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I Hate Things

Last night I was having a pleasant evening surfing the net, catching up on email, and editing a fun animated gif (see my user icon), when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, I get a dialog box that says "Generic Service Host has unexpectedly quit." I thought that was odd, as I've never had one of my svchost.exe processes just fail like that. Firefox wasn't responding anymore either, so I tried to open the task manager. The computer just sat there, frozen, so after a minute or so, I hit reset.

As the computer was booting up, when it got to the RAM check, it stopped halfway through and beeped at me, then beeped again, then an error message came up:
Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM
I recognized this as a registry entry and thought "Crap. The registry got corrupted. Now I have to reinstall Windows." So I tried to boot one or two more times, getting the same result, and finally resigned myself to having to reinstall Windows XP.

I booted from the CD and it started copying the required files to continue the installation. Then it gave me a BSOD. I thought it was a fluke, so I tried again. Same blue screen. Same place. So I tried a different XP CD (Media Center 2005 SP3). It made it through the copying. I installed Windows on my D drive (the non-booted second of my two 80GB drives). It had problems copying a few files, and I had to take the CD out and put it back in, but I blame that on a really old DVD-ROM. It just sometimes has problems reading discs. After it was started, it was like 11:15, so I went to lay down and play some Contra 4!

Contra 4 is awesome. It's hard to be sure, but it's Contra, so I expected it (to some extent). This time I played using Megan's DS, because her L-button still works, and being able to switch weapons makes the game a tiny bit easier. I finished the game I had started yesterday at the end of Stage 4 (Harbor), where the giant missiles come at you. I was out of continues, so I started over again. But first I checked on my computer, found that it was at one of the attention-necessary steps, chose my regional settings and went back to play some more.

This time I got past Stage 4, to Stage 5 (Ocean), and died a few dozen times. This time I did finish it and went to check on my computer again. Oh, yeah, they now need to know your network settings in the middle of the installation. Why not just ask all these at the beginning and let me go to bed? I clicked Skip twice and left the room.

Now I found myself at Stage 6 (Factory), which I beat easily. Then came Stage 7 (City). I made it through most of the stage, and died at the boss, and was out of continues. I'm getting better, though. I can't wait to unlock Original Contra and Super C.

I'd had enough 2D shooting fun, so I went to check on my computer to find that it had finished the installation. It rebooted and I skipped all the activation crap and got into Windows. I noticed that the graphics were slow and choppy, so I checked the Display Properties. Here's what it said:
Adapter Type: [Blank]
Chip Type: <None>
DAV Type: <None>
Memory Size: <None>
Adapter String: <None>
Bios Information: <None>
Just so you don't get confused, my graphics card does have a name, so that shouldn't have been blank. And it has all of those other attributes as well.

I went to my trusty "C:\Configuration and Tweaks\Windows\Drivers\Video\nVidia\" folder and ran Setup.exe. It finished successfully, and had to reboot. I rebooted. It failed to reboot, so I realized I need to change my BIOS settings to boot from the D Drive (where I installed Windows this time around). It booted up, got into Windows, and I checked the dialog box again:
Adapter Type: [Blank]
Chip Type: <None>
DAV Type: <None>
Memory Size: <None>
Adapter String: <None>
Bios Information: <None>
I repeated this process one more time and had the same result.

So I went to bed.

List of Things I Still Need:
  • A new lawnmower

  • A new motherboard and/or video card (and DVD-ROM)

  • A new DS with a working L-button


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 5th, 2008 02:41 pm (UTC)
I'll pull the specs on that PC I have tonight and email it to you. I'll let it go for cheap (like ... $75 or less) if you're interested in it.

Looks like it uses DDR RAM (not sure which speed), based on me poking around the 'net. I'll have more specifics tonight.
Aug. 5th, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC)
That'd be awesome, man.
Aug. 5th, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC)
That is truly horrifying.
Aug. 5th, 2008 04:47 pm (UTC)
wow. I hope Jim and life can get on better terms. computers and grass seem to be the bane of your current existence :(

obvious nerd question: DS or DS lite?
Aug. 5th, 2008 06:44 pm (UTC)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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