A little to much knowledge ...

Bad logical thinking costs!

Page 1 of 1

13 Replies - 1019 Views - Last Post: 02 October 2010 - 12:36 PM

#1 Martyn.Rae  Icon User is offline

  • The programming dinosaur
  • member icon

Reputation: 540
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,406
  • Joined: 22-August 09

A little to much knowledge ...

Posted 28 September 2010 - 11:10 PM

A couple of weeks ago my computer started causing problems. It would boot, run for 20 seconds to 5 mins and then shut down. Here is my logic to solving the problem.

The oldest component in my machine (built and upgraded by yours truely) is my video card. So I went out and spent 200 on a new card. Problem still exists!

Hmmm, I thought switch to my old motherboard and memory in an attempt to eliminate them from the equasion. Same problem! Conclusion? It had to be the processor!

Rode 100 miles and returned with a new processor chip at a cost of 160. Swapped back to my newer motherboard and memory and tried again. Same problem!

The last component to be replaced was the power supply. Well, it was either that or the case. A further 30 spent and would you believe the problem was solved.

So, 360 spent to discover it was a 30 problem. What a :censored: I am! Still I have lots of working spares now!!

Anybody else with such tales?

Is This A Good Question/Topic? 0
  • +

Replies To: A little to much knowledge ...

#2 no2pencil  Icon User is online

  • Head MFIC
  • member icon

Reputation: 5066
  • View blog
  • Posts: 26,449
  • Joined: 10-May 07

Re: A little to much knowledge ...

Posted 28 September 2010 - 11:16 PM

Most likey you have blown compositors in your power supply. Anytime a customer calls us with 'phantom boot' issues, & the length of boot is off by many minutes, like you described, it's most commonly blown compositors.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#3 xTorvos  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Regular
  • member icon

Reputation: 60
  • View blog
  • Posts: 271
  • Joined: 23-October 09

Re: A little to much knowledge ...

Posted 28 September 2010 - 11:18 PM

I've never went out and spent a ton of money like that because I'm broke. :)

However, in my experience with troubleshooting computer hardware issues, I've learned that the one thing that couldn't POSSIBLY be the problem, could be the problem.

Story: My friend kept having issues where his computer wouldn't boot at times. He would do the old unplug-everything-from-the-motherboard-then-plug-everything-back-in technique that I taught him. This would suffice for a week or so more, but then he would run into the issue again. He kept telling me that he needed a new motherboard because something was wrong with his.

Well, I know my friend. He is the type that doesn't have a door on his case and doesn't do everything right the first time like I enjoy doing. He would rather do a quick, sloppy job. Then try to fix it later if it's still broken.

I kept telling him that he needs to physically take the mobo out and shake the case. He wouldn't listen. He purchased the new motherboard and installed that it too broke after a few weeks.

I finally broke down and did it for him. Just like I had suspected, there was a lose screw rolling around his case that was grounding him out.

I love working with stubbornness. :)
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#4 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

  • Please show what you have already tried when asking a question.
  • member icon

Reputation: 5316
  • View blog
  • Posts: 11,358
  • Joined: 02-June 10

Re: A little to much knowledge ...

Posted 29 September 2010 - 02:07 AM

I never start diagnosing with the most expensive part and work my way down to the cheap one. I bet the auto part store loves your credit card you.

Plus with 4 computers about the place I would swap parts with another computer to see if the problem followed the part or stayed in the same box. Eventually you watch the problem move from one box to another and learn which part it is *then* go spend money.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#5 moopet  Icon User is offline

  • binary decision maker
  • member icon

Reputation: 339
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,185
  • Joined: 02-April 09

Re: A little to much knowledge ...

Posted 29 September 2010 - 04:49 AM

One time, at band camp*, I had a great problem: the server I built in my test room did not work on the rack. Same problem as yours. I rebuilt it, swapped components all over the place, couldn't find a problem. It always worked in my room but not the server room, which was next door. Turns out the power rail in the rack was overloaded because someone was running a second rack off it and I hadn't noticed the cable.
This is not a helpful comment, I just like telling stories sometimes.

* ok, at a secure server centre somewhere in a big city.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#6 eclipsed4utoo  Icon User is offline

  • Not Your Ordinary Programmer
  • member icon

Reputation: 1524
  • View blog
  • Posts: 5,957
  • Joined: 21-March 08

Re: A little to much knowledge ...

Posted 29 September 2010 - 06:42 AM

You should have asked here. You would have been told to look at the power supply first.
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#7 Raynes  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover
  • member icon

Reputation: 610
  • View blog
  • Posts: 2,815
  • Joined: 05-January 09

Re: A little to much knowledge ...

Posted 29 September 2010 - 07:34 AM

Not surprising, considering you didn't have any clue what it was and just decided to replace random parts until it was fixed. You'd spend less by asking friends, like here on DiC first.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#8 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

  • Please show what you have already tried when asking a question.
  • member icon

Reputation: 5316
  • View blog
  • Posts: 11,358
  • Joined: 02-June 10

Re: A little to much knowledge ...

Posted 29 September 2010 - 08:40 AM

View PostRaynes, on 29 September 2010 - 06:34 AM, said:

Not surprising, considering you didn't have any clue what it was and just decided to replace random parts until it was fixed. You'd spend less by asking friends, like here on DiC first.


Sounds like he would have spent less just going out and buying a new PC off the shelf. Individual parts cost more than factory built PC. They're like cars: A $25,000 car is a moving collection of $40,000 in parts if you strip it.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#9 Martyn.Rae  Icon User is offline

  • The programming dinosaur
  • member icon

Reputation: 540
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,406
  • Joined: 22-August 09

Re: A little to much knowledge ...

Posted 30 September 2010 - 07:14 PM

View Posteclipsed4utoo, on 29 September 2010 - 12:42 PM, said:

You should have asked here. You would have been told to look at the power supply first.


ROFL - Of course I would have asked here!!! The problem was that I couldn't because the power supply on my computer had blown!!!!
Was This Post Helpful? 2
  • +
  • -

#10 no2pencil  Icon User is online

  • Head MFIC
  • member icon

Reputation: 5066
  • View blog
  • Posts: 26,449
  • Joined: 10-May 07

Re: A little to much knowledge ...

Posted 30 September 2010 - 07:19 PM

View PostMartyn.Rae, on 29 September 2010 - 12:10 AM, said:

It would boot, run for 20 seconds to 5 mins and then shut down.


You couldn't have gotten to Dream In Code in 20 seconds to 5 minutes? ;)
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#11 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

  • Please show what you have already tried when asking a question.
  • member icon

Reputation: 5316
  • View blog
  • Posts: 11,358
  • Joined: 02-June 10

Re: A little to much knowledge ...

Posted 30 September 2010 - 08:52 PM

I guess it's possible to only have one computer in your house. Though not in my house. Between laptops, media room PC and so on there are 5 (plus iPhones and iPad) running in my RV.

libraries have them for free use... malls have them for 20mins/$1... a friend with a computer... Finding a computer with internet connection isn't tough these days. The DishNetwork demo booth at the mall with "Look at how fast our internet connection is" stations set up... Cyber Cafe....
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#12 Programmist  Icon User is offline

  • CTO
  • member icon

Reputation: 251
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,833
  • Joined: 02-January 06

Re: A little to much knowledge ...

Posted 01 October 2010 - 06:09 AM

Your troubleshooting methodology leaves something to be desired. :) If a machine has boot and/or random BSOD problems the first things I check are the memory and PSU. Both are not terribly difficult to test in most cases. You'd have been better off buying a multi-meter and/or kill-a-watt and using memtest86. Oh well. Next time you'll know.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#13 earlgrey  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 10
  • View blog
  • Posts: 91
  • Joined: 26-September 10

Re: A little to much knowledge ...

Posted 02 October 2010 - 12:31 PM

A real man would have thrown the whole machine out and bought a new one!

Now that's what I call black box testing :P
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#14 Dogstopper  Icon User is offline

  • The Ninjaducky
  • member icon



Reputation: 2858
  • View blog
  • Posts: 10,962
  • Joined: 15-July 08

Re: A little to much knowledge ...

Posted 02 October 2010 - 12:36 PM

When my hard drive had an inductor break off it, I did not go and buy a new one...I made a makeshift inductor and it's still working 6 months later. Essentially, it's just a coil of really thin wire I found lying around. It was a 5 cent repair as opposed to a $40-$50 repair.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

Page 1 of 1