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25 July 2009 @ 10:03 am
The Computer Is Your Friend: Eeesh.  
Back in May, you may recall, quelonzia got me a toy: a refurbished Asus Eee 900a Netbook.

And then I said nothing about it.

Well, the reason why I said nothing about it was because, after a couple of weeks, the thing started locking up in mid-boot. It came with a recovery DVD that could make a bootable USB Thumb Drive or SD card -- but the software on the DVD demanded Windows, and, well, there's not a Windows machine in the house.

Please note that the Eee runs a Linux variant, yet did not come with Linux recovery tools. *headdesk*

So, I talked to technical support, and, lacking the ability to make a recovery drive, they had me send it back for a replacement.

When the replacement arrived, it pulled the no-boot trick on the first day. This time, however, I had an SD card* with Eeebuntu loaded on it.

(Eeebuntu, as the name suggests, is an Eee-specific version of Ubuntu, the Linux distro I use on my desktop. I'd been planning to put Eeebuntu on the Eee all along, since I wanted more flexibility than the dumbed-down Linux that's loaded by the factory. The stock Eee OS won't even let you install new applications, at least not easily.)

This was a Monday. The thing ran happily on Eeebuntu until that Friday... when it locked up in mid-boot again.

Eeebunto, however, is a bit more verbose than the stock Eee OS. It actually told me that there were bad sectors on the Solid-State Drive (SSD).

I tried a few more things -- including using someone else's Windows machine to make a Recovery SD Card. That actually worked -- once. I was able to install it and get it to boot -- but not to REboot.

So, I sent a very detailed description to Customer Service, and they had me send it back. They confirmed the problem... and said that they couldn't replace it right away, and would we accept a refund instead?

At this point, I'm gun-shy about old, refurbished Eees with Solid-State Drives. A refund sounds a lot better than getting another 900A and just waiting for the drive to fail again.

So I have no toy, and I am a sad dragon. =(

On top of that, I failed yet again in upgrading my old wheezer video card.

*While both the packaged and online instructions insist that the Eee can boot from a USB thumb drive, I was never able to make that work.
Tombfyretombfyre on July 25th, 2009 06:11 pm (UTC)
Perhaps you could take that shiny new refund and get yourself a new netbook toy. :) I bought myself a Toshiba NB200, and its running rather well. Despite being perfectly fine running Windows XP, I'm likely going to throw Ubuntu on it any day now. :3
Araquan Skytracer: Computer stupidityaraquan on July 25th, 2009 07:42 pm (UTC)
I am vaguely reminded of one of my USB thumb drives that came with that U3 software, firmware, and partition layout. It was an annoyance as it required separately unmounting the two volumes every time the thing was removed from the computer, and of course served no beneficial purpose as I don't run Windows.

The U3 people provided a tool to remove the U3 system and let the thing act as just one disk for data storage. The thing couldn't just be repartitioned as the firmware made it show up as two separate hardware devices. When I downloaded it, there was a brief survey as to why I wanted to de-U3 the drive, and one of the tickbox options was "I don't run Windows." The tool was, at the time, Windows-only.