Remember the movie Final Destination. If not or if you haven't seen it, the basic plot is someone or some people escape death from an incident or an accident where they were supposed to die. Death in this instance needs to have balanced book, if you were supposed to die and for some reason you don't it (death) has to find a way to kill you in order to get back to the balanced book. It usually found creative ways to do it, the victim would do everything they can to survive but in the end they would be dead.
Well, I feel like this is what happened with a little project I was working on a few weekends back. I had a laptop which would not boot. No idea why, it would come on and a few seconds later switch off. Apparently the owner had interrupted the boot process absentmindedly once and ever since she has been having this problem.
I thought maybe it's the BIOS. I flashed the BIOS. It had no effect. I thought I would run a windows repair, however I couldn't use the dvd drive because on this laptop it wasn't working. The button to open the dvd drive wasn't working as well and I had to use the money clip in the hole thing to open the drive manually. This was the beginning of a very hilarious effort to try to find an alternative way to boot from this drive to see if it's the problem.
I have another old laptop I was working on. I put the harddrive in it but this laptop screen was suddenly not working. I could feel the drive spinning but I had no visual way of checking if it has booted or not. I had another desktop computer I was meant to check why it isn't working, lets call PC-A. I quickly had to check why it isn't working so I can use it to boot this drive. This computer wasn't coming on, I suspected dead power supply unit. I had another desktop computer I was also meant to diagnose, lets call it PC-B. PC-B had no RAM. Let me take one ram module out of PC-A and put it in PC-B, I innocently thought. PC-A is DDR3 and PC-B is DDR2. Damn it.
Oh wait, I have my old pc in the shed, lets call it PC-C. I go to the shed to fetch PC-C. I take out RAM module, you probably guess it....damn it, it's DDR. It doesn't fit either PC-A or PC-B. Now what? Use PC-C to test the drive, nope, PC-C doesn't have SATA connectors, it's old schooool. Ok fine take either PC-B or PC-C's power supply unit and use them to power PC-A. Ok that sounds like a plan.
I took PC-C's power supply unit, plugged it into PC-A. Now PC-A doesn't have an in board graphics card. The graphics card it has on has DVI and HDMI connectors for the monitor(s). And surprise, surprise I have an old ass monitor that only has a VGA connector. So I go digging in my drawer of everything, you that drawer that doesn't have a specific purpose, is just full of cables, plugs, glues etc. Hi some luck. An HDMI to VGA converter. Great now we are getting somewhere. Death is loosing.
I connect the monitor, fire up the pc, monitor is black. Now what? I forgot to plug in the power supply for the graphics card. So stupid, laughing at myself, how could I? As it turns out, there is a valid reason why I forgot, the Power supply doesn't have a power connector for the graphics card.
It's now 04:00 I have to throw in a towel. So I did. I have 4 computers including the laptop and I'm unable to check if another computer can boot from this damn drive.