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Last post Author Topic: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine)  (Read 19324 times)

nudone

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Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine)
« Reply #75 on: July 04, 2011, 05:55:04 PM »
I'll have a look at what diagnostic downloads Crucial and ASUS have - in a few days time and run the checks then. If there's anything bad, then I'll report back. Until then I'll be enjoying the machine (I hope).

mouser

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Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine)
« Reply #76 on: July 04, 2011, 06:10:05 PM »
Someone who has some experience with "Burn In" tools should tell us a good free program for doing this.

Here's an example of a payware one:
http://www.passmark.com/products/bit.htm

Quote
What BurnInTest does is thoroughly exercise the hardware in a PC in a short period of time, in the same way as normal applications use a PC over a long period of time. This takes advantage of the fact that computer hardware tends to fail either very early in its life or after many thousands of hours of use. Typically BurnInTest should be used before a PC is put into service, as the failure of a computer that isn’t being used for a critical application and doesn’t have any critical data is much less damaging, (especially if it is still under warranty).

BurnInTest will bring intermittent or hidden problems to the surface so that after a successfully run the computer can be used with a much higher level of confidence. BurnInTest can also be used by overclockers to verify system stability at high clock speeds.

BurnInTest tests the CPU, hard drives, RAM, CD-ROMs, CD burners, DVDs, sound cards, 2D graphics, 3D graphic, network connection, etc.

Shades

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Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine)
« Reply #77 on: July 04, 2011, 06:13:38 PM »
@nudone:
Investing in diagnostic software does seem a bit overkill for your situation. And as the market for such software is limited, expect a high price for it as well.

My (rather Cheap) Asus motherboard came with some diagnostic software in its BIOS. The reported diagnostics are not relevant to your particular case, but I know that the BIOS from high end (Asus) motherboards contain all kinds of extra software for overclocking, benchmarking and what not.

Find out if the BIOS on your motherboard has benchmarking tools and use that first for some (very basic) hardware diagnostics. Find out what the I/O throughput is from the manufacturer's website/decent hardware sites and check if the benchmark values from your hardware come close.

If that is not the case, then it might prove useful to buy hardware diagnostic software. Else I think you can take 'the leap of faith' and start using the system.    


nudone

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Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine)
« Reply #78 on: July 04, 2011, 06:20:46 PM »
I can't say for sure but I'm assuming it's not too good an idea to stress test an ssd. I say that simply because I've read that defragging them isn't a good idea (or even necessary), so stressing them like a normal drive probably isn't good either. But, I certainly don't know for sure.

I'll run the diagnostic tools and that will be enough for my curiousity.

Maybe if I start a bit of overclocking I'll do some relevant stress tests.




Shades, I've definitely gone beyond the the leap of faith stage. As mentioned before, the data is the important bit for me. I'm going to concentrate on that - the machine will work until it doesn't.

westom

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Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine)
« Reply #79 on: July 04, 2011, 06:51:43 PM »
Investing in diagnostic software does seem a bit overkill for your situation. And as the market for such software is limited, expect a high price for it as well.
Wow! Do you do this stuff? Disk drive manufacturers provide diagnostics for free - for decades.  Anyone who knows computers would know that.  Better computer manufacturers provide comprehensive diagnostics also for free on the drive, on a provided CD, and on the web site.

  BIOS does not do diagnostics.  All BIOS (even in the original IBM PC) provided error codes.  Error codes only report confronted problems.  A diagnostic tests every function in a machine or subsystem - including many functions that the OS and BIOS might not use.

  True computer users execute these diagnostics before failure happens.  To learn how it works and how to load it.  Diagnostics are also executed when a room is over 100 degree F.  Did this on a Dell to discover a defective memory location in the video controller.  An error that was detected before its warranty expired.  And that would have otherwise resulted in video problems maybe years later.  Another reason why diagnostics are something completely different and unknown to many computer users.

But most important, learn what exists and read what was already posted.  
Quote
Your story is why better manufacturers provide comprehensive hardware diagnostics for free.
 Why would anyone *invest* in diagnostics?  Because so few know these diagnostics exist or what diagnostics really do.

  So much time and labor in this thread could have been quickly eliminated by diagnostics.  But so many do not even know what diagnostics are.


« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 06:55:12 PM by westom »

nudone

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Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine)
« Reply #80 on: July 05, 2011, 02:34:45 AM »
I don't think the problem is that we don't know what diagnostics are (I've used software tools in the past, even though it may sound like I've never heard of such things). I'm not really bothered about eliminating the problem, I just wanted the machine to install Windows and work after that, which it is now doing.

My personal tone in this thread is to simply bitch and make a fuss, to moan about the store and blame someone other than myself for spending eight hours trying to install Windows.

If I really, really, wanted to know if the hardware was at fault I would run some checks immediately. I haven't and probably never will - not unless I detect some odd behaviour on the machine first.

You mentioned already that I've ignored the comments that provided good advice and that's true. But for me, this thread is just to let of steam and try and see who agrees and, at a push, maybe find someone that provides an instant 100% guaranteed solution to the original problem - which I thought I'd found when I discovered there was a "special" sata cable that had to be used.

Right now, I'm sticking with the "don't try and fix what isn't broken" method of computing. (I guess you can expect to see a fresh thread started by me in a week or two when I repeat all my complaints all over again because the machine has died.)

Carol Haynes

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Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine)
« Reply #81 on: July 05, 2011, 04:22:22 AM »
I was under the impression that defrag wasn't advised on SSDs mainly because it was pretty pointless - no moving parts means there is no speed advantage after defragging so why bother.

Having never used an SSD I am not sure what actually comes as part of the package - do they have any internal diagnostics akin to SMART in conventional drives. If so reading that data should tell you if there is a likely problem with the device.

If you are worried about the SSD just run an in depth CHKDSK on the device - that will read and write to every location on the device and make sure it functions properly.

My own feelings are that if the replacement of a cable has fixed the symptoms then it was more than likely the cause of the problem in the first place and if you are still using the cable on another device without issue then it was probably just badly seated or just jogged loose in transit. Either way just get on with enjoying the new machine and don't agonise over the problem and miss out on the fun!!

Stoic Joker

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Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine)
« Reply #82 on: July 05, 2011, 07:03:30 AM »
@nudone - I feel ya man - venting thread - been there after a lightening strike myself. :)

@westom - You really need to take into consideration that there is a lot of specialization in IT. Your skillset corner of the world is not the same as everybody elses. Soften your tone a bit and you'll get much better responses.

---------------------------------------------------------

That being said, I do have to agree that in this type of situation the best usage of $100 going forward is to hand it to an electrician to investigate how well ones dwelling is actually grounded. I did my own investigating back when (because I can), and did find a few things what needed attention.

JavaJones

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Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine)
« Reply #83 on: July 05, 2011, 08:32:59 PM »
Defrag on SSDs is not recommended because, yes, it's unnecessary (no rotating platters, data continuity is less important), but also perhaps more importantly because it puts unnecessary read/write cycles onto the drive thus shortening its lifespan.

Regarding figuring out the actual root of the hardware issue, etc, etc. I think the important question is this: given the hardware that is of concern, would replacing it at some unknown point in the future at *your* expense be acceptable to you, or would you *rather* have the hardware repaired/replaced under warranty? If you prefer the warranty option, it behooves you to do as much diagnoses up-front as possible, to hopefully figure out if there really is a problem in any component and get it fixed on their dime. But if the cots of the hardware is not significant enough to overcome your inertia for testing and dealing with warranty support, then it's a perfectly valid choice to simply go with what works now, keep good backups, and deal with whatever problems arise later. Frankly I think that's what I'd do.

- Oshyan

nudone

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Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine)
« Reply #84 on: July 06, 2011, 12:46:29 AM »
Good point, JavaJones. I'd not even thought about warranties; which also means I feel the same way as you. I'd prefer to just get on with using the machine and let it die naturally rather than start hitting it with a stick to see if there's something wrong.

More importantly, the 30" monitor has arrived and it's amazing. A dream come true. I've wanted one for years.

tomos

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Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine)
« Reply #85 on: July 06, 2011, 02:58:31 AM »
More importantly, the 30" monitor has arrived and it's amazing. A dream come true. I've wanted one for years.

veering off-topic - I'm curious :) what did you get?
Tom

nudone

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Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine)
« Reply #86 on: July 06, 2011, 03:51:09 AM »
It's a HP ZR30W S-IPS

I saw the review in PC Pro magazine http://www.pcpro.co....zr30w/specifications last week and thought I'd just bite the bullet. The price seemed right and the overall opinions online by other reviewers are positive.

I bought an ex-demo model which cost £799.67 (full price is usually between £1000 - £1300 online). The screen has a two years warranty and has no defects.

At the moment, I'm still getting used to it. I'll be calibrating it a few times yet. All the reviews mention the vivid colours which need to be muted a bit but otherwise it's very, very good.

I'm used to sitting in front of a 24" EIZO monitor during the day, and in the evening in front of a budget priced Samsung 24" screen. The difference between them being so dramatic that I think the Samsung model should never have been allowed to go on sale (nor any other monitors that are genuninely painful to look at - they need a health warning attached).

Because I'm used to seeing the differences in quality between the two monitors, I did wonder if the new HP 30" would be impressively large but awful to stare at (the EIZO 30" is well over £2000 so I wondered if there was going to be a similar quality difference between low and high priced products).

Thankfully, the HP screen is perfect. Right now, it appears even better than my old EIZO monitor. The complete area of the screen appears very consistent in colour, brightness and contrast (I noticed very faint vertical bands on the EIZO but that might have been its age showing). The definition or sharpness is also consistent - I was worried about this as the cheap Samsung 24" I mentioned has areas on the screen that are very slightly "blurred" which I think causes eye strain when reading text (no surprise).

I'm pleased with the screen, almost ecstatic perhaps, as it didn't turn out to be a total waste of time - if it had been blurred or had any other slightly annoying feature about it I would be getting rid of it instantly.

tomos

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Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine)
« Reply #87 on: July 06, 2011, 04:31:51 AM »
^ sounds really great, enjoy it :)
Tom

Ath

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Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine)
« Reply #88 on: July 06, 2011, 05:22:53 AM »
OT:
It's a HP ZR30W S-IPS
Ah, I got 2 ZR24W S-IPS screens (the smaller brother of the ZR30W) with my new system (connected through display-port (DP)) this week, and I'm just as enthusiastic about it as you are :D, coming from 19" 4:3 HP and 22" 16:10 Dell (dull?) monitors (they're all standing side by side for now and my desk is really crowded ;D).
It absorbed most of the budget for my new system (i7-2600, 16 GB, 80 GB SSD, 1TB HDD), but we have great discounts with HP, so it was 'doable' 8) (meaning: the budget request was eventually accepted by management)

These screens are really good, so awfully beautiful to look at!

Right now, it appears even better than my old EIZO monitor.
That's the age of the EIZO showing, as you already found out. We'll just have to see how long these screens keep their good image quality, but I guess next round of PC updates I'll be sticking to these 2 babies :-*

nudone

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Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine)
« Reply #89 on: July 07, 2011, 04:22:06 AM »
The machine did not recognise the SSD today on first boot. Had to wiggle the SATA cables around. I'm wondering what to do about the machine, i.e. try to resolve cable issues or send the machine back and claim a refund.

I've made a new thread about that here: http://www.donationc...?topic=27248.new#new where I'm asking for opinions on what to do. (I've made a new thread so that people ignoring this thread will see it. I need the opinions quickly as it will be to late tomorrow to send back under the 7 day refund policy.)

Shades

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Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine)
« Reply #90 on: July 07, 2011, 10:22:52 AM »
When hard drives are not recognized during boot can mean several things. The first thing I try is to disable fast boot in the BIOS. Servers that I build always have this option disabled.

The next part is mainly about mechanical drives, but the concept behind it could be worth checking out.
Sometimes the BIOS isn't giving the hard disk enough time to spin up sufficiently and according to the BIOS it isn't there, while you do hear it spin. When booting the system for the second time the BIOS does recognize the drive and will go on to do its business.

Why a drive doesn't spin up sufficiently in the allotted time can be a lot of things, like a worn drive or power supply that is not supplying sufficient power to the drive (which happens the most in my situation over here).

Normally, a power supply has two 'rails' that supply +12volt, +5volt and GND with a certain amperage. What sometimes helps (again, in my situation over here in Paraguay) is switching one rail with the other.

nudone

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Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine)
« Reply #91 on: July 07, 2011, 10:57:33 AM »
Thanks, Shades, but it's a solid state drive (so no spinning) :)

The strange thing is that this machine has been turned on and off everyday for the past four days and it worked fine each day. Today nothing had changed since yesterday when the machine was last used - it just simply couldn't find the SSD.

It did find the SSD after I disconnected two of my old hard drives that have been in the machine since Sunday (four days ago) and therefore they worked fine too (and still do work fine).

I have also now concluded that the SATA-6-1 socket on the motherboard is faulty. Using the SATA-6-2 socket does work and this is what I've been using to connect the SSD over the past few days.

I really don't care now. I've got a RMA number from the store and they know I'm bringing it back with the intention of claiming a full refund. Whether they find some issue to argue over and refuse the refund remains to be seen. Perhaps I could get away with just a motherboard replacement - but if the full refund is there, I'm taking it without a doubt.

mouser

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Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine)
« Reply #92 on: July 07, 2011, 11:08:28 AM »
if you have to settle for a replacement, i'd insist on a replacement of both motherboard and ssd.  and if they really want to convince you not to get a refund, tell them to upgrade you to a better model ssd or motherboard.

nudone

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Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine)
« Reply #93 on: July 07, 2011, 11:20:36 AM »
tell them to upgrade you to a better model ssd or motherboard

Is the reasoning behind that to avoid them not really replacing the parts or simply because you think these model numbers can't be trusted?

mouser

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Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine)
« Reply #94 on: July 07, 2011, 11:50:12 AM »
My thought was two-fold:

1. Increases likelyhood that the problem will be solved by replacement parts.  In case there is something wonky about the interaction of parts, or a particular run of hardware, etc.  Getting different models will only increase chance of solving the problem -- and obviously you don't want to downgrade.

2. It seems like it's also fair for you to expect that if you are having to go through all of this inconvenience, and if they are trying to convince you not to demand a refund, the least they could do is upgrade your parts in order to increase the odds of solving the problem.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2011, 12:07:46 PM by mouser »

nudone

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Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine)
« Reply #95 on: July 07, 2011, 12:00:14 PM »
Okay, good points. I will see what happens.