Did anyone else have a 'crazy tech' day?

Could it be the full moon? Random celestial shinnanegans? Martians?

I had a bit of a strange computer day; my main system decided that it wanted to blow up when I tried to play a bit of Halo. Forty-five seconds into a game, the system hard locked. When I rebooted, it gave a lovely 'Windows cannot be started, C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\CONFIG is missing.' So, that was a wasted hour having to reinstall Windows.

My 'old' system at work (a sneaky guts swap to replace the celeron 500mhz with 64 meg company system to facilitate at least a *mild* amount of gaming) decided that it wanted to lock the refresh rate at 60hz - even vanished the option to change rates in the display properties. There, I had to uninstall and reinstall the video drivers to enable a refresh rate change.

My laptop decided that it had unearthed a second video card in its case, and attempted to install additional drivers for the extra special bonus Ati xpress200 that it found! When I tried to tell it that I didn't have a second video card, it locked up and required a hard boot, then promptly forgot about its new find the next time it started.

Maybe it's the full moon... just wondered it anyone else had any strange tech stuff happen today.

Yeah, I had some crazy stuff happen too. My brother and I played a full game of Heroes of Might and Magic V with absolutely no problems. This may very well be the first time that I've gotten together with someone, either at my house or theirs, to play a game and it didn't start with a couple of hours of profanity and flinging of computer parts. Single player from any machine will work like a charm as much as you want. As soon as it becomes a LAN game my CAT5 cables form a pentagram topology and summon up all sorts of foul daemons from the ether.

Hmm.. maybe this is a strange a weekend. At work I have one SMTP server visible on the internet (Server1) that the email comes into.. this server also runs our anti-spam software. After this server scans the emails, it then passes the email on to our Exchange server's SMTP queue (Server2). Now, just for the hell of it I rebooted both servers earlier tonight (I do this remotely from home). Server1 came up with the "queue" folder corrupted. Couldn't open it, rename it, delete it, get properties on it.. nothing. I set the server to do a full scan of the harddrive on a reboot and let it do it's thing. A couple hours later the server is finally back up and I can remote back into it. The "queue" folder is now a 0-byte file so I delete it and create a new "queue" folder and restart the SMTP service. All's good.. I see new emails coming in. I then check Server2 because one part of me is thinking everything has to be good, the other part of me is wondering if this "queue" folder is okay. Sure enough.. the "queue" folder on the Server2 is corrupted the same way. WTF. I go through the same routine, scan, reboot.. the folder is set to a 0-byte file but Scandisk luckily recovered like 100+ emails from the folder. I create a new folder, copy the emails into it, restart the SMTP service and everything is looking okay now.

But damn.. the "queue" folders on 2 different servers getting corrupt at the same time. Some freaky mojo going on tonight.

I spent this weekend setting up my system as an Ubuntu gaming rig, which means that my system is fine, and I am insane.

My system has been acting sort of screwy as of late. First off some time last week I decided to update the drivers for my 9800 pro vid card and in the process I seem have screwed up the install of my very old TV Wonder PCI card. It won't work with the latest version of ATI's media center which I guess I accidently installed with the new drivers. Now no matter what I do I can't seem to get my system to recognize that the newer version of ATI's Media Center is uninstalled and that it's ok to use the old version that works with that specific TV Wonder card. This includes using a Driver Cleaner Program to get rid of ATI drivers. I eventually gave up on it for the time being.

Today I found out that my DVD Burner was also not working properly. It wouldn't read any disks I put in it and for some reason was showing up as a CD-ROM on my system. I figure this had something to do with a recent storm we had (maybe a week ago) that shut down my computer twice in the span of 2 minutes before I could get the whole thing shut down and unplugged until the storm passed. Not only that but under hardware devices the drive was described as a DFD-R or something of the sort. So I got the latest firmware off the web in the hopes that the drive wasn't totally fried and sure enough I got my DVD burner back up and running.


Now if only I could put enough cash together to build myself a new pc.

Friday I had 15+ T1 connections at various parts of Florida go down including our office. DNS, ping, echo, ICMP, nothing worked. Alot of our east and west coast clients start to call us at the same exact time jamming our phone lines while our Solarwinds monitoring software is sending out the doom and gloom warning email/txt messages/pages.

In other words another day at the office.

Well, I got a new system from a friend this weekend (he upgraded and I got his old system). First off, I wanted to wipe the HDD, but for some reason couldn't find the option on my boot CD. I know I had a proggie that did it, but for the life of me, I couldn't find it. So, I settle for a normal format. It's an 80GB HDD, so I figured it take a while. I start it up, and load up a movie. 96%... 97%... 98%... Power to my appartment trips. 45 minutes down the drain, as the HDD still shows around 69GB's taken up. Oh well, I do a quick format, and I'll eventually wipe the free space.

I pop my old HDD's in the new system, and go to work moving some files over. The first HDD finishes with no problems. I get to the second HDD, and about 70% through a file transfer, I hear a high pitched, grinding whine coming from the case. My guess is that the motor finally gave out. That must have been what was lagging the old system down (besides being underpowered with a 300w PS).

Oh well, I didn't lose anything that's not replacable, so that's good. Overall, I still came out ahead.

Here at work over the past week, we've had 7 hard drives crash... there are only 200 computers here.

Ok. Here's my story on Tuesday.

  • Overslept. Wife finally dragged me out of bed and got me up and moving. Spent the whole day in a fog cuz sometimes you just can't get moving.
  • Got to work and plugged in. Everything "seemed" fine ... until 9AM when one of our Exchange servers blew up.
  • Managed the Sev 1 and SLA issues while my staff troubleshot the server for 7 hours. By the end of a 7 hour investigation, I was pissed. No resolution. No explination. Just a bunch of baffled techs .. until a system in one fo the off shore dev sites was identified ramming encrytped SMTP messages into the server. Blocked the IP at the VPN/Firewall and everything was good.
  • Tried to scramble to make it to child #1's soccer practice and couldn't find it. New field and its tucked into one of the older neighborhoods in Tustin.
  • Gave up and headed for home. Ran out of gas 1/2 mile from the station.