Computerus

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Mongrel
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Re: Computerus

Postby Mongrel » Wed Nov 15, 2023 9:22 pm

So, I'm looking at new PSUs potentially (Black Friday sales make that both easier and more difficult), but I had a small wrinkle in the meantime.

At one point when we were in the middle of the thermal paste application we had a bad application (or what we thought was a bad application), such that any game loaded would be incredibly low FPS and lag severely in all respects, including input. Like, open main menu and then immediately close game without actually bothering to load an instance or save, levels of bad. This has now reoccurred and is continuous, including through restarts and complete shutdowns with an extended cooling period.

Because I still don't know if it really is the PSU, and here we have an actual ongoing symptom of failure (instead of random outages), what do I even look at to try and figure out what the bottleneck is? Of course now that there's an actual ongoing failure, hopefully I can just shortcut this by swapping PSUs briefly to test.

Forgot to mention I had switched to HWinfo64, which is apparently the most unversally-recommended software for this. It has an incredible amount of information, but of course in most cases I lack the knowledge to know what much of it means or what to look for. I also for the life of me can't figure out where its stress testing utilities are (which it's supposed to have?).

In any case, if the problem is the power supply, I wish I knew what hell we did during heat sink replacement that corrected a massive graphical processing fault (and this could be a CPU or GPU-based issue!), albeit temporarily.
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Re: Computerus

Postby Mongrel » Wed Nov 15, 2023 11:36 pm

Well, I swapped PSUs with Starr and... my computer didn't even come on, not even the case lights which come on as long as your PSU is switched on, even if the computer itself is totally shut down.

I did have to switch some cables because her PSU has different sockets, but again, we have the exact same computer build other than the case and the PSU (and I have an additional HDD). It's not like we have a brobdingnagian mess of cables either, literally just Mobo, CPU, GPU, and for her 2x 6-prong PCI-E for her case stuff, and for me 1x SATA cable for both my HDD and case stuff, with the weird flat-5 prong SATA connection (my PSU has those sockets for accessories, hers doesn't).

I thought, well, maybe it's my Mobo and it just gave out now from all this handling? But no, we replaced both our original PSUs and each computer runs again.

I DON'T UNDERSTAND.

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EDIT: Graphics issue turned out to be the drivers just went... missing? (Windows display error 31, no drivers) This was directly after one of the hardlock crashes (first time since I upped the fan speeds). Reinstalling fresh drivers is always good from time to time, but uh, mine were literally working before the failure since I was right in the middle of a game and then they just, I dunno, got up and fucking walked away? Windows is a funny beast, I guess. And bad power can fuck your shit up... if that does turn out to be the issue. Though now I have no idea what will happen if I buy a new PSU! Fun!

So I still don't understand, but it's probably not the GPU failing? Maybe?
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Re: Computerus

Postby Mongrel » Thu Nov 16, 2023 9:44 pm

New PSU obtained and installed. Everything seems to be working fine for now, but it will take days or even weeks to be sure. Maz & Upthorn, I'd like to stress that I'm not going to blame either of you if it doesn't, because that was as valid a suggestion as anything (and having a spare PSU is a sensible idea anyway).

I can only assume the issue of Starr's PSU not working in my comp is because of some proprietary cable finicky-ness. We didn't pull out her PSU cabling because her case's power bay is an enclosed area which is a nightmare to work in.

(I've noticed that newer cases of identical design add a generous access cutout to the side of the power bay - better late than never, ya dimbulbs.)
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Re: Computerus

Postby Mongrel » Thu Nov 16, 2023 10:00 pm

Welp! That wasn't it!

I don't even know what to do now. Rerun tests I guess.
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Re: Computerus

Postby Mongrel » Thu Nov 16, 2023 10:44 pm

Okay, possibly an angle here. Was looking up the C: check in the event viewer and realized I should have been checking here much earlier. Errors, including critical hardware failures have in fact been logged all along.

A fatal hardware error has occurred.

Reported by component: Processor Core
Error Source: Machine Check Exception
Error Type: Cache Hierarchy Error
Processor APIC ID: 5

The details view of this entry contains further information.


The Good news is that there's a number of threads covering this situation on Reddit, the AMD forums, the Windows forums, and a number of other places. The Bad news is that it actually isn't a consistent issue and different users have solved the issue with

- Various driver/firmware reinstalls
- Fiddling with various BIOS settings
- Replacing GPU
- Replacing CPU
- Replacing RAM
- Replacing Mobo

So, uh
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Re: Computerus

Postby Mazian » Fri Nov 17, 2023 2:04 am

Mongrel wrote:I did have to switch some cables because her PSU has different sockets,

You always want to swap all cables when exchanging modular PSUs. On the PSU side, even if (some of) the connectors may match between two models, the pinouts are not standardized and may be entirely different.

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Re: Computerus

Postby KingRoyal » Thu Dec 28, 2023 10:18 am

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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Thu Dec 28, 2023 12:25 pm

For small numbers the results are instantaneous

I mean the output may be instantaneous but I don't see any elses or returns.

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Re: Computerus

Postby Mongrel » Fri Jan 05, 2024 4:40 pm

Going to qucikly beg for help to get a monkey off my back someone is yelling in my ear I can't get rid of. Losing my mind. Not able to think clearly.

I have a govt .pdf form to fill that requires xfa support. Web browsers support this so I can fill it out. I need to attach to an email, but that requires I save it so I can attach it. None of the common pdf viewers Okular, Foxit, etc. seem to support xfa even though it's now ubiquitous with govt forms in the US, Canada, Eu, what the fuck is this bullshit. HOW THE FUCK IS THIS UNIVERSALLY UNSUPPORTED BY ALL OPEN SOURCE READERS?!?! And obviously Adobe can go fuck itself, not paying for a full site license for fucking ACROBAT. Shove it up your ass Adobe.

goggling for an answer is a fucking mess of no answers or "do it in Firefox/Chrome", which like, yeah I did that! I save it and the damn thing is blank and I don't know if this is the reader or I actually can't save the filled form.

I am sitting here with an open, completed form and someone screeching in my ear. Fuck me I threw the house phone at the wall and it WOULDN'T DIE and I am still getting blabbered at this is fucking CURSED.

Sorry. Just need a hand from someone who can think. Walking away for a while so I can cool off.
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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Fri Jan 05, 2024 5:06 pm

I don't know anything about XFA specifically, so all I have are general answers.

Any options for submitting a hard copy? Can you mail it in or, if it has to be in today, find a copy shop that has a fax machine?

If it has to be submitted electronically, does it have to maintain the same format, or can you convert it to something else? Would printing to PDF work?

And if it has to be submitted as-is with the forms filled in, is that something you can do with the free version of Acrobat?

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Re: Computerus

Postby Mongrel » Fri Jan 05, 2024 6:59 pm

Went out to the grocery store with Starr, absolutely not answering the phone, brain is at least half-functional again. Ha.

Yes, it has to be submitted electronically, as mail will take too long in this case. There's a copy shop down the way, but they would have been closed by the time I got there and I'm honestly not sure if fax would have been acceptable anyway as the govt site only mentions mail or email.

Anyways...

So XFA as it turns out is an encrypted Adobe proprietary format, which they wrap in a .pdf to get around various laws against exactly that sort of nonsense, which means this has been a problem for over a decade! As far as I can tell, Adobe's various free reader iterations no longer have any fill or save options for XFA, though it's possible an out-of-date one might. Searching for a dedicated XFA reader turns up software which is also mostly paid (Wondershare, etc.), or online converters.

Of course if want to convert it, I can actually do that with Photoshop, which is what I've done in the past with gnarly encrypted .pdf forms (open, type over it as you would add text to anything, save as an ordinary .pdf), and honestly ordinary bureaucrats don't know about any of that nonsense - they just get a .pdf, which is what they're expecting, and the fields are filled out. In this case it came up as a bit of a gotcha, because there was no indication it was that sort at first, so I was fumbling for ways to save the open file in the browser when I should have just saved the form blank and done what I always do, and then just copy-paste the text blocks.

However, along the way I found out that the last free versions of Foxit did actually include XFA technology, so I grabbed an old one and opened then saved it that way. I didn't really need to, but that was convenient.
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Re: Computerus

Postby Upthorn » Tue Jan 30, 2024 9:12 pm

My desktop has been making an asthmatic wheeze about once every 5 seconds (with the occasional 2 minute pause) for a month or so.
As the disks which spin are still working just fine, it seems reasonable to suspect that this is coming from one of the fans, but I cannot visually identify any nearby dangling wires or other obvious obstructions (the usual suspects when fan noises come into play).

My ears tell me that it seems loudest near the CPU fan, but I wish that I could be sure it was the problem before trying to replace it...
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Re: Computerus

Postby beatbandito » Thu Feb 22, 2024 9:47 am

Okay, I know these things are never simple but I have a friend who wants to get into computer gaming. Currently most demanding thing they play is Disney Dreamlight Valley, and they will want to play Sims 5 when it comes out.

Not giving specific models or asking for direct recommendations. But it their main concern is portability between a home and office (not getting used in transit) is a laptop their best bet? Or have mini PCs actually gotten reliable enough to go with if you have separate peripherals anyway?
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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Wed Mar 27, 2024 1:28 pm

I still have a handful of programs I occasionally need but which won't run on Linux. I have a couple Windows laptops but they're old and slow and won't run Windows 11.

I tried setting up Win11 in a VM on my main and I think I could probably make it work if I bought more RAM and dedicated 40GB or so of SSD space to it, but as my specs currently stand I couldn't get it to run at a usable speed without quitting out of most of my running apps first, at which point I may as well be dual-booting instead of using a VM in the first place.

So I decided the easiest thing to do would be to buy a cheap mini-PC. I hit up eBay and bought a machine from a Chinese company called Chuwi that I'd never heard of; I got it for $70 (including tax) on sale.

I can't speak to long-term viability yet but at least so far it's surprisingly decent for the price. I haven't tried to do anything complicated with it but it's mostly been pretty snappy.

I hate Windows 11 less than I thought I would. I don't like that they moved all the shit around and won't let me move it back, but it's usable. The thing that bugs me most is the window decorations keep fucking changing color. There's probably a way to turn that off but search engines are useless now, so that's fun. It hasn't bombarded me with ads yet, and whatever the OEM did to set it up it let me create a local account without having to jump through any hoops (well, except that I didn't connect the network cable until after I'd set it up).

It came with Win11 Home, which disables RDP out of the box. I managed to get it working using a program called rdpwrap but it took a little bit of doing. The MSI installer didn't work so I had to use the zip one (which Firefox didn't want to download because it false-positived as a virus, presumably because it includes a .bat file that writes to C:\Program Files), and it didn't work with the settings out of the box, I had to use a custom INI file I found on the Issues page, and...apparently that got broken with an update yesterday so I'll have to do it again, but I'm still not gonna fucking pay for Pro just to get RDP access.

It's too late to use this for TurboTax this year (I already set it up on one of the aforementioned old, slow laptops; authentication was a fucking bear and I'm going to try to avoid doing it again, and if I'm lucky this'll be the last year I use it at all). But it'll still be nice to have it around in case I need Windows for anything. And now that I have RDP set up on it (and also VNC for when updates break RDP), I can just stash it any old place.

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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Thu Mar 28, 2024 2:58 pm

Thad wrote:I hate Windows 11 less than I thought I would.

You have to edit the registry to make the Start menu quit serving you Bing results (in Home Edition; you can toggle it as a Group Policy in Pro or Enterprise).

On balance I think it's still accurate to say that I hate it less than I thought I would, but I hate it substantially more today than I did yesterday.

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Re: Computerus

Postby sei » Thu Mar 28, 2024 9:19 pm

Does Win 11 fix the WSL2* shenanigans from Windows 10 in which vmmem.exe pushes your CPU utilization to 100% for no fucking reason whatsoever until you use wsl --shutdown? (It's also funny how `wsl -t <distro>` doesn't fix it, but doesn't make much difference.)
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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Fri Mar 29, 2024 11:54 am

I haven't noticed anything like that yet but I also haven't spent enough time with it to say for sure.

But if I can figure out how to get a Linux app to launch a Windows one, I'd like to replace Explorer with something that supports dual-pane. I'd say Thunar, but apparently the version of Thunar available in the Ubuntu 22.04 repos is from before they added the dual-pane view. I could try fucking around with some other distro, but I figure with 24.04 right around the corner I may as well wait and see how it does.

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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Fri Apr 19, 2024 12:23 pm


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Re: Computerus

Postby Mazian » Fri Apr 19, 2024 10:32 pm


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Re: Computerus

Postby Upthorn » Sat Apr 20, 2024 3:05 am

I was reading that one earlier, and while it's true that their smart TV is badly misbehaving, I do feel like Windows is partly to blame here insofar as treating network-available devices the same as it does physically attached and bluetooth-connected devices
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