So remember this morning when my laptop wouldn't start?
It's still not starting.
The error message in question is IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL. I've had it before, once or twice, when using my laptop at my parents', but today in my own flat I'm getting it with any attempt to start up that's not in Safe Mode (without networking, so I can't even back up my thesis)
So I Googled that error message, on my desktop, which is working (it needs a soft and a hard clean, but it's working). Microsoft TechNet
are pretty much useless, blaming a newly installed hardware I don't have, and telling em to open with the Last Good Configuration, which doesn't work, then telling me to disable memory cachig in the BIOS (not an option) or check the System Log event viewer (no idea how to do that)TweaksforGeeks
says that usually this is a problem with the CPU overheating. Nicely compatible with the fact that this appears to be a physical location issue (it works fine in the cool environs of the NHM palaeontology department.) My living room isn't exactly baking hot, but maybe those few little degrees help. TfG go on to say I should check the CPU temperature in the BIOS, but my good old Sony VAIO's BIOS setup doesn't appear to contain a CPU temperature monitor.
My laptop is, incidentally, physically filthy, thanks to being carted back and forth for five years, and my dirty dirty desk habits. I hoped taking the back off and clearing out some dust would help the fan work better, but I had trouble physically removing the case. Of course, now
, typing this, I have discovered this page
, which not only confirms my suspicion that it's an overheating problem, but has better instructions than just "remove all screws you can find and shake".
Yes, I am someone who does the DOING before the READING. It's a thing.
A few years ago, incidentally, I really would have been screaming and crying and throwing things. Now, I'm pretty pragmatic about it all. I have errands to run this afternoon - and I guess now that includes buying some compressed air while I'm out. Then I shall try again to dismantle it and clean out all the dust. I haven't backed up for a while, but I have got all the raw and processed data backed up, and I have sent out drafts of nearly all my chapters recently. So I'm missing a month's work at most. Aaand I have plans, that involved giving it a jolly good clean. If that doesn't work, I'll call in a professional geek (though at £25 an hour I'd rather not)
I mean, I'd rather not have to fork out for a new laptop right now, but I bet I could if I needed to. After I've spent over a laptop's worth on a new annual travelcard, of course.