A few days ago Ginny’s desktop machine (a home built system cobbled together from various parts I had on hand) finally gave up it’s ghost. It wouldn’t book up, just gave one long beep, waited a few seconds, gave another long beep, over and over.
Well, her laptop (Dell Inspiron 8600) is almost out of warranty … and she’s not going to be getting my Dell Latitude D630 (due to the Latitude E6400 being returned), so I figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get her a new computer.
So we went over to CompUSA (formerly Tiger Direct) and looked at the small form factor desktop systems. We chose a Gateway SX2800-01 system (Core 2 Quad, 4gb RAM, 640gb SATA disk, 64bit Vista Home). The only problem was that it had on-board Intel video and no DVI output (although it does have HDMI output). Cost about $500. FWIW: This is Ginny’s first new computer in quite a while. Most of her other computers were hand-me-downs (from me).
We got the system home and set it up. It was then we realized that the system’s video wasn’t up to Second Life’s standards. Realizing that CompUSA would give us a hard time about returning the system, Ginny tried Second Life out and declared it to be adequate.
The systems “Gateway Recovery Manager” software kept bugging Ginny about creating recovery disks (since the system didn’t come with any OS media). It wanted 4 DVD’s (or a box full of CD’s) … which I had.
I tried to burn the Applications & Drivers DVD, but kept getting an error 205 from the Gateway Recovery Manager, no mater what DVD burner I used (the built in device or my external USB DVD-RW).
I checked the Gateway site to see if the software had been updated … but couldn’t find anything specific to the system we had purchased. A bit more searching and I found an update to the software “eRecovery” software. It didn’t apply directly to her system, but the version was pretty close. I downloaded and installed it. Problem solved.
I really wish hardware vendors would provide an application that could check all the provided software for updates and then download & optionally install them. It would make things a lot easier for people who aren’t very technically savy.