Tag Archives: computers

Technical difficulties

(Warning: mildly boring post ahead.)

It occurred to me tonight that it’s high time for another England post. However, we’re experiencing some technical difficulties with our desktop, which holds our photographs. I suppose I could just use a memory stick to move them over to the laptop. Maybe I will.  Maybe.

So a couple of weeks ago our flatscreen monitor, which we bought a couple of years ago, started acting funny. Normally, when the computer shuts down, the monitor goes into power-save mode and a blue light flashes around the power button. When the desktop is turned on, the monitor also turns on. However, a couple of weeks ago things changed. When I turned on the desktop, the monitor wouldn’t turn on, but would actually do the reverse: the blue light flashing around the power button would turn off completely and the screen would remain dark even after the computer had booted up. Only by a repeated sequence of unplugging the power to the monitor, plugging it back in, waiting to see if the blue light turns on and if so letting it sit for a while, then unplugging it and plugging it in again would the monitor eventually stay on. It’s almost as if the monitor has to warm up.

This began after a week of storms during which our power repeatedly turned off while the computer was on.  Everything is plugged into a heavy-duty surge strip, but I thought perhaps the monitor’s hardware had been adversely effected by the frequent power surges.

Today I plugged the monitor into the laptop and bing-bang-boom, it worked fine.

Not long after this (or possibly at the same time), our internet connection starting acting up.  Suddenly, the computer was giving “weak or no signal” alerts on its network connection. The wireless network adaptor (an alternate option on the desktop) was picking up the campus wireless, but only a very weak signal, which it constantly dropped.

I had one of the school’s computer people over to check it out, thinking it was a problem with the line coming into the house.  But the land line works well and is very fast when connected to the laptop. So the problem is the desktop.

It’s either hardware or software.  I’m not aware of any major software updates or changes in the last couple of months. Thinking my ethernet card was worn out or broken, I borrowed an ethernet card from the school to see if that would make a difference.  I haven’t installed it yet, but I’m not holding my breath.  After doing some online reading today and speaking with one of the school’s computer technicians, I’m worried that perhaps it’s the motherboard going.  There seems to be some kind of power loss going on.

I know nothing about motherboards.

However, I would consider buying a new motherboard if a) it would be cheaper than replacing the whole desktop, and b) it’s not too complicated to install.

I’m looking at you, Toni–what do you make of this?

At any rate, I’ve started transferring about 80GB of data from the hard drive to the external hard drive, just in case things go bad.