Call the tech guy – Part Two

Troubleshooting a hardware problem – old school

Non-geek version:

I need a new computer… or least the insides of a new computer

<Geek version>

Last week I mentioned having hardware issues – I had hoped that a new power supply would do the trick but, no joy.  I replaced the Power Supply and got… nothing.

Next on my list was to a) reseat all the cards and b) replace the CMOS battery.

In the process I discovered I’d missed a plug to the case.  This time I got a fraction of a second of LEDs before the power supply detected a fault and shut itself down.  I was right back where I started.

When I pulled the video card and reseated it it… everything seemed to work, so I hauled the reassembled box back to my desk… plugged everything in and… no video.  Oddly enough, it turned out the card wasn’t seated properly.

Long story short, something was shorting out/failing between the video card and the motherboard.

Since I didn’t want to risk killing the spouse’s computer (our only working desktop) I called Best Buy and asked them if they could test out the video card.

By this point I had 3 options:

  1. If its the video card – get a new video card
  2. If its the motherboard – use the spare motherboard I have and buy DDR3 Ram for it (my computer’s current motherboard uses DDR2)
  3. If they’re both shot – buy a new kit /motherboard video combo.

Best Buy recommended I bring the card and the computer so they could look at both of them.  The first thing thing they said was “you need a new Power Supply,  500watts will not support this machine.”

I pointed out that I just replaced the 450 that it had been running on for the last 3 years.

And suddenly the game changed – I was no longer a middle-aged user,  I was a tech and they were helping me trouble shoot my computer.

In the end… they couldn’t really tell what was wrong without a more thorough diagnosis and as I told them– it would be cheaper to try the new motherboard and or buy a new kit.

So… Sunday afternoon as I was running errands I picked up the DDR3 RAM… Figuring that if this didn’t work– I’d need the RAM anyway.  In the evening I set about switching out cooling brackets, and seating the mother board and… I had everything where I wanted it..

CPU didn’t fit.  I hadn’t really thought about the fact that the Spare mobo was for the spouse’s machine and that while I bought his machine about the same time as mine… his AMD Phenom CPU and mine– did not use the same socket type (M3 vs M2…. )

Yeah, tomorrow I buy a new Motherboard/CPU combo.


</Geek version>

May 14, 2014

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