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n4gix

Day the Development Machine Died...

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Last Tuesday I was in the middle of replying to a thread here at AVSIM when I had to go visit nature. Upon my return, I found that the mouse cursor was frozen!

 

Worse, the keyboard was completely unresponsive. Uh oh, I thought. The only choice was to do a crash power down and cold reboot. Upon reboot, the bloody thing failed POST and only returned a "B4" error code in the lower right corner of the main monitor! :Shocked:

 

Google search on my Sim Machine yielded the information that MSI bios returns a "B4" error whenever the system cannot find a USB keyboard. Three known-to-be-good keyboards in a row failed as well, pointing now to a possible failure of the on-board USB 'system' or possible bad power supply. Perhaps the +5vdc rail of the PS has died.

 

I carried the poor thing to Tiger Direct store in Orland Park, Illinois to seek help from their service center. Unfortunately, they aren't set up for quick examination and wanted to keep the machine for a minimum of 48 hours! Argh! :shok:

 

They had one computer in the store that would make a suitable replacement, and since it was their floor (display) model, I negotiated a very nice discount on it, which was enough to offset the cost of a full three year no-nonsense 3 year extended warranty.

 

Now it has been two days and I'm still struggling to get my new dev computer up and into production again. It's been so long since I installed/configured most of the tools that I'm getting frustrated trying to recall all of the relevant steps, much less remember just how many 'ancilliary' programs I have to have installed and configured! :unknw:

 

For example, today I'm trying to get Max2012 reconfigured for model exports via the P3Dv.1 SDK (so I can export for both FSX and P3D). For some reason although the ACES Tools are loading, they cannot "find" modeldef.xml file...  

 

Fortunately, I was able to pull the C drive from the 'dead machine', put it in as a secondary drive, then copy all folders and files from the ..\DATA folder across to the new computer's main drive.

 

I sure miss the "good old days" when the OS wasn't "machine bound" and I could have just popped in the old C: drive and kept on driving! :LMAO:

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I used to build voice mail computers and I always had a harddisk with a full VM system on it and I could drop it in a system on a moments notice and be up and running in no time. The good old days lol.

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I had to rebuild my development machine at the beginning of this summer, and even though the whole product was well backed up, getting the edvelopment environment back to usable on a rebuilt machine was a many day no-fun project.

I feel for ya.

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The chief problem I'm encountering is that I have forgotten just how many programs and utilities I have installed over the years that are integral parts of my development pipeline...

 

Yesterday I substituted my 'old dev computer's' hard drive and was astonished that it booted up just fine, and everything worked except that Win7 couldn't find a driver for the PCI and Ethernet in the new computer...

 

...so no network or internet connectivity. :(

 

So, back to laboriously installing and (re)configuring all of my tools now. :wacko:

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The chief problem I'm encountering is that I have forgotten just how many programs and utilities I have installed over the years that are integral parts of my development pipeline...

 

Yesterday I substituted my 'old dev computer's' hard drive and was astonished that it booted up just fine, and everything worked except that Win7 couldn't find a driver for the PCI and Ethernet in the new computer...

 

...so no network or internet connectivity. :(

 

So, back to laboriously installing and (re)configuring all of my tools now. :wacko:

 

Why not just google your mobo and download the drivers for it from the official website so you can use your old install? Just an idea

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Why not just google your mobo and download the drivers for it from the official website so you can use your old install? Just an idea

I suppose I could have done that by booting up with the "new" hard drive, but at this point I have pretty much gotten all of my most needed software installed and configured, so my production pipeline is now streamlined and optimized.

 

After nearly five years of operations, my system began to get cluttered up with a bunch of junk that I had installed, decided not to use, then promptly forgot to 'uninstall...'

 

...so at least now I'm starting with a clean slate. :He He: :He He:

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"Worse, the keyboard was completely unresponsive. Uh oh, I thought. The only choice was to do a crash power down and cold reboot."

 

Didn't try another keyboard first?

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I suppose I could have done that by booting up with the "new" hard drive, but at this point I have pretty much gotten all of my most needed software installed and configured, so my production pipeline is now streamlined and optimized.

 

After nearly five years of operations, my system began to get cluttered up with a bunch of junk that I had installed, decided not to use, then promptly forgot to 'uninstall...'

 

...so at least now I'm starting with a clean slate. :He He: :He He:

Great stuff Bill. With an optimized system you'll probably recover those downtime hours before you even know it. I personally like to keep backups of my dev machines with fresh installs including all the tools I use.

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"Worse, the keyboard was completely unresponsive. Uh oh, I thought. The only choice was to do a crash power down and cold reboot."

 

Didn't try another keyboard first?

Four different known-to-be-good keyboards, each followed by another boot attempt. In fact, I'm using the same keyboard with this new machine... :Big Grin:

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Four different known-to-be-good keyboards, each followed by another boot attempt. In fact, I'm using the same keyboard with this new machine... :Big Grin:

 

Ah, good!

 

For a minute there I was thinking I had to re-read in case I missed the obvious...

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Great stuff Bill. With an optimized system you'll probably recover those downtime hours before you even know it. I personally like to keep backups of my dev machines with fresh installs including all the tools I use.

I have a 4TB WD "Personal Cloud" on my LAN that keeps a real time copy of every file I create and/or update in my C:\DATA folder where all of my project work is kept, as well as my D:\ drive where all of my installer build folders and scripts are maintained.

 

Every morning at 2am a clone of the "Personal Cloud's" files are uploaded to a remote ftp site for off-site storage.

 

What I need to set up once I've gotten all of my new 'puter tools installed and configured is to create a complete backup/update strategy for the entire drive.

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