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Requiem For A Motherboard

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the ill-planned-and-stupid-rock dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 502

JimLynch writes "In my last DIY column, I discussed what it was like to build my first system. As time went by, unfortunately, my DIY system wasn't all wine and roses. This column tells the story of how I destroyed my motherboard through a series of ill-planned and stupid actions. It should stand as a shining example of What Not to Do for DIYers everywhere."

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Hmm... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9635905)

Slow news day apparently.

In other news... (1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635935)

Thousands of innocents are dying around the world from causes you can prevent. Instead, you sit on your asses and stare at a radiation machine. Way to go, America.

Stop it (-1, Flamebait)

bedouin (248624) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635911)

Just buy this []


Re:Stop it (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9635973)

Uh, I'm not quite sure what you want me to buy. I sure didn't buy those 97,618,391 songs though.

(Yep, flamebait all right.)

Re:Stop it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9636035)

Mac's dont let you feel the geek-feeling, if you destroy them.

Whatever you say. Gimp RulZ anyway []

did you .... (-1, Offtopic)

pauly_thumbs (416028) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635913)

...pee in your floppy drive too!??!!

Yowza That's Gotta Hurt!!!!!

no doubt.. (1, Interesting)

sxtxixtxcxh (757736) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635915)

on that list there's "don't install windows" ;)

when i first started slapping computers together, things were easy enough to do without too much worry... general rule of thumb: if it don't fit, don't force it.

Re:no doubt.. (3, Interesting)

sTalking_Goat (670565) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636052)

when i first started slapping computers together, things were easy enough to do without too much worry... general rule of thumb: if it don't fit, don't force it.

Agreed. I haven't built a system since an O/C Celeron 2 800 running at 900 Mhz was a kickass system, but in my experience the hardest part was figuring out with components your board supported. Most componenets could ONLY be connected the right way and it was just about impossible to connect things the right way in the wrong place. As my co-workers used to say when I worked at Old Navy: "A partially trained Monkey could do the job, and the customers would probably treat him better"

Building my first PC was no where near as confusing as the first bike I built, or the Car Engine I hope to rebuild in the future (as soon as I can listen to one of those muscle car guys talk about engines without my eyes glazing over, and parts of my brain BSODing)

Re:no doubt.. (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636107)

This guy wasn't just forcing it, he was handling it in the most slapdash manner possible! And how could he get a heatsink that barely fits the case? Where's all the air going to go?!

Bah. Here's what I learned about building a machine:

1. Buy as much as possible from the same retailer. That way when something goes wrong, there's no back and forth on it.

2. Buy from a store. There are a lot of "cheap" internet sites that will happily sell you unreliable hardware, then become hard to contact afterwards. Swap meets are an especially bad place to purchase new hardware components. With a store, you can walk through the door and strangle the guy behind the counter.

3. Buy as big of a case as you possibly can. This will allow you a lot of room to work on the inside, as well as good airflow and extra mounts.

4. Find out what every cable is *before* you plug it in. Also, make sure which direction it goes. Sometimes they need forcing, but only force after you're SURE that it's supposed to fit that way.

5. Take your time and assemble the components as early as possible. Some things can only be inserted inside the case, but others (such as CPU, fan, and DIMMs) can be assembled outside the case. It also never hurts to leave things like the hard drive unplugged just to make sure your system turns on and functions. Remember, SLOWLY.

6. Buy quality components. It may look cheaper to buy that AZUZ motherboard instead of the ASUS one, but the difference is tremendous.

One last tip: don't buy the latest and greatest processor unless you absolutely have a reason to do so. The performance difference between that and the next model down is almost imperceptible due to wait states in the CPU. You're much better off investing your money into more RAM. Less heat, more speed. For gaming, go for the best vid card, though. Unless you like to upgrade, you'll be with it for a long time.

Re:no doubt.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9636118)

general rule of thumb: if it don't fit, don't force it.

Works for computers AND intercourse.

Re:no doubt.. (1)

nocomment (239368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636126)

no kidding. I dunno if it was worthy of a slashdot article. Perhaps it should have been posted in the sysadmin blunders (follow link in sig). Still, it was funny to read about all his screwups.

Re:no doubt.. (4, Interesting)

ScottGant (642590) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636141)

I built a system off of the Sharky Extreme budget PC components back in November. I loaded up the basic stuff and had a few extra components laying around like a Geforce 4ti and a Soundblaster Live card.

I only run Linux on it and never even installed Windows at all, everything is fully supported by Linux.

The only problem I have with it is over heating. I have a nice heatsink/fan sitting on the AMD 2500+ and I'm not overclocking it at all. But still, I have to have the case open and a small table fan pointed right at the motherboard to keep the temperatures down to 44c...otherwise it raises to 55c+ with the side panel on and the two case fans running.

I've seen the temp jump up to 61c-62c which from what I've heard is either fine to it's too hot. I've heard the gamut of people saying it's not a problem and not worry about it.

But here's the rub...I run Gentoo Linux, and since I compile everything, I don't want it overheating while in a an error could easily be compiled into code and be almost impossible to track down a bug....or so I've heard. This has NEVER happened to me. I guess I'm just extra paranoid about the temp.

Other than my paranoia, everything runs tip-top and is very speedy. First computer I've built from scratch (not to mention the first OS I've built from scratch) and everything is ok. Other than me running the memory as single channel DDR instead of Dual channel for 3 months because I had it in the wrong slots. D'OH!

Wow (1, Interesting)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635930)

I smelled the distinct odor of something burning.

I checked the temperature of my motherboard with SiSoft Sandra. The readings I got showed that it was too hot indeed. I was skeptical of Sandra's exact readings, however, so I posted a note in the forum and received some good suggestions for alternative programs to check the temp with.

Not very smart, are you? You smell your computer burning, but you start up Windows anyway (most BIOSes have temperature monitors built in) and mess around.

Re:Wow (1, Flamebait)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635963)

Well... he pretty much screwed up building a simple Windows box... What do you expect?

Re:Wow (5, Funny)

nekoniku (183821) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635997)

He tot it was da ganja, mon.

Re:Wow (3, Funny)

sTalking_Goat (670565) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636084)

He tot it was da ganja, mon.

Best use for an AMD CPU. EVER.

Re:Wow (4, Insightful)

karrde (853) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636027)

This whole article was just one painfull (and pitiful) screwup after another. I couln't even bring myself to read the whole thing.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9636238)

If you didn't read the whole thing, how do you know what the whole article was like?

Re:Wow (4, Funny)

Arcanix (140337) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636069)

After all that I was almost expecting for him to say he then loaded up Far Cry for a couple hours until the smoke started REALLY billowing from the computer. Of course that would become a nuisance so then he'd go in the other room to get some shut eye while Maya rendered a few scenes overnight...

Re:Wow (4, Insightful)

anon* (637224) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636099)


Yeah, he made a series of incredibly boneheaded moves. No big deal there, I think most humans do something like that at least once in their life.

However, he was smart enough to write an article and make some money off of his mistakes. Hell, he can probably deduct the cost of the dead hardware as a business expense. I never managed that.

worst article post in a while (5, Insightful)

XMichael (563651) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635938)

This has to be by far one of the worst things i've seen posted on slashdot. Really, the fact that someone even took the time to write this article amazing me.

How many ways can I destroy a computer... yahh

Maybe if there were good gory pictures or something

Re:worst article post in a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9636000)

Why is this flamebait? I think it's a legitimate comment.

Re:worst article post in a while (4, Informative)

nostriluu (138310) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636045)

I have to agree. I wonder if they'll post a story about me eating a bag of potato chips. Oops, I dropped one! Better get a page or two in about that.

I've been building my own PCs for the past 20 years. Along with my own, I help friends and have easily build more than 100 systems, plus about as many upgrades. I used to ritually buy a bottle on the way home from the parts store and get smashed while assembling. I've put cards in backwards, splashed solder, forced all kinds of parts the wrong way, worked way past midnight, rarely think about grounding myself, and only ever ruined one thing, a CPU I was trying to rig for a dual setup.

PC assembly is meant for amateurs, so I don't know how this guy managed to do the damage he did, but maybe his next system should come pre-assembled.

Re:worst article post in a while (1)

JDevers (83155) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636178)

Agreed. I've never actually been smashed while assembling a PC, but I've done it before when I was so incredibly mad about something that I probably SHOULD have been. I can't remember any component that I single-handedly destroyed from incompetence or stupidity... I once put a screwdriver THROUGH a mobo after a stupid heatsink retention clip completely gave way (someone else's PC with very much bottom basement components) and it still worked fine. I can't imagine how hard someone would have to TRY to screwup before knocking a cap off a board....

What a twit. (1)

ezzzD55J (697465) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636145)

I agree. A twit makes one mistake after another.. while I make plenty of mistakes (not in the least in the hardware department), there's no point in reading about another twit's ones on slashdot.

Re:worst article post in a while (1)

TrumpetX (445716) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636239)

I was thinking the same thing... horrid /. post

Jeez. (2, Insightful)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635950)

I have seriously manhandled about 150 computers, ripping out the motherboards, making frankenstein boxes out of non-working boxes, hot swapping non hot-swappable hard disks, forcing fans onto cpus, pulling out running SCSI discs to get that gyroscopic effect because the disks are still spinning at 10K rpms. I must have had some luck though. Never once have I broken a machine.

Re:Jeez. (1)

Nurseman (161297) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636223)

I have seriously manhandled about 150 computers,

Mt first DIY build was a 486 /16 in a HUGE full size metal tower. This thing weighed like 50lbs empty. Built the whole thing with the cover off, tested, retested, everything worked like a dream. Then I put the cover on, it was a tight fit, but I kinda manhandled it on. Push power switch, and PUFF, smoke, and beeps. Lucky I was near power cable and yanked it. Seems I caught one of the power cables from the fan in the case, and stripped and grounded it to the case. Lucky all it cost me was the fan. Lessons learned :-)

imacs don't hold beer.. (4, Funny)

joeldg (518249) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635956)

found out one time that an iMac keyboard can hold exactly one pint of beer...

at least it had a use for something..

Re:imacs don't hold beer.. (1)

Psiren (6145) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636026)

So, how much *can* it hold? Inquiring minds want to know... ;-)

Re:imacs don't hold beer.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9636074)


Re:imacs don't hold beer.. (1)

Psiren (6145) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636140)

Sorry, misread it as can't hold a pint. Usual excuse, shitty day, not enough sleep etc.

Re:imacs don't hold beer.. (1)

joeldg (518249) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636105)

one pint..
but not very well at all i might add...

poor little mono-clicker never worked again..
fried the entire thing..

Re:imacs don't hold beer.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9636151)

an iMac keyboard can hold exactly one pint of beer...

That's how much it can hold, apparently. HTH

The outlet is the key (2, Informative)

cloudkj (685320) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635958)

No matter how successful your computer installation was, tis still 'farewell to thy motherboard' if your choice of outlet is a bad one. For example, I used one of those outlets that could be switched on and off by a switch. And of course, this spelled death to my motherboard by the innocent visitors of my room who thought they would do me a favor by turning off the lights.

Re:The outlet is the key (3, Funny)

micromoog (206608) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636137)

Clearly you should have used a UPS, then set up a script that detects when the power is killed and starts looping a WAV file of sirens blaring and a robotic voice saying "MAIN POWER FAULT" at 90dB.

Summary of article: (5, Funny)

nekoniku (183821) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635960)

"I shouldn'ta broke off the white thingie."

Re:Summary of article: (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636159)

"I shouldn'ta broke off the white thingie."

You know, when I read that, I just kept thinking "He knocked out the cord to the power supply, didn't he?" Of course, he never tells us. One day it's broken, next day he plugs in a new fan and it works. Go figure.

Bad times (4, Informative)

keybsnbits (711259) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635966)

I sympathize with this man's problems that have to do with computer temps. It's very hard to get the hot air to flow out, instead of having a mish-mosh of air currents within your case. If fans wouldn't work for him, you could just go the hardcore road of water cooling... none of that "hot air" is involved, although a conventional water cooling system is much more expensive then fans. Its the ever debated balance between $$ and quality.

Re:Bad times (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636032)

Take all the case fans off your case. Your PC will run fine, even if you have a fancy 3.4 ghz megalon 2000 processor.

All that water cooling and fan stuff is case modder idiocy.

Not that a case fan isn't a good idea, but it's hardly as important as the moron sites make them out to be.

Re:Bad times (1)

jelizondo (183861) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636148)

Read the first line and tought:

What the hell does computer temporary employees have to do with the article?

Need to get off slashdot...

Re:Bad times (2, Insightful)

Psymunn (778581) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636204)

umm... this guy can't get fan size right (let alone check for dust in his origional fan). i really don't think that installing a water cooling system is really the task he should be assigned.

Let's see... (5, Insightful)

geeber (520231) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635972)

Knocks parts off the motherboard, wasn't grounded, refused to measure fan sizes before buying them. And I am still only halfway through the article. Can be summed up in one sentence:

Feckin' eejits shouldn't mess around inside the computer!

Re:Let's see... (1)

eeg3 (785382) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636172)

If everyone followed that rule, 90% of slashdot wouldn't be able to touch a computer, let alone mess around inside it. Wait a second, I like that rule!

I kid, I kid... :)

so lame (4, Insightful)

XMichael (563651) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635979)

Geeze, who is the author of this lame article. Should I start writing articles about my trip to the grocery store? I wounder if I could get published, well at least I could get slashdotted...

*sigh* this articles so lame, it just makes me laugh to hard.

Re:so lame (5, Funny)

saintp (595331) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636076)

You're probably not a big enough fucktard to get published. You'd have to make a really stupid trip to the grocery store.
"So I went back to the store for the fifth time -- I still didn't have enough limes! Who would have thought that you needed more than one to make a batch of margaritas?

"On the way back, I accidentally ran over the bag of limes with my car, but figured it probably wouldn't matter. A little gravel never hurt anything, after all.

"I finally got back to my house, dumped all the limes in the blender, hit on -- nothing happened! I eventually figured out you have to plug it in, or something like that."


Re:so lame (1)

XMichael (563651) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636207)

... when I got home, I review the recipe; I completely screwed up, after 5 trips getting limes, I actually need lemons all along!

... yahh

Boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9635981)

This article is not only extremely boring, it is also badly written and spiced with some very annoying editor comment. But then again, who RTFAs around Slashdot anyway... ;)

Hit Print to read this story (3, Informative)

cacheMan (150533) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635983)

This and many other sites like it offer a Print option that puts the whole story on one page. With the likelyhood that slashdot is going to take this site to task, it would be a good idea to get it all on one page before you start reading. That way, you won't get blue mouse trying to get to page 2.

Food fight with spritzer bottles? (2, Insightful)

sammyo (166904) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635984)

I dunno, I tried real hard on a graphics card comparison to kill a board, swapping cards fast, and, oops, forgot to power off before reboot...

That was several years ago and all the boards survived. Buy quality components is probably the best lesson!

Re:Food fight with spritzer bottles? (1)

gotr00t (563828) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636153)

No its not! A year after much manhandling and absolutely no protection, no caution, and sometimes just intentionally being dumb (swapping non-hot swappable disk drives, adding/removing memory while it was still up) with an ECS motherboard (which I got for $40 new, the brand is absouletly TERRIBLE) nothing bad has happened.

And this board, it is the exact opposite of "quality" because it _came_ with IDE channel 0 broken and some other problems that I had to work around.

I'll agree with the poster (5, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635990)

It should stand as a shining example of What Not to Do for DIYers everywhere.

You betcha. Here are some gems:

When I returned, I smelled the distinct odor of something burning. -snip- Just for the heck of it, I checked the temperature of my motherboard with SiSoft Sandra.

Mistake number 1. If you smell smoke, go for the plug, not Sandra!!

You knocked off a "white doohickey" and didn't check to see if it was something that was soldered to the board?

Yeah, that could be a problem. Learn the names of your doohickeys, at least. Then post here - we could use the giggles.

Re:I'll agree with the poster (1)

MagiGraphX (767644) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636098)

Could've been worse. He could've said dongle.

Boy (4, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636003)

I'm not sure exactly what killed my motherboard. During the process of taking it out of the old case, I knocked a white doohickey thing clean off the motherboard. It was attached one minute and then it fell off the next. "Oh well, screw it...can't be that important," I thought to myself as I ripped the motherboard out of the old case and started putting it into the new case.

The first time I built a computer, I figured that if a few of those metal support posts were good, more would be better. That's why they gave me a whole bag, right? I assembled the system and it wouldn't start. I did some troubleshooting, succesfully booted with the board out of the case and eventually solved the problem.

That's as dumb as I've gotten -- perhaps I should be writing for ExtremeTech instead? I know my first response to trouble isn't to ask in a forum what new heat sink will make me more 1337.

Re:Boy (2, Insightful)

Konowl (223655) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636233)

That's funny, I did the exact same thing about 8 years ago when I was 18. I was building my second computer ever... I installed the mounting screws and then installed EXTRA ones, as in behind the ISA slots the motherboard tended to "bend".

I never thought, of course... metal conducts electricity. However, find the source of my problem took about 4-5 hours. No matter what I did, what I unplugged and reinstalled, I would turn the computer on, and it would continiously reboot itself.

I was getting so frustrated. And then I realized the extra mounting screw, took it out, and voila. Hours of my life, wasted.


Thank You. (5, Funny)

Psyko (69453) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636010)

I'm so happy that there are so many people out there like this, otherwise a lot of us would have to go out and get real jobs...

Heart Pounding (1)

MikeDawg (721537) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636011)

My heart started pounding as I first opened the page. I saw the exact same case I am slowly building into my dream system (well. . . ok, so I only have the case, and power supply, but one day, it will be my dream system). BTW. . . I don't like his harsh comments about the case, he should have known by the posted diminsions and specs that it wasn't a light little case.

Maybe I should start writing articles for various computer tech sites, I have more experience (as I am sure most of /. does) than this guy.

This article all in all is okay for any beginner that is considering building his own system, but by know means is there anything worthwhile for a professional.

My guess (4, Funny)

daeley (126313) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636012)

The reason the motherboard started smoldering? The CPU maxed when he tried to load one of that site's webpages. It's impossible to pick out any actual content on that page amongst all the adverts, links, and folderol.

Re:My guess (1)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636071)

The reason the motherboard started smoldering? The CPU maxed when he tried to load one of that site's webpages. It's impossible to pick out any actual content on that page amongst all the adverts, links, and folderol.

The ad-blocking [] lizard [] is your friend.

Re:My guess (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636167)

no adblocking you'll ever do will increase the amount of content on that site though.

If you are a retard, don't build computers (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636023)

^^ Overview of the moral of the story.

Seriously, "white doohickey" ... :wtf:

Yeah, I've done the "install heatsink after motherboard" thing in a tight case, and it wasn't amazingly fun but I just calmly did it. Approaching anything in a hurry will lead to a fuck up ... cooking, DIY, car repair.

On burning motherboards & cooling (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636028)

Quite often, fans on motherboard (north bridge, to be exact) are redundant. Those fans also make a lot of annoying whining noise (obviously, being small & all).

I replaced mine with just a heatsink, and so far everything's been fine. Almost broke my motherboard in the replacement process, of course.

So next time you are shopping for a motherboard - ensure that there is *no* fan on the north bridge. Overclocking the north bridge is so 90's anyway ;-).

he refers to things as white do-hickeys? (1)

aberant (631526) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636029)

Well this should be your first sign.. i'm not saying that you have to be an electrical engineer to plug some PC boards together, but atleast spend 30 seconds on google to find out what it those capacitors are. I know he's prolly joking, but as simple as microsoft and apple try to make them, certain aspects of PC's are far from simple, so my suggestion is atleast have SOME familiarity before your act suprised that it blows up.

In other news (2, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636039)

Area man who didn't know anything about cars filled up his radiator with motor oil and overheated his engine. News at 11...

What Not to Do (1, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636041)

What Not to Do:

Eat while working on PCs

Attempt to wash circuit boards, unless you have a ready source of de-ionized water, and it's still iffy

Dry sensitive electronic components with a blowdryer with the heat on

Install/remove heatsinks with wrong tools. I nearly chopped one of those tiny resistor packs in half with a cruddy old screwdriver

Let dust accumulate until it looks like the inside of a vacuum cleaner bag

Also, keep an eye on those electrolytic caps, in the past some leaked and caused a real mess.

In other news:
Every now and then Google News does something weird, I thought the combination of heading and article were interesting:

Buy and sell tickets to premium and sold out events

USA Today - 2 hours ago
LOS ANGELES (AP) Actor Marlon Brando was cremated after a private memorial service attended by a small group of family members and friends, his attorney said Wednesday.

Re:What Not to Do (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636129)

You can wash a circuit board, just make sure it has ample time to dry out completely. I'm talking days to be safe, not minutes..

You're better off using alcohol, but hey, sometimes you get peanut butter and jelly all over your brand new Radeon card. Shit happens.

I've done so and been none the worse for wear.

Building PC's is the easiest thing in the world, all it takes is a little common sense.

Just take your time (4, Interesting)

Fiz Ocelot (642698) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636047)

This is just a simple case of someone not having any patience and rushing everything. But to anyone who has never built a pc, it's actually very easy if you take your time and make sure you do things right.

There are some tips you should know, like installing the cpu and heatsink before the mobo is in the case. And making sure you screw in the mobo with the correct standoffs.

Re:Just take your time (1)

Sicnarf (529730) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636176)

"with the correct standoffs" oh yeah. i once REPLACED a motherboard and forgot to take out the OLD standoffs! they interfered and the system couldn't access the harddrive, because of those standoffs. took us two days messing around, blaming windows (and linux) until we braught it to a store: "you forgot to remove the old standoffs" D'oh!

Re:Just take your time (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636236)

This is just a simple case of someone not having any patience and rushing everything.

A motto that I follow is that its easier and cheaper to do it right the first time then two or more times half asked.

On behalf of many /. ers (4, Funny)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636050)

let me say this:
[Nelson voice]
Ha ha!

Re:On behalf of many /. ers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9636169)

Marge, we don't have to call one of those expensive computer repair people. I can install a simple fan.


Long story short (2, Interesting)

kensai (139597) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636051)

If you don't know what you are doing, then either take it to or buy from someone who does. I mean come on, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out. I don't know how to fix cars, so do I fix my car when something breaks? No. I take it to a mechanic. Jeez, some people are really hurting in the common sense department.

New heights for masochism (4, Funny)

mdielmann (514750) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636055)

Used to be, back in the old days, if you were feeling a little masochistic you'd do a little bit of self-flagellation. Nowadays, you see if you can get a quarter million people to laugh at you all at once.

Fried memory (3, Informative)

Punk Walrus (582794) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636056)

I lost a computer once after upgrading memory. I installed another SIMM and upon boot, zzzzzt*BAP! The CPU actually sparked and smoked. Unplugged system. The CPU was coated with some white powder. How the hell could I fry the CPU after a memory upgrade?

Later, I found that when I had put the memory in, one of the plastic pegs that separated the mobo from the metal case fell off and the half the mobo was touching the metal case. I am not sure which short circuited first, but... game over, man. Lost everything but the hard drives, CD-ROM, and floppy drive.

More Stunning Incompetence (1)

joeldg (518249) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636059)

From the article, as a heading..
"More Stunning Incompetence"

yes.. that sums up this entire slashdot article and that article and everything on that page.

and this makes news today.. wow.. geeks everywhere must be finally getting laid..

sheesh (1)

cyrax777 (633996) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636072)

the only MB i fried blew a capictor and from what the tech people could tell it was just a bad part and nothing I could have done about it it was going to blow eventualy.

requiem indeed (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636077)

The ultimate lessons are "Use your head." and "Check and cross-check the specs."

you know (4, Interesting)

HBI (604924) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636081)

i've built dozens of computers since 1987 and have cracked the case on thousands of others, literally. I've never toasted a part but for once, and that was an improperly soldered CPU board on a Compaq Proliant 2500 back in 1996. A surface-mount capacitor just fell off the board. Warranty replacement - the system was brand new.

Now, i've seen bad boards, particularly in the lower quality side of the Taiwanese parts market back in the late 80s, when if you ordered 10 motherboards you might expect 2 or 3 to fail. Never got any, though. I hear the same thing is true with some of the cheaper SiS based boards today.

I don't think it's all luck. Quality parts selection and careful handling will take you a long way.

Like most of you, when I need a question answered, (4, Funny)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636092)

***Like most of you, when I need a question answered, I usually hop right into the forum. The ET forum is blessed with the presence of many extremely experienced DIY people who almost always have helpful suggestions or at least a definite point of view on DIY issues.

welll, it might shock you but if the question is "what's burning??" I DON'T CHECK INTO THE FORUMS as the first thing, I'm kind of old fashioned in the sense that in a case like that I turn off the computer and see wtf is wrong with it..

This guy is a dumbass. (5, Funny)

cpeikert (9457) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636102)

Wow, he knocked a 'white doohickey' off his motherboard, walked around with it while his arm hairs were standing up straight from static electricity, and still expected the thing to work? What a chump. But not nearly as chumpy as someone who would do these things (i.e., me, with my first DIY system):

1. jammed a DIMM in backwards (this is hard -- the slot is asymmetric to avoid this very thing), turned the machine on, and quickly smelled the sweet smell of burning plastic as the DIMM holder melted, then tried to turn the machine off but forgot that you have to hold the power button down for several seconds, and stinking up the entire house before just pulling the damn plug...

2. vacuumed the dust out of the inside of the case while the machine was running, accidentally tapping the spinning CPU fan with the tip of the vacuum attachment, and snapping one of the fan blades off, making it spin out of control like a unbalanced centrifuge and making a horrible loud noise...

3. speculated that random machine crashes were being caused by a poorly-mounted heat sink, so removed the sink and turned the machine on, heard a loud "BEEEEEEP" and no start-up, then put his finger on the exposed die of the CPU to feel what was going on--OHDAMNIT'SHOTHOTHOTHOT, and enjoying the sweet smell of burning fingertip flesh...

No user serviceable parts inside your head (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9636235)

Your screwdriver license has been revoked.

What's the real point of this article? (2, Insightful)

redNuht (213553) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636103)

Why has this article been published on Slashdot anyway? Just to make fun of the poor fellow?

Or maybe Slashdot readers suddenly became a bunch of dumb wannabe geeks who really need that kind of "tips" and I haven't noticed yet.

Keep organized (2, Informative)

xray_dude (705320) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636106)

I find that having everything you might need next to you before you start building/reparing a system is the best way to avoid danger. Then ESD is not a problem as long as you periodically keep touching the case, as long as there is no potential difference between you and the case you should be fine. The more you move around the more chance of you building up charge.

It also helps to read manuals and how-tos if you are new to this stuff.


Watch for a next Slashdot story (4, Funny)

genka (148122) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636133)

Submited by GeorgeW.
In my last radio address I discussed how it was like to rule USA for the first time. As time went by, unfortunately, my country wasn't all wine and roses...

White Doohicky (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636155)

Where can I get white doohickies? I'm a EE and this is a new one on me. What is the V-I characteristic of the doohicky? Is it a linear device? Please, someone who knows, tell me more.

Pride (1)

NoxiousB (749211) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636163)

Is it just me, or does this guy seem kinda proud of the fact that hes a total idiot ?

What the?! (4, Funny)

SQLz (564901) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636164)

How is the 'Extreme' tech guy just nnow installing his first mobo? I mean, that shit should be a prerequisite to having a writing gig at a site called 'Extreme Tech'. I guess they are so extreme that their people have never built their own machine before.

Re:What the?! (1)

joeldg (518249) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636218)

His bio:,1589 ,a=112 0,00.asp

lists his "favorite movies" ...

yea.. techie all the f---ing way.. yea...

dumbass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9636165)

so basically, this guy is a dumbass, don't bother with the article

Damnedest thing I have ever seen. (4, Insightful)

jwcorder (776512) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636181)

If this guy works in IT he should be fired. This is a prime example of why I have a job and why I give people too much credit. Doohicky? If you don't know a resistor or a capacitor when you see one, you probably don't need to build your own pc. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

zxc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9636187)


what a story (1)

KillaKen187 (794540) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636189)

IMHO this was a great post I loved it... This was like a good book, couldn't wait to click to the next page and read on. I am sure every DIY has done at least one dumb thing that cost them some monitary pain. It was just humbling to know that I don't have the worst story :)

Why? (2, Informative)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636190)

So this guy who doesn't know what he's doing decides that he can tell others what to do?

The clueless leading the clueless.

I mean, it would be expected from somebody at THG..

Actually, now that I think about it, THG will probably post these article soon enough.

Worst I ever did.... (2, Interesting)

Bingo Foo (179380) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636195)

The worst I ever did was put a 486 in the socket turned 90 degrees. But I did it because the motherboard manual had a picture showing to put it in that way.

After smelling smoke, I reached for the plug, and turned to find the ZIF socket a smoldering mass melted into the motherboard. Removing the Bright green Cyrix heatsink from the ZIF socket revealed that I had shattered the ceramic block that encased the CPU chip.

I took the melted motherboard, cracked CPU, and the faulty manual back to the store and they acknowledged that the manual was wrong. They gave me a new mobo, and a used but working CPU, even though I had only bought the board from that store.

Mini-ITX boxes (1)

DrCode (95839) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636198)

Perhaps a beginner like the author should start with one of the mini-ITX's, like the ones made by Shuttle. I've built several PC's, but this was the easiest by far because it's already mostly done. The MB's already in with all the outside connectors attached, so all you have to do is add the CPU and RAM, then plug in the drives.

a new type of article is born... patent pending (1)

jdallien (564954) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636213)

With "Loyd"'s comments, this is sort of like MST3K for bad computer articles.

What a whore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9636220)

Useless article. Should be titled "How to screw up your computer for dummies."

Watch for my article "how I turned on my computer", then I'll submit it to slashdot for free publicity and put a bunch of advertising on the page.

slashdot-forum for geeky assholes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9636221)

God, it amazes me the types of answers coming out about this poor mans problem. ALL of you have had issues building systems.

get off your geek high horses and fuck yourself. At least someone will get pleasure out of it.

also, get a real job
move out of your parents basement
get a girlfriend/boyfriend/whatever
shut your mouth

Please Support Your Local CompuTard (2, Interesting)

killdashnine (651759) | more than 10 years ago | (#9636222)

For all the disparaging comments, the one good thing that comes of all this is this: Cheap Hardware. I've built a lot of machines and only once had a problem with overheating when I didn't quite get the heatsink on the CPU perfectly ... no burning smell, just the temp in BIOS rising swiftly was enough to make me pull the plug.

I've got another "jinx" friend who fries motherboards and graphics cards regularly. I laugh at him quietly so as not to give myself bad computer karma and realize that the more people feel that they can DIY, the cheaper components will get. Good can come from idiots of the world, however reading this is like reading Darwin Awards for computer retards.

Lynch meets Tommy Boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9636234)

Tommy Boy: I was just checkin the specs on the inline of the rotary girder...I'm retarded

Jim Lynch: Are you sure you weren't looking at the white doohickey that fell off?
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