11 March 2012


OK. I admit that it was me, but I stumbled over the power cord and disconnected the power to one of our computers - a fairly old one, but it's still useful.  It was on at the time, so of course the disconnection meant that it stopped operating.

Within seconds, I had reconnected the power, expecting the computer to go through a series of checks as they do when they start up following unexpected close downs.   But --- nothing, just the noise of the fan, one little light and an intermittent "beep".  I tried several times, but, no, nothing except the same beep.
A little googling, and the answer was there:   if there's a problem so early in the start up process that the computer can't display anything on the screen, it communicates by beeping.   A single beep means "memory chip refresh failure".   The advice about what to do wasn't so clear, however.   So throwing caution to the wind, I picked on what seemed to be the simplest answer which was to "reseat the memory chip or to replace it".  Replacing it was out of the question, as I don't have a drawer of old memory chips.   Reseating it, however, was a possibility, at least, if I could work out what had to be "reseated"!  So after further googling so that I could actually identify the relevant bit inside the computer, I undid the screws, changed the memory chips around, put everything back together and held my breath after I turned the power back on.    For once, fortune was with me, and after a number of self-checks, the computer was back in business.   Big sigh of relief!
How it is that a power outage affected a memory chip in this manner, I don't know, but I don't want to repeat the experience and I am certainly now keeping out of the way of the power leads.


  1. Backup.... Backup and more Backup.

  2. Indeed, a reminder of the need to back-up. But it was good not to have to resort to this.