EverQuest on my HDTV

My monitor stopped working so I had to start using my HDTV instead.  I was so happy that I bought a new video card with an HDMI plug, but for some reason EverQuest won’t load at all when I have it plugged into the TV.  I have been searching my heart out on the internet trying to find out why but nobody seems to have the answer.

I remembered that my friend Ruth told me a few years ago that she got a HDTV and she had her computer plugged into it and was using that as her monitor.  I sent her a message on Facebook asking her how she did that but it took her awhile to respond.  Today she responded to me to tell me she can help.  I spoke with her a few hours ago and she revealed the answer.  Stop using the HDMI and plug the computer into the TV using the VGA cable instead.  OF COURSE!  Why didn’t I think of that?

After I got off the phone with her I decided that I couldn’t wait to try it.  My computer was off so I had to wait for it to come on and it immediately defaulted to loading on the HDMI since I had them plugged into both.  When windows was finished loading I switched it over to VGA with the video driver software.  It didn’t look good at all so I had to do some adjusting to it so it looked normal and then I loaded EverQuest and to my surprise it loaded.

So there you have it, if you are using a HDTV using your HDMI plug, you won’t be able to play EverQuest until you plug it in with your VGA cable.

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No More Monitor, No More EverQuest :(

I recently decided that I wanted to make my return to EverQuest after 5 long years, but then my monitor decided it doesn’t want to turn on anymore.  My video card has an HDMI so I can plug my HDTV in so I can still use my computer, but now my issue is that EverQuest crashes before it can begin to load the game.  So much for that idea.

My monitor is a 20.1-inch Sylvania SK2000w-b Widescreen LCD.  What it is doing is when you turn the computer on, the screen doesn’t turn on and the power light turns green and starts blinking over and over.  The screen never actually turns on, it used to turn on after a few minutes, but now it isn’t turning on at all.

I googled the model number and found out that it is fixable.  I found out on the Fixya website that the problem could be that the capacitors have gone bad.  My first thought was, what the heck is a capacitor and how do I fix it?  So I looked at YouTube and they have a video that shows a guy who bought a monitor from a thrift store for only $2.98.  It’s not a Sylvania, but he is showing what a capacitor is and shows you how to identify a bad one and how to remove the old and replace it with new.

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02uLSu1Jj5M)
It looks really complicated, but I’m sure that once you figure out how to remove the solder from the capacitor and are able to replace the first one, the rest are a cake walk.  Hey, if it works then I get my monitor back and I can play EverQuest again, but if it doesn’t then I still have a 20.1-inch paperweight, so really, what is the worst that could happen?  I mean sure I could buy a new monitor, but who has that kind of cash?  I could pay someone to fix it for me but they would end up charging me half of what a new monitor would end up costing me.  I can pick the parts up at Radio Shack and fix it myself.
I think that if I can build a computer, I can replace a capacitor, right?  Yeah… easier said that done, but we’ll see how it works out.
My concern about EverQuest is that I will have to cancel it before they charge me for another month, but I haven’t really had that much time to play with it anyway and I don’t want to keep paying for something I’m probably not going to be able to play very often.  I may as well cancel my account and go back to it when my monitor has been fixed.  I waited 5 years, I’m sure I could wait a little bit longer until I can fix it.  Who knows, I may be back in the game by the weekend.  I think I can afford to spend up to $10 on capacitors rather than $200 for a new monitor.

My Computer Finally Works

What a bad time I have had with my desktop lately.  I will give you a quick recap of my situation.

First my video card stopped working so I bought a new one but it wasn’t nvidia like I should have bought, it was Radeon.

It didn’t work right away and I should have returned it to get an nvidia but I was so thick headed that I said no screw that, I want Radeon.  It worked but only if I didn’t turn my computer off but then the PG&E turned it off to install a new pole.  When our power came back on I couldn’t turn the computer on at all.

I read message boards that told me that if nothing showed up on the screen then my problem is power supply and I looked in the Radeon website and found out that my new video card needed a specific power supply.  I had to wait a month to buy it when I had the money.

The power supply came and it still didn’t work so back to the boards for help I went.  I read that it was the motherboard so I had to wait to buy that.  Darrin loaned me the money this week and it came on Wednesday and my computer turned on but it wouldn’t load Windows from my hard drive.

I discovered that my hard drive is ATA-100 and the book says it will accept ATA-133 but someone told me that ATA-100 is backwards compatible so it should work but it didn’t.

So on Wednesday night I bought a new hard drive and it showed up at my house yesterday.  I installed it and ran the Windows CD and it copied the Windows setup files to the new drive and rebooted.  When it rebooted nothing happened and my heart sank.

When the Windows setup came on the screen with mouse support I was ear to ear smiles.  But I wasn’t going to celebrate just yet, not until I had the desktop up on the screen and was able to start installing drivers and programs.  That is why I haven’t blogged about it until now, I didn’t want to jinx myself lol.

So I FINALLY have my computer back after 2 months of waiting.  I am so beyond happy right now.

My Computer Still Doesn’t Work!

I am so beyond frustrated at this point.  It all started when…

*Enter the dream sequence*

In the middle of July, my video card stopped working so I had to wait until I got my August check to buy another one.  I bought the wrong one but since I had to wait a week for it to arrive from Tiger Direct, I decided I would just deal with it.  I didn’t want to have to wait another week for them to receive it so they would send me another one yet another week later.

It did work, sort of.  I couldn’t turn off my computer then the PG&E turned it off for me much to my dismay and it wouldn’t turn back on.

I read in the message boards that it won’t turn back on because I needed a new power supply so I had to wait until I got the money which was the beginning of October.  I bought that from NewEgg and still nothing.

I read in another message board that I needed a new motherboard so I waited for 2 weeks when finally I was loaned the money for a new motherboard which I also bought from NewEgg.

*Exit the dream sequence*

Fast forward to today and my new motherboard arrives and it turns on Hallelujah!

It won’t freaking read my hard drive.  NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

If I had just taken the god damn tower to the god damn computer store to begin with, I would have had it fixed by now instead of having to replace all of my god damn computer components.

I was so sick to my stomach today that I couldn’t eat.  Darrin made some chicken and I was so upset that the smell of it was making me dry heave.

Ok.  So this is what I’m going to do.  I’m going to call New Egg tomorrow and tell them what my problem is.  On one hand, I don’t want to have to return the motherboard, but on the other hand I don’t want to have to buy another hard drive either.

I will let them tell me if everything else is compatible.  If it is and it’s just the hard drive that isn’t compatible but I can still use it as an external drive then I will buy a new hard drive that is compatible in November.

I just wish I could have my computer working now, you know what I mean?  I’m so sick of waiting because I haven’t been able to use it in 2 months.  I can only take so much of having to use an internet only netbook with a tiny screen for so long.  It’s killing my eyes!

So, the sun’ll come out… tomorrow.  Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow… I’ll call NewEgg…

You know what the difference between Tiger Direct and New Egg is right?  A FREAKING WEEK!  It takes a week to get anything from Tiger Direct but when I buy something before 4pm from New Egg, I get it the next day.  That’s so much better than anticipating for a whole week because at least if I have to return something, it won’t take more than a day to get to them because they are only 2 1/2 hours away from me.

So until tomorrow…

Oh, here is my new configuration if anyone out there wants to tell me what is compatible with what BEFORE I have to call NewEgg.

My new motherboard was the only thing they had that was compatible with my CPU, memory and video card.  I didn’t even think to check to see if it was compatible with my hard drive brand or DVD burner.  Although it reads the DVD drive since it was able to attempt to reinstall windows for me.

  • Motherboard is ASRock A785GM-LE
  • CPU is AMD Sempron 3400+ Socket AM2 1.80Ghz
  • Memory is Kingston 1GB PC2-4200 CL4 240-Pin DIMM…  that’s what it says on the case, I know it’s a DDR2.
  • The video card that started this shit is Radeon HD 4650
  • Hard drive is Maxtor 320GB EIDE HD 7200/16mb/ATA-100
  • DVD Burner is LiteON… I know it’s a Sata drive
  • Windows XP Home which is installed but the hard drive won’t boot.

By the way, I read today on another message board after futzing with it for 2 hours that I needed a fresh windows installation.  It said that it won’t read the hard drive unless I install a fresh installation of windows but I wasn’t willing to wipe my hard drive.

I did try to install windows over itself and it copied all of the installation files to the hard drive but when it rebooted to begin the installation, it wouldn’t read the hard drive so it would go back to trying to install windows from the cd again to either reformat or install windows the way I had already tried.  It just will not boot from the hard drive.

Oh and I tried to go into safe mode but I guess since it won’t read the hard drive windows installation there is no way it’s gonna go into safe mode.

I hope this is enough information and I hope to GOD that someone reads this and tells me what the hell to do.

Thanks for listening.

Update: I think I might have pinned down my issue.  My hard drive is an ATA-100 and I am looking in the manual for the new motherboard and it says that ATA-133 is compatible.  So… that means I need a new hard drive to work with the motherboard.  NewEgg has a 160GB ATA-133 hard drive for $25.  So… I will just buy that and put my other hard drive in a USB case to use as an external hard drive for storage.

My New Power Supply

In late July this year my video card stopped working in my desktop so I was forced to buy a new one. I bought it and it didn’t work right away but it did eventually work as long as I didn’t turn off my computer.

A month later I get a notice from the PG&E that they are shutting off our power to install a new pole. Well that meant that my computer would shut off and if that happens who knew if I could turn my computer back on? Well, my worst nightmare happened and it didn’t turn back on.

Now it’s the beginning of October, I haven’t had a desktop computer in over a month. I read somewhere that my problem was that my power supply isn’t good enough for my new video card. I looked at the huge list of recommended power supplies and researched every one of them and compared the list with what NewEgg sells and bought the least expensive one which was all I could afford to pay.

I bought the new power supply yesterday and it arrived today. That was shocking to me that I got free 3 day shipping with UPS and I got it within 24 hours. Awesome right?

I installed the new power supply right away. I made sure all of the plugs were plugged in properly and put the door on the tower and plugged it in and it still doesn’t work.

I don’t know what is wrong with this desktop of mine. I should have just sent the video card back to Tiger Direct right away and gotten a new one instead of going through all of this headache.

Back to the drawing board!

If It Isn’t One Thing, It’s Another

So I bought a new video card this month and even though it started out bad, I found a solution to keep it turned on and working right.  As long as I didn’t turn the computer off completely but instead put it to sleep when I’m not using it then all would be ok.

We got a notice on the door from PG&E on Wednesday that our electricity would be shut off Friday for an unspecified amount of time.  Well, I knew that this would cause my computer to turn off all the way.  When I got my computer to work before it didn’t take more than a few minutes for it to turn on so I never thought in a million years that it would be a huge issue for my computer to be without power even for a few hours.

Our power got shut off as I was expecting but when it finally came back on, my computer didn’t want to turn back on.  It eventually did come on but it said something about the CMOS.  I was given 2 choices.  F1 to enter the setup or F2 to choose optimal settings.  I chose F1 and in there I chose optimal settings and it turned on and went into Windows just fine.  It all got frozen so I rebooted.  I didn’t have any rebooting issues before so I didn’t think anything of it.

When it turned back on I got another blank screen.  Nothing was happening and I was back at square 1.  Dammit!  Why did I have to reboot?  Well, I’m glad I did because it told me that I wasn’t finished, also, I shouldn’t live in fear of turning my computer off.  That’s certainly no way to live.  So I opened the side panel and clear the CMOS (pulling the jumper from 1-2, putting it on 2-3 waiting 5 seconds then putting it back on 1-2).

Turned the computer back on and nothing.  Eventually it did show me the same issue and I chose F2 and for some reason it did start to load but then it rebooted.  I got the screen you see when you first turn the computer on but then the monitor went dead again and it never turned on again.

I’ve opened the case, reseated everything.  Pulled all the power supply plugs then put them all back in their place and turned it on and still nothing.  The only light that turns on is the green light.  At one point the red light would flash 3 times in a row then pause then 3 times over and over.  Then another point it would flash 2 then pause then 1 then pause then 2 then 1 etc.  Then no lights flashing at all.  I don’t understand.

I opened it up again and with my bicycle light I inspected everything and I did find this little issue which would explain why I wasn’t hearing any beeping sounds.

The red wire on my speaker wasn’t connected.  I tried soldering it back on but it still doesn’t beep.  Although, I’m not exactly sure I did it right.  They are inexpensive and I tried to buy another one at the computer store and they looked at me like I was an alien from outer space when I asked for it.  I went to Radio Shack next door and the guy I asked said they didn’t sell those.

I was looking at the video card box and it shows the system requirements on the side of the box.  One of those requirements is power supply and it shows a link to the list of power supplies that are compatible and my new power supply isn’t anywhere on that list.  Probably because it was the cheapest power supply they sold.

The reason I bought a cheap power supply is because I didn’t even think that it would affect any of the hardware.  I always thought that as long as it gave power to the computer that it didn’t matter how cheap it was.  How wrong was I!  So, now I have to buy a new power supply and it could cost me as much as $100-$250.  I am too poor to spend $250 just for a power supply so I have to go through the list on the Best Buy website to get prices so I know I’m getting a good power supply but in the $100 range.

I looked at websites like NewEgg.com and TigerDirect.com and they did have a couple that were on the list but what if I did order one and I had to wait a week for it to come and it still didn’t work?  I’d have to send it back, buy another one, wait another week.  Forget it!

I was looking at the Best Buy website last night and I narrowed down my search to the $50-$99 price range then looked at all of the power supplies they sell and compared them to the list and the least expensive one on the list is the Cooler Master GX 650 for $99.  It’s a bit expensive but considering I wouldn’t have to wait for it to come to me in the mail I’m willing to pay for the convenience of getting my computer working immediately.

It took a week for my video card to arrive and even though it wasn’t too late to send it back, once I got it working and cut the proof of purchase off the box to send the rebate in, it was too late to send it back.  I would much rather buy something in a store so I can return it for a new one of it doesn’t work right.  I should have done that with my video card, then again I still have a crappy power supply so now I know why my video card doesn’t work.

Unfortunately I won’t be able to do this until next week when I get my next check because I am so broke right now.  But I really don’t need to have my computer right away so it can wait.  As long as I have my Chromebook I’m fine.  I can spend my week reading books like I did before I got my new video card.  It’s not a huge crisis but still, I want my computer to work.

Hulu on My TV

I got my new video card less than 2 weeks ago and I have been having so much fun watching TV with it on my TV.  Yes you heard right.  It has a HDMI cable on it so I have it hooked up to my HDTV to watch Hulu.

I love Hulu but what I absolutely cannot stand about watching tv on my computer is that my computer speakers suck.  They are the speakers that are attached to the monitor and they aren’t great.  I’d rather watch it on my tv with the tv speakers.

I downloaded the Hulu desktop program for my PC so when it plays, its full screen.  I don’t have to worry about making each episode full screen, it does it automatically.  Then I go on to the Hulu website with my netbook and add shows to my queue.  I can do that with the Hulu Desktop program but it’s faster on my netbook.  When I’m done I go into the Hulu Desktop program and refresh the data so it shows all of the new shows in the Queue and just start watching.

So far I have already watched the entire first 4 seasons of The Guild.  I saw the entire first (and only since it was canceled) season of Happy Town.  Yesterday I watched the only 10 episodes of The Mercury Men and 10 episodes of CTRL which both have very short episodes around 6-8 minutes each.  I also watched a show called Gay Town.  It was one of the most hilarious shows I’ve seen.  It also had short episodes.

Last night I started watching Wilfred but it got really late so I only watched the first 4 episodes.  It appears that it only has 8 episodes and the last episode was on August 11th (that was 2 weeks ago) and apparently they are only showing episodes 8 days after they air so I will simply have to wait.  But, considering I have so many shows in my Hulu queue, I have plenty of time to wait.  A friend told me this one was a little twisted, it is and it’s my kind of humor.

I have been adding more and more shows to my queue which means I have many hours to watch.  There are shows that I didn’t know about and shows that I’ve always wanted to watch but never really had the time to or they aired at the same time another show so the schedule was too conflicting so I skipped it.  Whatever the reason I couldn’t see them doesn’t matter anymore because now I can.

I noticed last night that some shows have expiration dates on them so I’m going to have to pick which shows to watch first based on their expiration dates.  Today I’m going to watch the final 4 episodes of Wilfred but then I have to move to the first expiring show Sliders while I have time because it expires at the end of this month.

After Sliders I will watch Flash Forward, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Dresden Files and Legend of the Seeker.  Then the rest of the shows I have in my queue have no expiration date so I can watch those at my leisure.  I have (as of this moment) 12 shows with 214 episodes worth of shows to watch.  I am going to be quite busy.

I was going to get Netflix in September to start watching shows that are premium on Hulu because I figured that if I’m going to be paying more money to watch tv I might as well get Netflix because they have more current movies to stream that Hulu doesn’t so that should be fun to be able to watch movies that I missed in the movie theater.  Since I have so many shows in my Hulu Queue, I figure I’m probably going to have to wait until October to start Netflix.

I downloaded Boxee for PC but it doesn’t work as good as the Hulu desktop program.  I was really excited about having Boxee too but it’s not that good.  Maybe it’s that I only have 1GB of memory, I don’t know but when I try to watch a video it either takes forever to start or the video is too choppy.  So I will be taking it off there because it does me no good to keep it on.  Also, I get more out of the Hulu desktop than any of the apps on Boxee.  I’m sure Boxee is good, it’s just not very good on my computer.  Maybe if I had the actual boxee box I might be happier with it.

One show I wanted to watch on the Boxee for PC program is called The Legend of Neil about a guy who was transported into the Legend of Zelda world while he was… well, I won’t say why.  I can’t watch it on Boxee because it’s too choppy.  It is on the Effin Funny website so I can watch it there.

Well I’m off to go watch the rest of Wilfred then start with Sliders.  Have a wonderful weekend, I know I will.