Tuesday, April 29, 2003

The Black Screen Of Oblivion...

... the slightly more terminal cousin of The Blue Screen Of Death. I was expecting to see it last night, after discussions on State and PCGF, I was increasingly of the belief that there is something seriously wrong with my motherboard. With this sense of impending doom in mind, I started up the machine last night, and because I'd done an abnormal shutdown, it started a scandisk, so I cancelled that, and it didn't crash out. So I backed up all my essential files onto CD and rebooted, ducking into BIOS so I could clock the CPU back to normal.

It restarted fine, I waited about five minutes, and it still didn't give me the Black Screen Of Oblivion, so I did a scandisk. It reported (and fixed) an error with the FSBootInfo sector on the hard drive and all was fine and dandy. I shut down and restarted the machine several times (making sure I was doing full power cycles) during the evening, and it remained stable every time. I even got to play a little BG, though Operation Flashpoint strangely wouldn't run, complaining that it needs DirectX 8, when I have DX9 installed and NWN (which needs DX8.1) *would* run.

So now I'm a bit confused. The real test is tonight, booting the machine up normally from a "cold" start and a normal shutdown. If it BSOO's me tonight I know I got a real problem. If it's fine, however, I'm going to be even more confused - because why would a machine be stable at a marginally overclocked configuration for 18 months, and then suddenly start throwing wobblers?

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