My PC kept hanging up on me while I was browsing the Net with Mozilla the fire-fox. Sometimes it just hanged, sometimes it simply shut down and restarted. My conclusion; I need more RAM. So I went hunting for a DDR-512M chip and found one costing RM109. Cheap lah, I thought. Like the man said, I plugged it in the front slot and moved the original 256M into the 2nd slot. But there was no response. I got only a beep and a black screen. The only way it worked was when I plugged back the 256M into the original slot.
After I had plugged and unplugged, applied contact spray, rubbed all the 184 contacts with a piece of eraser, and fiddled every which way for a dozen times, I took it back to the shop together with my whole CPU and they did some more plugging and unplugging with the chips and then declared, this doesn't fit your pc, I'll change another one for you… Yeah, that's what I wanted to hear. He gave me a Kingston (made in the same Taiwan as the chip he first sold to me). This one worked, but my PC started to act funny and kept showing me an error message about something-or-other file being corrupted or missing-or-whatever. I said, never mind, I'll just reload Windows. No big deal. So confident.
I took it home and plugged everything in, but now Windows totally refused to run. I proceeded to re-install Windows. After formatting the allocated disk space (I must have done that more than 2 dozen times already with this PC) it began copying Windows files into the hard disk. But there was a pause with the complaint that the file frmo.dll (or whatever) was not properly copied or the installation disk had a problem or whatever and if it is repeated to please take it back to the shop and ask them go jump in the lake with it…. I really don't remember the exact words but that's what it sounded like to me. But I didn't do that, (I mean about asking them jump in the lake) but I switched to a disk of an earlier version of WindowsXP. The same complaint that the file frmo.dll (or whatever) was not properly copied or the installation disk had a problem or whatever and if it is repeated to please take it back to the shop and ask them go jump in the lake with it…showed up again.
Flabergasted I was, but I kept at it until my eyes couldn't stay open. Then decided I'd rather go sleep it off. No, I couldn't sleep thinking about it. I decided the CD-RW must be old enough to retire. Maybe that's why sometimes it didn't read my CDs. 2 disks can't be wrong with the same files missing and giving me the same idiotic message. Next evening, I went shopping around the local mall and got a DVD-RW and installed it.
I tried the Windows again. I got the same complaints. Again.
I scatched my head, grumbled, heaved another muffled sigh (wifey shook her head and rolled her eyes at me) and I managed to whisper some expletives without anyone hearing me.
Then I did the most desperate thing imaginable. I decided to switch master/slave hard drives and install Windows in my (recently installed 80G) 2nd hard disk. I thought maybe with all that formatting I had somehow 'compromised' the quality of the disk space that I have been loading and unloading my Windows. Mechanical engineer's logic: If you keep installing and uninstalling a window, the wall itself would suffer, right?
I had to sacrifice some data. I lost all my movies and some 12 episodes of 'Heroes'. Worst of all horrors, I lost all of this year's digital photo collection (except for those uploaded in Multiply, but these are in low resolution). But that still didn't solve the problem.
In desperation, I removed the 512M RAM chip, moved the original 256M chip into the original slot and then reload Windows. And it worked.
Now I'm stuck with an extra disk-writer.
It's tough trying to be a Geek. It's like shooting in the dark.
I still prefer mechanical problems.
Epilogue: I re-installed the 512M chip and moved the 256M into the 2nd slot after installing Windows and it's now running like greased lightning.