Over the summer (shortly after we moved into the house), I noticed that my PC was acting up a bit more than usual. It was slower, would lock up here and there, and just did not feel right. We were already planning on getting a Mac shortly, so I just waited it out, and things worked fine. Ive been using this machine as a spare machine since we have gotten the iMac, from a Media Center machine, a file server, and everything in between.
When I had the machine hooked up to the TV downstairs, it worked great, but if I let it run for a few days, it would lock up. If I put it to sleep, it would never wake back up from sleep. When I moved it back into the office after getting the XBox 360, I would have to manually reboot it every other week or so.
Last night I was running some needed updates as well as copying off a virtual machine when it just stopped responding. Of course since I no longer have a monitor, its a little harder to troubleshoot. I eventually found an S-Video cable and pulled our spare TV out of the spare bedroom. My graphics card (ATI 9800) has a DVI, VGA, and S-video slot. Hooked everything up (quite a site – 24″ tv sitting on the floor with the PC halfway out the desk), and got to work. The machine was hanging at its POST screen here and there, but due to the resolution (and the TV being way out of focus), I couldn’t see anything. After letting it sit for about 1 hour, came back, and it was sharp as crystal – ‘Disk Read Error occurred – press ctrl-alt-delete to reboot’. Rebooted a few more times and noticed that the primary HDD (a 120GB Western Digital Caviar) was reporting a BAD status from S.M.A.R.T. Great.
I found an older 40GB drive, installed it, and started a fresh install of XP.
So far, things are good, except I may have to restart the entire process. For some odd reason, after installing particular updates, the machine will no longer allow me to remote desktop into it, and complains to have errors with its registry. This is of course of having to do 4 sets of 50+ updates.
Many people ask why I dont just use XP on the iMac. I have a few (possibly odd) reasons:
- I dont have enough reasons YET to pick up copy of Parallels or VMWare. I was a beta tester over the last few years, but just dont require it yet for my personal use.
- BootCamp would work, but Im sure its going to by like my previous multi-boot dilemmas. Ill be working in one OS, and need something in the other. I really cant stand to dual boot Linux/Windows on a PC anymore, and am sure I wont like it on my Mac.
- I have this spare, rather powerful machine doing nothing. I need to have the storage, but possibly not the entire machine. But, why not use it for the many things I need (file server, development area, etc).
While I know I will be able to get XP back on the machine, I may still think about putting something on the iMac. It would allow me to take this PC into work to use as a spare test machine, which would help out a lot.
Sorry for the rant, just PC’s can really annoy me at times. At least this isnt my daily use machine anymore.
Listening To: ‘Don’t Drink the Water’ by Dave Matthews Band