Computer Upgrade

Four years ago, I built my desktop computer. Now it was getting a bit long in the tooth, so I decided to upgrade some of its parts.

  1. Motherboard: From Abit IP35E to Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3
  2. Processor: From Intel Core 2 Duo E6420 to Intel Core i7-2600
  3. Memory: From 2x1GB PC2-6400 DDR2 to 2x4GB PC3-14900 DDR3
  4. DVD Drive: From PATA to a SATA DVD Writer

The computer’s now fast and powerful. My Harappa Ancestry Project analyses run much faster than before.

Ubuntu had no trouble running after the change. However, Windows XP refused to boot and I have to do a reinstall.

Avoid Dell Hell

My Dell laptop is again giving me trouble. It looks like Dell gave me a defective motherboard last month.

Four years ago, I made a terrible mistake. I bought a Dell Inspiron 5100 laptop. I wrote about my troubles here and then recently here. Since then (i.e. last month), I have had RAM trouble which was finally replaced this week (courtesy of the extended warranty I have due to a class action settlement).

When I replaced the memory, the hard disk started giving errors. I am still in the process of recovering data from the hard disk. And finally today I discovered that the memory problem is still there, which means that it is most likely a defective motherboard (replaced just last month). After an hour chatting online with Dell Tech Support, my laptop is going back to Dell for a motherboard replacement.

To recap, since April 2003 when I bought this machine, I have had the motherboard replaced 3 times (and it should be replaced again now), memory twice, hard disk once, the processor heat sink a couple of times, the AC adapter twice and the whole computer once (I now have the Inspiron 5150).

Tomorrow, I am off to Fry’s where I’ll get parts for a new desktop and build it myself.

UPDATE: Read my latest post about how Dell gave me a new Inspiron 1501.

More Dell Trouble

My Dell Inspiron 5150 is causing me trouble again. It is off to Dell for a motherboard replacement. This would be the third time in 4 years the motherboard would be replaced, not counting the replacement of the computer once.

I haven’t written anything lately due to a lot of reasons. We went to the Georgia coast for the Memorial Day weekend. Then my daughter got pneumonia. After that I got a really bad throat infection which is still not gone. And finally my computer broke down.

Let’s start with where I ended my previous Dell travails. I had the data recovered, but the hard disk could not be formatted again on my system. When even a replacement hard disk didn’t work, Dell had the motherboard replaced again, which fixed the problem. My Inspiron 5100 worked for a while after that, but then it started getting so hot that using it as a “lap”-top was dangerous. This overheating issue seemed to be a well-known problem by then and Dell actually replaced my computer with a refurbished Inspiron 5150. That was early 2006.

Fast forward to Wednesday. My computer suddenly hung up and on reboot refused to do anything. All it showed was a blank screen with a blinking cursor on the top left. There no Dell screen at startup and the BIOS tests didn’t start either. I chatted with a Dell representative and figured out that my computer was still under warranty due to the class action lawsuit decided in December. So the computer is off now to Dell’s repair depot for a motherboard replacement.

Meanwhile, I am stuck with this 8 year old desktop that was all packed up and ready to be dispatched to a charity.

UPDATE (June 6 9pm): The system is back with the motherboard, heatsink and the AC adapter replaced. Testing is in progress.