The problem with my primary computer was that I was getting lots of snow on the screen and the computer was crashing pretty regularly – sometimes even when the computer was first starting up, before Windows started to load. It seemed like either my video card was going flaky or the BIOS on the motherboard was going bad…either way, bad news. This was what drove me to my secondary computer.

Well, last night I decided to take another crack at fixing my primary computer. I took my video card out of my computer and put it in my wife’s. It worked fine. Hmmm…so the card itself wasn’t the problem, it was the interaction between the card and something else.

Now, a friend recently sold a computer back to me that I had built for him about two years ago…he had upgraded to a spiffing new Dell and didn’t need it any more. Since his computer was practically identical to mine, that meant I had another motherboard of the same type as the one in my primary computer, and it actually had a slightly faster CPU on it. I swapped out the motherboard and CPU. Crud, same problem…but that meant that the BIOS hadn’t been going bad on my old computer.

The video card worked, the motherboard worked, the processor worked…hmm, I wondered, could it be the power supply?

I swapped the power supply in my computer for the one from my friend’s – and all the problems went away! Somehow the shielding on the power supply must have failed, giving my poor video card a nice continual stream of noise – no wonder it was complaining!

So now, not only do I have my primary computer back, but it’s actually better than it used to be, with a slightly faster processor and a half-gig more RAM!

Now if only I’d done this last Friday night…