Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

Super Happy Fun Reformat Computer Time

This isn’t exactly a recent development, but my computer needs a reformat. Wipe the slate clean, so to speak. I decided a few hours ago that it was time to bite the bullet when I was forced to restart my desktop three times in fifteen minutes. That kind of instability falls pretty solidly into the realm of Thoroughly Unusable.

Here are a few of the symptoms I’ve been experiencing over the past few weeks. They’ve (predictably) gotten worse and worse, to the point that I just can’t take it anymore.


  • Both optical drives have been rendered useless. If I try to use them, I get a nice ‘Error Code 39’ informing me that the drivers are corrupt or missing. Reinstallation attempts have been unsuccessful.
  • My PC is unstable whenever I’m running uTorrent. The dang thing will take over an hour to go through the “checking” process that normall takes a minute or two, then hang up at around 44% and make my entire computer crash
  • Video, particularly any video I’m trying to stream from the web, is sluggish at best. Actually, at this point a snail’s pace would be pretty good. WMP is borderline useless, and even the normally-snappy Media Player Classic is reduced to fifteen or twenty-second load times for a 12 minute episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. I can’t take that.
  • The Windows taskbar will intermittently disappear, unprovoked and for no apparent reason. This may or may not occur in conjunction with the whole computer freezing
  • Several of my musical selections in iTunes are unusable do to corrupt or bad sectors on my secondary (read: big) hard drive that I use for media. Not cool.


Add all this up, and you’ve got one sick puppy of a computer, and one really really angry user (of computers, not drugs).

Before I reformat, though, there are a few things I’m trying. There’s a change you can make to the registry that will potentially fix the optical drive problem, though it remains to be seen whether or not it’ll actually work. For the music problem, I’m currently scanning my media hard drive for bad sectors; hopefully Windows will be able to automatically fix them, but I’m not holding my breath. Even if it doesn’t work, I need to know if one of my hard drives is gonna kick it soon so I can prepare accordingly. It would be incredibly disappointing if that particular drive were to fail, mostly because I’ve only had it in my computer for around a year, give or take. Seagate should cover any problems, since almost all hard drives come with either a 3 or a 5 year warranty, and I registered the thing after purchasing it. Don’t think I’ve got the box it came in though, hope that doesn’t matter…

More updates to come as I make progress over the course of the evening. Hopefully I don’t have a serious problem on my hands. If nothing else, at least I’ve got my Macbook!



@ 8:00 pm: Error-checking a 500gig drive takes forever.

@ 1:00 am: Dumb computer is still error-checking. I’m getting a lot of studying done, at least. “Wakeup” is in 4.5 hours…

@ 3:30 am: Jane (for that is what I have named my desktop) is still doing the whole error-checking thing. While waiting (and hoping to actually start reformatting eventually) I’ve studied Chinese and completed the homework assignment for it, read through 12 case studies for my ROTC class, read a 320-page novel for my Category Fiction class, and probably checked my email at least 20 times. Plus, I’ve done some laundry and consumed 2 pots of Sumatra-blend extra bold coffee. I’m way, way past the point of actually being able to get anything done. Also, I’ve got a not-insignificant case of jitters, presumably from all that coffee. If there was a caffeine equivalent of the Breathalyzer test, I’d probably be blowing about at least a .18, I think. I’ve been up for 22 hours straight, and there’s at least 12 to go… longer if my comp will actually let me do that stupid reformat, which was the point of this whole endeavor in the first place.


December 2, 2008 - Posted by | Tech | , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] Vote Super Happy Fun Reformat Computer Time […]

    Pingback by windows media player | Digg hot tags | December 3, 2008 | Reply

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