On Friday, I met Andrew at a Dunkin' Donuts as he was driving through the area, and borrowed a 2.5" hard disk from him. Over the weekend, I swapped it into my laptop, installed a fresh XP SP2, Notes 6.54, Firefox, MS Office, Visio, Project, Virtual PC, Visual Studio .NET, Eclipse, and lots of other stuff, and I also ran a lot of CPU and memory torture tests using Prime95. I even ran a defrag simultaneously with the torture testing, and the blue screens that I was getting last week have not returned. I've been using the laptop all day today normally, and I'll run more torture testing tonight.
So, at this point, I know that the problem was either the hard drive or a corrupted operating system. Given that the hard disk did pass all the diagnostics that I threw at it, I now suspect that a corrupted OS may indeed be the culprit. This is good news, as it means that the laptop itself is likely to be reliable enough to pass on to my daughter after I buy a new one, and it means that there's no particular rush for buying a new one. I can wait until August when back-to-school price cuts are in effect. The bad news is that my innate desire to know with certainty what was causing the blue screens isn't satisfied, but I'm not done with my investigation yet.
I had figured that if Andrew's hard disk worked, I'd go out and buy a new hard disk, take an image of the system running on the borrowed disk and transfer it over to the new disk. But why buy a new disk? Andrew's disk is the same size and even the same geometry as the hard disk that I've got. Why not just image Andrew's disk over onto my old disk? If it runs without blue screens, that will for all intents and purposes prove that a corrupted OS was to blame, and I save the cost of a new disk. I'll put the money into a new disk on my server to expand my backup capacity so that I can start keeping images of all my machines in "pristine" state.
1. TheOldGit06/28/2005 07:34:08 AM
Why not invest in one of these http://www.buffalotech.com/products/product-detail.php?productid=97&categoryid=19 ?
Mine should arrive tomorrow. It's a great place to keep all those disk images that you need to revert back to when problems arise!