I let one of my friends borrow my big computer (a nice gaming desktop) for the semester, and all I have now is my old powerbook G4 titanium. This was a mistake, because I like to play video games after classes and such. So for about two weeks I silently freak out because I'm really bored at night when all my friends are sleeping and I would normally be playing CoH.
Then one of my friends from home decides to visit me with two computers so we can play CSS a bit this weekend. He brought up his custom computer, which is long in tooth (Athlon XP 2.4GHz, FX5500, 2Gb 400Mhz DDR, other mediocre stuff) but still not bad for older games like Counterstrike Source. The other computer he brought was an Emachine he was using as a server, but it didn't have a HDD or anything so I had to give it some love.
After about an hour of dicking around, I got Windows on an old hard drive and got the dusty old Emachine running. At this point it had integrated graphics, with about 2Mb of allocated RAM or something horrible like that. I was afraid to open dxdiag. My friend had kindly brought up a PCI FX5200 that I was going to throw in the Emachine and make it CSS-worthy. I threw it in, and everything was peachy.
Until I downloaded the drivers, or tried to. The Emachine's garbage motherboard didn't have onboard ethernet, and we didn't have a PCI ethernet card. So no internet, or LAN, or anything. Goodbye, CSS.
Well, ok. I can still throw the Halo PC demo on my flashdrive and play that. I really like Halo PC, even though it's a bit old now and I have Halo 2 PC. So I downloaded the Halo PC demo to my flashdrive, on my Mac, and put the file on the Emachine.
Oops. You need DirectX 9.0b to play Halo PC, not DirectX 8.1 that was included in my virgin XP install. YOU NEED TO GO ONLINE FOR DIRECTX! ITS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND A FILE THAT IS JUST A DX INSTALLER! I began to fume. While fuming, I decided I could install a game like Call of Duty that had a DX9 installer included in the install package. I ended up with Brothers in Arms, because that's what my hand picked up when it dove into the neatly stacked PC game boxes in the bottom drawer of my file cabinet. Ok, ok. This is a pain, but it's worth it for Halo PC demo... I guess.
Then, while removing my flashdrive, I BUMP THE FX5200, and the screw holding it in the motherboard pops out AND THE CARD COMES HALF OUT OF THE PCI SLOT! "Oh my god," I mumble and the room fills with a horrible "burning silicon" smell.
The card is fried.
The computer is worthless without a graphics card. So that's that. The Emachine is dead to me. My friend took the destruction of the card pretty well, it was a total piece of crap. He is happily playing Garry's Mod on his machine, which is running fine. Unfortunately for me, GMod is pretty much the most boring game in the world to watch someone else play, especially is he is an admin in an RPG mod. Ugh. I give up on pleasing my gaming spirits then, and sink into a stupor.
Until my friend's motherboard trashes itself in front of his eyes.
This one was much more spectacular than my FX5200 murder. There are SPARKS coming from somewhere, and we actually jump back from the tower. It was bad. He had to buy a new computer, pretty much. I think it was the PSU that trashed.
So that was a bad night. One computer gone, another crippled. No video games. Now, I am desperately searching for a copy of Roller Coaster Tycoon for Mac to please my video game spirits, until my buddy comes back for Thanksgiving and I can have my desktop back. I must admit, it was really quite funny in retrospect, which is why I post this. Hehe!
So you DIDN'T FIND ANY OF THIS ENTERTAINING??? My God, that sounded like alot more fun than CSS on a FX5200!
I am just really surprised that the eMachine didn't thermal lock to protect the mobo, I will always remember to keep the side of my case ON! I have a bad habit of always leaving the case off to fawn over the components while they are whirring away.
PC hardware is so entertaining in so many ways I sometimes give myself gaming anxiety. I think, geez, I should stop fiddling with my PC and actually game before I have to buy a new one!!!