Embarassing installation faults...that others should avoid!

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Postby chris754 » Tue Apr 27, 2004 3:17 am

My new wireless mouse and keyboard...instlled with no problems. The side buttons on the mouse worked fine but not the top buttons. The air was blue..then I turned the mouse over and removed the plastic cover protecting the ball.
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Postby thomas_w_bowman » Wed Apr 28, 2004 3:25 am

Fixing a friend's PC, which would boot OK, but then (when used for Quickbooks) would go to black screen - then after about 5 Min. either resume or reboot - sort of random.

Turned out that the 'computer expert' who sold her (his 3 yr old very used) the PC had been called about an annoying noise - it was the CPU fan (which he unplugged). I was told that he had 'fixed' the noise and noticed 1) the CPU fan was motionless and 2) the wire was unplugged. Of course when I plugged it back in (the bearings were shot, it made plenty of noise) she complained that the noise was back. Got and tried a replacement fan ($20), but was too late - the CPU was already 'slow-cooked'. Replaced the PII and mobo for an AMD1800+ for about $100.

Also did the backwards floppy cable thing - and once connected speaker out leads to mic inputs on case (the mike made sound when plugged in, weird but easy to fix).

My favorite was long ago, upgrading a 486 CPU, and flattening a pin - managed to get it straight with tweezers, but still don't like remembering how my stomach felt when the chip lurched as the pins bent.

More recently, got the CPU fan very slightly mis-aligned on a P4, the clips wouldn't fasten (one would pop out when the other snapped in), Called Intel and got a new Fan - the tech tried to get me to check if I had the fan seated correctly - but I didn't figure it out till I installed the new fan (so I now have a 'Spare' P4 cooling fan and HS).

Once, long ago (DOS 2.1), I was trying to help my Dad (IBM Exec) by phone - and was telling him 'Alt-Ctrl-Delete', he asked if he needed to spell that out (I had to refer to the key positions), phone support is very very tricky and can miss stuff that one would simply deal with instantly if actually on-site...

True horror story - a company I worked at distributed magentic 'safety' letter openers (could snap onto metal cabinets to store). A secretary called with difficulty getting the Financial statements to open - she'd used the magnetic opener to hold the 5-1/4" floppy to the cabinet (message was 'disk is not formatted...'), she cried when I asked her where her backup floppy was (4 years of statement manual adjustments all on that one floppy - no backups, needed manual re-entry). Back up your work !

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Postby Myth » Tue May 04, 2004 12:29 pm

My father-in-law taught me something very valuable.... WHEN IN DOUBT.. READ THE DIRECTIONS :!: He was giving my fiance (now husband) and I a "new" computer. (new to us that is). It was a 486 (not too old at the time). This was the first time I ever saw the innerds of a puter. I sat and watched in awe at the speed that he was intalling everything. Then there was a cable (2 wires - 1 black and 1 white) that he didn't know where they went.... I said "don't hook them up and let's see what happens".... my father-in-law said "oh, it looks like it goes here....". He said they're just LED wires... not much current.... it can't hurt anything if they're on wrong. He told me to watch that wire when he turned it on. Under 30 seconds later that wire started smoking and it caught on fire. Blew the mobo!
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Postby Insight Driver » Tue May 04, 2004 5:52 pm

I was remote tech for my wife-to-be and she told me her son's computer (he was 9 at the time) wouldn't boot. She had it narrowed down to the power switch (she said). Being smart she pulled the wires out of the switch, stripped them and twisted them together. The computer still didn't boot.

When I arrived I pulled the wires apart and just tapped them together; the computer booted. I then explained that the power switch was a momentary contact that went to the MOBO, it was not like a regular switch. For the next year my stepson was adept at tapping those two wires together to boot his machine when he got home from school.

My background is in the power conversion field, so I've managed to stay alive by being very rigourous in checking connections before I connect, looking at the connection before powering up, then looking at the book to make sure what I thought was right was right before flipping the switch (ready to slam the switch off if it went bang).

I've made all the mistakes that are forgiveable. I haven't fried anything in a computer yet. I learned a long time ago that floppy and IDE connectors can be put on backwards without causing any damage. I was taught a mantra by an engineer that I've taken to heart. When you change something and the result is not what you expect, don't wonder about what may have happened, think about what you did.

I don't make any less mistakes than anybody else; I back up and figure out what I did wrong pretty fast.
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Postby ~Rob » Wed May 05, 2004 11:05 am

Litterally just did this one!

I installed SpeedFan and with it reduced my fan to 0% so it stopped, and then my PC shut down, just like it had lost power!

That'll be the 'Shut Down on CPU Fan Fail' kicking in then. DAmn that had me worried for a minute! Thought I'd fried it!
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Postby skydive » Thu May 13, 2004 12:59 am

Dispensing advice in another thread reminded me of this one:

It all seems so simple now, but I had some trouble years ago with a Thunderbird 1.4 (Last of the 'Ronseals' - If you're British, you'll know what I mean)

Every time it POSTed I saw the CPU speed as 1050 MHz.

I thought it was a duff processor, and mouthed off to a few friends, who all agreed with me.

I could not spare the time to go back to the computer shop, so I returned to University with what I considered to be a sub-standard PC build. A few weeks later, a much more learned friend sorted it out in 10 seconds.

Damn thing cost me a crate of beer and a lot of lost pride. :oops:

I'll never forget the lesson! :wink:
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Postby bond_bbs » Thu May 13, 2004 9:59 pm

one of the most annoying situations i got myself into,, well, ill start at the beginning.. my g/f's PC needed new heatsink and fan(a k6-2 450). Myself having a k6-2 500 sittin round just grabbed that sink and installed it...

well, about 2 weeks later, i threw the retail hsf from my XP2000 Pally onto MY k6-2 500, no probs, dint use thermal grease (still had the thermal pad intact).. The fruckin thermal pad melted hardcore to the heatspreader of the k6-2 500, and pulled the cpu out with the heatsink, but not straight out. Totally laid over 1+1/2 rows of pins.. sat there for like 1hr with tweezers straightening them. Pisssed me off big time.

Finally straightened the pins, got the heatsink removed (ACK!), and tooks a razor blade, removed EVERY remnant of the thermal pad, and put thermal grease on it.. hopefully that bs wont happen again..

other than that, and knocking a cap off my FX5200 (which i relocated by using small copper wire) when installing my modded athlon900 hsf onto the FX5200, thats about all the probs ive really had..

ohh, and on an old Cyrix 486 DX2/66, unmarked PS2 slots, had mouse and keyboard plugged into wrong ports (mixed)..

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Postby topoluss » Fri May 14, 2004 2:58 pm

I was just installing a new heatsink and fan in my comp also adding 2 new 120mm in/out fans to try and keep it cool.

I plugged everything in, checked and double checked, hit the power it turned on but would shut off after 2 seconds.

AARRGGHH reseat the CPU reseat the HS made sure everything worked, and still NOTHING. I pulled things to make sure I didnt fry anything, everything was WORKING. Finally was sitting there with my face in the computer about to give up when I realized I plugged the Heatsink Fan into the wrong spot. I plugged it into the Aux fan spot!! Confuzed the hell out of me because the fan was working.

It is a nice feature to have on the mobo to shut the comp off if the cpu fan is not connected but an hour gone just to realize it was connected in the wrong spot!!! :?
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Postby evasive » Fri May 14, 2004 3:07 pm

and ofcourse your case fans don't have a sensor in them :)
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I had an encounter w/a cheep P/S

Postby Falcon1620 » Mon May 17, 2004 3:02 pm

One time I was putting a computer together (back in the das of the Calderon 400MHz) and for some reason I put the power connector on the disk drive over one pin and turned it on. I filled the entire room w/burnt insulation from the entire 12V+ line in the poser supply and melted a relay inside of it to. OOPS, now I double-check everything. Also had a CTX monitor and burned it up leaving it on over a 3 week vacation, so turn off your CTX or older Compaq monitors- had the same problem at work w/those but hey I’m just the tech what do I know.


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