Good diagnostics tool

For some time speakers on my HP nx7010 don't produce any output at all for unknown reason. So I decided to try HP diagnostics tool accessible from Help and Support item in Start menu. After some initialization I run Audio hardware diagnostics that looked like:

  1. Run a short wav in player
  2. Message box asked whether I hear sound from both speakers.
  3. After clicking No the tool informed me (with both a red icon and text) that audio is not working.
  4. No further steps are available.

Now, isn't that just lovely?

AMD Cool'n'quiet technology cools your CPU to ice level

Well, not exactly ice level but helps a lot bringing the temperature of your (idle) cpu down. A quick explanation of the technology would be: cool'n'quiet throttles speed and voltage of your (desktop) Athlon 64 down to minimum of half speed and 60% full voltage when CPU is idle (when it is not doing anything useful). Which means that CPU will do nothing slower and will consume less power and nature will be grateful. Which means that it will cool down when doing nothing slowly. Which means less heat in your room and even more important less noise out from your computer box. Isn't that great.

Hardware requirements:

  • Athlon 64 CPU
  • Cool'n'quiet enabled motherboard

Software requirements:

  • CPU driver from AMD. Get it here.
  • BIOS update for your motherboard (depends on the motherboard)

Is it worth to bother? Oh, yes. I have almost fanless/noiseless server with Athlon 64 3000+ and I really don't care much about noise level as there is almost none. But the temperature - it is amazing. It goes down 7-6C to 35C (95F) at room temperature of about 21C when server is idle - using Thermaltake fanless cooler (If I'd put a more powerful cooler the CPU temperature drop would be even larger). Not to mention that it saves power (CPU these days are power hungry).

Are there any downsides? Only if you use computers to heat up your room during winter.

So, now, if you have an Athlon 64 make sure you enable quiet'n'cool. And you don't have one make sure you replace the old one with it.

BTW, happy new year.

Is this luck or bad luck?

I finally built my new server (that is also the reason that RightHand webs were down this week). It is an Athlon 64 3000, 2Gb RAM, and 3x250Gb disks in RAID 5 configuration + system disk. Since my production computer had a relatively small disk (80Gb) and buying a disk smaller than 250Gb is not optimal, I've decided to buy a 250Gb disk, copy image of my production disk on it and use my production disk for server's system disk. The only problem I foresaw was that I need an application to copy image of my disk to the new one (I really wasn't in mood of reinstalling though reinstalling once in a while is not a bad thing). I decided not to buy Norton's Ghost since it wouldn't be reasonably for one use. Instead I used Ultimate Boot CD which did the job perfectly. So, I've put my old good disk into the server as system disk. I installed fresh new Windows 2003 x64 and everything worked well. Until I restarted server next day. It wouldn't boot anymore - it went into the endless loop of booting/reseting/booting.. Blue screen was saying "UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_DEVICE". How could that be since it was booting from the same device? It turned out that the my old good disk was failing more and more and finally died on the same day.

Now, the question is: Is this luck (I copied image of it on the new disk just the day before death) or is this bad luck (disk died just the day after I moved it)?