Yesterday, all my troubles seemed in the computer array …

Hello and happy holidays to everyone.   I hope each of you have had a joyous holiday so far, filled with food and enjoyment.   The last time I fixed up the computers I mentioned I had blown out the graphics card.  The new card arrived late last week and I put it in.    Also the platter 1tb hard drive I used in that computer was chattering bad.   Not a good sign.  I planned to change it out with another one soon.   Well soon happened Christmas day because I may or may not have had a medium risk virus / malware I couldn’t clear that looking back I was attacking the wrong thing.

I ran Norton Power Eraser first thing on both computers.  The Video computer was clean, no problems.   The Blogging computer had the medium severity virus / malware saying it was in the GeForce …, which is where I screwed up.   Because I tired from being up most of the night due to both steroids and both Ron and James setting the house alarm system off.   I miss read where the virus was.   It was not in the graphics card driver like I assumed.   It was on a file to install the automatic GeForce NVidia graphics card drivers.  But the driver install and the program install had very similar names and I did not catch the difference.    

When I ran the cleaner program it said it couldn’t remove the malware.  I Was surprised as it normally uninstalls the malware easily.  I uninstalled the driver manually but the computer kept putting it back in when I tried to run the Power Eraser scan.  And every scan was telling me that I still had the virus.   After about a couple hours I decided to stop monkeying around and just dump the OS (Windows) and change the secondary drive I was using for the data / programs not need to installed on the OS SSD.  I did that.  Ron put the computer back on the floor and as I am not supposed to get down on the floor or under desks ROn hooked it back up. 

 

That is when I found out I seriously messed up my windows install USB last time I was doing the install / changing drives.   I was having an issue with the 1 TB hard drives and switching data / programs where I wanted them.  I was getting write protected errors and blocks.  I changed the attributes on the drive and files and forced the changes.   It was only after that I suspected I was trying to do it to the Window’s install USB, destroying the ability to use it to install Windows OS.  Lucky for me I have several others but they were even older versions and would need even more time consuming updating.  I worried it was so old that windows would reject it.  

When you install windows if you leave the computer connected to the internet the OS program will go to Window’s servers and install an updated copy of the OS program.   That saves a lot of time installing, updating, installing more, updating over and over.   I have taken to doing that.   Yes it is before the anti-malware anti-virus and firewalls are installed but I find it is an acceptable risk.  But right after it stops downloading and get to the region / license stage you must disconnect the internet access or Window’s will force you to use your online Microsoft account or set one up to start the computer.   I hate that because it informs Microsoft every time you start your computer, plus it use to require a person to keep putting in their password to start the computer.   The first time I did the installation I forgot and locked myself in a loop of Windows refusing to let me go further unless I used the Microsoft account.   I had to redo the download and start of the install.  

Once I got the OS running I installed Norton and ran the power eraser.   Still had the malware.   But I had not installed the graphics driver so I looked closely at where the malware location was.  Damn it, it was on a thumb drive I was storing some of the programs I wanted to install so I wouldn’t have to look each one up.   I deleted the file, and told the NPE to fix the problem, and it did.   What a lot of extra work because I did not read / understand what the malware was or where it was located.   

Well I got everything done and set up by 10:30 last night and went to bed.   Hopefully I can do a bit of computer housekeeping and get to answering comments and do a bit of posting.    Best wishes and hugs.

Where has Scottie been, what has this week devolved into

Hello All you grand and wonderful people.   I think I am mostly back, except I may drop out for a while this afternoon while Ron puts up new shelves over my computer spot in the living room.  My desk is far too crowded and it started to cause things to get knocked over and off the desk.  It got really annoying after the second soda spill.   

Using the time machine lets go back to Wednesday when all of the commotion and destruction started.   We won’t need the way back machine Mr. Peabody as it is only last Wednesday even though it seems a lifetime ago.   

Last Wednesday started out really well, I got up early because I couldn’t sleep, and started right in on some computer work.    When Ron got up and had coffee we went for a walk.   That was when the first part of the trouble started.   It was a nice walk but we cut it short and went home.  My heart rate during the walk started spiking then just stayed up.  I was running on average about 118 BPM.  The spikes were higher.   I used to have a heart rate problem where I ran between 120 and 130 all the time with spikes into the 140s to 150s.  Seriously not good.  I was very short of breath a lot.   They put me on some medications that brought my pulse and blood pressure down and normally I run about 72 at rest.   I run high when I exercise but normally it goes back down and was over time lowering as I keep up the daily walks.  But I had to stop for a time due to pain.  Well that Wednesday it only went down to 95 and kept hovering around 101.   Ron was getting upset because he said I was white / very pale with no color in my face.  I was really not feeling well, so I went to bed for most of the day.   I got up at about 4PM.   That was the start of the rest of the trouble that hit.  

I had ordered two 500 GB Solid State Drives, one SSD for each computer.   I had upgraded the video cards in both computers and the one computer had a small SSD that made it faster and not get bogged down when a lot of stuff was running as the operating system was on the SSD and the data / programs on a 1 TB HD.  The problem was the SSD in the newer computer that I call my blogging computer was small, it is only a 128, and windows took up a large portion of the drive by itself and even though I shifted as many programs as possible to the other hard drive the fact was that with the ones that cannot be shifted the drive was almost full which was limiting the page filing and other systems.   Plus I was worried it was slowing down the operation of the security systems to have it running on a separate drive from the OS.   I ordered the SSDs, cables, and one carrier / cage / tray holder for the SSD that I wanted to put in the video computer.  The video computer did not come with an SSD drive so it had no place to put one or cables set up.  So I had everything to do the improvements.  

I wanted to dive right in.  Ron was worried I had not felt well all day and even though my heart rate was back to a more normal rate and my color had returned, he figured it had a lot to do with the fact I spent the day in bed, and he did not want me getting all deep and excited over the new parts and computer issues.   I assured him it was a simple matter and I would let him carry the computers and help me.   I should have let him also unhook the wires but that also makes him nervous so I got down on the floor and crawled under the table desk (much easier than a normal desk, it is higher and more open) to unhook the cables / wires.  Then crawled out while Ron put the computer on the counter.   

I started with the video computer as I figured it would be the hardest as it needed the new case / tray for the SSD to sit in and new data wire plugged into the board to the new drive.   After I opened it up Ron took the opportunity to again clean any speck of dust or cat fur from the computer, he is seriously good at cleaning and I hate to do it so he cleans the computers but I have to open them up and remove the things he wants to clean.   Division of labor in a good marriage / relationship.     While most of the computer was really clean already the input ports needed a little work according to Mr. Clean.   I had to try put the new SSD in the tray several ways to see what worked best for the plugs and for setting it in the hardware.   I got it all done, plugged in, everything went great.  I had to remove the graphics card and the memory to get to the motherboard plug spots, but all seemed good when I put everything back in.    Ron carried it over to the desk, and I got under it to plug it in.   So far so good.   I went under the other side of the desk and got the other computer unhooked for Ron, then while he set it on the counter, I started the video computer we just added the drive to and set Windows to installing on the new drive, wiping out the old windows on the now second hard drive that used to be the only drive.   

That was the mistake I made that cost me three days of trouble and another $200 dollars.  I started the install on the video computer, then went to work putting the new SSD drive in the blogging computer that already had a smaller SSD.  I figured that would be easier, and it was but it still took time.   I had forgotten how much faster the new SSD was than the old platter hard drive and the video computer finished the first part of the install before I even got the second case fully open.  No problem I thought, I have done this install thing and seen that green next step screen so many times I figured I had lots of time to respond, the computer couldn’t move forward until I clicked somethings and set the settings for it.   

Ron and I ignored it and kept working on the blogging computer and when we got done, as I was putting the case together and the side cover on I noticed the screen on the video computer had gone dark.   I told Ron that was unusual as I never seen it time out on this part of the install but then I never let it wait this long.  First clue I screwed up.   But I figured I could just get the screen back.   Nope, second clue I screwed up.   Ron put the blogging computer under the desk and I crawled under to hook it up.   At this point I had done a lot of bending, crawling, and standing.  All things on the try not to do list with my destroyed spine.   (yes the MRIs showed the problem areas in the lower spine have progressed / worsened but no more than mild damage to the upper / neck area spine.  I need to have the middle spine done someday) So I needed extra pain medication.   It all gets worse.   

I only have the one newer Windows install USB.  I have about 4 more older ones, and each computer keeps its own Windows key code so I can use the few years older Windows stick to install it and then it will update and install the active key code from the hardboard / bios.   So I figured I better finish the install of the video computer.   Only I couldn’t get the screen back.   Even on restart none of the bio checks (yes I run full bios checks with on screen display) did not display and even though the computer showed starting there was no screen display.  Ok.  This seems as a graphics problem so I take the HDMI cable from the graphics card and move it to the onboard intel HD graphics port.   The screen comes to life.   Oh shit.  I had just paid earlier in the year $220 Plus for these two cards.   They were working great.   I went into trouble shooting mode.   First thing is to see if I hooked everything up correctly inside the case and if I seated the card correctly.   I went under the desk, unhooked everything and Ron carried it to the counter.   I took the case apart to open it and took the graphics card out to check it.  It was warm.  So it was getting power.   It must have been inserted in the slot correctly.   I checked all the motherboard connections and everything was tight and good.   I put it together and closed the case up, Ron carried it to the desk and I again went under to hook it up.   It was getting harder each time, and I was starting to really hurt.   I started the computer and still no display on the card from the HDMI port but the motherboard graphics HDMI worked.   So the next step is to check the other display port types from the card.  The card has a 1x DVI, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort 1.4a. So I tried the DisplayPort.   No good.   At this point there is not reason to check the DVI output even though I have the cables.

I had a choice at this point.  It was getting late, about 11 o’clock.  Ron wanted me to go to bed, but when I have a computer issue I cannot stop or rest, so I took more pain pills and made a choice.  See at this point I could switch the video cards between the computers as they are the same card, then I could install the Windows OS on the computers using the video computers motherboard display and hope the windows updating the graphics drivers would trip the card to working again.  I decided to do that.  

I got windows installed and updated on both computers.  I kept going under the desk to change the video cable to the monitor to see if the video card had started working on the video computer.   Finally at 2:30 AM Thursday morning I went to bed, very upset and full of pain medication.  I got up 3 hours later and went back to work.  The blogging computer was working fine, it was updating and I was ready to start installing programs on it, so I decided to concentrate on the video computer and the not working video card.   I started up in the bios and went through it line by line, changing things I felt would help, but it made no difference no matter how I tried to force the bios to see the card it failed.  I cleaned up the installations I had made, dumped the computer and installed Windows OS again.   For the 5th time I think.

When Ron got up I explained that the only option left was to unhook both computers and take the working graphics card out of the blogging computer and try it in the video computer and put the bad card in the blogging computer.   If it worked it would tell us it was the card that had gone bad, if not it would be the motherboard slot or other motherboard issue.    I again much slower and much more painfully crawled under the desk and unhooked the connections from both computers.    Ron put them on the counter and I opened them up and swapped the video card from one to the other and closed them up.   Ron replaced them and I crawled under the desk again to hook them up.   This time the bad card was in the blogging computer and when I turned it on the graphics came up with the strangest matrix style green lines of crap, then settled into the normal screens but totally messed up.  Looked like a snowstorm of dots all over the screen.   The other computer came up on the graphic card and once I installed the driver and programs it worked perfectly.  (later I learned after installing a heat recording program that the motherboard heat sensor was not working either) When I removed the bad graphics card from the blogging computer (see the steps detailed above and repeat them with a lot more stiffness and pain) the card was very hot, which it shouldn’t normally have been for that short period of time, not working, and it has dual fans.   

So now I had my answers.   It seems that when I left the video computer setting on the first windows install screen it let the computer / video card overheat.   It had not done that before because I never let it sit there at that point for any length of time.   Either that or two different things died at the same time, the video card and the motherboard heat sensor.  But it makes no difference, I am left with two working computers and only one working graphics card.   I left it in the video computer as that needs the dedicated graphics more.     I do need good graphics on the blogging computer as I really need a clear crisp screen for my eyes.  

Ron and I talked about it.   Right now I am running the blogging computer off the motherboard graphics and it is causing a few problems but I can deal with them if need be for a while.   At this time of year funds are short with gifts and end of year donations to the things we feel are important causes to help with, such as food banks and doctors without borders to name a couple.   But the good news is that for some reason Amazon has the same graphics card I bought before on sale for $175 dollars, about a $50 dollars savings from when I bought them.   I had to think did I want to try to get a more powerful or more featured card for more money or get one I know worked well for my systems that I had no issues with.   I decided to go with the same card that will cost less.  The rest of the day was spent downloading and installing programs and updates, and doing tweaks as needed.  As for the card, it was doing what I needed before, why not stay with it?

I went to bed early Thursday late afternoon.   I was beyond tired and very sore almost sick, my stomach starting to revolt from the pain medication.  I slept hard until I got up with Ron late Friday morning for me.   I was in so much pain I could hardly walk.  I was in trouble pain wise.   Even though the computers were ready to use I couldn’t sit in my chair for long.  I couldn’t think due to pain brain fog taking more and more medication to handle the pain.   I finally gave up.  Friday was a wash, I went to bed and stayed there.   I got up later in the day and tried to do some stuff, only to return to bed.  

Which brings us to now, today Saturday now afternoon.   I woke up at 3 AM but Ron was not having a good night so I stayed in bed until 5 AM.   I started watching stuff on the video computer and trying to catch up on news.   I did some posting and then started writing this.   It has been interrupted many times, oh crap like dozens of times to do other things.   I found out from Ron about 10 AM we have a neighborhood Christmas get together between 3 and 6 PM.   I really don’t feel like it, Ron says I don’t have to go.   But he went to the last one at Thanksgiving and I stayed home.  I don’t want people to think I just don’t like them, yet I will most likely bored out of my mind.   I really want to stay here now that the computers are working and catch up on news / videos and comments / things I want to post.    I have gotten weird about get togethers.   I just don’t want to go to them much anymore.  I would rather be with the computers and you all.   Anyway that is why I have been gone and done little posting the last 4 days.   I am going to go lay down, and this evening do some comment answering.   Hugs, loves, and best wishes.   

I just talked to ron as he was getting ready to go over.   I explained how I felt.   He says I don’t need to go, he feels I should stay home.  I reminded him he has gone to many events here in the past decades that I wanted him to go to when I was VP of the homeowners board.  Ron says that was different.   I offered to go and after introductions and small talk leave, but he thinks it will be better if I just stay home.   Sadly this bothers me but I want to do this.    Hugs