We have three PCs working here at the moment, but only two that most of the family members can really use. There are five people in this house who are avid users. There are frequently others visiting. Eeep! (Yes, we had more PCs here, but we also had friends who lost their PC due to a lightning strike, and the thought of them being isolated with no net connection was simply too much for us to bear.)
The third one doesn’t like Windows—any version of Windows. It had so many hard freezes that we finally turned it into our Linux box and it runs for months on end happily as a file and print server.
Yesterday one of the two Windows machines, Apprentice, decided not to talk to his hard drive anymore. First I got a message that there wasn’t an operating system present. Then there was another error message that I’ve forgotten now. Then there was a hard drive I/O error. While it would boot from a floppy or a CD, it would freeze up right afterward.
Last night the machine suddenly decided that all was well—no, I didn’t change a thing (I was distracted and hadn’t yet gotten around to pulling it apart). I’m backing up the data files on it now because I don’t trust it at all. It’s an Emachine that was given to the kids, and the IDE controller is integrated into the motherboard. It does have one more PCI slot open, so I can try sticking a new hard drive controller in there if I must. Blech.
When you upgrade your computers, remember us! We here at TechnoZoo promise to provide a loving home to your outdated hardware. We’ll love them and use them and appreciate them and you can even visit them!