The labor of self-educating
February 23, 2011 19 Comments
The reality of being a PC gamer, is that, over time, you end up learning a lot about various aspects of computer care – frequently the hard way. Whether it’s learning that you absolutely should back up everything before tinkering with a registry, or maybe you shouldn’t listen to that tech service guy who tells you to remove the quarter-sized back-up battery to reset your bios, there are so many aspects that go into maintaining and keeping a computer running smooth and ensuring a quality persistent gaming rig, without having to replace it every two years. My goal, as it relates to PC gaming and spending, is to try to only replace a tower after it’s seen three years of use at the earliest. If I can push it to longer than that, then I feel like I did a good job.
So, in the past when I’ve had PC issues, I’ve done everything I could to fix the problem on my own. Whether I do so by scouring the internet for solutions, talking to tech support, friends, or reading a manual/guide/book on the topic, I do everything within my power to stop the creep of tower-turnover. Part of that past research and experience has been the realization of inevitable hardware failure. RAM will go bad eventually. Power supplies are not infinite. And so on, and so on. Replacing parts, usually an upgrade if done long enough after initial purchase, can be a great, and cheaper method of extending the longevity of your desktop. I was able to push the life of my old desktop to near to four years, and I have a friend who is still using it to this day to play WoW on.
My current PC is 2 and a half years old, having bought it just after WAR released. I didn’t build my own, not feeling confident enough at the time to do so, and just purchased an HP desktop. I’ve been surprisingly happy with it, and have not had any real problems with it until recently, and even then, it’s not the gaming potential that is an issue – its internet connectivity. I’ve had problems with remaining connected to the internet since I switched to DSL about a year ago, but the problem has really intensified since the start of the new year. So, I went through the process of finding out everything I could, doing everything I could to fix the problem. The issue is, that there are so many possible issues, that I can only do so much to correct it. Eventually, I had a technician come out, who had to run a new line out dedicated to our DSL.
The result is that my all wireless network is rock steady, however my computer still fails to maintain its connection. This coincides with a crazy loud fan spinning somewhere in my tower. I’ve reset my network adapter, restart my modem/router/PC, triple checked my network settings, run diagnostics on my RAM, and done everything in my know-how to fix the problem. My next course of action is to start replacing hardware. From the way it sounds, I’ve got a fan going ape-shit in there, and a sinking suspicion it’s my power supply. I’m not sure if a failing supply could cause network interruptions, but the way I think of it, if power is intermittent, it causes problems EVERYWHERE. So now I need to become an expert on power supplies and make sure I can actually self-install one.
But first, the backing-up begins. Pictures, and videos, and music. Oh my!