Weekend Open Forum: Your biggest tech failures

By Matthew · 100 replies
Apr 22, 2011
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  1. We've all been there: you're kicking *** and taking names when all of a sudden you're staring at a memory error, blue screen of death or, in the case of one TechSpot moderator, a plume of smoke. During a recent round of Team Fortress 2, Leeky's four-month-old Corsair HX750 exploded, taking practically his entire system down in a blaze of glory.

    Read the whole story
  2. lost data from a 500gb barracuda because the pcb on it fried :(
  3. My 8800M GTX in my Alienware m15x died and alienware didn't have any left in stock. It was discontinued.

    Bought a desktop pc... lol
  4. Cueto_99

    Cueto_99 TS Booster Posts: 248   +12

    So this story starts when I wanted to go for the 3 way crossfire with a set of 4830's and an Asus m4a79T Deluxe... but they all had the stock Sapphire cooler (it takes two slots)... I set them up and everything was fine, although the temps of the one in the middle were a little bit high (around 90°C... yeah right... a little bit... LOL) so you know how it ends... I was playing Dragon Age Origins when suddenly the game freezes... after a couple testings... one of the cards is gone :( so know the remaining ones have a zalman cooler, just in case...
  5. Cueto_99

    Cueto_99 TS Booster Posts: 248   +12

    I also lost a seagate external 500gb drive when it fell off my desk... Don't know which one hurted more between the drive and the graphics card...
  6. Koof

    Koof TS Rookie

    One of my friends when first learning how to build a computer stuck a stick of RAM in the wrong way somehow and released the blue smoke of death.

    Recently we had an electrical storm go through and it somehow made its way onto our home network. So we ended up losing the ethernet port on our main computer (eventually the whole computer stopped working), two Xbox 360's (one can now only connect wirelessly, and the other won't display anything, this is alright seeing as we had 4 Xboxs before the incident), our main router/modem, a 8 port Ethernet switch, and now our dish receiver, blueray player and networked printer can't connect to ethernet. Not as much of a significance but we also lost an old CRT tv and a coaxial splitter. I suppose this isn't really a tech failure on my part (surge protectors don't protect against lightning, and I suppose I could've unplugged everything, but that would just be a pain), but it still sucks.
  7. spikester48661

    spikester48661 TS Enthusiast Posts: 101

    Buying a dell laptop and a HP laptop two tech f#$k-up at one time.
  8. I was having issues with random memory dumps and whatnot, come to find out when I changed out the chassis on my desktop gaming rig. I was little too harsh on my motherboard. However at the time I couldn't pinpoint the issue. So I bought a new motherboard and powersupply in the process. Live and learn
  9. Very first i7 920 i bought i switched the crappy fan cooler for a water block. But while tightening up the water block I was far to rough on it, trying to get the max cooling out of it I ended up crushing the cpu onto the motherboard. The pins shorted out burning the cpu and the motherboard both at the same time. 700 bucks gone with one tighten of a screwdriver.
  10. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,485   +45

    biggest fail for me is by far breaking my 40inch samsung lcd while sneezing trying to put a bluray disk in the player. My sneezes are kind of uncontrollable.
  11. Cota

    Cota TS Enthusiast Posts: 513   +8

    One of my costumers HDD was lost after the external enclosure cable got suck on some keyboards and such things, when i realized it was pulled it fell a bit and the cable saved it from a sure death only get disconnected and fall when i tried to grab it :(

    Since then i use backup cradle's nailed to the desk, and about the costumer well i told him the truth and i gave him a new one (but better one since he did lost his files).
  12. Very similar to the story you quoted: My old Pentium based PC literally blew up after a 7-day session of Counter Strike. The PSU exploded, and there were flames coming out the back of the case. Everything was lost, including my thesis.
  13. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    I think it was 2000 and my sister in laws little girl thought that the 80mm fan atop my machine was where apple juice was supposed to go. I watched everything go up in smoke including my new thunderbird 1.2 Ghz and my badass Voodoo3 card. (which was more of a pain in the ***) If memory serves, It was over $300 (which was a lot of money back then ...heh heh)
    There were no survivors.
  14. Mikymjr

    Mikymjr TS Booster Posts: 124   +9

    @ work i had to assemble some old cases from 3 years ago with a pair of new Micro-ATX boards, etc....
    But after having started one of them up i heard a sound coming from the case it's powersupplie. To me i know that electrical sound as if somethings about to burn or explode. So i pull out the powercord without hesitating. Right after that, i see some smoke coming out. Lucky me i reacted fast enough to safe the other components in that pc =p.
    My pc had another problem. My DDR2 had some kind of defect. I don't really know if something inside had burned on those ram sticks, but for some odd reason it gave me a lot of blue screens since the day i bought it. And i thought it was something else until i replaced them and tested them with prime95
  15. Mikymjr

    Mikymjr TS Booster Posts: 124   +9

    By the way that picture is nice!
  16. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    A couple of years back I moved house. Most everything went into the moving truck, except some delicate glassware and of course my computer + components.
    Last trip from the old place to the new- full trunk of components, front passenger seat and footwell crammed with parts for a new build, back seat....family pet -German Shepherd....45+kg.
    Stopped off for some supplies at the store on the journey. A short while afterwards a woman tied her dog to a litter bin outside the store while she shopped.
    I came out of the store to see my large shepherd raving like a loon from the front seat of the car (closer to the other dog) jumping up and down on an EVGA 790i Ultra motherboard. The box, strangely enough, did not afford the motherboard the protection it required from having a large animal pounding on it and the board itself must have attempted to conform to the seat it was being pushed into - 2 corners broke off the pcb, along with a good portion of the suface mount capacitors and the main heatsink and fan. Strangely enough the CPU I'd been to lazy to uninstall for the move survived intact.

    An object lesson in Murphy's Law and not thinking ahead! (although I still can't work out how a large dog managed to hurdle a high back (tombstone) car seat).
  17. techfiend4

    techfiend4 TS Rookie

    had 4 toshiba 2.5" hard drives in my hp dv series laptops die, 4th was just 2 days ago. the rest all died with in the same year they were purchased. i stick to WD!. then a week ago on my month old rig i just built i was getting random bsods and traced it down to the ram (4x2gigs g skill ripsaw rated very good ram!!) all were bad, no over clocking, power supply was tested, and have a battery backup/surge protector. weird to see all the ram go bad at once!
  18. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    Biggest actual failure was frying my computer when I decided to splurge on a newfangled CD-ROM drive. Nothing dramatic, but after about 10 hours of plugging in everything 20 times wondering why it didn't work, went to buy a new motherboard. And a few hours later, a new CPU.

    An almost catastrophic failure was knocking over a glass of juice on my current computer. It seemed to have just spilled on the side of the case, so I was very thankful, nothing bad happened, I wiped it up, computer worked fine.

    Then when I was upgrading the computer a few months later, putting in a H50 cooler, and took the whole computer apart. I found dried cherry juice all over the inside of the case, motherboard tray, hard drive cage. Somehow it managed to avoid every single component and just get all over the case itself. Now all my drinks go on a side table, and not the computer desk.
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,006   +2,532

    I did a BIOS update on an Intel 965 board with the jumper in the reset position.

    After the board went to the great beyond, I put the HDD into another computer. The first message I received on the screen was, "The BIOS update was unsuccessful"!

    No s*** Sherlock. :mad:
  20. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    :haha: Thats a 10!
  21. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 5,332   +101

    Agreed haha.
  22. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +902

    The first time I tried installing Linux on a command line... partitions simply went kaboom >.<
  23. Nima304

    Nima304 TS Guru Posts: 365   +81

    I killed my 400GB 5,400RPM laptop hard drive after I set the swap size to 50GBs once. I let the computer hibernate so I could eat dinner, then came back to find a SMART disk error staring me in the face. I owned the laptop for a single day.
  24. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 839   +29

    Nothing too bad for me so far (Knocks on wood A LOT!! :p) Had my Nvidia 512mb 9800GT die on me a couple months back. Made me really sad :(. Luckily I had just picked up a computer at a garage sale for $20 that had a 1gb 8800GTS in it with the dual slot cooler :D. I think it actually runs better than my old 9800gt :p
  25. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,378   +168

    There were a few, but one that's particularly memorable was when I borrowed a Radeon 9500. In the early days of shaders ATI had a programming competition and I decided to program Frogger using pixel shaders. I did most of the work using the reference device (very slow software emulation), but the last weekend before submission I wanted to run it on a real card for debugging.

    So I borrowed a Radeon 9500 from work, and installed it. It worked fine, but I guess the extra power wasn't connected well (I remember having problems with it), or the board just didn't tolerate the power use well enough. I didn't notice anything immediately, but the PC began to freeze occasionally, even after returning the card. Long story short, it turned out that not only had something in the AGP slot fried, but a memory slot along with it.

    I ended up replacing that Pentium 3 and motherboard for an Athlon XP. It was a pretty cheap upgrade and a great performance boost.

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