently - this year I said, "Screw you, kids!' and left nothing.
The movie in question was Zombieland, which was freakin' hilarious.
I'm not sure how much posting I'll be doing for the next month, as I'll be working on the novel trying to churn out 50,000 words in 30 days.
This time around will be more of a challenge than the other two times, as I don't have as much free time as I did back then, what with the four days off (and having time to actually write while I was at work), and I really want to write something that's at least halfway decent this time around. Of course, that's what I wanted to do the other two times, and that really didn't work out, so I'm not terribly confident that this year will be different.
In any case, I'm not going to blog my chapters as I write them like I did the first time around, though, unless it turns out to be complete garbage (there's a better than average chance of that), I will probably share it in some fashion once I'm finished.

*I'm honestly not bitter about the lack of comments in the Comments. I'm a realist; I know how little traffic this blog gets and how little there is to actually comment on. Seriously, I'm not bitter. Well, not terribly bitter, at any rate. I mean, it does bother me a little when I explicitly ask for comments and don't get any (other than from Scott), but it's not like I expected any, so I guess it all works out.

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