Saturday, February 04, 2017

Hardware Failure can be Traumatic


There I was, looking for a quiet healing weekend and ...
Oh dear.

It's another sudden hardware failure ! Well, perhaps not sudden because the temperature gauge and graphics processor monitor app I have has been falsely reporting for a week or so now. I thought that was just a driver but ...

There I am, finishing off the latest season in my Motorsport Manager game and suddenly ... the screen freezes. The game was still going because I could hear the car engines rising and falling in tone. I could alt+tab back into Windows but not do much more than that. Restart the game and the next attempt leads to a black screen ... That one needed a reboot to recover from.

And corruption on the screen. Quite nasty corruption actually, more than the simple dot pattern from when my last graphics card broke.

So that's Problem One - a catastrophic failure of something crucial in the graphics card. Only one thing to do there ... upgrade. I'd rather not do that at the moment cos that new car is kinda expensive ...

But this isn't the end of the hardware traumas ...

My computer is based off an Intel Sandy Bridge processor which has a graphics chip included for free. So I should be able to hook up the machine to the monitor that way.

Yes. And no.

You see, my new monitor is a bit too good. It's a cracking monitor actually but it demands a lot of what is sending it the pictures. I needed an HDMI lead to make it work on my old graphics card. It's very picky about DVI leads.

Problem Two - no picture appearing on monitor. PC continually rebooting. I think something had gone really badly wrong on that graphics card.

So out comes the old graphics card and the monitor gets plugged into the socket on the motherboard (for the graphics chip on that Sandy Bridge processor). Black screen again. In goes my old graphics cards (yep, cos I put the broken one in first ... derp) and .... black screen.

So I have a brainwave ... Let's try my old monitor !

Phew. Pictures appearing on a screen again, just not the right screen.

To fast forward a bit (and past another derp), I now have a working machine again in a temporary mode until the next graphics card appears on Sunday. It's an nVidia 1060 card, I'm definitely not going back to AMD any time soon. In hindsight, it was an optimistic pick because I've had a bunch of AMD/ATI cards break on me in the past as well.

I actually have two monitors hooked up at the moment, as my new one refuses to work unless the other one is plugged in as well. That'll resolve itself on Sunday with the new card. My other monitor is on the sofa as it won't fit on my desk with the other monitor.

Yep. Not ideal but at least I'll be able to watch videos and things tomorrow. I think it'll be a bad idea to try gaming, as those games are still set to run in 1440p, which is beyond what the cables can handle.

Tis a late post cos this has actually taken me maybe 5 hours to fix with all the diagnosing, multiple issues and incompatibilities. Getting the 1440p monitor was still a good idea though. It's an excellent screen and I've appreciated the clarity and the pixels when I do the image editing stuff.

But hopefully the rest of the weekend will go easier ... Did I mention that the keyboard got confused too and needed to be plugged into my laptop to wake it up again ? It was refusing to talk to the desktop for a while.

I'm actually posting this while listening to a video. Need some chill out time before I attempt sleep ...

PS The other derp was me making the fit a bit too temporary. As in not putting in the screw that fixes the graphics card in place ... and then pushing the card out of the socket with the monitor leads. Oops.

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