The Upgrade From Heck
Early in 1997 I decided that my poor 486DX had seen its last. Fancying myself a clever fellow, I decided to upgrade on my own. I mail ordered a motherboard, Cyrix 686, 72pin memory, and a PCI video card, carefully shopping around to get the best price on each.
Tragedy struck. First, I found that the screwhole locations on motherboards are not standardized. Solution: epoxy plastic standoffs to my sturdy metal case. Then, the board would not recognize my hard drive. Here are the steps it took to fix this:
- Played around with the BIOS settings. No luck.
- Borrowed a brand new Western Digital drive from a friend. Still nada.
- Called tech support, who returned my call several days later with no answer.
- Borrowed a plug in IDE card from work that goes into an ISA slot. When I plugged the old hard drive into the card (rather than the built-into-the-motherboard EIDE plug), the computer did detect the drive.
- Faxed all these steps in a long memo to tech support, who shipped out a new motherboard free of charge. Problem solved.
Below is a picture I took of my version of dual-processing. During the month I was working on this problem, I still wanted to work on my computer. So I would have to unplug the new board (bottom), plug in the old board (top), turn on the computer, change the BIOS settings, and go.
Okay, I'm done venting now.