Weekend Open Forum: Your biggest tech failures

By Matthew
Apr 22, 2011
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  1. Quinneypoo

    Quinneypoo Newcomer, in training

    My PSU burnt out my 2 500Gb SSD's, turns out my PSU was faulty and was giving out way too much voltage, $2,000 gone :(
  2. yRaz

    yRaz TechSpot Booster Posts: 768   +47

    I first started overclocking on AMD 754 motherboards. IIRC I had a sempron 2800+ that I got to 2.4ghz. Through trail and error, I broke 7 hard drives over the course of 2 months until I final got a better motherboard. Went from a gigabyte to an epox My CPU later died on that epox board. Don't know what overclocking has to do with killing IDE hard drives.

    My dad also thought it would be a good idea to buy a cheap powersupply when I built my AM2 rig. It was 800watts that we got for $15 and was free after rebate. Put it all together, hit the power button, thing exploded. Didn't take any of my hardware with it but I had to wait a week to find out if my new computer was okay. Bought a 700 watt OCZ that I still have today.
  3. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +97

    I wasn't an arsonist as a child, I promise! :haha:

    I'm currently in negotiations to have a local fire appliance stationed in my back garden, to provide for faster response times..... :D

    Interestingly though, I came downstairs yesterday morning to recover my crispy tower from the back garden (You'd have thrown it out the door when you realised everything was buggered too!) to find it wasn't there... We also have an old single seat sofa chair in the back garden too, and rather oddly that had been moved to the other side of our garden, and a trolley that had been dumped outside our boundaries had gone missing too.

    So I surmise the following happened:

    1. Someone saw my crispy tower and stole it because it must work - No the fire damage was cosmetics, honest!
    2. Moved the sofa chair to steal that too...
    3. Met my Ferral cat! :D Yeah, I have a cat that lives in it, so I kept it there as I kinda liked having a wild cat around the place!! LOL.
    4. Got attacked by my super dooper Ferral Security cat
    5. Jumped over the wall
    6. Threw the crispy tower in the shopping trolley
    7, Made a getaway, ghetto style! :haha:

    I'n proud to announce my wild Ferral cat has recovered from his ordeal, and is now back in location at the other end of the garden... I even gave him some tuna and milk for a job well done!

    Something tells me the fire jokes are going to come thick and fast for the foreseeable future! :haha:
  4. I had a 12 inch Cold Cathode light in my case. It was in there for about a year or so. One day my computer started smoking profusely. I immediately powered down my computer. After inspecting my case, it looks like the cold cathode had an electrical short or something. It gladly obliterated the cold cathode, burned through several nearby wires, and burned a hole through the side window of my case.

    To this day, I have never used a cold cathode again.
  5. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 904   +36

    I was replacing an IBM Thinkpad T43p heatsink assembly for the first time, and I swear it was epoxied on to the GPU because I had to use everything at my disposal: razor blades, ultra thin chisel tip screw drivers, what have you. After 20 minutes of absolutely no movement, it finally gives, but my screw driver keeps on going and shaves off a single exposed transistor on the south bridge chip. Goodbye motherboard and thank god for having a backup computer.

    However, after replacement of said motherboard I can take apart and put back together T42/p and T43/p computers with my eyes closed, and changing heatsink assemblies are a piece of cake. *shrug*
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 9,999   +710

    Wouldn't it be easier to simply quaff down a few pints of Guiness before you boot the dang thing up? That way you'd be a veritable "human fire extinguisher", primed and ready for whatever destruction might try to visit upon you.

    Rage2K has been pointing out that the build quality of Corsair PSUs had deteriorated, I guess somebody didn't listen. :eek:
  7. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +97

    I do not recall ever discussing with Rage2K about my PSU requirements. If you would like to clarify this, by all means read my original discussion, by clicking here. Or an even older one here.

    I also understand that the issue was due to Seasonic (Or another) no longer producing the supplies for the budget range (CX/TX I believe), but at no point have I see anyone (and that includes reviews online) suggest anything other than very favourable comments in response to the HX series Corsair PSU.

    I don't pretend to read every single post on this forum any more than you do really. Its easy to sit and make comments after the fact though, I could do that about you all day long as well, but have frankly better ways of spending my time.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 9,999   +710

    Be all that as it may, was the Guinness part funny?

    If you like I'll pull down the the PSU section of the post in question, and save you the trouble. Since yes, he was referencing the budget line of Corsair supplies.

    With that said, perhaps their high end PSUs have suffered in quality as well. After all, "where there's smoke there's fire"! (Or so they say)....:rolleyes:
  9. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,846   +61


    The HX series is still top notch as of now. The TX and CX have taken a downgrade in components though. The builders series is a lower end product, but for general purpose 'browsing' machines they are actually pretty good for what you pay for them.
  10. Porters

    Porters TechSpot Member

    an old HDD fragmented and went everywhere a few years back. Fortunately nobody in the room at the time. I came into the room and there was no smoke or anything, just a huge gash in the left side of the case, desk and wall, with shards of disk everywhere and smaller holes in the case's front and right side.
  11. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Posts: 666   +22

    This is pretty stupid.

    I "hot swapped" a 4pin floppy style power cable into an internal SoundBlaster audigy frontplate. With the power on. And I didn't line up the pins correctly either. There was a burning sensation at the tip of my finger and then all the psu cables started to burn. I pulled the plug and luckily the only damage was to the psu.

    Smoking power cables are scary :)
  12. secretassasin69

    secretassasin69 Newcomer, in training Posts: 80

    i have a system failure quite often on my xp backup/reserve machine also the main motherboard power cables are quite short and there is 1 case fan for intake but none for extraction please help!!!!
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 9,999   +710

    You story has indeed touched my heart. With that said, sadly this is the "news" forum. And while I'm sure that this is news to you personally, it lacks a certain broader appeal.

    Tell ya what, why don't you start a thread in the, "General Hardware" forum, and somebody will likely be along to help you.

    I'll give you a hint though, in most one fan cases, the one fan is usually set as an exhaust fan. Or, "extract", if you prefer.
     
  14. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 875   +93

    I must say I've been real lucky with computer components and PCs in general, I work on carpet all the time, sometimes on my bed, do my own wiring, work with components outside of the case. And to this day I've only lost a motherboard, twice. The first time I swear wasn't my fault, turned my PC on one day and "POP". RMA'ed it, new board freshly installed, two days later I trip on a USB wire yanking it out of the side of my case shorting the motherboard, so back to RMA it. Other than that I got hit by the Seagate firmware bug that bricks the drive in a bsy state, Seagate would have replaced it but that would have been 750GB of data lost so after some searching found out there was a way to fix it, ordered the $10 part online wired it in to the com port of the drive and cleared and bsy state and flashed the firmware, drive still works to this date. Also a 250GB Maxtor went clicky on me, didn't lose anything and now have a paper weight. Other than that, no major tech failures, my current X58 board is having trouble posting all of a sudden though, probably my overclock starting to give way.
  15. example1013

    example1013 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 280

    Unlike most of these stories, mine actually has to do with me purposely trying to destroy some tech.

    We had this really old-*** server at work, probably from the mid-90s. It had 7 HDDs that needed to be wiped. Problem was, I couldn't get it to boot at all, even off of floppy (you boot into the disk wipe program).

    So anyways, I needed to get the hard drives wiped, but there was no way I was going to do it the easy way. So my boss suggested I try drilling holes through the disks.

    One thing nobody ever tells you is that your average 3.5" HDD could probably easily block a small-caliber bullet. I first tried going in from the metal side, but it was slow going. So I tried the silicon side. Well, it turns out that the silicon side of a HDD is actually more resilient to drills than the metal side.

    An hour later, I had 2 broken drill bits and one HDD done. For the second, I just said "screw it", took the entire HDD apart, ripped out the disks and the rare earth magnets, and used the magnets to degauss the drives.

    The rest of the drives were sent to surplus (which has a large degaussing machine specifically for this purpose) with the giant server, because it would've taken me a week to do them all myself.


    Another short amusing story is when my dad bought a RadioShack power cord for some computer speakers that were missing one. I looked at the specs on the speakers, and then looked at the cord, and told him that the amperage on the adapter was too high, and he was going to fry the speakers. He told me it'd be fine.

    So I stood there and let him turn them on. Sure enough, less than a minute later the speakers were on fire, with smoke coming out. Needless to say, we didn't need the AC adapter anymore, and returned it.
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 9,999   +710

    That is indeed amusing. I would like to mention that an adapter having "too much amperage", unlikely. For example, if you have a device that runs on 12V DC, you could connect it to a car battery, and run it successfully, without damage. This is despite that fact that the car battery is capable of delivering perhaps up to a 1000 amps.

    The only real exception to this I've personally encountered is with photographic electronic flash guns. If they are connected to a very high capacity battery, the current inrush from the capacitors being charged too rapidly can cause overheating. Bear in mind that the caps can be totally discharged, after the flash has been fired at full power.

    Just some points to ponder.
  17. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,699   +586

  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 9,999   +710

    I think I'd opt for a kinder, gentler, more efficient method of euthanizing the drive, an oxy-acetylene torch with a burning head
  19. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,985   +66

    I choose to use my dead HDD as 'paper weight' until I got bored and tried to use it as frisbee aiming for the garbage bin; which sound not so exciting enough when compared to DBZ's and Captain's solutions; oh well I still have one of my dead DP35DP motherboards; I wonder what will be the most fun way to dipose it off.
  20. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +97

  21. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 9,999   +710

    Indeed it does! Unfortunately, you most likely won't be able to buy those armor piercing rounds again, until well after the royal wedding.
  22. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,277   +22

    I destroyed three Socket 478 motherboards and two (likely no-name brand) PSUs, under the mistaken assumption that the power cable at the back could be plugged in and out without switching off the power at the wall socket.

    Then came university, and enlightenment. And a fair bit of rage (Heh.) at being so...uncouth.
  23. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,985   +66

    Damn good for you, because for some it doesn't come until they have no teeth in their mouth ;)

    By the way there is a 'little' power on/off button available on the PSUs, although I am not really sure whether 'no name' brands have that.
  24. Lightning strike 1:
    Fried modem, router, and both Ethernet via power adapters. about $400

    Lightning strike 2: Thermaltake 750W cable management $220 it cost me.

    2 brand new asus 4870s + wireless PCI card due to a faulty P5Q Deluxe.
    Both replaced by the motherboard supplier but I am sure i saw him just put the faulty one back on sale lol.

    Lightning strike 3: Thermaltake 875W cable management again about $250.

    D**khead who wired my place, priceless.
  25. Opolis

    Opolis Newcomer, in training

    Had an old Pentium 3 pc way back when that had a similar power supply failure. It made a loud popping noise and shot a flame out the back of the pc. Luckily the power supply was the only component that died :(


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