In hindsight, maybe Friday the 13th was not the ideal day to be doing hardware updates.
I finished up on my PC after midnight, everything seemingly sorted and working well. The last thing I did before shutting down was run my backups, but oddly they had problems reading one of the file systems. During the install of the new Graphic Cards I had noticed a SMART warning on one of my Hard drives as having too many errors reported. I would not have known about it if I wasn’t looking into the GPU temperature sensors as Windows hadn’t warned me in any notification. I had flagged to look at it the following day, so just ran a highlighter over my post-it-note so I would not forget.
I was back at my PC at 3:30am – having been woken up by a nasty headache. I figured I would look at the hard drive issue while waiting for my painkillers to knock the edge off the discomfort.
The only problem was that the PC would not boot. It got past the BIOS but was stuck in the early stages of windows starting.
I went and had a shower to help with my head, and in hope of Windows fixing itself while I was gone. I had no such luck and came back to the same issue. After a couple reboots I was given the option to rebuild Windows or go back to a previous restore point. That happened to be Friday morning after some Window Updates had been automatically installed. (What is Microsoft doing pushing updates on Friday the 13th?)
With the rollback done my PC now went to a black screen in the early stages of boot and stayed there. I turned everything off and went back to bed at 4:30am, but didn’t get back to sleep until after 6.
I was back at my PC at 7:30am after having to get up to get the kids breakfast. Since only one screen was initialising before going blank, I once again removed the new Graphic Cards. The PC was able to boot ok. Looking through the logs and after some testing I found one of my Hard Drives was dead. It started having problems during the process of getting the new Graphic Cards installed. I expect it was already unhealthy, and lots of power up and downs, and a few boots on its side were enough to kill it. No more Seagate drives for me – ever.
I reinstalled the NVIDIA drivers (lost in the restore point rollback) and gingerly plugged the new Graphic Cards back in again. The system started up ok, and has continued to do so multiple times since.
I suspect the problem with windows booting related to NVIDIA’s XTREME Gaming Engine, which was the last thing I had installed to turn off the Graphic Card’s lights. It might have some conflict with the older chipset or the like.
Now I need to buy a new Hard Drive, recover my lost data, and hope the PC remains stable. On the bright side my headache seems to have cleared.
I might get back to the EVE Client settings tomorrow..