I mentioned it either here or on Facebook: I have a new computer. That is, I have a computer that is new for me, not one that is brand new. Much as I would have liked to wander into a shop and say ‘I’ll take that one there’ it is not to be and I have decided to be more than content with whatever I can get.
I suppose it’s something personal more than anything. The computer I use for my Internet wanderings, to update this Blog, chat with friends on facebook, to add photographs to my Tumblr Blog and to share with friends on StumbleUpon is a laptop – and a good one too – but it isn’t really mine. It’s wonderful for all those things I’ve listed, but I feel the need to have something I can call my own.
So, when I was offered a Dell Dimension I jumped at the idea. Rather like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire, as it turns out. the computer came complete with flat screen monitor, keyboard and a mouse but no software.
Not a problem, I thought, I can download a software package through my laptop and load it into the Dell and get down to work straight away. The computer is going to be used for writing and nothing else.
Download software, not a problem. Boot Dell, problem.
It seems that a Dell without software is like a sucked out egg: it looks fine from the outside, but there is nothing else there at all. You take a look inside and there is nothing to give you any hint about what the shell is there for. The hard drive wasn’t defined: no c:, no e:, nothing. The computer wouldn’t boot at all: no way to install any software.
The local computer shop saw it that way too. My computer sat on their workbench for about a week while they tried to find out what was what. Then, on Thursday, they had the answer. Having taken everything to pieces, they discovered that Dell runs their hard drives not direct onto the motherboard but through a sort of middleman board. This in-between board needs a driver and, as you might expect, the driver is not available on the Dell site.
Solution: take the hard drive out, program install, re-insert and see if the hard drive will be recognised.
The next problem. For some reason it seems that Dell has designed this computer so that it only works with Windows, it refuses to recognise Linux.
Solution: remove the useless drives and install a new hard drive, then install Linux. That worked.
Lesson learned: don’t bother with Dell unless you’re only going to be using Windows.
Love & Kisses, Viki.