A lot of stuff has happened since my last post: my sister got married, I had a birthday, and school started back. However, none of those are particularly interesting or tech-oriented, but here’s some things that are:
Since my last post about fixing my video card, the fan naturally died again. I should have expected this. Trick #2 to know about fans is that after they’ve failed once, they’ll probably fail again soon after fixing them. I overlooked this fact because I was too satisfied with my work. But after confirming the fan had died a second time, I went ahead and ordered a copper GPU HSF kit (VANTEC CCB-A1C) from Newegg.
The installation was mostly straight-forward except that I had to modify the 3-pin fan connector to fit the 2-pin header on the video card. I did this by putting the 3-pin wires (of which there were only 2; the third wire is typically for RPM monitoring) into the previous fan’s 2-pin connector (the plastic part). The thing about 2-pin and 3-pin connectors is that they don’t terminate the wires the same way, so I basically just had to force the wires down into the connector, hoping the pressure would keep them contacting the header pins. It’s pretty ghetto.
Kaylen’s a sweetie. She got me a Western Digital 320GB (3200AAKS) SATA drive for my birthday. Unfortunately, she (and I) overlooked the fact that this drive only has a SATA power connector, which my PSU lacks. In my defense, the Newegg page that I sent to her about it had no mention of what power connectors it offered. Newegg came to the rescue again, though, with a SATA power to 4-pin Molex adapter for a few bucks, which was shipped in an absurdly large box filled almost completely with packing peanuts.
The hard drive upgrade plan (which I devised a year or more ago) was to copy each current drive up to the next highest capacity drive and then remove the oldest drive, a near-failing Maxtor 40GB. Thus, the 40GB drive’s data would go to the 80GB, the 80 to the 160, and the 160 to the new 320 (in the reverse order, obviously). This process went rather smooth until I got to the 40GB drive, which held the OS and boot loader stuff. I knew I couldn’t just copy the drive within Windows and expect it to boot. There are just too many OS-locked system files, for one thing; but also, the Master Boot Record won’t be copied. I looked around for a while trying to find the right way to approach this. After a whole afternoon of failed WD Data Lifeguard bootable floppies, I finally found a program that would do everything I wanted, Acronis True Image. It will step you through a simple wizard that will even let you resize copied partitions and then force you to reboot into a Windows console (like Scandisk uses) that flies through the process. It even gives you time to unplug the source drive so that it can assign the correct drive letters to the destination. It worked flawlessly (after I converted the source drive from FAT32 to NTFS). I now have about 280GB free across 3 drives–I wonder how long it’ll take me to fill them all up.
Lastly, if you haven’t seen the new show on G4, Code Monkeys, then you really need to. Even if you don’t get that channel, you know there are plenty of sources for the episodes on eMule. Basically, it’s a show about 80s video games that looks like an 80s video game. The comedy is a good amount of raunchy and there are plenty of game references strewn about the sets. Seriously, if you’re a gamer or a programmer, you will love this show. /end plug