Sunday, June 18, 2006

Hardware problems

It has been hot here in Ottawa, but, I didn't think about it with my new box as it appeared to have adequate ventilation. I was wrong, the ram overheated and totally hosed the system. It screwed up the file system and the computer would not boot. It kept giving me kernel panics and VFS errors. It thought that it was either the HD or MOBO giving me problems. Disconnecting the HD and the system still wouldn't boot. I though 'oh great a new MOBO again'. I turned the system off and let it cool down. I tried a number of different CD distros, but, nothing would boot. Kernel panic for everything. I turned the system off for a couple of hours and then tried the Insert distro as I remembered it had memtest. I ran it and it generated about 800 errors on the first pass. I noted that the machine was at almost 100F so I turned it off again. Next reboot the machine was running at 80F and no memory errors. However, the file system was completely hosed, not a problem as I make a regular backup of all critical files.

Today I rebuilt the O/S from scratch and it is working without a problem. File restore worked without a hitch and the machine is working fine. Moral of this story is to do regular backups. Also, if you don't change your system and you get a kernal panic on startup check the temperature of the machine, the memory may be overheated and your system won't boot. I also mounted an additional fan on the front of the machine to help keep the system cooler. It was positioned at the same height of the memory stick to help there.

BTW the two messages I got were ->

Kernel panic: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(1,3)


Kernel panic: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(3,3)

Friday, June 09, 2006

Windows 98 supports ending soon

This is for those of you who are still using Windows 98, Windows 98 SE or Windows ME. On July 11, 2006 Microsoft will be ending the support for those products. You can read more about this on Microsoft's own site.

You do have a few options.
  • You can move up to a more recent version of Microsofts OS offerings.
  • You can keep your version of Windows, but, no bug fixes or upgrade.
  • You can look at a Linux distribution (see Distrowatch on the right hand side).