Been working ridiculous hours at work lately, mainly so I could pay for my trip in May as early as possible, so haven’t been doing too much geeky stuff on the computer. Having an iPhone is fantastic, though! I love being able to access all my favorite stuff anywhere anytime. I don’t think I will ever go back now that I have got that thing.
After work, I’ve been stupidly staying up late attempting to work on what I hope to be the newest and best Dark Hatred release, “No Fear”, doing pre-production stuff like riffage, and drum and guitar tones. Very frustrating, but started to make a breakthrough. The key for me is to use a reference mix of stuff I already like in the genre. I’m a huge fan of Joey Sturgis’ production work so I reference him a lot. I have recorded a couple demos which I have in my dropbox and will share public links for below. The 2nd is definately better than the first, and definately Dark Hatred’s style. “I’m on track,” I thought.
Some of the ideas I’ve had for the project include re-recording some of my “favorite” older works, including tracks like Nightmare, Child Of Darkness, Truth And Lies, etc – the latter two I may or may not do. After finishing the first demo, which was to have Jenni’s vocals, I eagerly begin work on Nightmare.
I had just imported 2 of the original samples, when my computer BSOD’s. WTF? I try to reboot it. It starts to boot them restarts itself again. I’m pretty worried at this point. 3rd time, it goes to the Windows Repair Boot Menu. “Ok,” I thought, “I’ll run a repair.” I try, and it doesn’t do anything, just restarts the machine.
I keep trying, but without fail. I dig my Windows disc out and try that – I try all the options – safe mode, the lot. Nothing works. At this point I’m really frustrated. I dig my 32-bit Windows disc out (my system is set up as 64-bit to utilize the 8GB RAM). Strangely, this boots, and works, but of course, is incompatible with my Windows install.
By now, I’m tired and annoyed. So I discuss with Jenni, who is unsure of th problem but thinks it’s a bad driver or bad RAM. I go with the bad driver as at this point I don’t believe my RAM could have gone bad after 5 months.
The following morning, I try again. I format and install Windows 32-bit, which seems to work fine. So why is 32-bit working and not 64? I reimage my computer with a backup image I created using Macrium Reflect. The image loads onto the machine fine, so by this point I’ve ruled out any issues with my hard disk. But will it boot up? No.
The bootable disc I created with Macrium Reflect to access the image fortunately comes with MemTest86+. I decide to run it, as I’m now curious and what Jenni said to me the night before is echoing in my head.
Sure enough, from the get-go, MemTest86+ reports errors…fuck tons of them. I did not realise I had to test with only one stick in so I had run this with both 4GB sticks in, but all the errors seemed to be in the 4096 and above range. So I took the tower apart and took the 2nd stick of RAM out.
Lo and behold, the computer suddenly works again, booting all 64-bit images, discs, you name it, it works. I feel a bit more at ease, so off I go to work. That evening, when I get home, I reinstall 64-bit Windows. It goes okay but I’m noticing things are a little….flaky. Random Windows Services are shutting down on their own. My USB Wireless Stick keeps disconnecting. The display keeps coming out of Aero mode, and Windows Update not working correctly. I feel uneasy again, thinking that my tower is doomed. Anyway, the machine worked well enough for me to order some new RAM from Crucical. The brand that came with the tower was some cheap Taiwan brand I’d never heard of.
The following day, I run a MemTest again out of curiousity. Again, from the get-go, it reports over 3000000 errors. This explains the issues I’ve been having, clearly. So I turn off the machine and look forward to my new RAM arriving. I paid extra for postage so I would have it by Friday morning latest – which it did arrive.
Friday night, I fitted the new Crucial RAM, MemTested it and all came back clean. I boot the machine and everything works as it should, including Windows Update. Touch wood, that’s the problem solved. Since then, I have fully updated my system and reinstalled all the software I use – rationing a lot and not just putting stuff on here for the sake of it. I have reimaged the system with Macrium Reflect so if I do need to reinstall, I can do it to a reasonably updated system with all the stuff I use – especially my music softwares, which takes hours to install on its own!
So far, so good. I plan on sending the faulty sticks of RAM back to the place I bought the tower from, as I have already phoned them and they said to do so. They will replace them, so I will keep them as a spare set – although I bet it will be the same cheap brand they put in it in the first place!
Ditching 7-Zip for PeaZip
This time around, I decided to use PeaZip for my archiving applications. 7-Zip, for some reason, would always error if I tried to open a compressed archive by simply double-clicking it. I always had to right-click and open via the context menu, which I found annoying. PeaZip has changed that, and it has nice icons for the compressed archives! From what I see, it still uses the 7-zip engine as its core, but I’m not bothered – at least it works the way it should!
I’m not installing photoshop on this machine again. Having an iPhone with a half decent camera and zillions of cool photo-editing apps for it has negated the need for it and even my Samsung ES19 digital camera. It is no longer nessecary for me to have the application on here when I can just do it on the fly where I’m taking photos.
Booked and paid for. Taking out my insurance when I get paid this month. I am so excited and can’t wait!! Booked direct with American Airlines this time and got to choose window seats for 3 of my flights!
Music Links – copy and paste and don’t be lazy