Category Archives: Administrative

Computer Woes Continue

OK, things get worse and worse. I got the MSI motherboard, and installed it yesterday. The build went fine, except it still refuses to issue video output. Fans are running, no debug LEDs are lit, but I’m in the same situation I was with the ASUS board.

I tried swapping out video cards again, with no joy. I swapped memory with my own desktop, and not only did it not work, but when I put the stick back in the computer, it gave me a DRAM error, so somehow I managed to damage half of my 32G of RAM. Plus, now my computer won’t boot. It just dumps me into rescue mode, and I don’t see anything obvious in the journal.

I’d be pulling hair if I had any to spare.

[Friday-afternoon update]

So we had a power failure in the middle of the night, when a high-speed police chase through the neighborhood resulted in the perp crashing a stolen BMW into an Edison pole and breaking it (both the pole and the car, apparently). It lasted almost twelve hours, and just came back up (I wandered over around the block a couple times and watched SoCal Edison replacing the pole and reattaching lines).

No status update on the computer. At this point, I’m just going to load it all in the car and take it to Colorado with us, because I’m out of time to fix it before we leave tomorrow. I’ll be there until next weekend, but it was intended to go and be left there anyway. Worst case is I’ll take it to Best Buy (since I got the motherboard there) and see if they can figure it out.

[Thanksgiving Eve update]

So I took it to the Geek Squad yesterday (because I bought the replacement mobo at Best Buy), and with their test GPU, we determined that it was in fact the video card, so the original mobo was probably OK. I went to Micro Center to get another one, and the machine is finally running.

Now I’m trying to install Windows on it (I know, I know, but it’s not my machine…).

It booted into Linux with the SSD that I use to boot into my laptop, so I made a boot disk from a Windows 10 ISO on a USB stick. But it won’t boot from that stick. I just get a message to put in a proper boot device and hit return, but there is no way to do that. And when I hit return, I just keep getting the same message. I’ve booted back into Linux whence I am updating this post.

New VB Problem

So, I gave up on trying to solve the problem, but just found a page that explains how to install it properly, and when I followed those instructions, it went fine.

Now when I try to create a new Windows machine, from what appears to be a good Windows boot disk (and the one that I created my previous Windows machine from), I get a message “Creating process for virtual machine,” at 0% progress, and it’s stuck there. I’ve done a search, and come up pretty much empty. Any ideas?

Virtual Box

OK, so I’ve given up on restoring my previous Windows guest machine, and am going to create a new one (I only lost a couple files that I cared about). But now VB won’t work properly. Without getting into detail on the error messages, I’d like to just completely remove it, and do a clean install. But I can’t figure out how to do it.

I apparently installed it from a script, so there are no Fedora packages for it, so dnf can’t do anything. When I click on the details of the icon in Gnome, and select remove, it just shrugs its digital shoulders. Anyone have any suggestions?

[Tuesday-afternoon update]

Continue reading Virtual Box


Well, the place in Studio City kept my hard drive for weeks, then finally gave me a quote of $1200 to recover the data. The catch was that there would be no directory structure, and they’d all be renamed, retaining only the file extensions.

I told them that I had no budget to pay someone what I could do for free with photorec, so I went back up to get them Wednesday. I ran photorec overnight, and am now the proud owner of a bazillion numbered files with extensions. Fortunately, one of the main files I was looking for was the VMDK for my virtual Windows installation, and “find” grabbed it quickly. I moved it into the Virtual Box directory, and renamed it Windows10. But when I try to start the machine, I get the message “No bootable media found.”

Any ideas?

[Update a few minutes later]

When I try to add the VMDK to the VM, it “fails to open.”


[Afternoon update]

I wonder if the file was corrupted by the failing drive? And if so, if there is any way to repair it?

[Saturday-morning update]

In looking at the file, it seems to be three orders of magnitude smaller than it should be. It may be that it was either corrupted by the failing drive, or that the photorec recovery was incomplete. Fortunately, it didn’t have much data in it, so I guess I’ll just create a new Windows machine from my existing product key.