No computer for a while

Discussion in 'The Meadow' started by Ken1171, Jan 29, 2019.

  1. Ken1171

    Ken1171 Distinguished Contributing Artist

    My production PC now fails to boot after a power outage we had last night. It crashes at the POST screen, way before Windows even starts, so the BIOS chip might be busted. I was working on the new face for the Universal Anime Head, but now all my projects will have to be postponed. I am writing this from my spare laptop, since my tablet's battery has died last year. Where I live, computer parts and general electronics imports are basically illegal, so this may take some time.

    Just wanted you guys to know that I won't be doing much 3D for a while, until this can be resolved.
     
  2. Janet

    Janet Extraordinary Contributing Artist

    That sucks! Guess that mean no Amazon. What if someone just sends you parts as a gift?
     
  3. Miss B

    Miss B Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time CV-BEE

    YIKES!! Just be sure you don't disappear from the forums totally, or we'll be wondering if YOU are OK.
     
  4. Alisa

    Alisa HW3D QAV Queen Bee Staff Member QAV-BEE

    Yikes indeed. Hope it can be resolved more quickly than you're thinking.
     
  5. Ken1171

    Ken1171 Distinguished Contributing Artist

    Well, there is Amazon here, but they are only allowed to sell books, and nothing else. As surprising as it may sound, it doesn't matter who pays for the imports, because the trap is at the post office, where we are taxed 260% on retrieval. And it's taxed over *their* price tag estimation, not the actual price on the invoice. I know it's ridiculous, but that's how it has been since 1934.

    Thank you, Miss B! I will be around, just no computer to work on.

    Me too! ^^
     
    Janet likes this.
  6. Ken1171

    Ken1171 Distinguished Contributing Artist

    I know this mobo has a BIOS protection feature, and I know it was the BIOS that got corrupted. I have checked the manual, and there is an option to re-flash the BIOS even if the computer won't POST. This is one of the things I love about ASUS mobos - they think about everything! Without this, I would have to physically replace the BIOS chip.

    @Janet has suggested I try the BIOS reflash through the USB port feature, and... it worked! Yaaay, I can boot Windows again, but the audio card still seems to be dead. That's not a total loss because the mobo has its own audio hardware. Not as good as a dedicated Sound Blaster Zx, but better than no sound. A thousand thanks to Janet for all the support she gave me in difficult times. ^___^

    My PC is back, but we are having a heatwave and my A/C is broken. I am afraid of damaging the computer by operating it under massive 90-110F temperatures. It's 4AM and it's 93F even indoors. It doesn't cool down even at night. O___O
     
    mininessie and Janet like this.
  7. Janet

    Janet Extraordinary Contributing Artist

    Hahaha you make me sound like I know what I'm talking about. It was really my son. I skyped him the model specs you messaged me and told him what happened. He did the rest. He's really good with computers. When he was 10 he built one inside a shoe box from parts he scavenged dumpster diving at the university we lived near. And it really worked!

    Just glad you are up and running again!
     
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  8. Ken1171

    Ken1171 Distinguished Contributing Artist

    I had already experienced a BIOS crash that required replacing the chip on the mobo before, so when I've built this PC, I've got a mobo that has protection against BIOS corruption. I had never used the feature, though, so it took me a while to figure it out while reading the manual. It wasn't complicated, but it was certainly VERY unusual. The computer couldn't POST or boot, and this protection feature could handle that, and even much worse situations. ASUS has introduced the ability to flash a corrupted BIOS without having a video card, no RAM memory installed, or without even having to power up the computer. All it needs is a power supply and a USB drive plugged in. You don't even have to open the case, and certainly don't need to purchase and install a new BIOS chip, like I had to do before. Just plug the PSU to the wall, plug the USB drive, and press a little button on the back for 3 seconds. This does the impossible - it recovers a corrupted BIOS, and now the PC can complete POST and boot again. Amazing stuff!

    However, my fancy Sound Blaster Zx card has died and could not be recovered. This is, in part, a design flaw with these "open radiators" video cards with dual or triple fans of nowadays. In the past, video cards used to be entirely closed, blowing the hot air through vents to the outside of the case. On one hand, this forced the hot air to pass through the entire card electronics, which is bad, but had the advantage of not heating up the case interior. Nowadays, most video cards are no longer closed, and blow hot air inside the case, heating up the entire system. The audio card was sitting just besides the video card, and even having a big metal radiator didn't save it from overheating, because those are a passive kind of cooling. With this kind of design, we cannot use the PC on a hot summer day (my A/C is not working). Not a total loss when the mobo has integrated Realtek audio built-in. By far not good as the Sound Blaster Zx, but it's decent.

    But ASUS thought of this, too. The Sabertooth X99 "TUF" mobo comes with military-grade solid state titanium capacitors, plus a shield that encloses the entire mobo electronics, protecting them from being overheated by "open radiators" video cards of nowadays. Instead, the mobo components are cooled under the thermal shield by a dedicated fan. This explains why only the sound card (RIP) got busted, while the mobo components are less affected by the GPU blowing hot air over them. The mobo also includes a full metal plate that runs across the entire back side, which serves a dual purpose. It keeps the mobo from warping under heavy CPU radiators and large GPUs, and helps dissipate mobo components heat through the back side.

    Even though the ASUS Sabertooth X99 is an old model, it's military-grade components grant us a whooping 5-years warranty. Based on my recent experience, I recommend this ASUS "TUF" lineup of mobos if you are building a new PC. A busted BIOS used to mean bricking the computer permanently, but these mobos have proven today that they can survive some impossible situations. Worth every penny. :)
     
    Janet likes this.
  9. Alisa

    Alisa HW3D QAV Queen Bee Staff Member QAV-BEE

    Glad the computer's working.

    Ugh about the heat wave!
     
  10. Ken1171

    Ken1171 Distinguished Contributing Artist

    Thanks, Alisa! It sucks when A/C breaks when we need it the most. In general, I think I have only used it like a dozen times since we bought it. Not very sturdy, it seems. ;p
     
  11. DanaTA

    DanaTA Adventurous

    Ken, you should invest in a UPS. I use APC UPSs, they're the best. Years ago, I lost a hard drive to a "brownout", a momentary power interruption. The tech told me that in those times, sometimes the head will bounce on the disk, and if it's parked at the boot sector, bye bye boot sector. The PC models have an equipment warranty in case of failure. There have been a lot of happy people with APC units. I read a testimonial once of a person whose house took a direct lightning strike. The APC UPS was toast, but it protected the computer and equipment that was connected to it. And when there's a true outage, they give you time to shut down properly.
     
  12. Ken1171

    Ken1171 Distinguished Contributing Artist

    I do have a voltage regulator with surge protection, but no UPS. Not sure if I could afford it, but I would love to have one. Pricing here can sometimes reach as much as 10X the market value in the US due to 54 embedded taxes.
     
  13. DanaTA

    DanaTA Adventurous

    Ouch! I don't know where "here" is, but it sounds like a place I wouldn't want to live. That's insane! Especially with how low prices have gotten on technology lately. You have my sympathies.

    Dana
     
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  14. Ken1171

    Ken1171 Distinguished Contributing Artist

    Thank you, Dana! It's Brazil over here - the place where villains always run away to in movies. LOL
     
  15. DanaTA

    DanaTA Adventurous

    Oh! I didn't know things were that bad in Brazil! All I ever see about Brazil are the stories of the feasts, mardi-gras (or is that only in New Orleans?), the parades and such.

    Dana
     
  16. Ken1171

    Ken1171 Distinguished Contributing Artist

    Oh the country is Ok - one of the richest in the world. It has everything, and no natural disasters. Maybe a few earthquakes, but always in remote areas where nobody lives. The problem was when communism went down in Europe, they migrated to Central and South America to start over where nobody has ever heard of them. They abandoned classic Marxism and adopted the more modern Gramscist kind of slow, sneaky, and steady infiltration. It took them decades to occupy all spaces and install a cultural revolution that have destroyed many countries around here. Venezuela was the last and most recent to fall for it.

    But like they say, communism ends when other people's money ends. They took one of the richest countries in the planet and brought it to its knees, where it has remained for the last 20 years. Total social, financial, and educational disaster, and it has cost us unimaginable amounts of tax payer money to get there. Well, the money is over, and the widespread communism seems to be falling along with it. More recently, Russia and China have become more active trying to save it, but people already had enough of it by now.

    The next 4 years will be decisive for Brazil. It will either [finally] get rid of communism, or be taken back into it by force. The Chinese have built a large military complex in northern Argentina, and Russia wants to build war-grade weapons factories in Venezuela. Brazil is being surrounded by Russia and China's military might. The US and allies are possibly being pulled into another war against the commies.

    Can't say it's boring over here.
     
  17. DanaTA

    DanaTA Adventurous

    Oh, dear. :unsure: That's all I can say. I hope things turn around.

    Dana
     
  18. Ken1171

    Ken1171 Distinguished Contributing Artist

    All we can do is hope for the best. :)
     
    mininessie likes this.
  19. carmen indorato

    carmen indorato Extraordinary

    I set up a computer "room" in a large walk-in closet in my bedroom. I installed a few battery back-ups and got a small desktop air conditioning unit and everything works beautifully...........until it doesn't and then I wonder why I did all the damn work and spent all the darn money!
     
  20. carmen indorato

    carmen indorato Extraordinary

    If the Dems in US have their way we will be doomed to being sucked into the same Socialist (they call Socialist Democracy for now) and beyond cataclysm. One would think upon hearing their sales pitch for ANYTHING Socialist American citizens would run them all out of town on a pike tarred and feathered! The problem is they pander on the poor and disenfranchised and yeah, I will say it., badly educated young, who want it all FREEEEEEE and vote for idiots reaching for power without regarding the long term effects. . I hate reading or hearing what is happening in democratic capitalist countries being destroyed like this. When I worked on the cruise ship one of the port o-calls was Venezuela, mother had a cousin living there who made a fortune in trade. It was a beautiful country. Sad to hear what is happening there.
     
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