To Dell and Back
A little more than a week ago, my computer greeted me with the always unwelcome blue screen of death. I tried all the usual tricks to try and resuscitate it; I turned it off. I unplugged it. I dusted it. Nothing was working.
My extended service warranty had lapsed and Dell's normally helpful tech support could only do so much without treading on charge-me-by-the-minute territory. I was understandably pessimistic about the situation. I was stuck in a balancing act between wanting to have my computer back and an aversion to spending a lot of money. Between parts and labor, I wasn't sure if fixing the machine I've had since 2004 was financially the best option.
I finally conceded that I would lug my tower into Best Buy to see what the Geeks thought; but before that, I was going to give DIY tech support one more attempt. I ran a memory test and it failed right off the bat. I had already diagnosed one of my two hard drives as a paperweight and was still operating under the presumption that the problem was directly related to that.
I have two memory sticks installed in my machine that equal 1gig of memory. I removed one and tried the memory test again. Fail. I removed the other and replaced the first and ran the test one more time. Pass! A big, green, triumphant pass!
From there on, things ran smoothly. I was able to install my OS and even updated from XP to Vista. My sound wasn't working at first, but I ran Windows updater and just like that we were in business. I'm down to one hard drive and more unfortunately only 500mbs of RAM, but the important thing is I fixed my computer I didn't have to pay nobody a dime.
Suck it, Geek Squad.