2003 September 24

Heart transplant

So on top of everything else going on this week, my computer started having hardware problems -- without warning, it would just shut down. No crash or sign of any software problem -- just off like I'd hit the Reset button. And then it wouldn't come back on until it had cooled down.

Annoying, but in the good way that allows me to feel clever, because I could diagnose it almost immediately -- the thing was overheating because the fan in my five-year-old power supply died.

Sort of recklessly (because power issues can really damage a machine), I've been continuing to use it for the past few days, with the case open to help with the cooling. Mostly I've been able to do what I needed to do and then shut down before the thing overheated. But now I've just taken the machine apart, unplugged and unscrewed the old power supply, chunked a new one in, and 15 minutes later everything seems to be working fine. Ha!

Enough other crap has gone wrong for me lately that I don't really seem to care that I'm tempting fate by bragging about this.


Dude, what a flashback in that first paragraph.

The husband used to have a computer with precisely that sort of issue, and no fan-futzing really helped (it was a flaw in the chip; doh). He'd installed a thermometer on the front so that he could monitor it and shut it down (forgive him for not buying a less heat-prone chip; he was a poor college student). I was using his computer and it started acting...weird...and I noticed the thermometer rising and messaged him that I was shutting his machine down harshly, and then....

....then the computer lost its soul.

That's really the only way to describe it. Instant and total unresponsiveness.

When he came home later and pried the thing open, he discovered a smoking crater where the chip had been.

I support the power-supply-replacement theory.

Posted by: Andromeda on September 24, 2003 07:45 PM

My computer had the exact same symptoms, same general problem, but for different reasons.

I have a G4 Cube. I got it refurbished from Apple, and when I started using it for more than an hour at a time, it would suddenly put itself to sleep. Eventually, it would shut down.

It drove me nuts. I couldn't figure out why it had a problem.

Finally, I figured it out. I know that the Cube didn't have a fan. However, it never occured to me that the touch sensitive on switch would be sensitive to the metal casing that is underneath the on switch expanding slightly because of the heat. This amounted to almost the same thing as me touching the on switch to put it to sleep.

The fix? A piece of notebook paper the size of a quarter and some scotch tape.

Posted by: laurens on September 24, 2003 10:39 PM

That's awesome.

Posted by: colin roald on September 24, 2003 11:13 PM
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