Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit (banazir) wrote,
Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit

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I Don't Get No Satisfaction: Tinychlorian Shortage Hits The Little Apple

Once again, a fortnight has elapsed, and I am beset with new computer problems. :-)

Thanks to all who have helped with previous ones, which I posted on:

Here's a wee bit of an update:

Bad blocks, bad blocks, whatcha gonna do

To make a long story short, I have a surplussed P5-120 notebook, sans CD-ROM drive (the PC-MCIA external drive is about 8 years old and a little quirky to say the least). I have two HDs: one 50Mb (yes, megabytes; not gigabytes, megs) and one 810Mb. Needless to say, I am going to try the 810Mb one first. The problem is that I bought it "as-is" and DOS CHKDSK marks about 2Mb of bad clusters on it.

Using 14 TinyLinux install floppies that I painstakingly imaged from the archive, I partitioned the drive, installed a tight subset of Slackware, and laid down LILO on the master boot record (MBR). At this point, LILO gives an error 0x10 when booting, I get tons of drive seek errors when installing, booting, writing files, or pretty much doing anything. Most of the applications seem to straddle corrupt blocks.

I tried formatting it as "Linux native" (does that mean ext2?). Before I write the whole thing off as a loss, is there any Linux utility I can use during or after formatting to mark blocks as bad? Also, is there an equivalent to ScanDisk and Norton's old FAT utilities that will let me see the inodes as they lie on the HD, to decide whether the marked partition is hopelessly riddled with cluster faults?

Trasked is filmed on location with the Men and Hobbits of systems administration.

Do-it-yourself destruction

Does anyone have any idea how I would go about fixing LCD panels on a ThinkPad?

I now have two ThinkPads with display problems:

  • Vingilot, a 600E (Pentium II-366, 288Mb RAM, 6Gb HD replaced with Earrame's 20Gb HD at the moment): the LCD panel flickers and then goes dim about 95% of the time. When this problem first began, I was able to get the screen to come on brightly and steadily by cycling the video mode 4-5 times until it "warmed up". Now, it stays in its bad state, and so I have had to put it on a KVM and keep it essentially "docked" for good, even though it is using 802.11b wireless. I suspect, though, that there is just a bad connector inside the LCD casing. Does anyone know how I might be able to check this?

  • Earrame, a T21 (Pentium III-800, 384Mb RAM now scavenged down to 64Mb, 20Gb HD now swapped with Vingilot's 6Gb): the LCD panel is, to put it mildly, damaged. Actually, it is an ex-LCD. It's pining for the fnords. I done set it on top of a newfangled ergonomic keyboard, and when it slipped off, it plummeted from a ghastly, dizzying height of 29 inches and landed face down. The glass is shattered - or, rather, cracked in about a dozen places. I'm not eager to try replacing the LCD panel, but is there any place I can even buy one and put it in myself? I figure that's the only chance that the repair will cost less than the $800 I paid for the computer.

If you can't take the heat

Numerramar, as I previously reported, had sustained some video hardware damage, probably from the CPU overheating, as burkhardt pointed out. The good news was that I was able to phone in a hardware issue and get a repair authorization before the warranty expired on 21 Apr 2005, and after about a week and a half, they sent it back with a new system board. The bad news is that since came back from its third trip to the IBM ThinkPad Repair Centre, Numerramar has been spontaneously restarting. No blue screen; just "poof". I touch the bottom of the ThinkPad and it is hot enough to burn the privates of persons less careful than this hobbit. I suspect, because the fan is suddenly very quiet, that there is now some problem related to the fan - e.g., the replacement system board is drawing too much power for the fan to work. Any ideas?

Edit, 00:25 CDT Wed 18 May 2005: I called IBM and they asked me to first go and download, burn, and boot a utility CD that allegedly can diagnose "any hardware problems". I am generally chary of claims that a CD can work on "any" variant of anything, errors being as diverse as they are, so first: is there anything I can do to reproduce the problem or rule out hardware issues, short of popping in another WinXP drive (my other compatible HD is 20Gb versus the 60Gb I have, and it has Win2K on it)?


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