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Linux Works Even When Your PC is Committing Suicide

Apr 15, 2009, 23:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Carla Schroder)

"My troubleshooting was rather hasty and disorganized, though it did finally lead to a solution. What can I say, there are good days and there are twitterpated days. As so many readers of my blog suggested, the first thing I should have done was boot up a live Linux CD. That is a fast way to determine if the problem is hardware or software; if the live CD boots normally then the hardware is OK. It would have saved me some time.

"But no, I had to take the long way. After work I spent some quality time with it. I connected the monitor to a different PC and it worked fine. OK, so it's not the monitor. I put it back and rebooted one more time hoping it would magically heal itself, when something I should have noticed right away got my attention: the boot screen was just as mangled as when Kubuntu came up. So duh, that means the video card is at fault because no drivers are loaded yet, and I already know the monitor is fine.

"So I fetched my trusty rechargeable 14.4-volt Ryobi flashlight and prepared for surgery. That is my second-favorite flashlight in the whole world. It is bright and it stands up, and it is perfect for illuminating computer innards. I poked around, trying to look wise even though I had only the dogs for company, and I noticed the case fan was not spinning. Oops. The Nvidia card faces downwards, so I reached underneath to feel its fan with my finger. Oops again. Both fans use the same power connector, so apparently it was dead. Tried a different power lead, and they fired right up. (Individual power leads can fail, though in my experience it's rare.)"
Page 2 has a cool pic of exploded capacitors-- ed

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