Repost from 3/8/2007

March 8, 2007

Dian Chapman, my technical editor for the Word 2007 Bible, tells me that her two copies of the book arrived yesterday. I still haven’t seen any yet. I emailed Jim Minatel (my AE) to find out why not, and he tells me that the first printing is already out of stock! They’ve ordered a second printing, which will be ready next week. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart, and other online booksellers seem to have it in stock. So, Wiley’s warehouse loss is their gain. If you order the book now, there should be no delay in its shipping to you.

On the computer front, I ultimately determined that either the motherboard or the GeForce 7300GT was defective. I exchanged the T470 for a different one, and this one has been working like gangbusters. I sure wish I hadn’t invested five days trying to get it to work. But, at least I now have a better idea about how to recognize defective hardware… as opposed to defective Vista drivers. Even so, I’m still gun-shy about installing new versions of the driver.

My most recently solved Vista mystery—apparently—was the presence of an error in my events log:

The following boot-start or system-start driver(s) failed to load: i8042prt

I searched the internet, and didn’t find much specific having to do with Vista. However, in an old Windows 2000 discussion—in Spanish, no less—someone indicated that you see that error message when your mouse and/or keyboard are connected using USB rather than the PS/2 connectors. So, apparently, it’s nothing to worry about. I’m blogging about it here so it might be useful to someone else when they search for the error message.

Another pending mystery—and I hope it doesn’t recur—is why my computer suddenly started saying that my Documents folder was off-limits this morning. This morning while editing an Excel spreadsheet, I suddenly got an error message that the file I was editing was in use and that I couldn’t save to it.

Because I didn’t want to lose what I was doing, I decided to take a quick screen shot. When I tried to save the screen shot, I was informed that I didn’t have permission to access my Documents folder. So, I grabbed the camera, and took a picture of the data onscreen as a last resort.

During this time, the computer was responding extremely slowly, but I didn’t see anything grabbing the CPU in the Task Manager.

I closed everything and rebooted, and the problem has not [yet] recurred. I studied the event logs, but I don’t see anything that happened during that time.

I have two suspicions so far, neither of which are based on anything solid:

  1. My first suspicion is that it has something to do with having installed NOD32 last night — always suspect the new guy, right? — but, that’s just a desperate grasp.
  2. My second suspicion–this is a new computer with an Intel Core2Duo 6300–is that the CPU developed schizophrenia, and that possession of everything disk-based resided in one of the cores and was claiming ownership of my user files and folders, while the other core had suddenly assumed control of the program memory space, and wouldn’t let me access anything because the other core “owned” it.

In months and months of beta testing Vista and running RTM, I never had anything like this happen. But, all my testing/running until this past Tuesday was with a single core Pentium 4, and my A/V software was AVG, not NOD32.

Anybody seen anything similar?

My next adventure is to decide whether to replace Vista Home Premium with Vista Ultimate. Actually, I already know that I’m going to do that. But, I think I’ll install my large SATA, first, and install Vista Ultimate on it. Now, I’ll need to decide whether to install the 32 bit or 64 bit version… or both—maybe one to my X partition and other to my Z partition.

I also want to boost my RAM to 4 GB. It turns out that the 7300GT actually uses shared memory—robbing almost 500MB from main memory—in addition to its own 256MB. Greedy little sucker. I could try to turn off this sharing, but when I did that on the defective T470, my graphics index score went from 4.3 down to 1.0! So, I think I’ll try the upping-the-memory solution, instead.

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