Tuesday, August 29, 2006

CRC Error

Computer #1 was special.

  • Since it was right next to the door, it was the first computer the school principal got a sneak peak of when she decided to snoop around. This was too high a risk for most of my classmates since they would prefer playing games and tinkering with PC Tools. Since I was never interested in games, this wasn't ever an issue. I found the DEBUG.EXE prompt far sexier than the stupid Prince of Persia. And since Assembly Language looked boring and 'academic' enough on screen, no one ever grew suspicious of my intentions.
  • This was the only PC with a color monitor though the resolution was awful and you could literally count the pixels on your fingers. I found the other displays revolting, especially the Green Amber ones. I loved using the ANSI.SYS device driver to color the DOS screen. Only few friends knew the trick and we would love endlessly teasing others for their ignorance.
  • Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC) Error mysteriously surfaced at arbitrary moments of the usage of this machine. No one knew what triggered it or how to deal with it. Once hit by the error, the machine would freeze completely and even a cold boot couldn't be initiated. The only solution was to reach out for the black switch at the rear end! No one liked his work being washed away all of a sudden for no apparent reason. But since I had more patience than even the laziest of Chess players, I was more than willing to be allocated this machine.

But eventually even my patience ran out. I developed CRC phobia. I loathed it, I researched it, I tampered with the OS, I messed with the system configuration, nothing worked. What could be so redundant about my machine? What was it that the blessed machine was doing again and again? Why the hell did it bother with the checks anyway, which, to my mind, was itself redundant in the first place? All this remained a mystery that still remains unresolved.

The Ghost of Redundancy has returned to haunt me. Firefox's ever-expanding memory footprint is giving me nightmares. I'm currently using a beta and find that the snag has yet to be resolved. I'm happy that my constant espousal of the rival web browser has helped defect some of my colleagues from the IE camp. But I've now been repeatedly telling them not to use it for too long continually since other applications would then suffer because of memory leaks. I'm discovering of late, much to my embarrassment, that I've grown redundant in issuing these warnings. So each time I offer the same warning to the same guy about the same issue, I'm stopped on my tracks before history repeats itself. Yes, I must stop at once.

Yet another fallout of having a bad memory.


Vivek said...

CRC usually occurs when using secondary storage media. Were you by any chance booting from a floppy disc?

Deepanjan said...

You're right about the possible cause of the error. No, I was only using the hard disk. CRC errors can be caused during any form of data transmissions, although the most common culprit is an archaic hard or floppy disk being used as either the sender or receiver.

Anonymous said...

Yes rightly said, CRC can be genrated for any data, based on the CRC algo of your choice.
To run an exe( an installer package in particular) without enforcing CRC check simply type that exe name followed by option /ncrc.