Knoppix to the rescue

After work today I decided to make myself a drink and give Diana’s computer another shot. Not that I particularly relished the thought of fucking around with it again, but I really need to get it over with so I can give it to her and start clearing out the rest of the excess hardware I’ve somehow accumulated over the years.

I had the thought today that maybe it’s not the hardware that’s broken, but rather the installation CD (unlikely, granted, but bear with me, I was getting desperate). The best way to test that is to try booting off a different CD. This looks like the perfect time to check out Knoppix, which I downloaded a while back but haven’t tried out yet. Not to mention that in the event of failure, Linux can usually be counted on to deliver informative error messages (haha) instead of just freezing up the way Windows was. Sure enough, Knoppix failed and suggested I had a memory problem. Ah-ha!

I juggled memory around a bit and decided that the memory is fine, what’s broken is the second memory slot on the motherboard. I removed the second memory chip and the Windows installation is going smoothly now. I think I’ll try adding more RAM after the system is up and running to see what happens, but it looks like Diana might only be getting 128 MB instead of the 256 I was going to give her.

Let me take a minute to plug Knoppix. It’s a complete Linux system (based on Debian), including KDE, that runs from a RAMDisk. In other words, everything is run from memory, you can try it out without affecting your existing system. I highly recommend this for anyone interested in checking out Linux without making any real commitment. </commercial>