Joy of joys! After procrastinating for two days, distraught that my newly "fixed" computer (which cost me a bundle to ship to the states and back) was not actually fixed....
First, the computer hard-drive appeared blank. OH SHIT! I thought Alienware had reneged on their word and wiped my hard drive. AUGH. But no, they hadn't connect my old HDDs, they had only installed a 3rd 160 GB Hard drive and gotten the computer running on that one. Well lo' and behold, guess what else went on the fritz....one of the two nVidia 512Mb 7900 GTXs...the powerhouses that make my rig scream through any game on the market. Turns out, somehow, strangely, the first card in my SLI went buggy. So a great tech at Alienware named Max, talked me through the diagnosis on the why the GUI had gone to shit. Once we figured that out. I switched to second card, which runs fine, and switched out from SLI-mode to single card mode (yes you do need to flip a little card on the motherboard to do that).
However that was not the only problem. The computer would not boot up, it didn't recognize the Raid 0 Array of my twin 160GB Seagate HDDs. SO, we had to bust out the Microsoft XP Pro Recovery disk, pressed F8 to enter the boot menu, and clicked on the Boot from CD option. Pop goes the command prompt, and the type Fixboot C and create a new boot section. Then we did a thorough check disk. At this point the tech says. Hey, this is going to take about an hour. When its over, type EXIT, and everything should work. If it doesn't....well, guess what that would mean? Ding, ding, ding - complete wipe-out restore, re-installation of the OS, everything. Oh no, no please.
So after an agonizing wait that the check disk function ran. I got the show: scanned for errors, found some and repaired them.
I type E-X-I-T and press enter, and hold my breath.
And seconds later I see the XP loading page, and the little blue scroll bar starts humming across. Cross fingers - say a pray - and up pops the WELCOME SCREEN! I let out a small whoot, but we're not there yet you see....I click my name: and its the moment of truth....dreading a flash to a black screen and the cyclical reboot.....
Disaster AVERTED! - I see the glorious twin Jedi figure of Obi-wan Kenobi and Yoda looking pissed and wielding lightsabers (part of the Star Wars theme that came with my Alienware Rig) - and desktop is there. All the shortcuts, everything, just like I'd left that fateful night two months ago before Valentine's Day.
Quick as a flash I check My Computer and click on the C-drive properties...YES, 300 GBs, about 100 used....its all there. Oh but what's this, a prompt from Windows telling me I need to reboot to save the changes....AUGH, I just got this working, what if the reboot get hosed up. I'm finally in, I cannot waste this chance - I snatch my Lacie external fire-wire drive and plug it in (small prayer)....instant recognition, just like always. Click over to program files. Bam. Find iTunes. Click. Pow. Copy over to the External drive. Go-go-go, no time to waste. About a half-hour later the 50 GB worth of iTunes stuff and more is safely stored on the External drive. Whew....
ok NOW, I can reboot and viola! Things work perfectly. Just like they should.
Long story a bit lonber - I connected all my peripherals. The fantastic little HP Officejet, the webcam, the wireless internet, all the external HDDs (we have 3 right now), my Razer mouse.....and everything works. It just works. Isn't that great or what? Now I can finally install and play Half Life 2, Episode 1, which my wife got me for Valentine's Day, and which was the game in my hand as a sauntered into the home office on that fateful V-Day (only to be tortured by a cyclic reboot and insane beeping from the computer). Moreover, there's Supreme Commander and Command and Conquer 3 (gotta choose which), so there Planet Earth that needs to be took over....sigh...where to begin....oh yeah...with this blog I guess.