Friday, October 17, 2008

'Puter problems

The picture is the dreaded "Blue screen of death", known in computing circles by the acronym BSOD.

If you get a BSOD you've generally got problems.

Tonight I couldn't even get as far as a BSOD. My PC just froze and refused to boot.

Fearing a hard disk failure I tried to boot to the command prompt to run chkdsk, but couldn't. Tried to run recovery (I've got a Compaq/HP with recovery option) but couldn't. Switched it on and off about 20 times in the course of an hour and a half. Unplugged everything, went into the case, checked all the connections . Still nothing. Could only get as far as the BIOS screen.

Then finally it got to a point where is said it couldn't start Windows. No........really?

Anyway, chuntered away for a while, suggesting the HDD wasn't kaput and returned a DOS type screen with some horrible numbers on it, and some test results that said (again) it couldn't recover Windows as there had been a system configuration change (eh?) and if I had any cameras or video devices attached to unplug them and then hit OK which would shut the PC down.

Not very helpful - the only camera thing I had attached was a Microsoft Lifecam (webcam) which has been there for months.

Anyway, switched off, tried to re-boot and bingo - back to the normal desktop where it reinstalled the Lifecam drivers automatically. Hmmmmm... very strange.

So, what have I learnt from this? Not a lot.

1) Microsoft's own Lifecam has got some dodgy drivers that don't immediately manifest themselves, or...

2) The HDD was knackered and then mysteriously recovered itslef (unlikely)

3) The kids have been plugging things in and out of the PC - something they strenuously deny, but did look a bit guilt about - or was that me imagining things?

Anyway, things look OK at the moment, but I better double check my backup strategy just in case...

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