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  1. #1
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
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    URGENT response please: PC choice

    Chaps,

    I am trying to sort out Didache's daughters wedding photos and my PC just decided to break.

    I am about to order a new PC tomorrow

    Spec so far:

    Processor? Do I go for the Dual core or the Quad Core?
    RAM 4Gb
    Disk 1 Terrabyte RAID 0, 1
    Graphics - High end - loads of RAM 768Mb GeForce 8800GTX
    DVD writer
    19 types card reader
    22" Monitor

    Anything else I need for photography?

    Roger
    "I hope we will never see the day when photo shops sell little schema grills to clamp onto our viewfinders; and the Golden Rule will never be found etched on our ground glass." from The mind's eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson

    My Web Site: www.readingr.com

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    Canon 5D; EF100-400 F4.5-5.6L IS USM; EF24-70 F2.8L USM 50mm F1.8 II; EF 100 F2.8 Macro
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  2. #2
    Moderator Skyman's Avatar
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    Re: URGENT response please: PC choice

    if you don't already own one and you can get them to cut you a deal i would get them to add in a spyder or similar monitor calibration device while you are at it. other than that you should be fine. my thoughts for computers are get the best you can afford at the time you buy as hopefully it will last you longer. with that in mind quad core would be better and put in another hd if you can afford it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
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    Re: URGENT response please: PC choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyman
    if you don't already own one and you can get them to cut you a deal i would get them to add in a spyder or similar monitor calibration device while you are at it. other than that you should be fine. my thoughts for computers are get the best you can afford at the time you buy as hopefully it will last you longer. with that in mind quad core would be better and put in another hd if you can afford it.

    Skyman,

    Thanks for the response. Upped the disk to 1.5Tb and I already have a good 300Gb disk for the system disk, which is waiting for the rest of the system.

    Restored my old system disk to another disk this morning and it seems to be behaving a little better and getting through some of the pics but slowly.

    Roger
    "I hope we will never see the day when photo shops sell little schema grills to clamp onto our viewfinders; and the Golden Rule will never be found etched on our ground glass." from The mind's eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson

    My Web Site: www.readingr.com

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    Canon 5D; EF100-400 F4.5-5.6L IS USM; EF24-70 F2.8L USM 50mm F1.8 II; EF 100 F2.8 Macro
    Digital
    Canon Powershot Pro 1; Canon Ixus 100


  4. #4
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    Re: URGENT response please: PC choice

    It sounds like the old system has a cooling issue, make sure your computer isn't near any heat sources as thats the #1 killer of systems other than drive failure, which too is caused many times by heat.
    2 times a year I take the computer outside to the garage and blow the dust out of it which helps a lot.

    JS
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  5. #5
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: URGENT response please: PC choice

    Quote Originally Posted by JSPhoto
    2 times a year I take the computer outside to the garage and blow the dust out of it which helps a lot. JS
    I have to do that with my laptop every few months as well. It gets so full of dust it will overheat and as a safety catch, it shuts itself down, without warning. Very frustrating the first few times it did it and I didn't know why.

    Roger,

    Just curiouse as to what brand, and where you're getting your PC from. My desktop is almost 10 years old, and the LCD screen on my laptop is slowly dieing. I want to replace my desktop, but not sure what to go with just yet.
    Mike

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  6. #6
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: URGENT response please: PC choice

    That's quite a system! I agree with monitor calibration but you also might want to check out Gretag MacBeth and Monaco for that.

    I lost a drive in my desktop a few years ago and all that anyone could guess was that it was a heat problem. I bought a drive cooler which is a panel with two small fans that blow air onto it, and it attaches directly to the drive. Very inexpensive - less than $20. I also replaced the flat ribbon cable with about a 1/2" diameter round cable which one person I know thought would not block air flow as much. Maybe, maybe not but it also was inexpensive and easy enough to change since I had it ripped apart.

  7. #7
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
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    Re: URGENT response please: PC choice

    Quote Originally Posted by JSPhoto
    It sounds like the old system has a cooling issue, make sure your computer isn't near any heat sources as thats the #1 killer of systems other than drive failure, which too is caused many times by heat.
    2 times a year I take the computer outside to the garage and blow the dust out of it which helps a lot.

    JS
    JS,

    Could be a problem - I think the start of things might coniside with turning the heating on in the study. I'll get the vacuum out tonight just to be sure.

    The colour issue was a loose monitor cable which I found this morning when I nudged the box and the colours on the screen flickered. Now the colours are fine again.

    Roger
    "I hope we will never see the day when photo shops sell little schema grills to clamp onto our viewfinders; and the Golden Rule will never be found etched on our ground glass." from The mind's eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson

    My Web Site: www.readingr.com

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  8. #8
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
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    Re: URGENT response please: PC choice

    Quote Originally Posted by mjs1973
    I have to do that with my laptop every few months as well. It gets so full of dust it will overheat and as a safety catch, it shuts itself down, without warning. Very frustrating the first few times it did it and I didn't know why.

    Roger,

    Just curious as to what brand, and where you're getting your PC from. My desktop is almost 10 years old, and the LCD screen on my laptop is slowly dieing. I want to replace my desktop, but not sure what to go with just yet.
    My last two computers have been Dell and I was looking at going with them again. Looking at the fully spec'd 740 range at the moment with their 22" monitor which runs off the 8800 graphics card with loads of memory.

    I have Gretag Macbeth Eye1 for calibration so that will work with this system.

    Question:
    Do you have to turn on the RAID system if bought with the system? I had the thought of adding a 300Gb disk to the system as the OS disk and using the 1.5Tb 2x750Gb disks for data only.

    Not convinced by RAID for the use I make of the systems. I always backup my work every night and keep all the important stuff safe on External storage.

    Roger.
    "I hope we will never see the day when photo shops sell little schema grills to clamp onto our viewfinders; and the Golden Rule will never be found etched on our ground glass." from The mind's eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson

    My Web Site: www.readingr.com

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  9. #9
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
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    Re: URGENT response please: PC choice

    Quote Originally Posted by another view
    That's quite a system! I agree with monitor calibration but you also might want to check out Gretag MacBeth and Monaco for that.

    I lost a drive in my desktop a few years ago and all that anyone could guess was that it was a heat problem. I bought a drive cooler which is a panel with two small fans that blow air onto it, and it attaches directly to the drive. Very inexpensive - less than $20. I also replaced the flat ribbon cable with about a 1/2" diameter round cable which one person I know thought would not block air flow as much. Maybe, maybe not but it also was inexpensive and easy enough to change since I had it ripped apart.

    I forgot to say thanks to all that responded so quickly.

    I have managed to recover the system so that it still works with the occasional hang so getting on with sorting 500+ photos.

    Will be ordering the system tomorrow morning.

    Anotherview - I already use Gretag Macbeth eye1 for calibration and its the best I found from the usability view point.

    Roger

    Roger
    "I hope we will never see the day when photo shops sell little schema grills to clamp onto our viewfinders; and the Golden Rule will never be found etched on our ground glass." from The mind's eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson

    My Web Site: www.readingr.com

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    Canon 5D; EF100-400 F4.5-5.6L IS USM; EF24-70 F2.8L USM 50mm F1.8 II; EF 100 F2.8 Macro
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  10. #10
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    Re: URGENT response please: PC choice

    the graphics card doesnt need to be the best out there. photo editing is more RAM intensive. the reason to get a good graphics card would to be for 3d applications or if youre going to use multiple monitors are very high resolution. if the software you use is multithreaded and can take advantage of a quad core, then go for it. otherwise, it will make little difference. it would make a difference if you usually do 4 processes at once however.

    what operating system will this be? 32 bits windows? 64bit?
    if it is 32 bit windows, know that it will not be able to use your 4gb of ram. there is only 32 bits of address space for memory, giving only 4gb total memory including RAM, graphics card, and various other components. if you use windows, you need to get the 64bit version to get a larger address space. because of this, youre better off getting a lower model graphics card to give you more use of your ram.

  11. #11
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
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    Re: URGENT response please: PC choice

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffp
    the graphics card doesnt need to be the best out there. photo editing is more RAM intensive. the reason to get a good graphics card would to be for 3d applications or if youre going to use multiple monitors are very high resolution. if the software you use is multithreaded and can take advantage of a quad core, then go for it. otherwise, it will make little difference. it would make a difference if you usually do 4 processes at once however.

    what operating system will this be? 32 bits windows? 64bit?
    if it is 32 bit windows, know that it will not be able to use your 4gb of ram. there is only 32 bits of address space for memory, giving only 4gb total memory including RAM, graphics card, and various other components. if you use windows, you need to get the 64bit version to get a larger address space. because of this, youre better off getting a lower model graphics card to give you more use of your ram.
    I forgot about the graphics card stealing from the main memory - thanks

    Still checking if all the apps run on 64bit Vista, and CS2/3 are only certified for 32bit so the system config is about to change again.

    I may drop the spec on the graphics card but was considering using it for video capture so will consider this carefully

    I was heading for Vista Ultimate which comes with a 64 bit version in the box but it looks like I will have to drop to 32 bit.

    Roger
    "I hope we will never see the day when photo shops sell little schema grills to clamp onto our viewfinders; and the Golden Rule will never be found etched on our ground glass." from The mind's eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson

    My Web Site: www.readingr.com

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    Canon 5D; EF100-400 F4.5-5.6L IS USM; EF24-70 F2.8L USM 50mm F1.8 II; EF 100 F2.8 Macro
    Digital
    Canon Powershot Pro 1; Canon Ixus 100


  12. #12
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: URGENT response please: PC choice

    Lightroom and PS CS2 are not Vista certified, I think.
    It's enough to drive a man to Mac (shudder)

    Although Leopard has its own issues, mainly with (non) printing and drivers.
    It's getting more Windows like with time



    I would go quad core, because future aplications will be multithreaded and take advantage of it, if today's don't already.

    Don't use motherboard graphics, get a cheap graphics card that has its own GPU and RAM. Otherwise the main CPU(s) and the GPU will be competing for the system bus.


    FWIW my system was killed by heat and I downloaded a great tool called DTEMP that monitors the hard disk SMART parameters and tells you how hot it is. Very useful to see if your system is cooking the drives into an early grave.
    Manufacturers are building systems cheaply, with fan holes in the case but no fans fitted in some cases. It may be as simple as adding an extra fan to move the air through the box. That saved my system after replacing the SATA drives.
    PAul

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  13. #13
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
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    Re: URGENT response please: PC choice

    Quote Originally Posted by SmartWombat
    Lightroom and PS CS2 are not Vista certified, I think.
    It's enough to drive a man to Mac (shudder)

    Although Leopard has its own issues, mainly with (non) printing and drivers.
    It's getting more Windows like with time



    I would go quad core, because future aplications will be multithreaded and take advantage of it, if today's don't already.

    Don't use motherboard graphics, get a cheap graphics card that has its own GPU and RAM. Otherwise the main CPU(s) and the GPU will be competing for the system bus.


    FWIW my system was killed by heat and I downloaded a great tool called DTEMP that monitors the hard disk SMART parameters and tells you how hot it is. Very useful to see if your system is cooking the drives into an early grave.
    Manufacturers are building systems cheaply, with fan holes in the case but no fans fitted in some cases. It may be as simple as adding an extra fan to move the air through the box. That saved my system after replacing the SATA drives.
    Paul,

    I've read that CS2 works fine with Vista once you get it installed which means it has to have admin rights to get it working. From then on its fine.

    The Graphics card choosen is a separate from the motherboard, but good advice on the fans.

    Downloaded DTEMP and one disc is at 37 and the other at 33 and its not picking up temp from the third.

    Roger
    "I hope we will never see the day when photo shops sell little schema grills to clamp onto our viewfinders; and the Golden Rule will never be found etched on our ground glass." from The mind's eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson

    My Web Site: www.readingr.com

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    Canon 5D; EF100-400 F4.5-5.6L IS USM; EF24-70 F2.8L USM 50mm F1.8 II; EF 100 F2.8 Macro
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    Canon Powershot Pro 1; Canon Ixus 100


  14. #14
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    Re: URGENT response please: PC choice

    you may want to look for a case where there are fan mounts in the drive bays. that way, you can move air across your hard drives to help keep them cool and it will also help to give you better airflow through your case. in my case, there are 2 removable bays that drives screw into, and at the front of each is a fan mount. i have 2 fans blowing in from the front of the case through the dust filter and 2 blowing out the back. also, it wouldnt be a bad idea to get a better fan for your cpu either.

  15. #15
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: URGENT response please: PC choice

    That's good, mine are running at 33 and 34.
    The Dell at work toasts its drive at 57.

    CS2 may work with Vista, but I think it's not certified which may have support implications.
    PAul

    Scroll down to the Sports Forum and post your sports pictures !

  16. #16
    Senior Member freygr's Avatar
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    Re: URGENT response please: PC choice

    The only computers in this house which are store purchased and not assembled out components are the laptops. The case I'm using had an 300 meg Pentium one with Windows 95 install the motherboard could only take 64 meg SDRAM units. Of curse it now has in it Athlon 64, 3800+ and a gig of ram (approximately 6 mother boards later and three power supplies).

    I would just get the basic PCI express add in video card, and unless you going to use an OS that supports more ram than windows XP 2 gig is the limit that it can use. VISTA has it's own problems and I would NOT consider it until after Vista SP1 (service pack 1).

    The monitor get an 1080i wide screen if you can other wise an 720i monitor 900 by 1440 is nicer that the default square monitor (and a better picture to) and make sure it's DVI and VGA (digital and analog) the Dells you have to be careful on the ordering.

    Forget about RAID unless you can use level 5 and have 4 or more hard drives in the array.

    Bottom Line if you going to speed extra money on ram above 2 GIG just use that money to upgrade the monitor, and just about any add in video card is much better than using a built in video display.
    GRF

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  17. #17
    Jedi Master masdog's Avatar
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    Re: URGENT response please: PC choice

    Sounds like your building a server, not a photo-editing machine. I would stick with the dual-core for now, and if you want storage space, consider having 3-4 smaller hard drives in a RAID 5 configuration.

    Your machine really won't be able to take advantage of anything more than 4GB of RAM unless you are using a 64-bit OS.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
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    Re: URGENT response please: PC choice

    Quote Originally Posted by freygr
    The only computers in this house which are store purchased and not assembled out components are the laptops. The case I'm using had an 300 meg Pentium one with Windows 95 install the motherboard could only take 64 meg SDRAM units. Of curse it now has in it Athlon 64, 3800+ and a gig of ram (approximately 6 mother boards later and three power supplies).

    I would just get the basic PCI express add in video card, and unless you going to use an OS that supports more ram than windows XP 2 gig is the limit that it can use. VISTA has it's own problems and I would NOT consider it until after Vista SP1 (service pack 1).

    The monitor get an 1080i wide screen if you can other wise an 720i monitor 900 by 1440 is nicer that the default square monitor (and a better picture to) and make sure it's DVI and VGA (digital and analog) the Dells you have to be careful on the ordering.

    Forget about RAID unless you can use level 5 and have 4 or more hard drives in the array.

    Bottom Line if you going to speed extra money on ram above 2 GIG just use that money to upgrade the monitor, and just about any add in video card is much better than using a built in video display.
    Freygr

    The Monitor is the The Dell E228WFPs fast 5ms response time, high contrast ratio and 1680x1050 resolution. Is this wide enough? The 1080i that I found on the web was 37" screen. That's bigger than the TV in my lounge and will definitely not fit on my desk in the study.

    So the 22" wide Dell should be good enough, I hope. It has had some good reviews.

    As for Vista - it seems to work as long as all the patches are applied. I have played with my daughters laptop and most of the things there work well enough with very few problems. All you need to understand is the new security features and how they work which can cause problems.

    Didn't get round to ordering the new system as I seem to have recovered mine to a state that I am now editing the wedding photos reasonably well with few hangups.

    I may postpone the decision until I have finished the editing.

    I restored a Ghost of the system onto another disc and made sure all the cables are screwed in and the system seems a lot better.

    Thanks to everyone for the excellent support and great advice. This site is the best for friendly folks who are willing to help.

    Roger
    "I hope we will never see the day when photo shops sell little schema grills to clamp onto our viewfinders; and the Golden Rule will never be found etched on our ground glass." from The mind's eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson

    My Web Site: www.readingr.com

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  19. #19
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
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    Re: URGENT response please: PC choice

    Quote Originally Posted by masdog
    Sounds like your building a server, not a photo-editing machine. I would stick with the dual-core for now, and if you want storage space, consider having 3-4 smaller hard drives in a RAID 5 configuration.

    Your machine really won't be able to take advantage of anything more than 4GB of RAM unless you are using a 64-bit OS.
    Massdog.

    I know what you mean. The reason for looking at this beast is that we have tons of VHS that need to be captured and moved onto DVD after some editing of course. Never done this before.

    I was thinking that this system could capture the Video feed while still allowing me to edit photos at the same time hence why I was looking at this beast with such a massive graphics card.

    Unfortunately the system comes with RAID 0 as standard but I was not planning on turning it on so using the 2x750 as straight 1.5 Tb of storage space. All the photos will be backed up to external media, HD and DVD's.

    I was going for the massive memory as Vista will cope with 3.1Gb and it comes with both 32 and 64bit version of the OS in the box. So will be ready when other things can use these features.

    Thanks for the advice. Will now consider if this is the best way of spending the money.

    Roger
    "I hope we will never see the day when photo shops sell little schema grills to clamp onto our viewfinders; and the Golden Rule will never be found etched on our ground glass." from The mind's eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson

    My Web Site: www.readingr.com

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  20. #20
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: URGENT response please: PC choice

    Another thing to think of Roger, check the seating on the memory cards if it's intermittent.
    My system didn't work really well until I sorted the cooling and cleaned the inside (including the DIMM sockets) when replacing the 2x512 with 2x1G
    I'm touching wood as I type, but that's made it pretty good, but not fast enough.

    Because of the poor case design, I'll probably relegate this to a web server.

    I still can't build a good new system at the price I can buy a pre-built machine though.
    Not when I have to buy the operating system and applications ...

    I did 6 years in technical support at a PC manufacturer, component level servicing, building systems, network training, QA testing on windows and MSNET, systems from Z80 through to 80x86, O/S from CP/M through MP/M, CP/M86, DOS, Windows, networking from IEEE488 prorotypes, Zilog Z-NET, 10Base2, speech technology ... even a device driver for a sewing machine.
    PAul

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  21. #21
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
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    Re: URGENT response please: PC choice

    Quote Originally Posted by SmartWombat
    I still can't build a good new system at the price I can buy a pre-built machine though.
    Not when I have to buy the operating system and applications ...
    [/SIZE]
    Paul,

    I totally agree with you, I started looking at building mine and found that even PC world could do it cheaper and Dell cheaper still.

    I will be cleaning the inside of the case and making sure things are seated proberly inside tonight if things go as planned.

    So far problems found - loose monitor cable, hard drive replaced for the OS which seems to have made it more stable. Still not convinced that the monitor cable was responsible for the excess yellow in the last two pics posted. Can't see how I wouldn't have noticed it.


    Roger
    "I hope we will never see the day when photo shops sell little schema grills to clamp onto our viewfinders; and the Golden Rule will never be found etched on our ground glass." from The mind's eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson

    My Web Site: www.readingr.com

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  22. #22
    LRPS Alison's Avatar
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    Re: URGENT response please: PC choice

    Mine keeps dying now too Roger.
    I'll be doing something and the mouse will stop responding. Then the comp will crash.
    I start it back up again and it goes through the whole disk checking process on the blue screen. Sometimes I can get back in sometimes I can't.
    Right now I can't. Hubby can't get it to boot at all now. Not good just before Christmas.
    I'm upstiars right now on one of the kids computers!

  23. #23
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
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    Re: URGENT response please: PC choice

    It always seems to happen when you need them the most.

    Hope hubby can fix it.

    Roger
    "I hope we will never see the day when photo shops sell little schema grills to clamp onto our viewfinders; and the Golden Rule will never be found etched on our ground glass." from The mind's eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson

    My Web Site: www.readingr.com

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    Canon 5D; EF100-400 F4.5-5.6L IS USM; EF24-70 F2.8L USM 50mm F1.8 II; EF 100 F2.8 Macro
    Digital
    Canon Powershot Pro 1; Canon Ixus 100


  24. #24
    LRPS Alison's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
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    Re: URGENT response please: PC choice

    He seems to think it may be a HD problem. Luckily none of my pics are stored on there. He has ordered me a new one already.

  25. #25
    LRPS Alison's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    UK
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    Re: URGENT response please: PC choice

    Hubby was right, (as usual), it was a HD problem.
    I now have a new HD in my machine and am up and running again! :thumbsup:
    I don't know what I would do without him!

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