Weekend Open Forum: Your biggest tech failures


Posts: 1,717   +363
By the way, I won a Radeon 9800 Pro on that competition, so all in all I had a much better PC in the end (had a GeForce 3 before that).


Posts: 5,631   +91
In late 90s (I think 98/99) I lost a Quantum HDD, I was using excel preparing some financial briefs, and when I hit Ctrl + S, PC just hung up, and as last resort when I pressed the reset button, nothing happened ..... so the long and short of it after fiddling around for a while it was clear the HDD had suddenly decided to die on me taking all my data along with it (as when it was disassembled it was beyond any recovery attempt). Other minor issues has been losing motherboards few times (once in a P3, and twice last year on my C2D rig).

One last bit, recently I found a fin from my Radeon 5770's fan resting on the PSU after somehow it decided to part ways with the fan (have no idea how it happened as I usually clean my system once every 45 days or so .... so it was discovered when I opened it for the same purpose), a minor blip hopefully which won't affect fan's overall performance ;)

Julio Franco

Posts: 8,676   +1,549
Staff member
I'm sure there have been a few over the years, but I remember one story in particular...

At the time I was running an AMD K6 processor. I didn't properly secure the heatsink and the processor was toast after a few minutes. The funny thing is the merchant put a small white sticker on the CPU for warranty purposes but when I came to inspect the processor, the sticker was falling off the CPU and was now brownish-yellow. I removed the sticker and sent the computer to their RMA department. When they asked about the sticker I acted like I didn't know what they were talking about. I got a new replacement K6 processor that I still laying around somewhere in the house.

Besides this I've had my share of dead monitors, hard drives and graphics cards, but nothing that's been my own screw up.


Posts: 298   +6
"Flames charred his chassis while the electrical surge fried his Asus ROG motherboard, Core 2 Quad Q8300, GeForce GTX 280, 8GB of RAM, 256GB RealSSD C300, and even his aftermarket CPU fan. Only his hard drive and Blu-ray player survived to tell the tale."

My deepest condolences...:(
BTW the picture is cute..:p


Posts: 14   +0
Was playing Counter Strike Source multiplayer one day and then all of a sudden my pc just shut down, no warning whatsoever. My PSU had died. I had bought it from another country where appliances used different voltages to function. Total mistake from my part.


Posts: 1,060   +103
i killed my D946G board (probably) by cleaning it up w/o grounding equipment. it randomly shut itself down and soon after won't start.

and killed 2x microsoft wireless mouse in the process of replacing its led due to moist hands while soldering it, short-circuit, again.


Posts: 3,415   +145
Biggest F-up was when I decided that I didn't want linux anymore.
[On to literary present tense]
Opened up Acronis, and deleted the partition, and shut down...few days later, GRUB ERROR 22. Oops. Ok, well at least I learned that GRUB is installed on the linux partition for future reference.
Timing's not bad either, I just made my flashdrive bootable and wanted to test out some of the disk utilities. This should be easy to fix.

I went through a frustrating series of reinstalling linux, trying to overwrite the MBR with windows XP default, screwing with my flashdrive utilities and what not I don't even know.
Screw it, I'd need to clean out viruses and uninstall untold hoards of bloatware and sh%! in general anyway.

Boot up into my flashdrive; SELECT VOLUME TO FORMAT:
14983268 KB
56538921 KB
15298478 KB
Uh, bleh...IDK I think my flashdrive is the third one...WRONG.

Blanked my newly set up flashdrive; no backup.
Somehow, it also really effed $#@! up and the computer would not even boot off a CD, so it was completely toast.
Well, I got to build another one.

My computer got an extra 80GB, and I picked out the power supply to use the 12v rail. Of course I learned a lot too.


Posts: 3,357   +116
"Flames charred his chassis while the electrical surge fried his Asus ROG motherboard, Core 2 Quad Q8300, GeForce GTX 280, 8GB of RAM, 256GB RealSSD C300, and even his aftermarket CPU fan. Only his hard drive and Blu-ray player survived to tell the tale."

My deepest condolences...:(
BTW the picture is cute..:p
Thanks dude. Still very gutted about it tbh.

On a more positive note I kind of have an idea of what I'd like to build as a replacement, and am busy building up the components needed.

I have a feeling it might take a while to replace my 256GB SSD though! Donations are always welcome!! :haha:

.....Was worth a try!


Posts: 612   +16
My laptop is super selective, the WiFi only works at home, in my grandmother's house and in a friend's house. When I try bringing it to other places, it suddenly goes Blue screen! :(

another thing..

I bought a new USB last last week I think. Stored valuable files, pictures, videos and installers that took hours to get. Removed it(properly) and plugged it in after a few house and poof! all my files suddenly disappeared.

A really really sad story. :(


Posts: 177   +29
I was once formatting an old hard drive, hooked up with with a usb adapter and external power supply, when suddenly, I heard a loud crack, followed by a stinging sensation in my arm. I had the drive upside down, with the pcb facing up, and apparently, the controller chip exploded and I got a nice piece of cmos fragment in my left arm, dug in about 5mm. I can't imagine having gotten hit in the face with that.....


Posts: 513   +0
Koof said:
Recently we had an electrical storm go through and it somehow made its way onto our home network. --- 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.
Dude, I've been there. That really stinks. A ground-to-cloud lightning struck our home back in the 90's, split a 150 year old oak in half, landed in the house's ground-wiring, took out almost everything grounded inside the house (TV, dish, water heater, telephones, you name it). Not the computers though, but the telephone jacks virtually exploded! Nothing a fire extinguisher couldn't handle, fortunately.


Some big failures (been through a lot of them...) would include the installing of my Corsair TX850 (brand new). I installed it in a pretty neat PC (2008), and the PC did not start any more. I repeated the process on another PC, same results - both PC's did not start. I restored them, but to no avail, they both went ka-putt. Turns out the Corsair PSU was faulty, and shorted out both PC's on contact. Only an ATi Radeon 7000 survived, and even it is a bit funny sometimes.

Oh yeah, my sister once dropped her cellphone in liquid nitrogen. Don't ask how it happened, it's embarrassing :) - It still worked, but the SIM-card froze. Literally...

During the construction of the newest PC (the old one accidentally burned due to cable shortage), once completed - did not start. Five hours of intense hardware diagnostics followed to no avail. Hey presto, the PSU-button was flicked off...

James Bond failed his mission so to speak. He forgot to refuel his car.


Always had a desktop with PSU capable of switching voltage.
As my tower CPU was always placed below the table and one fine day, my baby cousin came and accidentally switched the voltage of the PSU.

After bidding farewell to them, I switched on the power and my desktop got fried..


Lost data on 3 hard drives, two nvidia graphics cards over the years , and my mobo is starting to go at the minute some peeps have no luck lol lol


Posts: 489   +0
About 6-7 years ago, I had a Pentium 4 gaming PC which was in an upstairs office. After I came back from dinner one evening, I found my PC completely turned off. It appeared to have been hit by some kind of power surge while I was having dinner. While the motherboard, CPU and video card seemed to be alright, I lost 2 of my 3 hard disks, 2 out of 3 memory sticks, a PCI Raid card and my Creative sound card. For a while, I tried running Windows XP with just 256 MB RAM but eventually built a new Athlon 64 PC. By the way, the motherboard, CPU and video card died a few months later. It turned out that the battery on my MGE UPS was dead already so my PC was no longer protected :(

Greg S

Posts: 1,607   +442
Had a 4 and a half year old 160gb WD HDD that had the boot sector go bad. Had to get a new HDD as the boot sector could not be rebuilt by the Windows install disk, nor could I format it as it thought that the disk was "in use". Only later did I learn that the sata port was bad.


Posts: 1,379   +70
I had a beloved "all singing and dancing" 650 Watt powerbox a few years back that i spent all my saved cash on.

The noise it made when it blew up made me leave a stain on my chair that's still here today...Bad times :(


Posts: 716   +2
A few years a go I was booting up my computer when the power went out for a second while windows was loading. I reboot, but it kept shutting off after a few seconds. I tried unplugging everything and reconnecting it all, but all that did was make smoke come out of my HDD's PCB. I RMA'd my motherboard and HDD, because they were dead. When I got the replacements, I put everything back together, booted up, and found out that my optical drive had also been fried.

A little more recently, one of the push pins holding the heatsink and fan onto my 8500gt broke, while the computer was on. Everything artifacted and shut down. I fixed the heatsink and stuck it back on, but when I tried to boot up, a chip on the video card exploded and started spewing smoke until I yanked out the power cord.


i have been building systems since 1980 and enjoyed reading all the postings, and can say my only experience with a blowup was when my boss hit his fist on a eagel computer because it
hung up and the power supply went up in smoke.
YOU FIGURE that was the problem !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Posts: 401   +2
BSOD's for a long time. And for a period after each BSOD, I got the NTLDR error. If I had been registered (or known what it was), I would have posted. I don't have the error code. The computer is not in use. I'll never know what caused it. It was an old XP computer.


Posts: 1,156   +146
Wow Leeky! Go big or go home right?

Mine wasn't quite as exciting as that, but I was building a computer for a customer, and one of the ram modules I got with her parts was bad, so I took one out of my system to put into hers. Apparently, I had a static charge, and zapped my motherboard, cpu, graphics card, and the rest of my ram. Somehow the ram I took out for her survived, so now she has an awesome machine and I have a paperweight. I RMA'd everything and it took about 2 weeks to get back.

That was the last time I will forget to wear my antistatic wristband.


Posts: 422   +292
I've cracked 3 $400 touch screen panels when replacing them.

Other than that I haven't had that many problems with hardware. Knock on wood.

A friend of mine fried his motherboard with a shop vac hose though.


Posts: 3,073   +97
I usually leave my PC on at all times without any problems, but once I came back home to find my Radeon's fan spinning like crazy, a burning smell and the computer unresponsive... just a black screen. The card never worked again of course, and I'm not sure what triggered it was supposed to be idle.

Other than that my first Xbox 360 RRoD on me just one day after buying it (the replacement lasted for about a year), and I once went into a jacuzzi hot tub with my cell phone on the pocket... didn't even realize until jumping out 30 minutes later so the sucker never stood a chance