My Gateway FX6860

Last Friday I purchased a Gateway FX6860 tower computer. It came with 8 gb of DDR3 ram (The maximum is 16 gb), a 1.5 tb drive of unknown make or speed, an n-wireless device, an AMD Radeon 6750 video card with 1 gb of video memory, and an Intel i-7 2600 CPU. It has been a while since I bought new computer for my own use, and I wanted something fast. I would have settled for a slower processor, but I liked the fact that his Gateway model has two front bays where you can slide in SATA hard drives. It also has two USB 3 ports in the back.

The computer came with Windows 7 home premium 64, but Gateway does not ship with physical media. (More on this below). I use it mostly to run Linux, and an installation of Ubuntu 11.04 was without a hitch — everything worked fine.

The machine seems quite fast, and at least for me, it makes a noticeable difference in doing various number crunching, graphing, photo editing and report formatting tasks. At first I didn’t think I would like the keyboard, which looked cheap when I unpacked the machine, but it’s actually very nice, and the specialty keys work very well with Ubuntu.

I am using a larger 24 inch dell 1920x monitor with the HDMI connection. I also hooked up a second 1400×900 19 inch monitor using the free DVI connector on the AMD Radeon card, and it worked right away, without editing any configuration files.

The more I use this machine, the more I like it. I even found the case well designed. The front loading slots to swap 2 hard drives make it possible to pull out a back up drive and store it in a secure area. There is an area on the top designed as sort of a shelf to leave stuff. It has a large number of USB slots front, back and top, audio connectors front and back, and I think it takes 7 different flash memory cards, of the type you probably use in a camera.

And, the computer is very quiet. Which is pleasant.

Windows 7 password issue

I planned to use Ubuntu, but wanted a dual boot machine, so I logged on in Windows to see how the machine worked. However, when I logged back on after loading some OS updates, I found that it did not recognize my password. I had no idea what happened, since I thought I was being careful, and I had to give it twice. And, I had not created the recovery disks yet, so I did not have copies of the OS or Windows drivers. I ended up installing Ubuntu 11.04, and when I went to the boot menu, it showed the Gateway recovery partition, and when I booted into that partition, from Ubuntu, it re-installed Windows 7, in the Window 7 partition on the dual boot machine. I then logged back into Windows, and created the 4 backup recovery DVDs.