Crash Bang Boom!

So last week my computer died. Crash bang boom.

I’m not sure what went down exactly, but I think it was my OCZ 128GB SSD that cost me an arm and a leg 4 years ago. I guess getting that lifespan out of what was essentially new tech at that time isn’t too bad. So, since the computer was down, I decided to upgrade.  I guess down isn’t exactly the right word.  It was VERY unstable. So much you couldn’t do anything because any moment it was going to crash. That’s essentially down.

Maybe I’ve been lucky.  Every other time in my life I’ve put a computer together, it basically went as planned and it fired right up.  Maybe a small hitch here and there, but nothing like this time.

I have Samsung SH-S223 DVD writers.  Two of them. My new motherboard seemed to hate them like my 70 year old Mom hates gangsta rap. It took me a long time to figure out who wasn’t getting along, however. Two days, in fact.

If I booted from the old SSD in AHCI mode, the computer would barely get to the Windows logo and hit the blue screen of death. If I booted in IDE mode, it would boot all the way but the DVD writers wouldn’t be recognized by the bios. Which is a problem if you need to load in new software for your new motherboard including the drivers that will let it get to the internet so you can get to the most current drivers. Not to mention an operating system to run the computer at all. I had no way to load Win 7 to my new SSD, a Crucial 500GB monster.

Eventually I figured out what the problem was. Bought 1 HP dvd1265 to replace the 2 Samsungs, and everything booted up fine under AHCI. Go figure. I was able put Win 7 on the new SSD and the computer is running great.

MSI Gaming 5 motherboard, 16GB of Corsair RAM from my old machine.  It’s still fast enough, it’s DDR3.
i5-4690K CPU that I haven’t overclocked at all. I just got a really good deal on it.
Nvidia GTX 970 graphics card, 4GB DDR5.

I reused my old case, power supply, and 1TB Seagate HD. I think the entire upgrade wound up costing me $780, but that’s because I got the motherboard for $10 after I bought the CPU at Microcenter. The CPU was on sale as well, for $199.  That’s crazy.  I splurged on the graphics card because of the savings on the rest.

It all runs like a top now. 

But then you remember.  I have to reinstall 4 years of my life to this new machine. Which is happening, but just as I need it. Firefox over IE. Thunderbird. Office 2007.  Yes, that still works great, get it if you get a deal. Scrivener for writing. Aeon Timeline for any plotting. Steam for games.

My advice to any of you out there that maintain your machine:  If you don’t have a cloud service to back up your important files, DO THIS RIGHT NOW.  I use Dropbox ( and they give you 2GB for free.  I have iCloud too, another 5GB free.  I store all my art and writing at dropbox, all my photos and other stuff at iCloud.

So anyway, that’s why no updates.

I’m really excited about getting back to work on my books. I got a smoking good review on Amazon this week, and I’m fired up. The Anvil of Dust and Stars continues to do better than I’d dreamed. Now to use it as inspiration to continue.

Hopefully I’ll blog more too since the computer is doing well.

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