Warning - geek heavy content.

Somehow, my last post about my dead home dev box seems to have disappeared. Odd. Anyhow, the posts have been light of late as I've been pretty busy at work, my sister Sue and friend Wendy are in town from the UK, and I'm getting ready for the trip down to San Francisco for the Game Developer's Conference. It's weird the conference being in SF after so many years in San Jose.

But I digress...

As my sister is here and sleeping in the office, I've been shutting down my machine at night (previously it's just always been on) and then on Wednesday we had a power cut after which it wouldn't start up. Nothing. The leds on the motherboard would light up, when power was applied, but it wouldn't actually start. Plus there was an unpleasant capacitor-burned-out kinda smell. Time for an upgrade!

So off I go to the local PC Club, and end up picking up a new case, power supply, PCI express motherboard, a gig of memory and a 3.2 GHz processor. Cool! I love putting machines together, so yesterday afternoon, after a fun trip with sis to the Museum Of Flight (got to go inside Concorde and an Airforce One) I don the latex gloves and build the machine. After a quick test with no drives installed, everything worked fine. As an aside, I knew the case was transparent on one side, but I didn't realize that the motherboard has a very bright neon blue led on it. So now my machine is a lowrider of a machine!

Then it was time for the drives. It was my plan to just use my two, ATA-133 drives from the old machine instead of getting new SATA drives as they're new and work just fine. I thought I'd just pop them in and I'd be done.

First problem. There's just one IDE connector on the mobo and I have four IDE devices (the drives, plus two optical drives). Handily, the mobo came with a connector that converts a SATA port to an IDE one. I thought I'd use that for the DVD burner and just ditch the other one, using the real IDE connector for the two IDE drives.

No joy. It seems that if anything is connected to a SATA port, then it must boot from SATA, so I disconnect that and my old Windows install boots from the primary IDE drive.

Except it doesn't. It seems that if the chipset has changed, Windows needs a reinstall.

OK, so I'll just reinstall Windows, no great shakes. Disconnect secondary IDE drive, use that for the DVD drive, boot Windows from CD and install, boot from IDE drive. Ackk, stupid me. Now, of course, I'm denied access to all my protected content as the machine and users have changed. Fiddle, fiddle, calcs, fiddle...

Long story short, I decided to just get a shiny new 250GB SATA drive to go along with the shiny new machine. I'll use the 130GB ATA-133 drive as a target for backups and ditch the old 80GB one.

I must say, this new machine is damn fast. Those SATA drives rock.