Entropy

Now, a week after picking up a new hard drive for the ugly little laptop, I’m getting repeated errors from the CDROM. And I’m afraid this could be the dealbreaker.

Good-quality CDs with proper burns that pass md5sum and integrity tests are spitting out checksum errors, hanging, or booting to scrambled code messages. I’ve tried several ISO images that I know work fine — in fact, I’ve used one image on the same CDRW on that laptop several times over. It’s not the crappy CDRWs I mentioned earlier today. This is something I know to be working, that passes all my tests and seems fine on every other machine.

So I have no other suspects that the optical drive itself. It’s always been a little sketchy — slow to read, finicky at best. But I’ve blown dust from the drive, attempted to wipe off the lens with a lint-free microfiber cloth … I even reseated the CD on the spindle several times and nothing is doing the trick.

Entropy has trumped me again.

This is frustrating because I’m halfway through my new speed guide, and all my benchmarks are against this machine. If I can’t get this one to install reliably, and it doesn’t look like it will, then I have to start again from scratch, with new benchmarks on a different machine.

And getting a proper machine could be a trick in and of itself. Do you know how hard it is to find a fully functional pre-1998 laptop in Japan? I could piece a desktop together from parts, but it would be a huge chore and require several trips across town on a train. (Well, then again, I do love riding the train … :???: )

Either way this is a death knell. I’m not about to buy a new optical drive for a machine that doesn’t really belong to me. And If I don’t have CD access for at least a network install on this machine, then it’s almost useless to me. I know plenty of tricks for installing without a working CD, but in this case, they would interfere with the testing I had planned over the next week.

Sigh. If you could see me now, I would be shaking my fist at the sky.

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3 Responses to “Entropy”


  1. 1 James 2008/04/18 at 2:04 PM

    So buying a USB cdrom drive is out?

  2. 2 K.Mandla 2008/04/18 at 2:18 PM

    It’s a situation where I feel I would be throwing good money after bad. I already bought a hard drive for it, rationalizing that I can use a hard drive on another machine or as an external storage.

    But it’s not mine, really, so the fact that the CDROM has worn down to a stub is only partially my problem. (I am to blame though, I guess.) I’d just as soon look for another machine that fits the same criteria, and doesn’t require crutches to keep moving.

    It belongs to the office. I’ve borrowed it for almost a year and done well with it. Maybe someone else will get a chance to put it to use, somewhere down the line.


  1. 1 Panic mode « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2008/04/20 at 9:16 PM

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