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My best and worst PC-related moments

Posted on 9th Nov 2010 at 08:46 by Antony Leather with 112 comments

Antony Leather
I was talking cars with my brother the other day. He has owned several old VW Beetles which he's tweaked and modded over the years so has had plenty of good and bad experiences with them.

For example, the engine exploding and dumping all it's oil on the M4 (the stain is still there seven years later). I have a more modern car but we still have plenty to reminisce about our driving escapades.

Then I realised that I had just as many, if not more, interesting moments with the various incarnations of PCs I've owned too. Here are a few of them; feel free to share yours in the comments too.

No.1 The RAM stick of death.
Timing was of the essence with this one. I had a spare stick of RAM that I was installing into my parent's PC one weekend. It was a dinky case so was a little fiddly. This wasn't helped by the fact it was quite noisy - the family were round, the washing machine was on as well as two TV's.

My best and worst PC-related moments My best (and worst) PC-related moments
Thankfully, you're more likely to be killed by a shark than a stick of RAM.

Then, the instant I placed the stick of RAM in the DIMM slot, we had a power cut and the hole house seems to thump into blackness. For about 5 seconds, (it seemed a lot longer) I thought I was probably dead, having received an electric shock, and at the very best, I'd shorted out the electrics and the PC was toast. Thankfully, it was just a badly timed power cut but it had happened the instant the stick of RAM clipped into place. Thankfully the only thing I had to change was my underwear.

No.2 Water + electricity don't mix.
For those of you that know me, you'll know that I've been into my water cooling for getting on for a decade now. I've only ever had one hardware-killing leak though and this happened after a new build where I'd stupidly taken someone's advice that 7/16 ID tubing doesn't need hose clamps. Having heated it up and shrunk-fitted it onto the barbs, I was playing Battlefield 2 shortly after its release and was amazed by some awesome water sound effects that sounded like I was next to a river.

I then realised I was on a map called Strike at Karkand in the middle of a city and the sound was actually coming from my PC. The horror of the situation inside my PC was quickly revealed as a quick glance at the motherboard showed one of the hoses on the CPU waterblock had come loose and was spraying the motherboard with coolant.

Thankfully, only the motherboard and sound card had gone the way of the Dodo - amazing given that my PC had decided to become a jacuzzi. I stuck with water cooling though but ever since then I've always used hose clamps as the tubing can become loose over time and when warm, can become flexible enough to come off.

No.3 The upgrade bug
Is it just me or do you still yearn for the days of the 9800 Pro? It seemed that back then spending £200-300 on a new high-end graphics card usually yielded a massive increase in frame rates and visual splendour. One of the most prominent PC moments for me was when Nvidia's 6-series was released back in 2004. A few games I was playing at the time made use of Shader Model 3, Far Cry being one of them.

I ordered my 6800 GT online and went to collect it from the store. What followed next was a week of solid jaw dropping and wide-eyes as my favourite games benefited from superb water effects and the like as well as huge increases in frame rates from my 9800 Pro. It was the only time I've paid more than £300 for a graphics card and in my view it was money well spent, especially after I water-cooled it.

No.4 It's alive!!!
For most people, building your own PC and powering it on for the first time is quite a big moment.

This might be the reason why building my first water-cooled PC a few years later was an even more exciting experience. It was terrifying too as I'd only bought my motherboard and graphics card a few weeks earlier. Having connected everything up in the loop outside the case first to get my bearings, with no leaks present I dismantled everything and started to install it into my case.

Over the next two days I sat leak testing again, this time with just the pump running, terrified to turn my system on too. Eventually though I persuaded myself there were no leaks and turned my PC on too. The combination of the sound of the hard drives spinning up and water gushing through the waterblocks was terrifying and awe-inspiring at the same time. I felt like the creator of Frankenstein - it was like some super-advanced PC had come to life in my living room.

So what are your best and worst PC moments? Let us know in the comments.

112 Comments

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memeroot 9th November 2010, 09:09 Quote
every time I plug in headphones or usb to my current computer... no earth
lifer 9th November 2010, 09:13 Quote
+1 for building my first water cooled system, man I felt like GOD himself!
mingingbollock 9th November 2010, 09:16 Quote
How many of us have had a old psu go pop, just as you plug in the power cable or press that power button , certainly a heart stopper lol
MaverickWill 9th November 2010, 09:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifer
+1 for building my first water cooled system, man I felt like GOD himself!

What he said.
KieX 9th November 2010, 09:22 Quote
Think my worst moment was accidentally droping my brand new i7 920 on the floor after saving up two months for it.:( Equally bad was dropping my old 4870X2 when trying to clean it out. Thankfully both survived

Best moment I think was like you, getting the 6800GT. And back then a simple OC meant you had the same card as the Ultra. Good times.
Gremlin 9th November 2010, 09:30 Quote
Two horrible ones come to mind for me

Back around 96 one late night around 2am I was sitting in my room and I noticed a switch on the back of the power supply and I didn't exactly know what it did and being the inquisitive kinda guy I am I proceeded to flick it

What proceeded next was the power supply blowing up because I unknowingly switched its input voltage from 240v which we run on, to 110V and as you can imagine the resulting surge blew it so big that a fireball erupted out the back of the PSU as well as a resulting bang and smoke like I'd just let off a stun grenade in my face...

What followed next was a 3 month search to find a PSU that fit the case because it was one of those custom Packard bell jobs that had its own custom PSU!

The next big stuff up was when I was given an Athlon XP system to keep that had random shutdown problems only to discover it was built by someone who forgot to put thermal paste on the heatsink! I then was happy as a pig in crap at my new whiz bang system and proceeded to show it off to a mate who was chewing on his silver necklace only to have it break and fall on the motherboard while it was turned on, and as you can imagine the PC let off a giant zap and everything died.

It's fair to say I'm no longer friends with that person....
Jack_Pepsi 9th November 2010, 09:33 Quote
One of my worst moments, which in hind-sight is nothing now; was when I got my first PC back when I was 10. My olds had got me a Packard Bell P166MMX and with only a few months in I had got a cheap crappy PC Line floppy disk caught in the drive.

Worryingly I janked it out causing the metal contact to say inside the drive. I was so scared, a brand new machine and I had done this. Suffice to say I had more balls taking the machine part than I did telling my parents.

Maybe if that hadn't have happened I wouldn't be working as an IT Tech today.

Another worst scenario was when I pissed on one of my Shuttles. Old Peculiar is brilliantly dangerous stuff.

:D

One of the best, overclocking the aforementioned P166MMX by changing a jumper and removing the plastic fan grill from the back and installing more EDO Simms.

Another, getting my XP-M to 8°C with only winter air funnelled directly into my Shuttle and then OC'd it to 2.7GHz/Modding my old 9800SE AIW so that all the pixel pipelines were enabled.

\m/
wuyanxu 9th November 2010, 09:36 Quote
i remember going from a lowly x1650 to 8800gtx, performance and visual increase was HUGE!
Blarte 9th November 2010, 09:36 Quote
I was in the middle of an upgrade bought all the water cooling gubbings and then bought a thermaltake Mozart Case and left it in the garage until I was happy with the loop and set out I had planned. It never actually got put in that case as I reversed into it in the garage squashing it against the wall.
pistol_pete 9th November 2010, 09:40 Quote
My first and worst attempt at overclocking involved setting the bios to load 'high performance settings' which I now understand set the fsb to 133 from 100mhz. Naturally my 1.3ghz duron disagreed, and on a budget mobo from 2003 there was no bios restore if an oc failed. I paniced for an afternoon, and with no net access for help i even faced the humiliation of asking the 'tech guys' at pc world if they could do anything. Yes, for £60- no thanks. After hours fiddling with the system on the floor I somehow managed to reset the cmos with a jumper, but didn't realise it at the time. Xp loaded up as if nothing had ever happened. I love how no matter what punishment and trauma you go through with hardware, windows always seems oblivious.
BRAWL 9th November 2010, 09:40 Quote
Building my first system back in 2003 and forgetting the basic rule of thumb is to actually put the CPU in the socket... after careful and destructive raging, standing there glaring at the problem, I checked through the boxes and there was my loving cpu sitting there all new and unused... poor cpu.

epic sighs were had and various insults to my own stupidity.
Kúsař 9th November 2010, 09:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mingingbollock
How many of us have had a old psu go pop, just as you plug in the power cable or press that power button , certainly a heart stopper lol

I've experienced one such funny moment. It was like in the Star Wars movie - after plugging in the power cable a dampened explosion came out of PSU, lights went out and sparks were all over the place.
PlayedStation 9th November 2010, 10:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gremlin
It's fair to say I'm no longer friends with that person....

Was it because he wore a silver chain? :)

I did the whole switching of the psu supply thing too....schoolboy error
exceededgoku 9th November 2010, 10:05 Quote
I have quite an extensive history of computer related incidents/things:
- Old Cyrix 133(?) CPU running windows 95 kept on coming up with "program has performed an illegal operation" so my attempt at a fix was to upgrade bios. Which for some reason had no effect whatsoever. This system still works to this day. Although I would never use it for anything other than legacy games,etc.
- Numerous dead power supplies, always around Christmas as well when there's nowhere to get a replacement (I HATE THAAT TIME OF YEAR!). I now always buy 2 powersupplies, and have always used a surge protector...
- My watercooling set up is constantly leaking but the coolant is non conductive and it's only right at the radiator (the drain pipe will not stop leaking despite my best efforts! Including epoxy resin).
- A couple of bad bios flashes including one for an AMD build, had a power cut mid bios flash. I tried everything to recover it including taking the bios chip out and putting it on another motherboard - this didn't work.
Digi 9th November 2010, 10:06 Quote
I will definitely echo the 9800 pro comment. I bought a 9700 pro at launch and a few months later went up to the 9800 pro (300-400 quid both times) and thought I was a gaming god.

PSU's blowing up in your face is a definite bad time as mentioned above.

Building your first PC is - for everyone imo - a fantastic moment and great achievement when you realise you made this pile of parts into a living, breathing machine! My first was a 486 DX2. Setting all the jumpers with my dad watching over the shoulder is why I am a techy today.

Overclocking my Cyrix by only 33 or 66mhz but on a 233mhz chip and feeling amazed and empowered!

**EDIT**: Running the old DOS based ghost to mirror one hard drive to a new and accidentally mixing up source/target so you put a blank drive over the data on the one you wanted to copy and lose it all. Serious ARRRRRRGGGH moment!
cypressgroove 9th November 2010, 10:12 Quote
Worst / scariest moments would have to be:

1) I upgraded to a Radeon X850XT from some awful old card. Fired up CoD 2 to see how it had improved things meaning just to test it. Two hours later, still playing and sorta immersed in the mud and smoke when I thought to myself "Wow, this new card really makes me feel like I'm *there*. I mean, just wow, it's like I'm getting olfactory hallucinations. I can *really* smell the gunsmoke...." a few minutes later the 'gunsmoke' starts obscuring the screen and I looked across to realise it was *pouring* out of the back of my case. Immediately switched the computer off *bricking it* and leaned round the back to see I'd set fire to the PSU. >.< I can only imagine what would have happened if I hadn't acted quickly as PSUs have a habit of taking whole systems with them when they go. Amazingly enough, once I upgraded to a decent case and put in a new PSU, it turned out none of the other components had been damaged at all.

2) Was doing 'the hard drive shuffle' which is when I buy/uncover/get given a box of old hard drives and I'm trying to see if any of them still work. Basically just a repeated process of power down test rig, unplug one HDD, plug in next HDD power up, rinse and repeat. Anyway this was back in the days of IDE drives with the 4 pin molex connector. At some point I guess I must have got distracted and forgotten to power down the rig. Unplugging the old drive didn't clue me in, but seeing a frigging great blue spark go flying off the molex when I went to plug in the new one brought me up to speed with brown-trouser inducing speed. I realised afterwards I'd been doing it so long I'd literally edited out the sound of all the fans like the ticking of clocks. >.<

Best moment was probably jumping from an old pentium 4 rig with that aforementioned X850 up to the C2D rig with an 8800GTX then firing Crysis up for the first time and just letting my jaw hit the floor. Good times. ^_^
rollo 9th November 2010, 10:19 Quote
had a few psus go pop with some interesting results.

We got a cheap psu think it was 250 watt for a dead old system for a pc my sister was using ( pc world it was from ) we powered it up and for 10mins it was fine, Then all we heard was a bang and electric cut out.

Checked the psu it had a huge whole in it. Suffice to say pc world was never brought from again.

overclocking my 6800 gt to ultra performance was fun also.

+1 to the water cooling, It does have its risks and id always use clamps just safer.
Tattysnuc 9th November 2010, 10:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaverickWill
What he said.

ditto. So far have killed a Maximus II Formula, GTX 295 due to a leaky Swiftech integrated Pump/cpu sink (the seals leaked) leaking water into the PSU which was mounted at the base of the case. I've been paranoid about leaks ever since, to the point where my now I will only mount power supplies ABOVE the components.

I'm about to break that convention with the my latest acquisition - a Obsidian 700, but that's only because the PSU has a physical barrier between it and the mob compartment.

I've been folding 24 hours for the past 3 days and still dont trust my newest build which uses compression fittings. How can a fitting that rotates not leak I ask you!!!
Snips 9th November 2010, 10:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaverickWill
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifer
+1 for building my first water cooled system, man I felt like GOD himself!

What he said.

I keep getting reminded by the Mrs that it's "GOD herself!"
Combatus 9th November 2010, 10:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tattysnuc
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaverickWill
What he said.
I've been paranoid about leaks ever since, to the point where my now I will only mount power supplies ABOVE the components.
!

That's very true indeed. Thankfully the Lian Li V2000 I'm using has a mid-section plate which practically seals the PSU in the bottom. I'd never have the PSU pointing up in the bottom of a water-cooled case, just too scary.
mi1ez 9th November 2010, 10:45 Quote
My first build with my Asus P5K-E. I pressed the power button and everything spun up and lit up before going black and silent again...

A few seconds later it powered itself back up and started the Windows install. It still scares the life out of me whenever I disconnect the power and have to turn it on afterwards that it looks like it's died after just a couple of seconds before powering on.
Mattmc91 9th November 2010, 10:47 Quote
I was flicking a 10p piece around with side panel off, flicked out of my hand and onto a 2 day old 5770. Massive blue spark.

PCB was roasted but still works to this day! (in the mrs PC)
Ross1 9th November 2010, 10:52 Quote
Worst - Probably when aria sold me a dodgy mobo and wouldnt give a refund, and then ignored my emails. Was a lot of money for me, and made me feel robbed and helpless.

Best - putting an accelero s1 on what was a very loud 8800GTS. silence is bliss.
Kamikaze-X 9th November 2010, 10:52 Quote
worst moment? the long period stuck with 2GB of ram when the other two sticks would not work at all, even after a motherboard swap.

5 different sets of ram from corsair, and it turns out their revisions weren't compatible with the p35 or p45 chipset and they sent me a 2x2GB set of RAM which has worked perfectly.

all that after wanting to upgrade my old DHX which would go all the way from 800 up to 1150mhz. i miss them :(
ChaosDefinesOrder 9th November 2010, 11:00 Quote
Good moment 1:
going from a factory built AMD sempron 2400+, geforce 4200, 80GB IDE HDD and flickery 17" CRT to a brand new PC that I built myself from scratch with i7 920, GTX280, 300GB Velociraptor and a 27" monitor! Holy cow that's one hell of a difference! Also had the "it's alliiii-iiii-iiiive" moment!

Good moment 2:
Using Linux to repair the MBR of a hard drive that I thought had died and wouldn't let the PC POST! Used a IDE to USB adapter to get round the POST issue and after repairing the MBR, miraculously the data survived! Copied out all data and never used that HDD again 'cos I didn't trust it anymore, but was a big relief to get everything back!

Bad moment:
Couple of years ago XP decided to corrupt my entire fonts directory. Windows looks very odd when the ONLY font that still works is "system"... including the start button...

Bad moment of a friend of mine many years ago:
He just bought a brand new Pentium 3 and we had gotten back to another friend's place to install it (part of regular LAN parties). Open case, remove fan, remove heatsink, install processor etc. Go to turn on PC and there's a brief spin of fans before it just... stops... with a definite electrical burning smell... friend frantically re-opens case. "Oh crap, where's the CPU fan?" *looks in right hand* "oh... that was stupid". Was still holding the fan the whole time!!! Somehow managed to take out the motherboard and PSU with that - not sure how!!!
Bakes 9th November 2010, 11:01 Quote
When I went from an 800MHz Pentium 3 with a Ti4200 to a 4.2GHz i7 920 with a 5870 :)

I guarantee none of you have had better performance upgrades than that lol
Bakes 9th November 2010, 11:02 Quote
^ whooo chaosdefinesorder we had basically the same upgrade lol
PlayedStation 9th November 2010, 11:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes
I guarantee none of you have had better performance upgrades than that lol
Touche,
I went from a Playstation 3 to a PC.
Evildead666 9th November 2010, 11:37 Quote
Worst moment :
Trying to install an external ZiP100 drive into a tower PC, got the power set up and data cable, but got something wrong. Start up PC, cue ZiP drive power cable going bright white and cutting through IDE cables like butter. Large amounts of smoke through the PSU. Strangely everything survived. ;)

Best time :
Building my first PC, going from a PII300 and a S3 Virge/Voodoo1 to a PIII 450(@600) and a Matrox G400 clocked at 'Max' speeds, and a UDMA66 HDD. Speed demon of the times.
Phil Rhodes 9th November 2010, 11:40 Quote
Quote:
After hours fiddling with the system on the floor I somehow managed to reset the cmos with a jumper, but didn't realise it at the time. Xp loaded up as if nothing had ever happened. I love how no matter what punishment and trauma you go through with hardware, windows always seems oblivious.

Had a similar experience recently - an ever so cheap and nasty Atrix PSU died, taking out the motherboard with it, and I simply threw in another similarly-specced but completely different piece of hardware and Windows just dealt with it.

Try that with Linux.
TWeaK 9th November 2010, 11:40 Quote
I had an X1900XT and thought the fan on it sounded a bit like a hair drier, so I decided to replace the heatsink. Unfortunately, it was a long(ish) card and the Zalman flower cooler didn't cool the VRMs on the end of the board. This, coupled with a very hot summer, perpendicular hard drive cage and leaving games running when I was away from the computer, fried the card. The BIOS screen looked like Matrix code! I later found out (shortly after finally chucking the card) that I may have been able to fix it by putting it in the oven for a bit.

I also had a power supply blow on me back around Xmas last year. I was playing Tales of Monkey Island too, which shouldn't have been too taxing! Fortunately the rest of the kit survived - I think it was just a capacitor that blew so I may one day try to fix it as a side project. Also, this happened just after the warranty expired!

A good thing was upgrading from a dual core Athlon 939 with an 8800GT to the core i3 with 5830 that I have now, especially once I got an SSD installed. Mind you, when I first turned it on it did switch itself on and off a few times - was bricking it that something was DOA! I realised later that it was just the system figuring out which display to use.
veato 9th November 2010, 11:49 Quote
Remember when CPU HSFs seemed to require considerable force to attach with the aid of a screwdriver pushing down onto the clip.

Well I do and building a PC for my uncle one day the screwdriver went SLIP. I hit the motherboard to hard I swore it was dead. Thankfully though it booted and everything was fine.
El Rando 9th November 2010, 11:52 Quote
When you say the creator of Frankenstein are you referring to his Mum and Dad or are you on about Frankenstein's Monster?

Couldn't help myself, sorry.
chimaera 9th November 2010, 11:53 Quote
Hmmmm worst for me would have been about 6-8 years ago. I'd been very happily rocking a ATI 9700 Pro in my machine for about 8-9 months when the VRAM blew on it. This was not the disaster - the retailer I bought from were also the RMA and warranty handlers for that brand of card and were very quick in dealing with it. As the 9700 no longer existed they replaced it with a 9800 Pro which I thought was awesome customer service.

Anyway, got the card and ran home to rebuild the machine. To my horror all I got when I hit the power switch was a large crackling smell and a hefty stink of ozone.

As far as I could tell the new graphic card drew just enough power above and beyond the old one that the PoS power supply in the PC overloaded and blew. Unfortunately it seemed to surge when it went and cooked the motherboard and everything that drew power from the motherboard - so RAM, CPU, Firewire card, soundcard were all rendered dead. This was about a month before a LAN party as well :(

Ever since that monent I have *always* specified a decent PSU (most commonly Antec) in every build I've done :)
rickysio 9th November 2010, 12:07 Quote
I went from a Pentium 4 2.4B SL6PC with 256MB RAM and IGP to a Q6600 G0 with 4GB of RAM and 9600GT, pretty BIG jump.
The_Gnu 9th November 2010, 12:12 Quote
Best moment:
Upgrading from a matrox G100 to a GeForce FX 5900xt. It made me experience 3D rendered pc gaming for the first time. (if you don't count shadow warrior in softwaremode :P)

Worst moment:
I hooked up a video reciever I just bought to 12v power of my computer. Then I also connected it to a video capture card in the same comp. Somehow the ground and power got mixed up and instead of everything powering down as it use to when there's a short, the cables got glowing hot. I ended up with a pillar of smoke, some molten cables and a broken video reciever. But somehow I was relieved that there wasn't more than that.
eddtox 9th November 2010, 12:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gremlin
I noticed a switch on the back of the power supply and I didn't exactly know what it did and being the inquisitive kinda guy I am I proceeded to flick it

What proceeded next was the power supply blowing up because I unknowingly switched its input voltage from 240v which we run on, to 110V and as you can imagine the resulting surge blew it so big that a fireball erupted out the back of the PSU as well as a resulting bang and smoke like I'd just let off a stun grenade in my face...
.

I did that. Worst pc moment ever. I was only 11! It was years before I owned up to it :P

2nd: Watching a large-ish spider run into my (awful, cheap) power supply followed by a bang. Luckily the rest of the computer survived.

3rd: The sudden catastrophic failure of my two-year old 320gb data drive last year. I managed to recover most of my data from various dvd's and hard drives I had laying about, but I lost a good deal. I am now much more careful about backing up my data :)

Best moment: Reading this thread on the first system that I have built for myself - my first new system for nearly 10 years - and thinking about the god-awful Compaq P4 with 1GB ram that I was using up until a week ago.
tad2008 9th November 2010, 12:39 Quote
I remember upgrading my graphics card inside a full tower case within cramped conditions and with the case on it's side partly under the large desk it usually sat under I removed the old card and carefully removed the new card from the packaging and began to insert it in to the slot when the machine powered up. I froze on the spot as I realised that I had forgotten to disconnect the power lead, looking down I noticed my knee was pressed against the power button!
psyph3r 9th November 2010, 13:12 Quote
1.Aaah the 6 Series, still have the agp 6600gt somewhere, it was to doom3 what the 8800gt was to crysis. But the jump from the Radeon 9250 to 6600gt was a good moment

2.Remember frying the ASRock 845 baord while oc'ing the
Preshott :D

3.Then there was the Cooler master V8 back plate, cut me real good while aligning it on the board.

4.Recently i was cleaning the old AMD 4400+, couldnt get the HS off the proccy, i just pulled it a bit too hard and off it came along with the cpu while the latch was still locked. Nothing a pen refill couldnt fix.

But that feeling when a newly assembled rig goes live , very few things can beat that.
Floyd 9th November 2010, 13:19 Quote
I remember when I went from AMD/ATI to Intel/Nvidia... Ahh that was a wonderful day lol.

Nothing like starting up a newly plumbed water loop!
Teq 9th November 2010, 13:30 Quote
Quote:

No.2 Water + electricity don't mix.
For those of you that know me, you'll know that I've been into my water cooling for getting on for a decade now. I've only ever had one hardware-killing leak though and this happened after a new build where I'd stupidly taken someone's advice that 7/16 ID tubing doesn't need hose clamps. Having heated it up and shrunk-fitted it onto the barbs, I was playing Battlefield 2 shortly after its release and was amazed by some awesome water sound effects that sounded like I was next to a river.

Sounds familiar, my first watercooled rig did the same thing - I took advice, opted for the pretty clampless 7/16 and all was good for about two weeks and then a sudden gush of water all over my spanking new hardware. Luckily my twitch gaming reactions got the thing powered off and unplugged before any hardware was damaged and 3 years later its still going strong.

Another joyfilled occasion was when my girlfriend at the time decided that my rheobus switch was the PC on switch, flipped it, realised her mistake and then switched the PC on with the power button (not flipping the toggle on my baybus thus leaving it off). It just so happens that my entire loop was tied to that one switch and powered independently of the PSU (for filling reasons and I stupidly forgot to disconnect the damn thing). Within hours of my PC being on and my arrival after work I found my baby almost out of water and making some hideous noises! Argh!
theflatworm 9th November 2010, 13:38 Quote
"the hole house"? Is that some sort of underground dwelling, like a hobbit hole? ;)
Zurechial 9th November 2010, 13:39 Quote
Dropped my brand new Athlon 64 and bent one of the pins. Convinced myself that I had just ruined the chip and sat there staring grumpily at it for a while.

Eventually in desperation I picked up a butter knife and bent the pin back into place - First one direction, then the other.

Amazingly, the pin didn't break and the chip still works even now.
CK61938 9th November 2010, 13:42 Quote
Mine has been most recent as of this weekend gone. But I'll start a bit earlier.

Last week I was away for work. But before I left I turned off my gaming machine by the socket on the wall (don't worry it was already powered down itself). The main PC was switched off but not by the mains as my broadband was on it for my housemate to use.

Anyway, I returned home on Friday night and I turned the socket back on for the gaming PC.

It wasn't until Saturday afternoon, whilst watching the Brailian F1 qualifying, that I went to turn on my gaming PC via it's Power button. At this point, I heard a sizzling noise, followed by a nice "BANG". Cue plumes of smoke rising from the PSU and me (quite calm I must say), turning off the power by the mains and removing the power cable.

The PSU itself was a Hi-Power 900W that I bought online over 2yrs ago, therefore warranty replacement was out of the question.

Luckily, I have a 700W in my main PC and I quickly tested it in the gaming machine. Everything powered on fine. So I am waiting to get a 400W from a friend to use for the time being and put the 700W in my gaming machine and finally get some F1 2010 and COD: Black Ops on the go :D

Oh the spec of the gaming machine consists of an Intel Core i7 920, 6GB DDR3 RAM, 4870X2 and an ASUS P6T Deluxe V2. So you can imagine my slight horror when I thought they were gone with the PSU as well.

This will be my 4th PSU that's died on me since I started building PCs way back since 1998. Fun times.
Spreadie 9th November 2010, 13:43 Quote
I once used a crossover cable in place of a standard cat5, and spent the rest of the evening testing everything else.

You ain't a certified computer geek unless you've wasted three hours because of the wrong cable!

As far as highlights go - picking up two dead 22" 226BWs for a song and building a working monitor from the parts. :)
CK61938 9th November 2010, 13:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by psyph3r
But that feeling when a newly assembled rig goes live , very few things can beat that.

+1 Always gives me a warm fuzzy feeling when I build a new machine and it comes to life. :)
billysielu 9th November 2010, 13:49 Quote
2 years ago I returned from holiday to find my roof leaked and there was a pool of water in the bottom of my case. Strangely enough that rig still works to this day.
WildThing 9th November 2010, 13:57 Quote
Quote:
No.3 The upgrade bug
Is it just me or do you still yearn for the days of the 9800 Pro? It seemed that back then spending £200-300 on a new high-end graphics card usually yielded a massive increase in frame rates and visual splendour. One of the most prominent PC moments for me was when Nvidia's 6-series was released back in 2004. A few games I was playing at the time made use of Shader Model 3, Far Cry being one of them.

I ordered my 6800 GT online and went to collect it from the store. What followed next was a week of solid jaw dropping and wide-eyes as my favourite games benefited from superb water effects and the like as well as huge increases in frame rates from my 9800 Pro. It was the only time I've paid more than £300 for a graphics card and in my view it was money well spent, especially after I water-cooled it.

+1 Was almost the same for me. I had an HIS 9800 PRO IceQ (which only passed away last year I think) and upgraded to a Gainward 6800GT GLH (Goes Like Hell Edition ). I'm too embarassed to say how much I paid for that, but soon after I got it, I decided to try W/C for the first time. I spent £200 just to W/C that GPU! But it all worked more or less fine first time and I learnt a lot, so no regrets!!!:D
paisa666 9th November 2010, 14:10 Quote
Hmm, i have some ery bad moments wih my pc :(

The scariest would be when i build this ustom blue led bar for my pc, it would iluminate the inside of it. When i inished building it i forgot the back of the bar wouldbe totally uncover, leaving the sticks of the litle LEDs get in contact wiht the case... so then I fired my rig on... and oh the horror!!!! the whole system shooted down and all I did was being there staring at my case in shock...

Ofc a few minutes later I took the LED bar out of the case... started it again and for my relieve the system started like nothing happened... windows shows up and me Happy
sixfootsideburns 9th November 2010, 14:26 Quote
I was sitting at my computer early one morning and stretched out my legs while still in the chair. My foot flipped the switch on my surge protector and I fried a good 350 dollars worth of components, including my video card which was the majority of that 350. But the BEST news about it was the warranty on my GPU had expired less than two weeks earlier.

good times? no not really :)

However I quickly learned that taping down that switch is a good idea and haven't made a mistake like that since
eddtox 9th November 2010, 14:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreadie

You ain't a certified computer geek unless you've wasted three hours because of the wrong cable!)

Try days!

I bought a NAS this year and when I plugged it into my O2 box, it would cause the box to randomly reset every few hours, so I plugged my netgear router into my O2 box and moved the computers and the nas to that router, but that router utterly refused to see the nas. Turned out to be the cables - the router and the nas were both gigabit capable and threw a wobbly when used with cat 5 cable (rather than just drop down to 100mb). I tried the cat6 cable which came with the nas and all is fine and dandy.
Woodspoon 9th November 2010, 14:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaverickWill
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifer
+1 for building my first water cooled system, man I felt like GOD himself!

What he said.

Agreed
logonui 9th November 2010, 15:27 Quote
My worst moment has got to be when i was recovering data from someones laptop hard drive. Some how when i plugged the IDE drive into my desktop I managed to bend one of the power pins over. Next thing I know I smell burning and look down to see a small flame moving up the cable to towards the motherboard, everything went slowmo as i dived toward the PC to unplug it lol.
Had to buy a complete new PC that day... somehow every single thing in that machine had been completely fried!
Cafuddled 9th November 2010, 15:39 Quote
I once stupidly started fiddling about with the innards of my old Xbox (the first one). I was tearing it apart trying to find out how I could fix it. I had it plugged in but turned off thinking "this will ground it, no need to worry about ESD now". And then my hand brushed what was a big lump of metal....

"AAHHHHAAHAHHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAAAAH" Was the sound that I was said to be making. The whole house heard me and found me sitting there stunned... I can remember a warm tingly feeling slowly running across my chest afterwards... strange.
new_world_order 9th November 2010, 16:02 Quote
I think I can top most of these gaffes on here with a boneheaded idea I had :)

I was reading up on my thermodynamics, and recalled seeing how water had the second best "specific heat capacity" of any fluid. What was the #1, I wondered? Ammonia. So, since water could remove so much heat, with a better specific heat capacity, Ammonia should be able to remove more.

Now, household ammonia is much different than pure ammonia. It's been diluted by a fair amount. So, rather than use that, I went to a place that sold industrial strength stuff. They gave me the R717 refrigerant, Anhydrous Ammonia.

Of course, I bypassed all of the WARNING labels and just poured it into my cooling rig on my bench at home. Which, of course, had COPPER TUBING, that reacted horribly to the Ammonia, which proceeded to turn the copper into some green-colored, chalky, salt-like compound, disintegrating the tubing, pouring all over the bench, and stinking my whole house up like a chemical warfare zone for 2 days!
C-Sniper 9th November 2010, 16:03 Quote
My Compaq POS computer blew a Vreg and caught fire. It was still going when I noticed the smoke and so in the true spirit of a gamer I waited until the round was over until I powered everything down.
SMIFFYDUDE 9th November 2010, 16:05 Quote
2/3 weeks ago I was on ebay looking for a replacement 3dfx card for my old PC so I can play my old pre XP games when the card in my current PC decided to die. Spooky.

I've also broken 3 monitors (2crt,1lcd) whist getting a bit frustrated during gaming.
Tip: If you must punch an lcd screen, aim for the centre, its less likely to break the glass than if you hit a corner.
ferret141 9th November 2010, 16:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreadie
You ain't a certified computer geek unless you've wasted three hours because of the wrong cable!
How very true.

+1 to feeling like god when powering a new computer for the first time

The first time I blew up a PC when I was 10. Went to a friends house and the screen on his desktop mac was flickering. The monitor was being powered by the PSU so I figured it wasn't getting enough power. Went round to the back of it slid the red switch thinking it would fix it. BANG! What little hair I had grown on the back of my hand had gone, replaced by a black mark. It was ages before I went to his house again (this was before I started to teach myself about computers).

Another PSU moment. I was at work and we were testing this old computer we were given. It was running fine for a good hour. The caretaker for the building came in to collect something so my mate went into the storage cupboard to get it. The caretaker said he smelt something. I walked over to the computer and could smell it too. I called my mate over and he stuck his head inside the side of the case to really check (we were in a metal workshop so sometimes there are similar smells in the room). All this time the caretaker was recommending my mate should turn the computer off. BANG!. The caretaker laughed out "I told you so", my ears were ringing and my mate was deaf in one ear for more than a week.

At work once again, I was in the server room with another colleague moving some stuff around. I looked down in case I tripped over a tower we had sitting on the floor to see a spider crawling across the top of it. Called the other guy over and we just sat there watching it crawl towards the top fan where it broke its fore-legs and then dived in after them.

It seems we all share similar stories
new_world_order 9th November 2010, 16:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by C-Sniper
My Compaq POS computer blew a Vreg and caught fire. It was still going when I noticed the smoke and so in the true spirit of a gamer I waited until the round was over until I powered everything down.

Now that is hilarious!! :o
Fabou 9th November 2010, 16:32 Quote
Changing my PC case best and worst moment.
At first it didn't boot:worst moment, then it did boot best moment.
Fingers66 9th November 2010, 16:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by C-Sniper
My Compaq POS computer blew a Vreg and caught fire. It was still going when I noticed the smoke and so in the true spirit of a gamer I waited until the round was over until I powered everything down.

Absolute win!
eddtox 9th November 2010, 17:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by C-Sniper
My Compaq POS computer blew a Vreg and caught fire. It was still going when I noticed the smoke and so in the true spirit of a gamer I waited until the round was over until I powered everything down.

Lmao - you should have seen how long it would run for :P
sp4nky 9th November 2010, 17:09 Quote
My best moment was the feeling of having built a new computer - actually I'd just installed a new motherboard, CPU and cooler but it felt like a whole computer as I'd had to take all the power cables, data cables, etc. out and put them into the new board.

The worst moment was a few weeks later, the hottest day of the year, when I was playing something and suddenly the computer shut itself off. This happens occasionally due to over-heating, since I basically live in a brick oven, but after letting it cool down I still got no response.

It turned out that when I'd put in the motherboard, I'd put the stand-offs in the wrong place (m-ATX holes, ATX mobo) and one was touching some solder on the board. I'd managed to make the PC case live and that had blown the graphics card, sound card, motherboard and PSU.
pimonserry 9th November 2010, 17:12 Quote
Dropped a hard drive, which stopped being able to read data 10 minutes later...

Blew a (large) capacitor in a PSU about 6 inches from my face, crapped myself.

Being electrocuted by plugs just after unplugging, happens all the time, tingles or is like a static shock.

Electrocuted by a PC case with a dodgy PSU. That hurt.

Amazing moment: motherboard died while I was away, put a different replacement in, overclocked (before ever booting) and yet nothing, drivers, Windows, bluescreens, nothing complained.
IanW 9th November 2010, 17:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Had a similar experience recently - an ever so cheap and nasty Atrix PSU died, taking out the motherboard with it, and I simply threw in another similarly-specced but completely different piece of hardware and Windows just dealt with it.

Try that with Linux.

Whether the new mobo is a similar spec or totally different, Linux won't even blink
Try that with Windows.
Volund 9th November 2010, 17:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by pimonserry
Electrocuted by a PC case with a dodgy PSU. That hurt.

haha, that used to happen to us at work all the time... the old POSPOS (piece of sh*t point of sale) unit that we had for the bottle return window had a nice little issue that if you touched the bare metal it would give you a pretty hefty shock.... it turned into an easy way to get sent home with pay for the rest of the day took them forever to replace the damn thing
Tangster 9th November 2010, 17:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
i remember going from a lowly x1650 to 8800gtx, performance and visual increase was HUGE!

Try going from a Riva TNT2 to X1950XT.

I've not had too many terrible moments with PC's thankfully. I did forget to put the RAM in before booting up on my current build.

Good moment: First ever custom HSF-Freezer 64. So much cooler and quieter.
alex! 9th November 2010, 22:05 Quote
My best PC moment? two days ago I built my first ever PC, went from 20 fps average on css all minimum and lowest res possible, to maxed out settings on hd with 60fps min...went without a hitch :D
Largoftw 9th November 2010, 22:51 Quote
My worst / most frustrating was just after i'd bought my brand new 6800GTX for some crazy ammount of money, and I was super young at the time so it was even more to me. I Plugged it in and turned on and it turned off again instatly. Turns out my PSU fried, had to wait a week for a new one. One of the worst weeks of my life! :P
Daza 9th November 2010, 23:10 Quote
Worst would have to be bleeding one one loop while installing xp in the early hours of a saturday morning after 12hrs of building and changing things around, well needless to say the bleed screw came off and a couple of pumps emptied the entire contents of the loop over an x-fi, 8800 gts and a abit quad gt which all survied needless to say i went to bed after that.

High, would have to be my current rig nothing like powering up a 5970 with 4 velco raptors and a couple of dcc's makes me smile.
Sloth 9th November 2010, 23:36 Quote
Left the door off my last PC since I'd been doing a bit of fiddling and cable management from time to time and couldn't be bothered attaching and detaching the door. Sat down one day and slid the door on without screwing it in, just to get it out of the way. After a few minutes of gaming I heard my cat, then just a little ~5lbs kitten, meowing as he often does when hungry. Decided to let him be on the hopes that my parents would sort it out. But it doesn't stop, and soon there's metallic scratching. To my horror, he'd been sleeping in the case and was trapped! Luckily, having a mATX board in a ATX tower kept him from bumping into anything damaging to the computer or himself.
LordPyrinc 10th November 2010, 01:17 Quote
I decided to hook my secondary PC to my Samsung 40" LCD. I had a spare HDMI to DVI adapter so I unplugged my HDMI cable from the BluRay player and hooked it up to the PC via the adapter. No video signal after powering up the PC. Odd. Tried a different HDMI port on the TV and still same result. WTF? So I took the adapter off and hooked the BluRay player back up. I turn on the BluRay player and all I see is static on the 40". Now I'm about to crap my pants. So I try a third HDMI port on the TV and get the same result. OMG, how can that be I think? Did I somehow short out the entire input panel? I completely unplug the cable from both the BluRay player and the TV and for the first time take a look at the ends of the cable. Apparently the HDMI to DVI adapter actually bent the gold pins in backwards on that end of the cable. RELIEF!!! TV fine, cable bad. Then anger directed at the adapter. That was a $100 HDMI cable ruined by an adapter! Ultimately had to buy a new, albeit cheaper, HDMI cable as well as a second HDMI to DVI cable for the PC.
ryall 10th November 2010, 01:29 Quote
My first windows re-install ever:
booted off the DOS floppy, formatted C:, inserted the Win95 CD... oh... no DOS cd drivers..... now what?
Waynio 10th November 2010, 01:52 Quote
Haha some good mini storys here :D, I see a few of us had the exploding psu issue worst pc moment for me was on my old enermax psu, it had a voltage change switch, I wasn't sure if it was on the correct setting so flicked it & when I switched it on FLASH BANG, my head was about a foot away from it, I was tired at the time but have never been more awake in my life when the flash bang happened was seriously loud, thought this is it I'm gonna die for a split second, I really s*** it lol :D, the makers of such a feature must have done it on purpose to sell more psu's & give us something to lol & talk about :).

Another bad one was my first attempt at water cooling, got a thermalchill tripple rad, anodised aluminium res, d5 pump, 1/2" tygon tubing, d-tek fuzion cpu block, but was simply too paranoid about it leaking so pulled it all apart struggling to stop the liquid flying all over the place & then sold it & stuck with air since lol.

Best pc moment for me was getting over the silly fear of opening the side panel & self learning how to put a pc together so no need to rely on pc repair shops that grossly overcharge for something as simple as pulling the header out of the secondry pins & plonking it onto the primary pins of a cd writer, I was once charged an outrageous £30 for that (unbelievable) lol, so yeah straight after that I researched as much as possible & could now put together a pc in an hour nice & neat & can diagnose & fix friends/family pc's very easily :D.

I never bothered with laptops but just fixed a neighbors laptop, had a damaged screen & had spyware/adware & a trojan on the hdd, it's as good as new now :), a pc repair place quoted them £150 just for a new screen, they gave me £100, the screen cost £78 brand new with delivery & they have a working, clean & optimised system now :).

My first decent overclock made me feel like a total smart a$$ for having a high performance chip at a fraction of the cost lol :D.

Lapping my TRUE heatsink & claiming an extra 6c lower temps, lapping an e6600 & getting even lower temps but only gave about 3-4c

Another best moment for me with pc's or modding was after 2 semi half effort attempts of making my own case completing the air cube & then getting featured in CustomPC was awesome :D.
fluxtatic 10th November 2010, 04:37 Quote
My worst was way back on a Compaq 233, fiddling with the SCSI CD-R drive (remember those?), forgot to hook the IDE cable back up to the other CD drive. Boot Win95, no go. Plug it back in, power back on, still nothing. I can't recall the exact errors anymore, but tech support was useless (after holding for over two hours, literally) and I messed with it for another 3-4 hours before I got it working again.

Had the PSU blow on a PB P150. That was old enough that it was an AT power supply, and I didn't have a replacement. This being not so many years ago, it was time to upgrade everything. The HDD, though, I'd had to partition into 7 drives, as the BIOS couldn't see drives larger than 8GB. Whatever software I'd used to partition, nothing could undo it. So I could see what had been the C: drive, but that was just the Windows drive. Everything I cared about was on the rest of partitions. After hunting for months I found a little utility that cleared the partitioning and gave me back my precious data.

More recently, upgrade from Athlon Thunderbird to Athlon 64 X2, first brand new build ever, only recycled the case and PSU. A week later, power on, and smoke comes pouring out the side vent. Power off, pull the side panel. Find the 5V line on a disconnected Molex had fried. Freaking out, thinking I'd just fried my brand new box, but I was already late to bed and I had to get up for work the next morning, I couldn't do anything about it then. Had to convince myself it would be fine, new PSU and I'd be all good, went to bed. After getting lost trying to find the Best Buy (closest place with computer equipment to my office), got the new PSU home and thank God, I was right. That's what I'm typing this on now. Waiting to see what AMD comes with next before I upgrade again.
ZERO <ibis> 10th November 2010, 05:51 Quote
I still have my first WC rig around. I get a good laugh every time I look in there b/c of how bad of a job I actually did with the cooling system. Although when I first made it I did not see any problems with it. Today though it could be used as the best example of how not to build your WC setup. 3 different sizes of tubes and a bunch of elbows along with lines that were too long with the way you had to fill it made bleeding almost impossible. (Who could have thought that making the only place to add water at the lowest point would be a bad idea, apparently the idea of bleeding with the computer off never occurred...)
eddtox 10th November 2010, 07:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordPyrinc
That was a $100 HDMI cable
Altron 10th November 2010, 08:52 Quote
It was back in 2003. I was young, and was trying my best to make it as a modder. I had the enthusiasm and the spare time, but not the money or skill. I produced an embarrassing series of project logs where I either planned out a build and didn't make it because I didn't have the money to buy anything, or I started a scratch build and got halfway through mounting some cheap fiberboard to a trashpicked case before realizing the futility.

One of my more ingenious mods was a wooden (I was competent with basic hand tools and handheld power tools, so just about everything I made was wood. And not the fine-cut and nicely finished wood that wooden case mods are made from - I had hit a veritable goldmine of about a dozen 3/8" thick 16x16" fiberboard squares that my neighbor had thrown away after some home remodeling, and I had a couple of poorly veneered panels from trashpicked speakers I had gutted) SFF cube. The cube was some old P3 mATX hardware I had scrounged up from the dumpster behind my high school or something equally silly. I had gotten Windows 2000 Advanced Server running on it and was going to make it my domain controller to set up a roaming profile for the only other computer on the domain, because when you're a 14 year old nerd with a Microsoft certification, that's the kind of **** you do.

One of the mods involved having the PSU mounted in a weird location. This was well before it was commonplace to see SFF rigs with PSUs in odd locations and IEC power cable extensions built into the case. I took my garbage 350w generic (I had replaced it with a Antec TruePower 430 in my main rig, so it was just chilling. I had painted the TP430 black in my backyard and replaced all the wiring with 12ga solid copper, because another neighbor had done electrical renovations and I got like half a reel of it and didn't understand that flexibility was important) and took it out of the metal casing.

Then I got a minor shock from one of the caps, and it scared me. Just kidding. That's what you expected, but I set myself up for a far more epic fail.

I desolder the power socket wires, and extend them about two feet, for some really uber leet modding, and set it on top of the case, still completely removed from the casing, and connect it all and boot up the PC. I fire up Diablo II and start whooping some ass and having a good time.

An hour later, I notice the PSU is hanging over the edge of the case by half an inch or so. Without thinking, I reached up to pick up the PSU and slide it a bit. I didn't realize that it was on.

Imagine all of the horror stories in this thread about shorting out a PSU and frying it. Now imagine that instead of looking at it inside your case, you're wrist deep in the bare mains wiring. I'll never forget the feeling of being electrocuted. It was like nothing I had experienced before, and nothing I ever want to experience it again (although I did a few weeks later when the lightbulb pull-chain accidentally became live, but never after that). I'd best describe it was waves of pain in my arm. As if my arm was being run over by a vehicle with many small wheels. I quickly removed my arm. I don't really know how long I was holding it for, because time had no meaning. Just the horde of angry bakers, kneading my arm with their rolling pins.

However, I guess the most important thing is that it put hair on my balls in regards to working with electronics. I never grew fear. By the time I was an adult, I had already electrocuted myself, burnt myself, and injured myself working with electronics. I don't have an irrational fear of being shocked by something I'm working with. I'll pick up low voltage DC wires with my bare hands. I'm safe around mains voltages as long as I keep my left hand in my pocket.

Another fun one, which was around a year earlier. I had just registered here. It was christmas vacation 2002. I did my first ever case-mod, which was spraypainting an old AT tower silver then doing fancy pinstriping with blue paint because I had found really thin masking tape.

After the mod, the paint can was empty. Intrigued, I read online that you can get the ball out of rattlecan paint that makes the rattle. So, I grabbed a rusty old set of needlenose pliers and went to work. As I was ripping it to shreds to retrieve the ball, I got a nasty surprised. I gripped a loose chunk of metal with the pliers in my right hand, while holding the can with the left. I pulled with all my might. Unfortunately, the left arm was in the way. The jagged piece of aluminum hit my arm, leaving two deep parallel slices. They didn't bleed very much, and didn't particularly hurt. At dinner with my family, I carefully cradled my arm so they wouldn't see them.
The next day at school, some people thought I had attempted suicide and tried to talk me out of it. I carefully explained that I wasn't depressed, just stupid.

I have no pictures of the original cuts. This is a picture I took in late 2006, four years after the original incident. They still look exactly the same now, a full eight years after they were created. More noticeable in the summer, because my skin is a bit more tan but the scars are always very white.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/taylorcans/IMG_0304.jpg

For the record, my prize was a transparent deep blue sphere, about a half inch in diameter. I kept it around as a knick-knack, but lost it years ago. Still have the scars to remind me, though.
eddtox 10th November 2010, 08:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altron
It was back in 2003. I was young, and was trying my best to make it as a modder. I had the enthusiasm and the spare time, but not the money or skill. I produced an embarrassing series of project logs where I either planned out a build and didn't make it because I didn't have the money to buy anything, or I started a scratch build and got halfway through mounting some cheap fiberboard to a trashpicked case before realizing the futility.

+1 - I know that feeling :)
Altron 10th November 2010, 09:14 Quote
For my current rig, by far the most nerve wracking moment was bending the pins on my hexcore.

Ordered it, installed it with stock HSF. Wasn't happy with the noise, so I ordered a basic 80mm heatpipe tower. It was a pain to uninstall the stock, because the baseplate was very large and filled the entire retention bracket. I couldn't really twist it, and the thermal material was holding good. I was finally able to get it off, but doing so pulled the CPU out of the socket and bent a couple pins. It took a few very scary minutes with a razor blade bending them back into position, and then the install of the new cooler was very suspenseful as I had no idea if I had killed my 3-day-old-CPU. Fortunately, everything worked fine and has been working fine since then, nearly half a year (I was an early hexcore adopter). I guess no more spectacular displays of stupidity.

Damnit. I hate when my good post is at the bottom of a page, and my crappy post is at the top of the next page. Go read post #79. It's witty. This one isn't.

As for highlights - nothing can compare to my first PC build. I went to a computer fair in 2003 with my dad, and for my 14th birthday he let me pick out my own stuff for a PC, as I had been telling him that I was capable of building one, but he only wanted to buy a Dell. I got a Pentium 4 2.4GHz Northwood B, a DFI mobo, a Geforce 3 64mb, and 512mb of RAM. I put it all together and installed Windows and was absolutely thrilled with having built my own computer. There's nothing like that feeling. Never bought a pre-made PC since then.

Another good one was building my Thuban. For three years, I had been rocking (as my primary rig, no desktop during that time) a C2D laptop with Geforce 8600M graphics and a 1920x1200 screen. Great res, but rough on games. I was playing TF2 with most settings on medium and no AA and getting just under 30fps, which was plenty playable but nothing special. I upgraded to a hexcore and a Radeon 5750. The CPU wasn't anything particularly amazing, but skipping three generations of video cards and going from a laptop GPU to a desktop GPU was just kickass. Every setting maxed, over 60fps, and 8x AA. Game looks so much better and runs so much smoother.
phuzz 10th November 2010, 10:15 Quote
Had my own share of good/bad/good moments.
My first W/C rig, I plumbed it all in, went to do a leak test, and then noticed water dripping from the (poorly attached) CPU hose, onto the GPU (ahh, my lovely 6600GT). I cleaned it up before I ran the computer of course, but that graphics card never worked again (although it could have been me fitting the water block).
So of course what I did was refit the OEM fan, and RMA'd it.
Scan, lovely people that they are, not only were happy to RMA the old graphics card, but also offered me more money than I'd originally paid for it (still not sure why), so I got to upgrade to a 6800 :)

My current W/C rig I did a bit better, I had the case and components separate, so I could spend as long as I wanted modding while my rig was running in it's old case. After a slight problem with the wrong radiator (the new rad is much bigger, so it sticks out the top of the case rather than being stealthy, but it cools better), I finally got everything in, and connected.
Finally, the moment of truth! I press the power button and...
nothing
I try again...
nothing
I hold it down
It flickers to life!
then stops.

Eventually I worked out that the power switch (which I'd never thought to check) is a bit dodgy and has to be hit in just the right way to boot. Annoying (especially as I'd cut holes in it, so there was no chance of a refund), but at least it works (it's so quiet now :)
Aragon Speed 10th November 2010, 10:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
Luckily, having a mATX board in a ATX tower kept him from bumping into anything damaging to the computer or himself.
A true computer geek. Places the computer over the cat in his list of things he was worried about. xD
NethLyn 10th November 2010, 14:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altron
Bending the pins on my [CPU].

[I] pulled the CPU out of the socket and bent a couple pins. It took a few very scary minutes with a [small flathead screwdriver] bending them back into position, and then the install of the new cooler was very suspenseful as I had no idea if I had killed my 3-day-old-CPU. Fortunately, everything worked fine and has been working fine since then

Snap [with my own adjustments in brackets] - at least two Athlon XPs and one PIII of mine had bent pins, one arrived like that from Ebay but the others were my fault, but thankfully all of them were put right again.

Other bad moments were the frying of one other Athlon when the HSF wasn't fitted properly and leaving a working hard disk in a cold room one winter when the temps went below zero, killing it stone dead. Thankfully it was only 8.4gigs. Had a northbridge heatsink fall off one mobo causing random crashes that I didn't find until looking in the case. Finally there were two lightning strikes took out a dialup modem outright and causing a slow decline and death to a Socket A board six months later. On reflection I suppose it was quite well built to carry on working for those six months instead of dying on the spot. Everything is now surge protected of course, end of problem.

Other than that I'm not sure whether demanding games finding faults in my PC count for bad moments: AvP '99 killed a PIII motherboard, Supreme Commander did the same to an A64 mobo right when I'd gone dual-core, and Supreme Commander 2 finished off my router. I thought it was only ArMA II that could kill hardware! Since I was gaming and having fun, they don't seem so bad...
creamedpossum 10th November 2010, 14:44 Quote
Guess mine was around 96 or so, I had already bought myself a compaq all-in-one computer with money saved up from delivering newspapers on my bike. Then decided i wanted one of the new "cd-burners," so saved up the $400 or so and installed it in the computer. Then I realized i only had a 430mb hard drive, so couldn't even fill an entire cd with my current setup. Still laugh about that one to this day.
Centy-face 10th November 2010, 15:57 Quote
Have to agree the feeling of building your first PC from nothing but boxes of parts is just brilliant and to this day I still have an old crumpled issue of CustomPC kicking around like a lucky charm and of course still say "hold onto your butts" when I start it up for the first time.

Two really bad moments come to mind. The first was a few years ago after I left my job and wasn't working I was cleaning out my PC and all seemed fine put it all back together booted it up and started to play then suddenly smelt something odd then suddenly the PC turned itself off opened it up to see some residual smoke coming off the graphics card (a 6800gt oddly enough) and the northbridge.... Took me 3 months to save up for another machine.

Then the second was the replacement machine which is more of a story about how things aren't always as bad as they seem. woke up one morning to do the usual put the pc on watch the news and get my daily info and she wouldn't turn on. What could it be so the long winded process of switching ram in and out replacing the cpu and gpu all to no effect just dead. A ha it must be the psu. Alas I had no spare PSU's around so my mate came round to help we walked to my other friends house and asked to borrow a spare one came home tried it still nothing so just to be sure we built up another pc tested the original psu and it turned on. Starting to get very irritable by this point we took everything apart and tried it all one by one.

Low and behold it turned on first time with all the original parts and posted fine so we put it together and tried it again nothing! What the devil. Then suddenly understanding. When posting it wasnt in the case it was on a box no power switch i was jumping it so after an entire afternoon of mucking about in dust and pc parts it turns out it was the bloody power switch on the case that didn't work. Needless to say we both looked at each other and went out to go get a drink.
mrbens 10th November 2010, 16:09 Quote
Quote:
we had a power cut and the hole house seems to thump into blackness.

That's no way to talk about your parents house!

Building my liquid cooled PC is my favourite moment in my PC history too. I'm so proud of it, and it looks simply stunning with it's subtle UV blue glow. It makes the living room of my flat glow blue at night if you look through the window when the room lights are off! You can see a pic in my sig.
new_world_order 10th November 2010, 16:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by creamedpossum
Guess mine was around 96 or so, I had already bought myself a compaq all-in-one computer with money saved up from delivering newspapers on my bike. Then decided i wanted one of the new "cd-burners," so saved up the $400 or so and installed it in the computer. Then I realized i only had a 430mb hard drive, so couldn't even fill an entire cd with my current setup. Still laugh about that one to this day.

I remember when my neighbor finally got her Macintosh, and I ran over to her house with my 5.25" disk with all of my cool B.A.S.I.C. source code on it from the Apple ][e. Then I just stared, my mouth open, and saw that it was a 3.5" drive.

Biggest disappointment in my life up to that point in time.
das_mod 11th November 2010, 00:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by creamedpossum
Guess mine was around 96 or so, I had already bought myself a compaq all-in-one computer with money saved up from delivering newspapers on my bike. Then decided i wanted one of the new "cd-burners," so saved up the $400 or so and installed it in the computer. Then I realized i only had a 430mb hard drive, so couldn't even fill an entire cd with my current setup. Still laugh about that one to this day.


At least it wasn't too tragic :D

I remember saving for about a year what at that time seemed like a small fortune in hopes of buying my first CDRW ever. (a plextor W8432Ti)
After finally acquiring it, blank CDs started giving out recording errors and considering how much a pack of these cost back then, at no more than 3 ruined ones, i decided to take matters on my own hands and try and fixing it by perhaps "cleaning the lens" (i had heard that's what happens after use, obviously unaware it couldn't have been a dirty lens after no more than a weeks use).
Carefully removing the screws and lifting the warranty sticker, i proceeded to remove the cover
which wouldn't bulge even after making sure there were no more clips attached. :?
Slowly aggravated i gave the cover a quick yank, which to my surprise finally came loose, only to turn it over and find out i had actually snapped the data cable ribbon
About to cry, :'( i did my best to close it up, making it look as untouched as possible,
Contacted plextor for an RMA, and 4 long weeks later, hand a brand new drive burning discs with no issues.

Now the best one was not that long ago which was almost bad but with a "happy ending".
I had kept a Voodoo 5500 (which i originally purchased brand new back in the 2003 i think) wrapped on napkins hoping to one day see it run again, because the host hardware had died.
A friend of mine, came to the house with what he called some "junk pc parts".
Lo and behold, there it was, an old socket A with a universal AGP adapter just begging for my
3DFX card
After gathering some parts, i manage to put everything together anxiously waiting for that boot
screen right after pressing the power switch, only to finally see what it looked like a bad 98 matrix screensaver :(
My first thought was that probably one of the ISA chips had passed on to a better life and it would be best to leave it at that, but remembering how much i valued that card and how many good times we had shared i simply couldnt let go. I took it to the bathroom, pulled out some rubbing alcohol, and after some very careful cleaning (god bless toilet paper)
i take the card back to the dinosaur, sit it as carefully as possible, press the power button and HOLY F*CK, a clean sharp as heck BIOS screen .... ;)
It felt as good as God himself must feel if he had a Voodoo card and made it work after years of retirement. :D
thehippoz 11th November 2010, 00:59 Quote
plugged in a drive and had the deerfield psu zap and catch on fire.. lost all the harddrives in that rig =E think the all time greatest fail wasn't by me, but a guy I trojaned

he used to always brag about how he was good with computers and he fixed them.. but we all knew he was a snuffaluffagus

so the irc goes off and I find I have him, I get in there and it's hillarious.. he has garfield as his background on windows 95- after redirecting him to a few porn sites I made his computer tell him through microsoft dictation, that he was a midget and violated microsoft code and was running pirated software.. and stuff about his grandma and how she gonna find out and beat his ass

then it went dead.. find out a few days later- he tracked it back to me through people I had given the cd to

the phone call went like this 'when I find you it's on! I took apart my computer thinking I had got a virus.. took out the chip to get rid of it and when I put it back in.. none of it worked..' *me trying to control my laughing* 'it's on next time I see you.. you cost me 500 dollars!'

thing is this guy was serious.. he owned a mac10 remember too.. I had to avoid him at all costs for a few months- ran into friends at a computer show and they were like.. taps was just here man- he was lookin for you XD

you know, it's all bad karma.. but that's one of the biggest fails I ever seen- take out the chip to kill the virus
[USRF]Obiwan 11th November 2010, 08:54 Quote
Wrecked a Lianli PC60 case when modding fan holes in the top for my rad with a dremel. was so concentrated on the holes that i did not see the rest of the spinning dremel was touching the case also. I orders another PC60 case and top was redone. but then i miscalculated the cut out on the front for the Graphical LCD. So i toke the frontplate from the first case and that wend ok. So i needed two LianLI pc60 cases to build a decent mod. One of my worst modding projects.
[USRF]Obiwan 11th November 2010, 08:58 Quote
Oh and one time long time ago with peltier cooling a Abit BP6. All working perfect. around 2degree celcius. A couple of days later i checked and the back of the videocard and pci slot was covered in rust. The condensation of the peltier dripped moisture on the pci bus and all over the videocard. I sprayed it all with silicon spray and system was running 24/7 for a year ;)
[USRF]Obiwan 11th November 2010, 09:03 Quote
Watching my colleague jamming a PCI card into a ISA slot, screwing it to the case and I just watching him do his thing in silence and wondering what he will do next.. him turned on the system and watching is face. I laughed my socks off.
[USRF]Obiwan 11th November 2010, 09:05 Quote
Putting a cd drive upside down in the system. and then after starting up trying to get the windows XP CD on to the cd-tray...
[USRF]Obiwan 11th November 2010, 09:08 Quote
Blow dry a keyboard after a spill and suddenly see the keys on the board deform in all kind of weird shapes.
ulfar 11th November 2010, 11:36 Quote
one of my worst moments was when i decided i should up the bios of "my" toshiba satellite somethingsomething.
'bout halfway through my laptop died. just died. no sound, no flickering screen, just died.
my first reaction was "hey, this is probably how it should be, it probably needed to reboot"
(keep in mind, this was the first time i tried to install new bios).

after about 5 minutes i gave up on the wishfull thinking, figuring that i probably just have to press the on-switch and it'll continue installing.

20 minutes later, after having tried to reanimate my laptop by pressing the on button approximately 200 times (once every 5-6 seconds), i finally gave up and realised i might have done something wrong. bear in mind, this was a laptop made for industrial CAD which my father had taken home from work and which i a couple of weeks later "borrowed" from him. i returned it unbootable =).

this was years ago.

there are jumpers (three) which need to be connected while powering on, but no result. anyone know how to fix this? is the option where you put bios on a diskette or usb on available on every motherboard or is it just selected ones?

anyway, that was a horrifiyng experience.
Combatus 11th November 2010, 12:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF
Obiwan]Blow dry a keyboard after a spill and suddenly see the keys on the board deform in all kind of weird shapes.

Sure you didn't use an industrial heater? =)
PaulJG 11th November 2010, 12:50 Quote
Oh man.. over the past 15 years, think I've done most of the things in this forum...

Played with the switch on PSU.. blew the lot..

Attached a new hardrive with the power cable upside down - took out everything!

Broke some of the pins forcing an AMD processor in the wrong way..

The list goes on and on.. and what do I do now for a living? IT Tech. (thankfully haven't blown anything up for a while)

Lastly - thanks to my IT assistant - who will probably read this later - plugging my nice new Corsair USB stick into a computer he had just built. (without checking if he'd put the USB connectors in the right order!! Thanks Jay I now have an expensive paperweight! - (this was after he fried his one first!!!)
shoxicwaste 12th November 2010, 10:17 Quote
Well, when i was 15 years old, i decided to build my first pc. It went pretty well to plan however im a ragequit person. This means when someone goes worng i tend to blame other things such as my PC case :'( one day i kicked it too hard and the cpu fan basically exploded in to thousand pieces. this however is not the bad bit, after taking out my £50 broken cooler i replaced it with the intel one, the pins after a few months gave up (i constantly clean and re-apply thermal paste). i got extremely angry and screwed my heatsink to my motherboard (striker extreme) to my amazement it worked for a while, then one day i turn on my pc... a big bang flashs of light, nothing worked again, its now sat in my shed with a bunch of other old pc and horriable cases filled with tri-led fans you get the picture!
Xir 12th November 2010, 13:38 Quote
LAN - 3 PC's on a cable roll and two laptops.
4th PC guy comes and pluggs into the same cable roll (not rolled out), the moment he flips the switch, everything goes dark, 4 guys cry "Where's the power?" and two guys yell "hey, the network's down".
You guess who was who :D

I've NEVER (knocks on wood) had a PSU die on me, what the heck do you people do? :D
But the 200-110V flipswitch on the back...tempting...so verryyy tempting! ;)
Quote:
Originally Posted by new_world_order
Of course, I bypassed all of the WARNING labels and just poured it into my cooling rig on my bench at home. Which, of course, had COPPER TUBING, that reacted horribly to the Ammonia, which proceeded to turn the copper into some green-colored, chalky, salt-like compound, disintegrating the tubing, pouring all over the bench, and stinking my whole house up like a chemical warfare zone for 2 days!
10 points for beeing the ultimate cooler ;)
-10 points for chemistry though :D
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordPyrinc
That was a $100 HDMI cable ruined by an adapter!
If you bought a 100$ HDMI-Cable...you've been had
Grimloon 12th November 2010, 16:20 Quote
Best and worst - my first system build (AMD K6 300), fired it up and everything was glorious. Went to put the shell back on the case (the old U shaped job) and slid one of the back corners down between the motherboard tray and motherboard. The unpainted metal edge sliced straight through the insulation and shorted out several of the traces on the PCB. Oops? I managed to keep the system working for a couple of years afterwards but it was always more than a touch flaky.

Most embarrassing has to be setting up a POS system for demonstration purposes, hooking up a US 110 volt laser printer (as opposed to the UK 240 volt version) and having it go "BANG!" as soon as I switched it on. I also just happened to have my head under a shelf while I was switching the printer on and stood up rather sharply. Ouch! To add insult to injury, I managed to do this in front of the entire office, not off on my own in the test rig :(
new_world_order 12th November 2010, 20:52 Quote
You guys, let me know if you think I underestimated the heat load.

http://www.liquidnitrogenoverclocking.com/images/bad_overclock.jpg
tohdom 15th November 2010, 14:02 Quote
bad timing stories:
1) me and my friend decided to play the game Krash Kill n Destroy. And it actually killed one of the RAM sticks right after launch :(
2) Spooky game called 7th Guest toasted my CRT-monitor on launch.
bobwya 15th November 2010, 21:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWeaK
I had an X1900XT and thought the fan on it sounded a bit like a hair drier, so I decided to replace the heatsink. Unfortunately, it was a long(ish) card and the Zalman flower cooler didn't cool the VRMs on the end of the board. This, coupled with a very hot summer, perpendicular hard drive cage and leaving games running when I was away from the computer, fried the card. The BIOS screen looked like Matrix code! I later found out (shortly after finally chucking the card) that I may have been able to fix it by putting it in the oven for a bit..

Ok now imagine the pain of installing a waterblock (badly) on an X1900XTX card (XTX!!) and cracking a single VRM MosFET... That was one expensive mistake and no amount of home cooking was gonna fix it :-)

Now I have a couple of very stable watercooled OC EVGA 8800 GTX's - so it's all a distant (but financially unsettling memory)...

Bob
Wingtale 16th November 2010, 19:56 Quote
My worst moment was when my brother was messing with my watercooled pc and he punctured the cable and it oozed everywhere.
MichaelRupkalvis 18th January 2011, 17:04 Quote
buying a 486 instead of the slow 386. It had a 110 meg hard drive and 4 megs of ram.
The sound worked some of the time, some of the time not.
Some poor bugger broke into the house and stole it.
TraumaticHug 26th November 2011, 23:09 Quote
Worst PC moment would probably be 6 years ago.

While playing KOTOR 2 the game started to stutter, so I restarted the PC only to discover that my sole hard drive had completely failed. The one that had my entire 60GB collection of game saves and (completely legally obtained ) mp3s, films + tv shows that had taken me 3years to build up.

The next day my order 50 blank dvds finally arrived.
Because for 3years backups had never occurred to me.


The kicker being that I destroyed the drive and chucked it, only to find a year later, when a similar thing happened to my parents' pc, that I could have just used a disc caddy and recovered the data :(


Silver lining: I now back everything up twice. Even my xbox saves. And my tiny mp3 collection now only contains songs that I actually like.
AmEv 27th November 2011, 00:01 Quote
Deciding to accidentally create a 12V-Gnd short on an improperly connected floppy connector.


Oh, Plastic+fresh=Yum, plastic+heat=Yuk




Still haven't done the SDRAM-Backwards trick....
boiled_elephant 27th November 2011, 01:30 Quote
One of my worst moments was moving my PC into another room and spending ages setting it and a mate's machine up for an evening of LAN gaming, only to finally turn it on and find that - for reasons that are still totally obscure to me - it wouldn't boot. It would post and then the OS simply wouldn't load; attempting startup repair returned a BSOD.

I eventually got it working, after several CMOS wipes, endless blind guesswork in the BIOS options, and plugging and unplugging everything I could think of. The timing was absurd - for about an hour I was just troubleshooting while he sat playing Battlefield.

What makes it really infuriating is that it worked fine two minutes ago in the other room in the same configuration, and when it finally started working again it wasn't because I'd tried something new - I'd just hit the required number of resets, or something. Horrible.
thehippoz 27th November 2011, 16:43 Quote
still have the 6600 unlocked to ultra.. the x800xl was a good card too- could overclock pretty good
Cleggmeister 27th November 2011, 20:06 Quote
I bought into the Matrox Mystique, but soon became fed up with the lack of support from the titles of the day. At the time my gf worked away for spells, so one weekend when she was overseas I walked to my local independent PC shop (remember those?) and splashed for an Orchid Righteous 3DFX card. A brief install later and I called her in Romania to tell her how real the clouds looked in FS!!

Nothing bad to report - I've had a happy 18 years, including working in the industry, as a PC geek.
AstralWanderer 28th November 2011, 23:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Good:

Upgrading from a 1GHz PIII laptop with 32 MB GeForce2Go and 15" 1600x1200 screen to a Core2 Duo 1.86GHz desktop with 768MB GeForce 8800GTX and 30" 2560x1600 screen...

...and then installing an old version of SiSoft Sandra to see how the new system benchmarked compared to a 66MHz 486DX2. :D

Bad:

Putting together a new system, powering it on and nothing happens. Scratch head, check cables. Sleep on it. Next day find the problem - PSU not switched on.
AmEv 29th November 2011, 04:26 Quote
The PSU....


98% of ALL computer problems relate to it.....

Like the fact that mine got delayed......
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