Well, my computer, Magic, is slowly coming back to life.

On May 9th, I woke up to find my computer at a Win98 dos prompt.  Since then it has been a huge headache reinstalling windows, scanning harddrives, buying new harddrive, buying new controller card… Clint blogged about it here.

I bought the controller card first.  My previous one was supposed to be the same brand as Clint’s, but it had 4 Sata ports, and that was it.  Clint’s has like 2 Sata ports, 3 firewire ports, and 4 usb ports.  So the controller card I had bought always seemed to have some weird issues where it would suddenly act like it was unplugged from the system.  If I switched the pci slot, the problem would be fixed for awhile.  When these harddrives died, Clint told me to get the same kind as his.  Well, he had his box, so I found out it was a Startech brand.  Mine was Addonics.  Anyway, I went directly to the Startech website, but Clint’s card was not mentioned anywhere.  I did find one that was close.  It had 2 Sata ports and 5 usb ports.

I definitely do NOT need to have five more usb ports as my computer already had a bunch.  2 up front, 4 built into the motherboard, and 2 more additional ones in the back. I’m currently using all four that are built into the motherboard (PDA, camera, MP3 player, ups), and one of the ones in the front (thumbdrive).  So I now have 7 unused usb ports.  Whoo-hoo.

Back onto the topic, after I ordered the card, I continue with reinstalling windows.  I ended up installing windows over my previous windows install on my 250g harddrive, and then it did a scandisk were it found many many orphaned files.  My 250g harddrive was in 2 separate partitions.  We call them 250GA and 250GB.  I also had a 300G that was not being recognized at all.  I have a 750G harddrive that didn’t have issues.  Anyway, long story short, I reinstalled windows, and then had all these issues, so I threw up my hands, and bought a new 750g harddrive in order to have a fresh install of windows on it.

The new harddrive arrived on the 17th.  It was such a headache installing it.  I installed windows, but the harddrive was only recognizing 137g.  I reflashed my BIOS, and then reinstalled windows again.  Still only 137G.  I went to the Seagate website instead of the Abit website, and found out it’s a microsoft thing, and I need to install the latest service pack, and then update my registry.  I was not connected to the internet, so I had to download programs onto Mist, and then put them on my thumbdrive to get to Magic.  Finally I get the servicepack installed, and I updated the registry key EnableBigLba reg value to 1.  The website gave me this information that was helpful:  Value name: EnableBigLba, Data type: REG_DWORD, Value Data: 0x1.   That worked.  The rest of the drive was sitting there as unpartitioned space and I was able to format it.  I did not try to expand the first partition, but I probably should have.  So my new 750G harddrive is split into two.

So, after I finally got my 750G figured out and my windows installed, I plugged in each of the other harddrives one by one.  The 300G is fine.  The 250g had problems and after scanning and finding many orphaned files, it seems fine.  When I plugged in my original 750g harddrive into the PCI controller card, it does not get farther than the controller cards boot.  It says “found harddrive” and that’s it.  It doesn’t even go any further to get into windows, or to boot to the cd or even to the floppy.  So that is where I am at as of this moment.