Friday, August 14, 2009

My options

In my last post I mentioned how Lazarus is spontaneously turning on even after completely shutting him down. I did a little research on the matter, and the general consensus is that first you need to check your BIOS settings to see if "Wake on LAN" is enabled. This seems to fix the problem for most people, but in my case, the setting is already disabled. Looking through the BIOS reveals no other "Wake on" settings.

The next step is to check for viruses/adware/spyware/malware. I think I can safely rule that out, since I'm running Linux. Besides, I've done complete wipes and reloads just trying out different distros, and the problem persists, so I'm pretty sure it's not a virus problem.

This seems to point to an issue with the motherboard. For those whose Ethernet is hardwired in, there's a cable you can disconnect. However, I have a separate network card, so that isn't an option for me. Other people who have gotten to this point have had some luck actually tinkering with the power button mechanism. I think it might be interesting to try that just to see if it works, but I'm still thinking that an upgrade will probably be in the works.

Since everything with eMachines (and many other manufacturers, to be fair) is proprietary, I can't mix and match with cases and motherboards. In other words, I can't just replace the current motherboard with a newer, more standard one. But I don't want to just head to Wal-Mart and plop down a few hundred bucks for the cheapie box of the moment. I definitely want to stay true to the spirit of Operation Lazarus in that I want to maximize my computing capability with minimal resources (both technical and financial).

First order of business will be to check out the Goodwill Computer Works store in my area this weekend. I know that's a crapshoot, but I really admire Goodwill's mission, and I think this is the most logical first step in staying true to the original intent of this project. And for those of you who aren't aware of this and haven't made other provisions for recycling your old computer hardware, Goodwill does a lot of work with that, too. Even if I have to buy my major parts via retail channels, I'll probably donate what I can't salvage of Lazarus to Goodwill.

Next time I'll tell you how the shopping trip went and discuss options for people who don't have access to places like Goodwill Computer Works.

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