Tuesday, May 7, 2019

SunsetMicro PC from Amazon Continued...

This nightmare started here

My New-To-Me Sunsetmicro PC From Amazon

Since it was ridiculously botched from the start, and I had to redo just about everything now, I went ahead and ordered an SSD and a Graphics Card when I ordered the correct hard drive caddy.


As you can see, it is very different from the one that was hot glued into the computer by Sunsetmicro



One problem though - one of the pins that holds the hard drive in the caddy is missing


That's eBay for you. That is the only place to buy these, unfortunately.

The SSD and cool adapter I found on Amazon (it actually matched the picture in the listing!) fit right into the caddy, and right into the PC.


The graphics card came from eBay too, and it had more than one disappointment. Check out this cool packaging job - some bubble wrap and a padded envelope






That is not nearly enough protection. I inspected it, and all seemed well until I installed it.


Do you see the corner? It appears the graphics card got dropped. I don't know if it was dropped before shipping or during; the packaging didn't show signs of excess abuse...

This is a card I ordered at the same time for another PC' it was ordered from Amazon





See the bubble wrap, foam pads to keep the card away from the box edges, popcorn to keep it all in place, and all this in a box.

So, is this card going to work?

If it does work, will it continue to work or will it eventually fail?

Time to find out.

Windows 10 Pro installed fine. Everything ran fine - drivers installed, updates ran...

... but it wouldn't boot on restart.

I tried a cold boot, but no joy.

After much trial and error, foul language, and head scratching, I went into the bios and shut off all "legacy" options in the boot options. Windows boots and runs.

Next, partition the hard drive and install Pinguy OS.

Pinguy OS wouldn't boot. I don't know what is wrong with it, but I have noticed it is rather common. If there are multiple OS's, it will be picked up in GRUB from another system and become bootable. Since this is supposed to be a backup work machine, it will only have Windows and a single Linux system. I installed Deepin and all is well.

Time to move it from the bench to its new home.

I hooked up the 2 monitors and other peripherals. Right away my Alpha Wifi adapter wasn't working in Windows. I mistakenly thought this was already installed, but I forgot that it was done prior to the new SSD.

I installed drivers, deleted drivers, connected to the internet via another dongle, then installed drivers again. In between attempts, I booted into Deepin, and it seemed to connect fine. It was easy to just blame Windows, and keep plugging away until it was working correctly.

Finally, Wifi working, monitors arranged correctly, everything is fine and working.

Then I booted into Deepin to get it squared away. I arranged the monitors and they went black and the PC was unresponsive. This indicated a hardware problem. Now, the question is - is it drivers or the actual hardware itself?

I restarted and went to the Deepin Graphics Driver tool. There was only the one option and nothing to change. This is an AMD graphics card and that is the way it is supposed to be. That is why AMD is supposed to be the best option, plug N play, eezy peezy with Linux OS's.

So, is the card bad or is there a driver incompatibility?

I'd say the latter because it worked okay in Windows.

Next, pull the card, use the native graphics and install its drivers.

Windows went as expected.

I boot into Deepin and the Wifi is non-existent.

WTF?!

WT sam F?!?!

This PC is going to be a blister on my butt until I bludgeon it with a hammer!

After many attempts, I switched to a TP-Link Wifi dongle and the internet was available again. I booted into Windows and made the necessary adjustments.

All of this headache, time wasted, frustration.... all because Sunsetmicro did a piss-poor job on their so called "refurbishing" of this PC. It should have been as simple as hooking it up, running updates, then done.

But now, I have many questions.

Why all the hardware issues?

Is this one of those PC models that doesn't get along with Linux?

Is the bios got some hidden glitches or switches?

Is there a motherboard issue?

Is the graphics card damaged?

I could install Xubuntu and see how it acts with the Alpha Wifi adapter and the AMD graphics card.

I could install the Graghics Card into another PC.

I didn't buy this thing to experiment on; it was supposed to be a backup for work.

If it gives me any more trouble, I'll post a link on this site to a video of me smashing it with a hammer.

Remember kids, even when the seller has 100% positive feedback, you may still get a piece of junk from eBay.

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