I decided that I should blog about my ongoing experience in setting up Linux on my computer. Because, well, I don't know, maybe some kind soul will show up with some suggestions. But, more importantly, I stumbled across many blogs about Linux, and some of them were the most helpful things in setting up my computer. So, who knows, maybe this could be slightly useful to someone else.
The computer of which I speak is an older Sony Vaio PCG-FX215. It has serious issues. My dear brother bought the Vaio when he went away to college in 2001. 2 and 1/2 years later, he was in Europe and he crashed the system. Since none of his computer-literate family members were readily available, the laptop collected dust for six months until he returned home a the end of the semester. His girlfriend bought him an iBook, and he said I could have the Vaio if I could get his data off, which I did.
Immediately, I went to install Windows XP and the computer crashed. It would just randomly power off in the middle of installation. I took me a full day before I finally made it through the entire installation process without it powering off. Things were a little better once XP was installed. Instead of powering off, the computer now froze up--which really wasn't any better as it left me with no option but to reboot. Nothing worked but the power button. I somehow managed to live with this until 6 months, when things had become to corrupted over time that I reformated and reinstalled XP. I had the same problem with the comptuer powering down during installion, but once installed, a magical thing happened--it stopped freezing. It froze maybe 3 times in many months.
Fast forward to a few days ago, when I got a new harddrive, thanks to my other wonderful brother. I installed it on my computer, and proceeded to set my computer up to dual-boot Windows XP and Debian. As soon as I began the installation process, my computer resumed its earlier habits of random power-offs. At long last I got through both Windows and Linux installations, but the random power-offs have not stopped.
So here's a few other clues to my main makes-me-want-shoot-myself-in-the-head problem. After powering off, I cannot turn it on for a few minutes. (Pressing the power button turns on the lights, but they immediately turn off). It *seems* to power off more during very CPU- and HDD-intensive processes. If I leave it turned off for long periods of time, it seems to act a little better.
The only thing I can think of is that it gets overheated, but I don't know why it would've worked, ever, and also why sometimes it turns off again right after being booted up. So, the mystery remains.
I'll write more about Linux installation soon.