Fixing Dad’s PC
When my sisters came out to visit yesterday, they brought what’s left of Dad’s PC (an old Q6600 that was a very nice machine in it’s heyday) with them so that I can try and put it back together. His PSU blew out a while back, and conveniently didn’t take much with it, but we cannibalized the hard drive to fix Mum’s DVR last time I was out there, so he was missing that too.
So I sorted through my stuff to work out what I had laying around… a no-name PSU of questionable quality, and an old Antec semi-modular that’s supposedly 430W. That’ll probably do the trick. I also scavenged a 320GB and a 200GB hard drive from the machine I got to use as a case for Duncan’s PC. I put everything together, fired it up… nothing.
Turns out that one RAM slot is no good for some reason. Three sticks in, it’s fine. Four sticks? No POST. Interestingly, it’s not the RAM stick, as if I swap them around it still POSTs fine as long as the fourth slot is empty. Once I figured that out though, no video. The fan doesn’t spin, and is very stiff, so I’m suspecting it’s cooked. That’s not really a problem, as I have an old 7950GT I’ve been trying to give away that’s actually an upgrade from this little piece of shit, so I put that in too.
Installed Windows on the 320GB disk, and it keeps freezing (but recovering). I suspect that’s hard disk related, so I checked the Event Viewer, and sure enough it’s having to send resets to the device. So I threw that drive away, and installed again on the 200GB disk, which worked fine.
Final hurdle: drivers for this ancient Nvidia card. Couldn’t automatically find them, but searching around manually found me the GeForce driver 309.08 which supports the 7950GT on Windows 8, 7 and Vista, but installed without a hiccup on 10 and worked flawlessly.
Windows wouldn’t activate, but that’s Dad’s problem… he should have a license for it, having bounced through 7 (this machine was originally Vista).