stuck in a "graphic" jam to india and back!

>> Friday, December 17, 2010

Photo is of a VisionTek Radeon HD4350, courtesy of Dell.com

Happy Friday y'all!

Hope to find everyone happy and healthy and enjoying the spirit of the season! What have you been up to? Please share. I'm feeling a bit disconnected and need to get up to speed with y'all!

I could write a book on the events that have taken place the past few weeks! Long story short (He, he, now you know better than that, don't you? LOL!), I had the opportunity to upgrade my graphics card in the midst of purchasing a second monitor, something I've longed to do to help make my designing a wee bit easier on these aging eyes!

I know Dell is not everyone's favorite, but they've been really good to me the past six years and it is what I can afford, when I can! LOL! I used Dell's on-site analyzer to find which graphics card would be appropriate for my computer while I was purchasing the monitor and a few other goodies. I was so excited to finally be able to see clear, crisp edges on my embellishments and, especially, on the shapes I create! I mean, such a simple thing to create a shape, however, mine would always have jagged edges and it has become disheartening in my designing to not see what y'all might be seeing.

My new graphics card arrived in two days. I had already rearranged my office space, moved my older computer, cleaned out both CPUs and was just waiting to put that new baby in and start it up! My SIL arrived back home so I was back-and-forth while installing the software and drivers, came into the room to find that two portions of the install had failed. UGH! I was looking at identical images on both monitors, but found that my CD-ROM drive was not working after the initial installation. I called Dell and the tech I spoke with apologized when I told him that I had contacted AMD directly and was told that I was one of several phone calls received each week due to an improper graphics card recommendation for a slim CPU.

Y'all make think me strange, but I always look at these obstacles as learning experiences and this trip, soon to be trips, was no exception! We ordered a proper card for my slim CPU and I was equally as excited to receive it so that I could get a move on, only I was a little disappointed to have to give up 1MB of memory on the first card for 512 MB! Lessons learned thus far - call to order parts rather than online and never again will I purchase a slim CPU for convenience! ROFL! Ha, ha, ha, ha, HAAAAAAAA!!!

Two days later. New card arrives! Weeeeeeeee ... UGH! Installed. No graphics! On either monitor! Help!

My first phone call to Dell last Wednesday and my second trip to India! It was a pleasant visit with an equally pleasant gentleman bending over backwards to help me. I think we'd been on the phone an hour and 45 minutes when we were disconnected and I realized that he did not have my phone number to call me back. I decided this was a good time to take a break!

My next call to Dell proved very productive and also what a novice I am! HA! The new graphics card had two short connectors, placed fairly close together, whereas, the first card had one short and one long connector. So, why were my monitors not showing any graphics? Any guesses? LOL! Well, The first card was perfectly proportioned to fit in the PCI express slot and the new card ... well ... uhm ... it just did not look like it fit into the same slot, but I found one right beneath it that had exactly two short openings and it did fit!

After unplugging everything and making sure there were no issues with connections on the outside, etc., the tech asked me to remove the graphics card and to re-install it! Okay, sounds good, just to make sure it fit snug into the slot. This would be easy! *wink*  I then mentioned to the tech that that this card's connectors were quite different and that I had installed it into the slot beneath the original one. Mind you, I am upgrading from on board graphics so my first time to use one of the graphic slots! The tech gently says to me, "no ma'am, you need to install it into the same slot you did previously". Ah, the light bulb goes off and into the correct slot goes my new graphics card. I reconnect everything, fire it up and voila, I see graphics! WOOT, WOOT! LOL!

This wonderful man was so patient with me. I don't think I have ever had anyone spend that much time helping me correct my own mistake and remain so calm! Funny thing is, he kept stopping every once-in-a-while to thank me for being so patient and telling me how most customers just are not as patient as I was being. Having worked Customer Service many moons ago, I totally understood what he was saying. Of course, I just had to tell him that I believe this was one reason I was given six children! Not much of anything ruffles my feathers, except for injustice. That is my button and my only button! LOL!  

So y'all, seven hours later, I'm fairly good-to-go! YAY! I still had one issue and that is when we found that the optical drive on my CD-ROM is not working and the tech helping me found malware in my registry. This was also my first time to give any one remote access to help me resolve a problem. Very cool!

I will have to order a new CD-ROM drive, but have to wait until one last item from my original shipment has arrived before I can obtain an RMA. I can live without the drive for a week or so! Just so happy to be able to see graphics on my monitors again! WOO HOO!

And after all of that, I awake the next morning not feeling good and I spent three days in bed for most of the day, except to take care of a few chores. I've just not had the steam, until late last night, to sit down at the computer to attempt a post. Please forgive my long absence.  I have so much to catch up on, including my Christmas decorating here at home (we just got our tree inside and decorated earlier this evening), so I hope to be able to complete the two scrap kits I've been working on and get them to you ASAP! 

I've added a Christmas Playlist on my sidebar for your listening pleasure!  I think I collected around 72 tunes to keep me happily singing and scrapping/designing along.  I hope you'll find a tune or two you'll like as well!

Thank you for your patience.

Wishing everyone a bright and beautiful holiday season! 

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