My computer died Wednesday. It was sudden and unexpected, as the thing hasn’t been giving me any trouble. However, when I came home that afternoon, I flicked it on and it wouldn’t start. The fans revved at full speed, and the hard drive did its initial turn, but otherwise the system was unresponsive. After some troubleshooting, I discerned that the problem is most likely the cpu, though the motherboard is still a possibility.
The computer is a Dell Vostro 400, and it’s 4 years old to the month. In that time, I’ve had to replace a small fan on the video card, but nothing else. Wear and tear eventually claims the lives of these affordable machines. $600 isn’t a bad investment considering the use I’ve gotten out of it, and a little tinkering might bring it back to life.
The horror of this situation is that I’ve gotten a bit lazy with my backups. There are a few days of writing that I did not save to a disc, so nearly 10,000 words of “Mystic Selwood” are currently inaccessible. Thankfully, the hard drive seems to be in working order, so I’m hoping to get another Vostro 400 and simply swap drives. I should be able to buy a used system for a nominal sum, but if not I can purchase a replacement cpu for around $50, and if that doesn't work a brand new motherboard is about $100.
In the meantime, I have my old Dell Dimension 8250 that I stashed when I bought the Vostro. The software is all 4 years out of date, but it still works, so I am now back online, more or less. This thing isn’t as efficient as the Vostro, but it’ll serve in the interim. I hope to have my other system up and running again soon, though I’ll be in the market for a new computer in the near future. This year has just been too hard on my budget.