A PC support trifecta.

Talk about your busy weekends. Friday I worked a half-day at home so we could take care of some errands in the afternoon. Courtney was due to spend the weekend at her aunt’s house out in Lake Orion and she had a half-day Friday plus we made arrangements to have our taxes done by our tax lady at H&R Block which was along the way. As along as we were going out to Lake Orion I figured I should take my nephew and niece’s PCs back out to them as it appeared I had nailed down what the issue was—the SATA controllers on both motherboards seem to be the source of their problems causing poor performance and random crashes—but that meant stopping by CompUSA to purchase a couple of replacement PATA hard drives and spending the evening at my brother’s house installing and staging the PCs. On top of all that we needed to hit Target to purchase a couple of swimsuits for Courtney for her gym class as they’re going to be swimming soon.

So around about noon we headed out to Target for the suits, grab some lunch at Taco Hell, and then head for the tax lady’s office. When we got to the office we found out that she had left for the day due to a family emergency so our appointment had been canceled. They had tried several times to contact us and let us know, but we were out and about already by the time the calls came in. So we headed for the CompUSA near my brother’s place to pick up the hard drives. The drives I was replacing were 80GB drives, but the smallest CompUSA had was 120GB—the SATA versions of which had rebates knocking them down to $39, but not the PATA versions. However there were PATA 200GB drives that did have rebates knocking them down to $59 each so, after much agonizing on my part, I went ahead and bought the 200GB drives knowing my nephew would be thrilled if not my brother. From there we headed over to drop Courtney off a bit ahead of schedule and we chatted with her aunt for a bit before finally heading over to my brother’s where we spent the rest of the evening as I worked on getting the new drives installed and the systems staged. With any luck, this will actually be the fix that allows those PCs to be stable for months at a time and the kids will finally be able to enjoy them for a change. This also allowed me to reclaim my own PC which I had loaned them to keep the kids busy while I was working on their boxes. I was up until the wee hours of the morning trying to get the image I’d made of my hard drive to restore only to have it fail and force me to start over from scratch at 4AM. I went to bed instead.

Saturday was spent working on getting my PC restaged and back up to snuff along with working on my sister-in-law’s sister-in-law’s PC that I had brought home last week to do a simple restage on only to find the hard drive had some bad sectors it couldn’t map out. Then I also worked on a family friend’s PC that I built for her almost two years ago that she appears to have fried the motherboard on. Lastly I worked on my sister’s laptop that I’ve had for months now (since before we moved) and completely forgot about until this weekend. In the end I was able to get my box back up and running and my sister’s laptop. I need to contact my Amber’s sister-in-law to ask if she wants me to purchase a new HD for her and I’m working on figuring out which Socket 754 motherboard would be the best replacement for the fried PC. I don’t want to get the same motherboard as it was a Chaintech VNF3-250 and that’s the same as I used in the kid’s PCs that were having all the trouble with the SATA drives.

Sunday was spent mostly sleeping and/or watching TV/playing Resident Evil 4. I didn’t even turn on my PC until around 7:30 or 8PM and then I spent a little bit of time in World of Warcraft, Call of Duty 2, and Civ IV. So it was a busy weekend for me, except for Sunday, on which day I rested. Now I need a weekend from my weekend.

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