Just as I had been smugly defending Windows as a stable OS the envitable happended. I started the machine and got the dreaded "cannot find system" registry corrupt error. After about 30 mins of trying to recover it I finally gave up and started the re-install of XP. "Ok I’ll lose some programs and drivers but I guess that won’t take too long to reinstall". No, for some reason XP setup was convinced the disk wasn’t formatted so I had to lose everything off that disk…grrr. I could have copied files of using recovery mode but my mouse finger was quicker than my brain. Anyway the system is up and running again and thanks to this blog I managed to get all the various AMD dual core drivers back and install the Adobe upgrade suite.
At the same time I had just purchased 4x1GB sticks of performance RAM, luckily I hadn’t put them in otherwise I’d be blaming them for the system crash. So I thought this would be the ideal time to install them, afterall I can only lose nothing now! "Easy job", I foolishly thought. Opening up my case I suddenly realised I didn’t know if I was supposed to install matched RAM in the same bank (next to each other) or the same colour (every other slot). After a bit of hunting around I’m pretty certain it’s the same colour. So I pressed on, only to discover that the nice quick-release memory clips couldn’t release because they couldn’t get past my graphic card! Honestly these motherboard manufacturers, do they ever try their own kit out? Luckly by removing the quick-release retention clip on the graphics card there was enough give in the card for me to open the memory clips to get the sticks out (and put the new ones in). "Ok let’s see if that worked…booting…BIOS screen…4GB (good, was 2GB)…Windows XP…System…3GB". What, where is my extra 1GB? Then it hit me like a bus, XP is 32-bit it not going to use 4GB is it. Grr, I’m so used to Windows Server I’d forgotten I run XP at home :(. Not even /pae switch could persuade it. Oh well, maybe I’ll get around to putting Vista 64 on it soon.