The New Install

A few posts ago, I talked about how I was going to be upgrading my computer to take advantage of new storage.  And that involved swapping out all the important parts of my computer: motherboard, CPU, RAM, and drives.  Well, all the parts came in and sat for a few days, because I know, if I’m going to start a project of this size, it best be in the morning, so I have all day to recover from screwups.  I decided Sunday would be the day and I woke up fairly early to get a start.

The first thing I did was get one last backup of the old computer and break the mirrored drive set.  Then I got to work replacing the guts inside the case.  I spread everything out on the kitchen table, old and new components everywhere.  It all went pretty smoothly and even with taking my time, I was done within an hour.  With everything back in place and ready to go, I brought it back to my office and plugged it in for a smoke test.  All the drives in the computer were blank, so there was nothing to really boot up.

But, to my dismay, I got nothing.  Fans spun up, but no video and no POST beep.  Sigh.  My prior experience says that this is usually a short somewhere.  And what has always been a good troubleshooting step for me is isolation.  So I took everything out of the computer except for the bare minimum.  On startup, no change.  Big sigh.  I took the computer back to the kitchen for some reassembly and inspection.  I didn’t see anything wrong with the mounting posts or anything that could short anything else out.

When in doubt, read the manual, right?  And while I was paging through it looking for some connector I missed or hooked up backwards, I noticed that yes, I did screw something up.  I put the RAM into the wrong slots.  What an idiot.  Ok, fix that up and put everything back together again.  Take it back out to the office and start it up.  Still no video and no beep.  What the fuck.  Back to the kitchen and tear everything back out.  I then decide to consult the Internet, which I know is going to be useless since my symptoms are so vague.  How can I determine if the board or CPU or RAM is bad?  I don’t have extra parts to swap out and isolate the differences.

The first result I clicked on for “no video, no beep” had a confident first response of, “bad power supply.”  Really?  I just changed out this power supply a year ago.  And the old computer was working fine with the same power supply.  BUT, I had no other ideas and I did have a backup power supply (that old post means something now).  And when I put in the new power supply, well, you probably know what happened.  It started up.  I don’t fucking get it.

Now.  Hardware complete, now software.  I had my new M2 SSD drive and my two 8TB drive in the computer ready to go and I had the latest build of Windows 10 on a USB drive.  As has been the case with Windows for some time now, the installation process was quick and easy.  When I went to set up my two big drives to hold all my data, I lost my shit.  Windows installed a recovery partition on one of the big drives.  That totally fucks up my mirroring plan for the drives.  Yeah, it’s time for lunch now.

After a nice calming lunch, I came back and reinstalled Windows without the two 8TB drives attached.  This time, the recovery partition was placed on the proper drive and I was ready to move on.  Before getting into the mass data transfer, I ran Windows update over and over again until I was fully patched.  The last thing I needed was a restart in the middle of my data copy.  It’s around 2:00 right now; about 4 hours of effort so far.

I started creating the virtual drives to hold the files from my old drives and I found out that creating a 1TB file is not a quick process.  It’s something like a hour or more of waiting.  Then the file copy is nothing speedy either.  I got the 50GB drive copied over and started working on the first 1TB drive – the first of three.  While that’s going, I installed software from the Internet that I didn’t have on my archive drive.  That’s one thing about this process is that there’s dependencies, where I can’t do this until this other thing is done first.  And one of the big ones is that I can’t install a lot of software until I get all the data copied over.  So I must work and wait.

To be continued….

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