Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Laptop is No Compute... for good this time

Well, looks like my new (well, now six months old) laptop is kaput.

Thankfully, work sent me a new work laptop recently (After operating without one since May) so I'm not SOL there. Also I made a backup two weeks ago when I was having problems the first time around, so I'm good there. The only thing I'll lose is the couple days worth of files I didn't backup this weekend.

The laptop in question is an HP Pavilion dv9830us; one of the big monster "entertainment notebooks"; and it's been pretty good for me in general. It's certainly fast as hell, the display is gorgeous, it's got HDMI and BluRay etc...

Unfortunately, it also has nVidia disease.

For those of you not aware, the previous generation of nVidia video choips had a fabrication problem that causes many of them to get excessively hot; and by excessively I mean hot enough to warp circuit boards. This has happened in both laptops and desktops; but obviously is somewhat more serious in a laptop.

About two months ago my laptop started getting hotter than normal. Then the fan started coming on and going to high, basicvally all the time. Then the fan started to vibrate (probably a bad bearing), finally in the last week or two the fan has started to fail. This has caused the system to get hot enough to crash, which in turn has lunched the hard drive.

The only reason I haven't sent it back in to HP already... heck, a month ago... is because I was waiting for my work laptop to be fully functional.

Work bought me a brand new Dell Latitude D830, with the discrete Quadro graphics, fast processor, 7200rpm hard drive with hardware encryption, dvd burner, discrete 802.11A/B/G, bluetooth, 3g modem and 4 gigs of ram.

Then they did me the discourtesy of installing 32 bit XP pro on it, disabling the wireless, 3g, and bluetooth, and locking the system down so tight that I can't even create local directories.

Is every companies desktop IT this bad... oh wait, yes, it is.

I'm a designated homeworker, and I'm authorized local admin. I'm not supposed to get the super restricted build or local lockdown. Unfortunately, the system that is supposed to be used to fix this error isn't working.

What joy.

So I've been waiting for field service to allow me to fix my own damn laptop, so I could have a usable laptop before I sent my other laptop back in to HP.

Yesterday, my other laptop lunched itself. The hard drive is gone and it aint coming back. The shipping box is on its way from HP, with a 7-10 day turnaround (unless I want to upgrade to 3 year onsite service for $300... no thanks).

So for now, in order to work properly, I'm booting Linux on my work laptop on a live distro from a USB drive, then running virtualbox off that to run my virtual desktop for work.

It's slow as viking hell, but at least I can make local directories.

Update: Linux for the win. My windows based tools couldnt grab my unbacked up data from the last few days off the corrupted hard drive, but my linux based tools worked just fine, and I'm grabbing all my cuirrent data since the backup now (why did I even bother with the windows stuff, knowing that result was likely? Because windows based tools preserve windows metadata, permissions, and ownerships. Not critical, but helpful for things like iTunes).