Broken Computer


My main computer started acting up about 2 weeks ago which is really annoying. It still works but sometimes it won't start.

Sometime about 2 weeks ago I started it up one day can got an error "CPU is unworkable or has changed". I hadn't changed anything so I assumed my CMOS memory was corrupted (the memory that saves your computers settings). So I thought if I went to setup my BIOS would figure it out and resave the correct settings.

I didn't change anything but I picked save and continued to use the machine. The next morning the machine would not turn on!!! I tore it apart and thought maybe it's the power supply so I pulled the supply from another machine, no luck. Since I need my computer to be working I throught "shit, I'm going to have to go buy another motherboard and/or another CPU, that's $400 I don't want to spend". I almost went out and got one after work but a friend asked me to dinner so I did that instead and decided to get a tester and a new CMOS battery on the way home.

I switch batteries, tested the old one but it was fine, but for whatever reason my computer started up. I got the same error as before "CPU is unworkable or has changed". Pressing F1 to continue let my use the computer.

Next morning again it did not start. This time I didn't pull it apart. When I got home from work the computer was running. Sitting with the message "CPU is unworkable or has changed" and waiting for me to press F1 to continue or DEL for setup.

This continued for about 2 weeks but it was getting annoying and scary. Do I leave my computer on always? What happens when I want to use it and it won't come on? I'm not sure what to do. I tried searching the manufactures site for answers and google but no luck so far.

But, I've got to fix it. So yesterday I went to look at motherboards. With the pace of innovation, they no longer sell my motherboard, an ABIT BL7−RAID. That means most likely after I put in a new board I will have to re−install Windows since it will not like the change. Grrr. There goes an entire day. It's not only Windows but I'll have to reinstall all my apps.

On top of that, none of the current boards use my ram anymore. I don't know all the details of ram but when I bought it last year there was PC100 and PC133 ram and Rambus ram. I got PC133. Now all the motherboards use Rambus or they use DDR ram called PC1600, PC2100 or PC2700. In otherwords if I get a new board I need to get new ram. Add another $150.

Next I looked over the boards. I found one board I was interested in. The ABIT IT7. It includes USB 2.0, iLink, Ethernet, Raid and Sound. I was just about to buy it when I noticed it does not have PS/2 Mouse and Keyboard ports!!! That makes sense, that stuff is kind of getting phased out and people are using USB mice and USB keyboards. The problem is I have a KVM switch that lets me share my PS/2 mouse and keyboard with 2 machines. In order to use this board I would have to get a new KVM switch that also supports USB. Unfortunately a KVM switch that supports USB is $200 to $300!!!! So, I guess that's out.

The next motherboard down and I guess the same in the series from my BL7 is the BD7−II At the stores it's only $30 less than the IT7 but it's got no iLink and no Raid. I probably don't need the Raid or the iLink but there's just something that bugs me about paying $210 for one board and only $30 less for lesser other board with features that would cost me $120 to add back. If it was like $100 for the lesser board there would be no question except still, it's going to be $250 with memory.

So, I waited and hoped that when I got home my computer would once again have spontainiously started itself. Fortunately it had. And again, this morning it would not turn on. The code on the motherboards cycles through C0, C1, A?, AF. The A? goes by so fast I can't tell what it says. Checking the manual C0 is checking the cache, C1 is checking memory, A0−AF are not listed 😞

I believe it's all under warrently but of course as the problem is intermittent I'm sure if I take it down to some store it will work just fine for them and it will take weeks to get it serviced during which time I could not use my computer.

Ugh, I guess I'm hoping I can find a solution that doesn't require me to oodles of money I don't have.

Panasonic DMR-HS2
The End of the Camera