Sunday, August 21, 2022

My Linux desktop died

I don't think the recent storm had anything to do with it. I think it being an old device was all that was the problem. But what a problem it was. And is. But not an insurmountable problem.

On Wednesday night, I pulled up the Linux desktop computer and there was a major display problem. Now, realize that I have a KVM switch controlling input/output on four devices (three, actually, but it handles four). I had been using a Raspberry Pi, then switched to a Windows desktop to do some stuff. When I finished that, I switched it to the Linux desktop. And only then did I see the problem.

That morning, the computer was working fine. I had used it to check email when I woke up, and when I left for work on Wednesday morning, everything was fine. Wednesday night, around 8:00 PM, when I next went to the device, there was a display issue. The screen looked really bad. I was worried it was a cable, but the Num Lock and Caps Lock buttons didn't toggle the associated lights, so I knew the computer itself was locked up. So, I powered down, waited a little bit, then powered up.

The computer wouldn't start. It's a Dell desktop, and the light on the power button was amber, and gave two flashes, then seven flashes. The codes I've found indicated amber and white flashes, not both being amber. And the online data conflicts, but one indicated a CPU problem, and the other indicated a memory problem. Either is a problem.

As it's not the only computer I have, and not the only Linux computer I have, I decided to wait until the weekend to deal with it. So, I unplugged it, and went about my business, knowing that Sunday afternoon would be a busy afternoon.

You see, it was too late to begin on Wednesday night (not urgent, as I have other computers), and I had things to do Thursday and Friday nights. Saturday was an out of town trip, and I wasn't sure how I'd feel after getting home Saturday evening. So, I decided I'd tackle things Sunday afternoon. And this afternoon, that's what I'll do.

First thing I'll do is remove the SSD I installed and put it in another old Dell desktop that's on the floor next to the bad device. I had two from which to choose when I decided to replace the hard drive with an SSD, and picked the one on the left. Well, now that the one on the left has gone bad, I'll put the drive in the one on the right. I may have to start over, but if the drive will work as is, or good enough to reconfigure easily to that computer, I'll be back up and running this afternoon. Then I'll start working on the bad desktop device.

I'll put the old hard drive back in and see how it goes. I may end up having to buy new memory modules for it, and if so, I'll deal with that. But I may have a bad CPU, and if that's the case, I'm not sure if I want to take the trouble to deal with that. I'll find out soon enough.

I did decide to check out what it would have cost me if I needed to buy a computer to run. A new one ran over $500. But an older device that would run Linux was under $150. So, more than I wanted to spend, but not terribly bad. With all the computers I have access to, my Streaming Life isn't impacted in any major way at all. And I'm fortunate that way.

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