New Computer (part 2)

Okay, so it wasn’t as easy to get it working as it was to get it put together (not that I did much more than screw in a couple of screws and locate this product manual or that one).  Thank goodness for Curtis or I would have been totally at a loss.  Get most of the pieces in, hook it up to a monitor, turn it on, no beeping and no video.  Off, reseat the video card, on – no video.  Lights to the leds in front and the DVD but that doesn’t mean anything.  A couple of other trials that I couldn’t tell what the change was (and Curtis seemed too intent to ask).  Then Curtis hooks up the speakers and did it again and low and behold a lady’s voice says “Memory check error.”  Huh.  Reseat memory.  No difference.  Consult manual.  Move memory into different places. No difference. Move memory again.  No difference (and we’re getting pretty tired of the lady.) Curtis pulls out some different memory (just like magic) and tries it again.  The lady doesn’t say a word until we get to “No Keyboard”.  And so on. The BIOS won’t display right though (even though the lady doesn’t complain about the video card).  So Curtis whips out a different video card (this, I see, is why he insisted on putting it together at his house) and amazingly the BIOS displays.  (So if you’re keeping track, we’re now not using the supposedly fast 1 GB of memory or my very expensive Matrox video card with three monitor support.) We decide to call it a night an start again on Saturday.  I try not to be depressed. 

Saturday morning when I call Curtis, he says he’s been working on my computer and he has good news and bad news.  I, of course, ask for the good news first.  “You’re going to have a shit-load of disk space,” he says.  “What’s the bad news?” I ask in a puzzled voice.  “You’re going to have to buy another hard drive,” he says. Okay, this is too much.  “The hard drive is bad too?”  “No,” he explains, “but the SATA drives need to be part of a RAID array.” (That must be why it came with two lovely red SATA cables.) “Okay, no big deal,” I say,  “I’ll just get another 40 GB drive.”.  You probably already know the next part.  “No, it has to be the same size.  That’s the ‘you’re going to have a lot of disk space’ part.”  So off I go to buy another 160 GB SATA drive.  A shit-load of disk space indeed.

I just keep telling myself it’s going to be a great computer.  Right?  (But I’m going to owe Curtis a lot of dinners.) Definitely not for beginners.

Comments (3)

  1. Mike Walsh says:

    Dell have just sent me a flyer for a server (PowerEdge 700) with one 80GB SATA drive. Are you saying that I’d have to buy a second SATA drive for that too [no wonder it was cheap :)]- or is there something special about your machine (that other people should avoid now that you’ve warned us)?

  2. lauraj says:

    In retrospect, looking at the description of the motherboard, it says exactly what it is. This was more a problem of me, an inexperienced user, not understanding what it said. Specifically, I thought this:

    Onboard SATA/RAID: SiS 964, 2x Serial ATA, RAID 0/1; SiS 180, 2x Serial ATA, RAID 0/1/0+1/JBOD

    meant that it supported SATA *or* RAID.