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Your Most Damage-Resistant Hardware?

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the saturday-musings dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 945

questamor writes "After reading the recent Slashdot article linking to drivesavers and their list of damaged hardware that was still recoverable, I'm curious about the worst things slashdot readers have done to their hardware and still had it work. So far I've been lucky, and in more than a decade of owning computers I've hotplugged almost everything except a CPU (sometimes accidentally, sometimes through laziness) and never knowingly broken anything. What have you all done to your machines? I imagine there are many stories of dropped, drowned, stolen and generally abused machines still working and doing their thing; or at least, able to be brought back to a working state"

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All hardware is breakable (0, Redundant)

$$$exy Gwen Stefani (654447) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414756)

But sometimes you have to sacrifice quality for price.

@ fin d ge w n stefian NUD E -------- (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414920)

pics pls,,kthnx

Lameness filter encountered. Post abootaba king allibaba. you must report to king HASSAN have unf !!!!

alanis scores --hihg- on illuminsaty list.
nazi iare uncol.

as (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414757)

2nd psotas

I abuse my thinkpad like crazy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414759)

I threw the thing around, against walls... pounded it... punched the lcd... cut it's lid w/a knife... poor thing... but it doesn't seem to die!... damnit

Re:I abuse my thinkpad like crazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414814)

That's funny my stinkpad goes tango uniform all the time - and I treat it like I paid for it. Piece of junk.

MB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414762)

Let a friend test out his fried CPU in my MB. Lots 'o smoke, but the MB still works!!

Can you imagine... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414764)

... a Beowulf cluster of these?

Thank you.

Super Nintendo (2, Funny)

jon787 (512497) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414769)

Never had any problems with the SNES console, the cartridges, or the controllers.

I... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414770)

I installed Windows.

Re:I... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414825)

well done, son, well done.

sanity isn't much further down the road.

You know that garbage compactor... (0, Funny)

Ieshan (409693) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414771)

You know that garbage compactor from starwars?

Yeah. My Machine once fell in there, and I dove down a chute on a prison block to save it. Funny thing is, everyone thought I was rescuing a princess.

loads of stuff (2, Funny)

Coke in a Can (577836) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414772)

I've dropped my HDs, left an IDE cable plugged in while that HD's power was unplugged, etc.

Every time my old box crashed while playing GTA3 I'd hit the top of the case. The CD-ROM was in the top slot, and I once hit it hard enough to scratch the CD.

I've also had PCs running while I messed around inside, i.e. changing cooling, which involves moving all the cables around.

Re:loads of stuff (2, Interesting)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414817)

I've dropped my HDs, left an IDE cable plugged in while that HD's power was unplugged, etc.

Is that dangerous? First time I ever installed a hard disk I forgot about the power cable and wondered vaguely why it wasn't working, till I noticed that all the other IDE gadgets had an extra plug into them beside the ribbon. Was I in danger of smoking something there?...

Re:loads of stuff (2, Interesting)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414872)

Not to the hardware. I have stuff un-powered all of the time, mostly because I shuffle bigger and bigger drives around and have them hanging by their IDE and power cables outside my tower since I'm too lazy to install them properly for a temporary job. I've used a dead cd-r drive as a scsi terminator too.

I suppose some controllers might get confused if there is the extra wire length that goes to dead circuits instead of nowhere, but I'm sure that will only bother anything if you have your drives set to "cable select" instead of master or slave.

Re:loads of stuff (2, Informative)

shamilton (619422) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414883)

No, that is completely harmless. It would even been alright for you to power it up after noticing this problem without rebooting the box (although the OS would likely not detect it.)

I've tried doing IDE hotswap experiments with ancient hardware, and never fried any of it, but there were some arcs, so I'd reccomend against it on modern hardware.

sh

Re:loads of stuff (2, Informative)

shamilton (619422) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414862)

Everything you list is pretty harmless. Well, except the drive dropping, although when they're off, the head employs a locking device.

Drives are meant to receive power and signal independently. You can even give it the 5V line before the 12V, or the other way around, it'll be fine. Just don't UNplug it while it's on, as that will likely crash your OS (but not damage the drive.) And you don't want to plug the signal cable in after it's powered up, unless it's SATA.

You can also safely power it up without a signal cable if you want to test noise or something.

sh

Floppy (5, Funny)

kmac06 (608921) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414773)

One time I accidentally dropped a floppy from about 2 inches above the desk, and yet it still worked! (although I did have to completely reformat, losing the data already on it)

Re:Floppy (0, Offtopic)

$$$$$exyGal (638164) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414918)

Hahahahah! The funniest part is the moderation of "interesting".

Good Idea! (5, Funny)

ancukiewiczd (614805) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414777)

Just a second, let me see how well my Thinkpad survives a 20 foot drop. I'll be right back.

Re:Good Idea! (5, Funny)

MBCook (132727) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414832)

I just ran into ancukiewiczd, he says he's having trouble getting his laptop to run. Go figure.

it never has forgiven me... (5, Funny)

DemiKnute (237008) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414778)

But I installed Windows XP on my computer and it still runs.

Motherboards (5, Interesting)

Roarkk (303058) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414780)

The most drastic case I've ever come across was a motherboard that I installed without grounding. Turned it on, nothing happened for a few seconds, then "POP!" Smoked the thing.

The amazing part is that I took it out, put it back in properly grounded, and it's still running! (That was about four years ago, I think).

Re:Motherboards (2, Funny)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414864)

Roarkk Computer's -- Home of the 30 second burn-in!

hmm (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414782)

this one time.. at band camp

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414881)

Now that was funny...

Not exactly computer hardware... (1)

fredrikj (629833) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414783)

...but I remember that an N64 Cruis'n USA cart still worked after three hits with a sledgehammer.

(Yes I really hated that game).

(Yes, the fourth hit killed it).

Re:Not exactly computer hardware... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414815)

With a sledgehammer? You too?

Re:Not exactly computer hardware... (5, Funny)

nbvb (32836) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414919)

3 hits with a sledgehammer and you couldn't bust the cartridge?

Spent too much time playing with video games, I guess. Have your muscles _completely_ atrophed or are you just _that_ big of a wuss?

a cruel story (0, Redundant)

dramage (553238) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414785)

there was that one time my hardware ran windows ... poor box. never was the same.

Drove over a laptop (5, Interesting)

Judg3 (88435) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414786)

Well, not me, but my mother. About 3-4 years ago she drove her Explorer over her (i think) Satellite.

It looked horrible, all cracked and what not, LCD and keyboard destroyed.

But for grins I hooked it up to an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse and she booted right up.

And I've been using Toshiba lappies ever since :)

This is just an ad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414787)

Please stop trying to make us think this is an artical, its just a ad for a disk recovery company.

damaged hardware (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414788)

here's a site [tubgirl.com] all about damaged hardware.

Re:damaged hardware (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414808)

Heh, I thought that was going to be a goatse link, but it's actually a useful place.

Thanks!

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414904)

n/t

The 486 that wouldn't quit (3, Interesting)

Blkdeath (530393) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414789)

A colleague and I were bored at work one day, and on our bench was a 486 that wouldn't quite work. Something with a bus that would crash when we imaged it. Who knows. Anyways, we put Win'95 on it, drivers, and some software. It worked. We were still bored. So we pulled the RAM - while it was running. Sure, it locked up, but it came back. So we hotplugged the fans. Then the hard drive. The floppy drive, the CD-ROM, the CPU, the motherboard; it just wouldn't die. So we started getting nasty with it; rapidly connecting and disconnecting the motherboard power leads. Nothing short of, well, shorting it would kill it!

Finally we decided we'd had enough, so we shorted it out and sent it to the dumpster.

They sure don't make 'em like that anymore.

Re:The 486 that wouldn't quit (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414903)

Because the chip components have shrunk. As they get smaller, electrical, impact, and heat damage destroy them more easily. We can't get much smaller than the current generation, too, because the components fail so easily.

Baked Apple (3, Interesting)

semaj (172655) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414790)

That Baked Apple [slashdot.org] from a while back was pretty impressive. It still booted after 20 minutes at 400 degrees...

Not me, but... (2, Interesting)

NYFreddie (84863) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414791)

A friend had rewired his power supply leads into his motherboard. Plugged in the CPU and it promptly started smoking. Take out the CPU, and the ZIF actually has burn marks on it. We put the CPU in another machine, works like a charm. Hook another power supply up to the MB, swap the CPU back, works like a charm.

AMD - takes a burning, keeps on churning.

Re:Not me, but... (1)

pdbogen (596723) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414871)

Heh, it'd have to, since it runs so damn hot anyway.

Re:Not me, but... (1)

shamilton (619422) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414951)

What's all this about hot AMDs? My XP1800+ runs at 47C idle with an entirely unimpressive cooling system. Must be the Canadian winter breeze, eh...

sh

I learned that... (1)

shepd (155729) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414792)

PCI + ISA cards and IDE drives aren't as non-hotswappable as people think. ;-)

Hacksawed Video Card (4, Interesting)

Rebel Patriot (540101) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414795)

Not sure if this actually qualifies, but here goes.

A friend of mine who frequents here once had a video card that would not fit into his case. I forget the exact model. He called up the manufacturer and asked them what he could do. They told him that everything on the board past a certain point was just redundant, and that it could be safely removed without affecting performance. Naturally, he got that in writing before taking a hacksaw and hacking off almost half the card! It worked when he finally got it in.

Nope, I didn't believe him either. :^)

The key is easy access! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414797)

The key to [larrys.mine.nu] all of this is easy access! [gray.mine.nu] . But that isn't abuse, is it?

Re:The key is easy access! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414829)

Why, that's just a picture of the typical slashdotter's computer. Who are you trying to impress? :-)

ESD, and Deceleration baby! (2, Interesting)

xanie (446372) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414799)

After my baby sister came over, touched a Western Digital Hard Drive, created a lovely ESD, turned the computer off, and I threw the hard drive across the room, having part of the MOLEX connector break off. The sucker still worked.

I was amazed... and that drive is still running in one of my boxen :P

Re:ESD, and Deceleration baby! (1)

Politburo (640618) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414877)

The ESD shouldn't have affected the HD. The charge would have stayed on the outside metal casing of the HD... theoretically.

hanging out wit da hda (1)

110100 (534677) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414806)

my hda is currently hanging by its ide cable and happily reading and writing away

Not computer hardware related, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414816)

One time we filled a gas BBQ with charcoal and used it in that way... we didn't know it was gas at the time, but apparently, we could've all died! Boy, that would've been a story to tell the grandkids about, if I weren't dead...

cdroms phones and sparks (2, Interesting)

kevinqtipreedy (450228) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414821)

one time i was replacing a bad cdrom drive in my computer. i was talking on a corless phone and didnt realize the computer was still on. i got the old one out with no problem. when i put the power cable in the cdrom, sparks flew, the power supply shut off, and the phone shut off. i thought i had dreid the computer, but after a few minutes, it turned back on. the cdrom and computer fine.... the phone never worked again. my friend on the line said it sounded like a buzz you get from audio equipment when nothing is plugged in.

Palm IIIc marathon.. (5, Funny)

Trevalyx (627273) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414826)

Once someone tried to steal my Palm IIIc... I set it breifly on a bench and turned to greet someone and a guy not far away swiped it. Being somewhat hyper-protective of my stuff, I was around and after him at speeds I had never realized on my own two feet before.. Our path carried us most of the way across the park, over benches, past old couples mumbling darkly about the wastage of youth, through puddles, etc... It ended up in me doing a flying tackle (another new one for me..) to the theif into a picnic table, the palm taking a small flight, and a bit of food being mussed..
It's alright though. The palm survived and it turns out the people at the table were my ex girlfriend and a couple of her friends. She got pepsi all over her... ;-)

Static Electricity (0, Offtopic)

dattaway (3088) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414828)

I had an incident where a nice solid zap of static electricity struck a stick of write only memory WOM, but its storage capacity only increased.

My keyboard! (4, Insightful)

NeoFunk (654048) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414830)

Have you guys ever stopped and thought about how must punishment your poor keyboard takes every day? Computer components come and go, cards fail, monitors burn out, CPUs die, but keyboards truely stand the test of time. I've had my $10 Logitech keyboard for years, and it's still typing away, strong as ever, while just about every other computer component I have owned has been upgraded or replaced.

Imagine how many keys you have typed on your keyboard throughout its life. Imagine how much frustration you have taken out on it during a rough match of Quake 3 or Starcraft. Imagine how many food particles and hairs have been caught in its grasp. Pretty amazing that it's still clicking away, eh?

Windows (0)

aiyo (653781) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414833)

I manged to get Windows installed on one of my machines. It was never in a useable condition ever again.

Look out below! (1)

znu (31198) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414835)

Those old CRT iMacs can take a beating. I know of one that fell off of a computer desk onto a hardwood floor. Twice. While turned on. You can't even tell. It still works perfectly and there's not a scratch on it.

My Dell Laptop has never been abused... (1)

$$$$$exyGal (638164) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414836)

My Dell Laptop has been babied throughout its life, but it is a piece of cr*p. The lettter 't' barely works, and when it does work, it prints triple. My left control-key doesn't work anymore, and the battery is nearly completely dead.

Anyone know how to fix a laptop keyboard?

Re:My Dell Laptop has never been abused... (1)

Issue9mm (97360) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414895)

Replace it. I don't know about Dells, but on most models, they pop right out. You should find some hinge-covers around the edges of the laptop, and then the keyboard should come right out, with maybe a ribbon cable tying it to the board.

Just get a replacement from Dell, and you're golden.

-9mm-

Re:My Dell Laptop has never been abused... (1)

azaroth42 (458293) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414917)

Yes. I've been through 4 keyboards on my Dell while it was under warrantee. I asked the tech what the freak was up and the answer given was:

The keyboard is fine. It's the controller. Which is also fine, it just works loose because the laptop flexes so much. This way you'll lose a row of keys at a time, but the hardware is still all perfect. Of course we have to take it back to Dell and replace it for you.


So ... pull the cover off. Unplug the keyboard and replug it. Chances are it'll work like new.

-- Azaroth

Re:My Dell Laptop has never been abused... (2, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414927)

You can buy a repleacement keyboard from Dell, they're very easy to change. That said, I'm quite suprised. I've owned a couple of Dell laptops that have had TONS of abuse and never flinched.

On the other hand, I owned a Winbook and that thing would fall apart if you were to breath in it's general direction from the other side of a football field. NEVER BUY WINBOOK. Junk junk junk junk. I could give you examples. I WILL give you examples:

  • The time I set it down (not dropped, set) on a table and the thing refused to boot up. Had to send it in for repairs, the CPU was loose. The factory never screwed the CPU module in.
  • One day I opened the screen and it just fell off it's hinges. The cables kept holding it on, but the dang hinges just fell off.
  • I just loved the time when it came back from repair and the PC card slots wouldn't work. They worked BEFORE the repair. Well, after a little inspection with a flashlight, I found that 2 screws had been jammed into the pins of the PCMCIA slots, so it immediatly had to be sent back.
  • I loved how no matter what the repair, they always reinstalled windows. I could have sent it in asking that they just send it straight back, and I'd have gotten a new install of windows.

And that's just a TASTE of what they put me through...

Re:My Dell Laptop has never been abused... (4, Funny)

murphj (321112) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414937)

The lettter 't' barely works, and when it does work, it prints triple.
I think you're having the same problem with your $ key.

Worst thing I've seen (3, Interesting)

SiliconJesus (1407) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414837)

I used to be in charge of a small group of guys who did hardware integration on Sun and Compaq platforms. On a particularly busy day, one of the more 'weighty' of my co-workers was working on an Enterprise 250 server, and carrying it over to the rack for QA when he summarily tripped over a pallet on the floor, and landed the entirity of his bulk on the 250 he was previously carrying. Of course, I'm thinking oh crap, are you okay, followed closely by oh crap, that box costs a pretty penny and he just broke it.

Once we decided he wasn't going to die, I picked up the 250 myself and moved to the QA rack, by some act of god, it booted and showed no ill effects of having close to 400 lbs of human land on it.

You won't see those intel POS computers doing that!

Re:Worst thing I've seen (1)

pdbogen (596723) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414900)

...Because, of course, CPU architecture is the most important detemrining factor of structural integrity.

Xircom CardBus Network Card (5, Funny)

mmdurrant (638055) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414842)

While doing my laundry one week, I brought my laptop to the laundromat so I could do some work while I waited. Somehow, my Xircom CardBus Network Card (the orange one) made it into one of my laundry loads. Two weeks later when I came back to do my laundry again, the attendant handed me my network card, saying that he found it in one of the dryers. The casing was a little melted, but after a wash-rinse-spin-dry cycle, I plugged it in and it fired right up. I'm naming my first son Xircom, as it must mean fearless and indestructable.

Flaming Motherboard (4, Interesting)

_marshall (71584) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414848)

About 4 or 5 years ago, my best friend and I had just returned from what's referred to as "first saturday" in dallas (everyone goes downtown and sells hardware for cheap on the first saturday of the month).

We were pretty anxious as we had both just bought brand new machines... so we headed over to my house and started building the computers.

I swear that there's nothing better than the first time you turn on your computer after you've successfuly built it. Anyway, as soon as my friend was finished building his, he turned on the machine, and I kid you not, the motherboard caught on fire! the details of how we stopped the small fire alude me at this point, but after we finally finished putting it out... he turned it on again, and it worked perfectly!

This server. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414850)

After the slashdotting. Most damaged piece of equipment.

A quart of water into the monitor (4, Interesting)

mikosullivan (320993) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414851)

Back in my tech support days we once got a call from a secretary who had had a vase of flowers sitting on a shelf next to her monitor. A coworker had accidentally knocked the vase over and the quart of water in the vase had all poured into the top of the monitor. There was an audible zzzzzzt and the monitor went dead.

My coworker took a replacement monitor up to her. Then he turned the monitor upside down (after unplugging it of course), drained out all the water, and instructed the secretary to let the monitor dry in the corner for a few days.

A few days later he connected the formerly hydrated monitor back to the computer and everything worked fine.

The CD "Changer" (4, Funny)

MBCook (132727) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414854)

The worst thing that's happened to me was when my little sister put 5 or 6 CDs in my CD drive. Now if it was a CD changer, things wouldn't be so bad, but it wasn't. I had to disassemble the drive just to get the door open, but once I got the CDs out it work just fine, and still works to this day.

Appartenly, someone didn't teach her that while you have to put a CD in the drive to play her games, you also have to TAKE THAT CD OUT when you want to play a different game. I'm still trying to figure out how she managed to get the drive to open/close when there were 4 CDs in there.

Re:The CD "Changer" (4, Funny)

Issue9mm (97360) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414940)

Wow. That's pretty tragic.

My daughter (now 15 months old) recently yanked the ejectable CD-RW tray out of the drive. Just walked up to it, hit eject, grabbed the tray, and yank. Completely yanked the thing loose.

The next thing I know, she's running around the house brandishing her CD Tray like a weapon.

Anyway, after I got it back from her, I put it back in the old fashioned way... sheer brute force. I just opened the tray cover, put the tray back in, and forced it back into position while it made its horrid little ratcheting noises.

After that though, it worked perfectly. The tray ejects when the button is pressed (though sometimes closes randomly now. Annoying, but not surprising), reads perfectly, and even burns usable CDs at 24 speed.

For the record, it's a 24x10x40 Lite-On, and it's currently working without a problem after two months of use.

-9mm-

Old Apple IIG (5, Interesting)

IdIoTt (130358) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414857)

About 12 years or so ago, my father's friend had a housefire. The heat warped the monitor, attachable 3.5 inch drive, and the keyboard. The whole system was blackened by the smoke and then completely hosed down by the firefighters. He told my father he could have it for spare parts, but when my father cleaned a few connections and plugged it in, the bugger worked! We were both amazed at the amount of damage done to the casings and hardware(the 3.5 inch floppy had SERIOUS issues ejecting.) That's probably the worst I've ever seen done to a computer.

Input devices (2, Insightful)

lavalyn (649886) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414858)

Most consumer level hardware is now planned to be obsolete within 2 years anyway, so nothing needs to be damage resistant. When something breaks, it's a great excuse to go build a more l33t box.

And the only exception to that is probably keyboards and mice, which take years of punishment.

No fans hit by lighting and still works (1)

bookroach (607259) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414859)

I have dual p2 400 running with no processor fans that survied a lightning strike coming through the cable modem blowing up my NIC, but the machine keep on running. Once the cable company sent me anew cable modem I just pluged it in to the other interface and keep it running till I moved. In the end I had a 140 day uptime with a blown up NIC that is still in the machine.

Top this.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414861)

I put high resolution pictures of snowflakes on my windows personal webserver running on a 56k and then posted a link to it on slashdot , the system still works!

Smokey Joe barbecued HP (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414868)

A co-worker and I were in Thailand installing new weather display software at the airport. We had pre-shipped the hardware and were just getting around to setting up the printers in the common room for the initial acceptance tests. Said co-worker plugged in the printer and turned it on, then walked back into the test room to finish the tests. Aproximately 2 minutes later, we heard "aiyaiyaiyai" coming from the other room, and turned the corner to see a bunch of Thai workers running round with their shirts over their noses screaming un-intelligibly (well, to us anyway) and pointing to the clouds of black smoke billowing from the HP printer.

Those HP's are great machines, but you gotta make sure the power supply is set for the proper voltage, 240V can be hazardous. Needless to say we owed them a new printer.

SGI Indigo2, built like a tank (2, Interesting)

green pizza (159161) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414869)

My primary workstation for almost 4 years has been an SGI Indigo2 workstation (R10K, Solid Impact graphics). The workhorse has survived falling out of my pickup, winters of static electricity zapping projects hanging off the serial ports, frequent brownouts, and constant hot swapping of ps/2 and scsi devices. I've upgraded and downgraded the graphics cards once or twice a year, often trading with friends and roommates. I could probably field strip the machine blindfolded. I installed IRIX 6.5.2 in early 1999 and have successfuly run the OS updates and installed the newest freeware release every quarter since then. I still haven't had a need to do a reinstall and am currently running 6.5.17m + Feb 2003 Freeware.

Sure beats my PCs, Mac, and Sun for reliability of both hardware and software... maybe it's the fact this beast weighs over 50 lbs!

I'm terrible to my hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414875)

I've got a 10GB hard drive that went outside during a thunderstorm and spent a year and half on my desk as a coaster and still works. I've also got a floppy drive that has been through 3 computers so far, and has been crapped on by numerous mice. It smells nasty, but it works. When I was installing the heatsink on my CPU I stabbed the motherboard with a screwdriver three times, and didn't destroy it. Of course, I've had just as many failures. I've disassembled one hard drive, one cd-rom drive, and one floppy drive, none of which ever worked again. I kept the laser and mirrors from the cd-rom drive and the magnet from the hard drive. They entertain me.

Non-dairy creamer (1)

stevenbdjr (539653) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414879)

Well, I didn't do this, but a vandal at my work place did...

Someone dumped a full bottle of non-dairy creamer into an open (non-running) system. Over a humid summer weekend. It solidified, then hardened. Washed the PC in hot water, and a good dry later, fixed it.

Check it out... [mrchuckles.net]

5.25" Floppy Discs... (1)

paulcammish (542971) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414882)

Back in the day, we had BBC Micros at school - huge old things (compared to the Spectrum), but they had 5.25" floppy drives.

I had a load of those discs, and they went thru some amazing things and still worked, such as being folded up in the back pocket of a pair of jeans, then being washed - and a quick iron (on low, of course) and they could still be read fine.

This goes back a long ways... (1)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414887)

But I still get chills down my back when I think of it. In the mid 80's I was responsible for maintaining a bunch of Data General Nova minicomputers in Bay Area television station. I was at a station in San Jose and they had a problem with their system that kept the FCC program logs. The hardware was dual rackmount Nova 2's. There were 2 of them for redundancy. I came out and fiddled around for awhile in the back of the rack. I had previously extended both machines out of the rack on their slides. I came back around and decided to swap the cpu boards. I pulled out both boards, swapped them and pushed them back in. Then I came around to turn them on and discovered that the power had been on while I "hot swapped" the boards. These machines were very much prone to destruction if the boards were installed or removed with the power on. Needless to say, if I had destroyed both machines and totally screwed the stations ability to maintain their FCC log, my ass would have been in a serious sling. Luckily, no damage was done and the problem was solved without anyone to this day, knowing how close I came to a major disaster.

Screwing around inside my powermac.. (1)

caveat (26803) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414891)

(which just beg to be played with while on, what with that nifty hinged case)..I was hot-installing a second cooling fan (shh), and I let a stray bare wire end brush across the video card - *POP* small flash, whiff of ozone, and the screen was missing a third the horizontal lines, the other two thirds are color static. Quick power cycle, close the case, booted up fine. Put the hardware test CD in, passed perfectly, never had a problem since. Radeon 9000 pro, if you were curious.

I rollled a G3 (1)

512k (125874) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414892)

back when I worked at Kinkos, in the computer services office, they kept the computers on the floor..I used them as footrests, since the G3s have rounded sides, a little lateral force is all it takes to tip them over. I did that once while the computer was running, and it survived.

Damaged Computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414893)

When kicked out of my dormroom at school, my computer spent a winter month sitting in the leaky trunk of a car. When I pulled it out, it was sitting in a puddle of ice/water. Temperatures at night must have dropped below 0, and it was waterlogged for a day or two.

I am typing this message from the very same computer..

iBook DV clamshell (1)

Jett (135113) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414896)

I have an iBook DV clamshell that has been dropped from several feet multiple times, been stepped on with full weight numerous times, been frozen in sub-10 degree weather (the LCD was superdim and if you touched it it looked like the entire thing had frozen together, it was weird!), has ran 24/7 for about a month of 95+ degree weather, has run 24/7 for several months at a time, AND has a broken power connector which, because I can't afford to buy another one, has been carved up and jury-rigged using duct tape - sometimes it randomly shoots out sparks and/or cuts out. I doubt it's sending any kind of consistant power to the thing, but godamn IT STILL CHARGES. Oh, and onetime I threw it like a frisbee across a room (it landed on a bed). I've also tried installing various linuxes on it (with no success) so the hard drive has been paritioned and formated to hell and back :) Right now I am sitting here typing this post on it, still runs like the day I first got it.

Panasonic cd-player (1)

xeoron (639412) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414901)

I have had this cdplayer for ~10yrs and it has survived +4 dozen drops onto hard surfaces, staying in the sun during heatwaves, and even went swimming in hot and soapy sink.

After it dried out from the swim the LED display was a bit wonky, but it wwas usable and worked fine (other than that problem). What is strange is that after 6 hrs of having a wonky display, one day it started working normal again-- just like new.

Tv spark (1)

sprock (654458) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414907)

I once unknowingly hooked my computer up to a hot plug in the wall.. I Plugged in my tv out cable into my video card... turned the computer on... I then went over to the TV to plug in the tv cable into it and when I did, the cable sparked, and my PSU started smoking. I quickly unplugged the computer and plugged it into a new power plug and magically the thing still worked...video card works to this day and so does the PSU...the cable has a nice hole in the plug where it sparked but it still works too. >:D go go gadget sparkle power :D

Hotplugging. (1)

traphicone (251726) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414908)

I've hotplugged almost everything except a CPU...

Yeah. I've done that. Pentium II. Worked like a champ.

I also cracked the actual chip part of a friend's Athlon Thunderbird while putting on the heatsink. I never told him, and he's never mentioned it behaving poory. I don't even know how that's possible.

This story is lame (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414910)

I had mod points and was all set to do my duties, but I couldn't find a SINGLE comment worthy of a positive moderation.

Editors, please try to pick stories that will provoke interesting discussions. NOT, "This one time at band camp, I dropped my laptop, ... and IT STILL WORKED!"

"Dead" motherboard I got working... (3, Interesting)

CTho9305 (264265) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414912)

Here [cmu.edu] is a semi-detailed page describing what I did, with a list of pics here [cmu.edu] . The voltage regulator caps were blown, but I replaced them for a super-ghetto motherboard ;)

The worst I've had... (1)

Xeth (614132) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414913)

Was when my Tribes 2 CD exploded inside the drive. It took me about half an hour, shaking the drive upside-down to get all this little shards out. The Drive still worked after that though.

For about a month, anyway....

flooded RAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414914)

We had a huge flood here quite some time ago. We had a bunch of B&W G3s in a building on campus that got hit by the flood. We didn't try to recover any of the power supplys or motherboards, but one hard drive did work, and all the RAM! I would think that the diluted sediment in the flood water would have small, conductive particles that would bridge circuit paths shorting out everything (possibly), but everything I listed above did work after the adverse exposure.

I guess I have seen stranger things in my life, though.

Subjecting a Dell to the Elements (1)

Murdock037 (469526) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414916)

Idiot me left my shiny new $3000 Dell at a friend's house after a LAN. I came back later that night, in the middle of a huge rainstorm, to pick it up. Turns out his roof was leaking, directly onto my PC, which I found in a standing puddle.

After some grousing at my friend, I took it home, put some fans on it for a few hours, and anxiously pressed power... and all was good. It's been working perfectly well for the past two years.

Luck? Maybe. But I'll still be buying a Dell again next time around.

Dropped my Star-Tac into the bathtub (1)

drenehtsral (29789) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414922)

I dropped my star-tac cell phone into a bathtub once, it got angry, made a hissing/beeping noise, and filled the screen with static. Then it crashed. No biggie, I took off the battery, put it and the phone on top of the steam radiator for a couple hours, charged my battery, and it all worked. Go figure.

The absent mined geek has... (1)

RTPMatt (468649) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414924)

broken many a power adaptor (and the part of the device to which they connect) by tripping of over the chord...some if these still work, and the rest sit in the broken box...waiting to live again

Dropped my laptop off my desk in class (ouch that hurt) and it still works! although the HDD does have some bad sectors

dropped another laptop (i seem to have a nack for this) and broke the feet off back of it, but it still worked...for a while.

i dropped a cd burner last night. but it was only a 4x.

I always hated those old simm chips that slide in at an angle then click into place. I definetly put some of those in wrong.

or how about the ZIF CPUs that had the notch on one side to tell you how to put it in...those were never safe

when i was first learning how to repair monitors, i had just started work on a nice 21 incher when lunch started. I came back from lunch to see my boss had fried it by using a metal skredriver to adjust it (as he had told me not an hour before to NEVER EVER EVER! do)

and of course iv plugged in my fair share of devices while the computer is running.

I really hate it when you stick a PCI (or any other) card in, and just after you turn on the computer you check to make everyting is secure, and end up pusind the back half of the card in (oops!)

my advice, dont do these things, i can honestly say i have never once had anything like this help me in any way

Oh yeah, and one time when i was being really really stupid...i didnt use an Anti-Static Wrist Strap

Xircom APWE1120 Wireless Access Point (1)

wing03 (654457) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414928)

2 weeks ago my Linksys 4 port router has the same plug as the access point's. But the dif was that there's an extra 4 volts coming from it. I saw "Linksys" on the adapter but sleepily plugged it into the AP. It worked for a few seconds and then lights out. The smell of burnt electronics came from it. Looking at the PCB, two black surface mount squares had cracks on them and stunk horribly. I took a couple of analog electronics class in the 80s and worked with far more easily identifieable components. I paid $100 on ebay for it and now it was gone. It'd be another $100 or so to replace it. Fortunately, a friend in the know who I described my problem to and did some magnified photos told me they were capacitors of the 47uF variety. But there was a likeliehood that where things blew, other things would've went out too. But for $0.20 worth of parts from the local electronics shop and a soldering iron, I can probably replace them. I did just that and it works perfectly again! Phew.....

Plugged in an old Cyrix 486DX4-100 CPU backwards.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414929)

My freshman year of college, I was in the process of upgrading a machine, and mistakenly plugged in a CPU (a Cyrix 486DX4-100, iirc) into the slot rotated 180 degrees from the correct orientation. (The socket had multiple marks that could be mistook for indicating the 0 pin, and from the angle I was looking I only saw one of them).

Turning the machine, I instantly knew something was horribly wrong, and the smell of burnt plastic filled the dorm. By the time I could pull the plug, a single hole in the socket had been burnt out to about 3 times its size, and the corresponding pin was singed.

Figuring I had very little to lose at that point, I determined my error, reinstalled the CPU in the correct orientation, and fired up the machine. To my amazement, the CPU and motherboard both appear to have survived, without any apparent problems. The machine ended up being used as my desktop for several years after that, and never had any noticeable problems.

The hardware gods definitely had mercy on me that day...

A few Mac mishaps (and more)! (2, Funny)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414934)

Let's see here....

Just the other day, I pulled a motherboard out of an old Mac Color Classic, updated the RAM on it (a couple of 4MB 30-pin SIMMS max. it out - woo!), and slid it back in. After that, I suddenly realized it was plugged in and the power switch was on the whole time. Oops! Well, I pressed the power key on the keyboard, crossing my fingers, and yep - it booted right up.

I've also watched a former co-worker swap internal SCSI hard drives on a PowerMac 7100 while the machine was running. (Dumb idea - but again, he got away with it. Of course, I yelled at him to never do that again afterwards. Heh.)

I did, however, kill a perfectly good 2GB Micropolis hard drive just recently, because I attached it to a power connector that had been ripped loose and improperly repaired. (It looked ok, but I guess a couple leads were shorted somehow from a bad re-crimping job.) The whole system powered off as soon as I powered it on, and then I smelled smoke. Luckily, only the hard drive died though.... Everything came up fine with a different HD in it.

explosions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5414935)

I'd a video card that caught fire once. Luckily the case was open, so I grabbed it, hot unplugged it (in more sense than one!) and waved it until it went out. After it cooled down I put it back in. Some of the memory chips appeared to be corrupted, because the bottom quarter of the screen was all fuzzy... other than that it worked.

Another time I'd a power supply that exploded. A cap in the high-voltage path blew. It made a huge noise and there was considerable arcing in the dark room coming from the open case. I was able to find enough pieces that I could read the rating, so I bought a new one, soldered it in place, and pressed the supply back into service. Luckily all my equipment survived. It was attached to a dual processor Tyan motherboard that must have been invincible.

HardCard (5, Funny)

Pilferer (311795) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414938)

I paid $700 for a 70 Meg "Hard Card", which was a hard drive that fit into an ISA slot. My IBM PS/2 286 couldn't take a 2nd hard drive, so it was my only option. At the time, my harddrive was 20 MB, so 70 seemed like "more than I could ever need".

Anyway - fast forward to the year 2001. I'm playing around with an "old" 266MHZ system I'm about to sell to a coworker, when I find my old HardCard in a box of old crap. I stick it in the ISA slot, turn the computer on -- and it works! With all my gay little files from when I was 12 years old. 16-color porn, anyone?

Anyway.. it starts to smell like smoke.. I hear a "crackle" noise.. and turn around to see the hardcard is ON FIRE. And it looks like it's been on fire for a while. It's melting. And I'm still copying the files on it over to my C:\ drive! Ack! Can I copy 70 MB before it turns into a pile of melted GOO? . . .

The fumes get too intense, and I leave the room to find something to put the fire out with. I come back, and the copy is complete. I saved the data! I put the fire out... wait a few hours.. and turn the old 266 box back on. The hardcard works. It still works! To this day. And it dosen't catch on fire anymore.

Worth the $700 IMHO. Try that with an IBM Deskstar.

Threw one of my systems out the window :) (1)

CliffH (64518) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414941)

Well,
One day I got fed up with one particular system, opened my window, and tossed it. Two story drop onto a gravel driveway. Went along with my business for the rest of the day and decided to see how badly I damaged everything. Except for a cracked face on my cdrom drive and a dead hard drive (which was dying anyways at the time), everything was still pretty much intact. Damn, when I think about it, I want that case back. :) The one time (about 7 years ago) I buy a not so cheap case, and I get pissy and toss it out a window. Damn, I'm glad I've settled down and only toss CDs now. :)

CliffH

Laptop Carnage (1)

MikeJ9919 (48520) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414944)

Well, it didn't really survive, but this seems to fit in with the stories of hardware abuse:

At my old high school, where I did tech work, laptops were given out to teachers for free. One of the teachers (big surprise) put a BIOS password on the computer and promptly forgot it. To reset it on this particular laptop would've required soldering a chip on the motherboard. We called up the manufacturer, but they said that the warranty didn't cover it. They could do the repair, but it would cost us an arm and a leg. We quickly realized, however, that destruction of the motherboard was covered under warranty. A few minutes later, I look into the next room and I see two of my fellow techs. One has a desktop power cable in his hands with two paper clips stuck into the slots where it would normally connect to the computer. The other is holding the laptop open with one hand and shielding his face with the other. This was quickly followed by a tripped circuit breaker and a large scorch mark on the motherboard. One warranty claim and a few weeks later, we had a brand new, non-passworded laptop.

-Mike-

definitely (4, Funny)

Savatte (111615) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414949)

my schlong. it's been consistently beaten for years, but always starts up when i need it to.

Tales of minor abuse (1)

tugfoigel (80286) | more than 11 years ago | (#5414952)

My friend ran over his Palm III with a new Beetle. It fell out of his pocket as he got in and he didn't realize it until he backed out of the garage and reached for the Palm to get his grocery list.

He slapped it into its cradle and hotsynced his data out.

I have my original 120 MHz windoze 95 box with two hard drives that are attached only by the power and data cables. Suspended in air, they are. It's been running that way since 1998.
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