Scampo Vigil Day 2

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[Update 2011-02-19T00:03Z: I reposted this post to included it in the Scampo category.  That also caught a spelling error.  And I noticed a new difference in using Windows Live Writer 2011.  Apparently, if I recall an existing post and update it, WLW now saves it as a new post.  That is not what I wanted and previous versions, unavailable now, did accomplish what I had in mind if I did nothing about the post date.  So I am trying this in the browser-based editor directly in MovableType.  I hate that.  Grr.]

At the end of the first-day vigil, I noticed what appeared to be progressive Desktop PC organ death from shutdown to startup today.  Being mindful of the key symptoms, I was careful to avoid problematic operations today.  I also continued regular backups and movement of material for retention and backup on the Windows Home Server.  I also made progress in setting up Quadro, the Tablet PC, for operation as a stand-in until the Scampo Desktop PC is fully retired and the new PC, Astraendo, can take over.

Multiple Organ Failure?

I had noticed this in previous evenings, but last night it was seriously in my face.  While watching Netflix Internet content, and watching CSI programs on the CBS web site, Internet explorer started reporting that it needed to close a tab and I would have to restore my viewing to the place where it was interrupted.

Last night, this happened repeatedly.  And on restoring to content that was barely begun, it would also send the computer into an automatic reboot.

Rather than keep going through that, I forced a shutdown at my login page, except the shutdown itself didn’t end and I eventually shut the machine down manually.

This has me think that part of my troubles may be the graphics card in the system.

This morning, I was greeted with  “We apologize for the inconvenience but Windows did not start normally.”  However, after a progression of attempts, I managed to use the system for Outlook, web browsing, and transfer of more material to the Windows Home Server for backup.

Mitigation Opportunities

I am continuing with a systematic transfer of functions to Quadro, the Tablet PC, and removing essential material to the Windows Home Server where it can be transferred to the new PC when the time comes.  The use of Quadro is important because it avoids throwing a big switch without any fall-back.  There are also some facilities that don’t seem to work on Windows 7 and I am ensuring that I have a Windows XP where they are working until I resolve that.

  1. If necessary, I can remove the GeForce 7300 graphics card from Scampo and revert to the OEM graphics. All I need to do is find the VGA cable to use in place of the DVI cable that I am using now.  I would rather not do that, but it remains an option.
  2. If necessary, I could also take the 250GB hard drive from Scampo and add it to Astraendo.  This would allow me to recover other material at my leisure.  The one concern is that it might be the hard drive that is at least one of the problems here.
  3. A smarter move would be to add the 250GB hard drive to Windows Home Server, but without adding it to the Drive Extender Pool.  It could just be available to Astraendo and Quadro as a shared drive.  Another advantage, so long as Windows Home Server considers the drive to be healthy, is to also use that drive, once scrubbed, as a backup drive for the Windows Home Server system and other material that backs up the nicest to a local drive.   This is the most appealing option at the moment.

Nodding Off to Quiet Slumber

Tonight, Scampo has been idling and I have made manual backups of its Outlook PSTs for availability tomorrow to either Scampo or Quadro, depending on the situation.  The final action is a manually-initiated full backup to the Windows Home Server.  Then Scampo will be shut down until the morning.

Remaining Effort

The full screen capture was useful in having me notice that there were some files that existed exclusively on the desktop itself.

I am slowly whittling down the desktop icons and shortcuts as I ensure that the material is either unnecessary or is recoverable from backup materials.

I am yet to look at the full set of installed programs, the scale of which is revealed in the All Programs menu on Scampo:

I'm sure I don't need all of this, but I will review them carefully

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The 1024 x 768 pixel display on Quadro, a Tablet PC, requires some adaptation in carrying-on activities that are ordinarily carried out using a 24” 1920 x 1080 display.  The crowding of icons onto the left side is a... Read More

The late decline of Scampo, my deteriorating desktop PC, was marked by a succession of near-death experiences.  These events all occurred at either start-up or shut-down.  Somehow, I was able to extend the operation of the machine well beyond... Read More

While the Scampo death-watch continued, it was necessary to organize affairs and make sure that all of Scampo’s estate was inventoried and identified for disposal or preservation.  I organized a review by examining the existing sources of inventor... Read More

When the inventory and backups from Scampo, the failing Media Center PC, were complete, I needed to do some final cleanups.  I had uninstalled all Windows-programs that I could while remaining in operation.  Now I needed to scrub the disk,... Read More

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dennis E. Hamilton published on January 22, 2011 10:54 PM.

Scampo Vigil Day #1 was the previous entry in this blog.

Quadro: Standing in a Smaller Window is the next entry in this blog.

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