My Uncle Dick called me last week and scheduled me to come out and take a look at what was going on on Tuesday night.
I get there after work and he's having issues with BOTH his desktop and his laptop.
Tech Geek Scavenger Hunt & Triva
1 year old HP P4 512MB RAM 200GB SATA Drive looking at DOS window that says NTDLR is missing. Pull out the HP restore discs becase the restore partition doesnt seem to be there. Stick disc 1 in, reboot the machine and follow the prompts to do a non destructive recovery. Get error message that it is unable to write to the drive O.o Not good. Reboot check the bios, hmm, driv shows up, run S.M.A.R.T. tests everything works out fine. Says the drive is good. Try again, choose the option to repartion and reformat the drive and re-set up the HP restore partition. Get the Same Error Messages o.O Now I'm thinking dead drive. I end up taking the box home with me and utilizing Ultimate Boot CD I'm able to fdisk and reformat the drive. Restart the HP Restore process, choose the option to repartion and reformat the drive and re-set up the HP restore partition and the whole thing goes without a hitch. Total time spent on this little project: 6.5 Hours what I will charge him. $200.00
Any ideas as to what could have caused this?
I get to deliver it back to him tonight and pick up the laptop. When I got there it wouldnt connect to the wireless at all. I monkeyed about a bit, ended up attempting to re-installing the wireless utility and although it failed, it evidently got to the point where it re-installed what it needed. As it now connects to the linksys router. It is most definately in SERIOUS need of a fresh re-install. He's had it for 2 years and hasnt re-installed his OS since he bought it. The amount of CRAP that is loaded on it, plainly scare the piss out of me. A 2.4GHZ P4 should not take 45 seconds to load the control panels page. There's also undoubtedly a large amount of extranious and usless software shoehorned in by AOL and their, "I must control every aspect of the operation of this computer" mentality. He's going to have me re-install it, configure it, load Norton Ghost on it, and back it up creating him an image, so that if anything ever goes wrong, he can just restore it. Estimated time: 4-6 hours.
While I was there he revealed that when he had an issue 2 years ago and my dad looked at it, when he mailed the machine in to have Compaq take a look at it, my dad had removed the HD and when Compaq sent the laptop back. They also sent him another 60GB HD for the laptop. Which has been sitting in a box unused.
I'm thinking that I'll tell him that I'll configure and tweak the latop for $200.00 or $150 with the 60GB Laptop drive.