PC works in labs, dies at users home

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Hello all,

I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but I'm
unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:

First I want to say upfront that I am a systems engineer/builder/network
engineer and have been dealing with hardware for years now so I am truely
experienced and am using this as a last resort to figure out a problem I am
having with a clients PC system. Her system is a custom build tower she
purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.

The client I have came to me 2 years ago to have the bad motherboard
replaced. It was a GigaByte board with an AthlonXP processor, I replaced it
with an exact model and everything worked for over a year and half. Well
last fall the client comes to me again with major issues of Windows slowing
down, crashing, not working and it was determined that her powersupply was
going bad and the motherboard was damaged (bulgding/leaking capacitor). I
replaced both of these items last fall with an Antec 350 PSU and a albatron
motherboard and again her system worked *great* in my office lab area. I
thoroughly tested these prior returning the system to her

I returned it to her and she was using it just fine till last month when she
contacted me again as to having major slowdown/crashing problems that were a
result of a knocking noise. I diagnosed the problem as a failing Samsung
hard drive, replaced it with a Maxtor 7200rpm drive this past weekend.
Again in my labs this system was working great. Windows installed very
fast, everything was very responsive so again I dropped off the tower at her
house.

Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up it
breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running very very
slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system simply wouldn't
start, at all. She would power it up, only fans would spin, no beeps, no
signal to the monitor, no response whatsoever.

This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or could
that be the source? Each of the several times I have worked on her system
the system ran great at my office after working on it. Most of the hardware
has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR ram, otherwise the
motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been replaced. I simply am at
a loss for what would allow the system to work great at my office and then
at her house instantly develop serious problems.

Brad
42 answers Last reply
More about works labs dies users home
  1. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    B. Walker wrote:
    >
    > This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
    > something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or could

    Had that niggle once for a good client who we serviced his business and
    then he got a custom built system from us for his home. Same exact type
    of systems at his busniness worked perfectly but he had problems at
    home. Upon visiting there we saw that he had only 2 holes/outlet ie no
    ground and when in the house the lights would dim/brigten with different
    shades of dimness/brightness. He didnt notice it as he lived there for
    many years and I suppossed got used to it. His old 286 didn't seem to
    mind but the new p400 had odd failures. We insisted that he upgrade his
    electric to 100/200 amps from the 30 with fuses he currently had. Once
    he did the problems went away.


    --
    http://www.bootdisk.com/
  2. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    B. Walker wrote:

    > Hello all,
    >
    > I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but I'm
    > unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:
    >
    > First I want to say upfront that I am a systems engineer/builder/network
    > engineer and have been dealing with hardware for years now so I am truely
    > experienced and am using this as a last resort to figure out a problem I am
    > having with a clients PC system. Her system is a custom build tower she
    > purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.
    >
    > The client I have came to me 2 years ago to have the bad motherboard
    > replaced. It was a GigaByte board with an AthlonXP processor, I replaced it
    > with an exact model and everything worked for over a year and half. Well
    > last fall the client comes to me again with major issues of Windows slowing
    > down, crashing, not working and it was determined that her powersupply was
    > going bad and the motherboard was damaged (bulgding/leaking capacitor). I
    > replaced both of these items last fall with an Antec 350 PSU and a albatron
    > motherboard and again her system worked *great* in my office lab area. I
    > thoroughly tested these prior returning the system to her
    >
    > I returned it to her and she was using it just fine till last month when she
    > contacted me again as to having major slowdown/crashing problems that were a
    > result of a knocking noise. I diagnosed the problem as a failing Samsung
    > hard drive, replaced it with a Maxtor 7200rpm drive this past weekend.
    > Again in my labs this system was working great. Windows installed very
    > fast, everything was very responsive so again I dropped off the tower at her
    > house.
    >
    > Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up it
    > breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running very very
    > slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system simply wouldn't
    > start, at all. She would power it up, only fans would spin, no beeps, no
    > signal to the monitor, no response whatsoever.
    >
    > This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
    > something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or could
    > that be the source? Each of the several times I have worked on her system
    > the system ran great at my office after working on it. Most of the hardware
    > has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR ram, otherwise the
    > motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been replaced. I simply am at
    > a loss for what would allow the system to work great at my office and then
    > at her house instantly develop serious problems.
    >
    > Brad
    >
    >

    I'm having a wee bit of a problem following the extent of your logic. All
    of the problems you mentioned took a year, or more, to manifest with the
    exception of the recent hard drive replacement and, as far as I can tell,
    you haven't diagnosed the current problem yet. I mean, it's a bit of an
    exaggeration to say it works great on the bench and then always fails as
    soon as she gets it home.

    You didn't describe why the first main board failed but the second one was
    apparently from the bad capacitor issue that is known to have plagued many
    main boards from numerous manufacturers (due to a bit of faulty Oriental
    corporate espionage stealing an incomplete electrolyte formula and then
    selling it to every Dick, Tom, and Harry in the business). Whether the
    faulty PSU aggravated it or it aggravated a sloppy PSU is unknown but not
    unusual, especially for a 'QVC computer', I would think (I may be wrong but
    I am assuming the QVC computer had some 'generic' low cost PSU in it).

    The hard drive failed after 3 years. Not stellar but not terribly unusual
    either.

    On the other hand, I understand your concern in that, taken together, it
    seems like an 'unlucky' system.

    As for the 'home' situation, yes, 'bad power' could be a problem, and I put
    that in single quotes because it doesn't necessarily mean the power
    company, but other things could be a problem as well.

    Heat is an issue for all of the components and nothing was said about case
    ventilation. Was the case clean? (vs dirt clogging fans) What is the
    ambient where the computer lives? And, for example, is the case located
    inside a desk bay or crammed up against a wall, restricting airflow, or out
    in the open? All of these things could lead to high internal case temps and
    significantly shorten the life of internal components. 'Bad caps', already
    prone to failure, and hard drives are particularly sensitive to high case
    temps, and she's had those two problems.

    Power is even more difficult because there are so many variables that can
    affect it. Is the computer on surge protectors or a UPS? Not being on
    proper surge protection could be a problem in areas with noisy power and/or
    frequent storms but those devices themselves can create problems,
    especially if not configured properly. E.g. Putting the computer AC power
    line on a surge protector while the modem/cable connection (or peripherals)
    are not can *increase* the likelihood of damage, rather than protect, since
    the AC end of the machine is held near ground while the communication line
    jumps all over the place, thereby creating large voltage differentials
    across the very thing one thinks they've 'protected'.

    What circuit in the house is the computer on? I mean, does it share the
    same circuit with inductive devices like a refrigerator, or a window unit,
    etc., that could cause inductive spikes?

    Here's one that will raise some eyebrows. Does her doorbell work? Doorbell
    transformers are notorious for injecting loads of noise into the AC line
    when they fail (often from a shorted winding. It seems dead, since the
    doorbell doesn't ring, but it's actually still on the AC line and will
    often be hotter than a small nuclear reactor going critical.)

    Wiring itself can be a problem. I know of at least one case where the
    outlet strip had dirty/loose internal connections injecting severe noise
    into the PSU causing all manner of symptoms, from random reboots to
    apparent hard drive failure (even though it had not failed), interspersed
    among periods of seemingly normal operation. House wiring can cause the
    same thing, especially those with aluminum wiring (because of cold creep).

    On the other hand, one could imagine two, identical, main board failures,
    since odds are decent they had the same caps, taking, over time, the
    (possibly cheap) PSU with them. Hard drive failure in three years, or even
    less, seems to be all too common with 'compact' (mini tower) systems these
    days (poor case ventilation and sometimes odd mounting).

    What's wrong now we don't know, though. If it's something 'new', like the
    video card, she may be seeing more problems originating from the original
    'bad caps'/PSU stressing of the whole machine. Or it could be the dinky
    fans they put on video cards finally died, and after three years I wouldn't
    be surprised (last client I had with that problem commented "well, it had
    been making a lot of noise but that stopped recently." Uh, yes it did.).

    If the Antec PSU has died I'd be suspicious of the surge protetor/UPS/AC
    power wiring.

    Case ventilation I'm always suspicious of when I haven't seen it.

    And when all other ideas have been exhausted there's always gremlins and
    Murphy ;)
  3. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    I have a customer just like that. He is death to computers.
    Nothing I do can keep his computer running. On average,
    I have rebuilt his system about every 6 months .. with
    this last go around from all new parts, and I've rebuilt that
    one twice. I've replaced two hard drives still under
    warranty ( Maxtors ), and they were provably bad. I
    noticed that the bad hard drives would hang Windows
    and make it appear to be very slow. From experience,
    I don't think bad house power is the problem. I think
    there is something in his house that he is using close
    to the computer ... like a big vaccuum cleaner. Those
    things are not shielded at all, and they generate a big
    magnetic field. The only protection against that sort of
    thing is shielded AC line cords. A regular line cord is
    a straight pipe right to the psupply, and electrolytics
    on the mobo. It doesn't matter if the line cord is plugged
    into a surge suppressor, if it is not shielded, and he
    cranks up his machine shop, or drags a ragging vaccuum
    cleaner right up to the PC box. Also, I have actually
    seen this happen. I got stupid one afternoon, and brought
    in my leaf blower / vaccuum cleaner to get dust out
    of my lab PCs. That damn thing popped every single
    HP monitor ( of the 21 inch kind ) in the room. 6 of
    them, and not one of them was turned on. I'll bet your
    lady customer has a big vaccuum cleaner and a rug
    washer ... both made with plastic cases, and it would
    not surprise me one bit if she was not plugging them
    in to the same surge suppressor used by the PC, and
    just raising holy hell all over the room. That little action
    will unprogram the dickens out of a dvd player. Ask
    her if she is having any problems with her TV and
    dvds.

    johns
  4. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    David Maynard wrote:
    >
    > Heat is an issue for all of the components and nothing was said about case
    > ventilation. Was the case clean? (vs dirt clogging fans) What is the
    > ambient where the computer lives? And, for example, is the case located
    > inside a desk bay or crammed up against a wall, restricting airflow, or out
    > in the open? All of these things could lead to high internal case temps and
    > significantly shorten the life of internal components. 'Bad caps', already
    > prone to failure, and hard drives are particularly sensitive to high case
    > temps, and she's had those two problems.

    Good point. Many folks put their pcs inside cabinets with no room for
    airflow. Or next to baseboard heating units.


    --
    http://www.bootdisk.com/
  5. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Plato wrote:

    > David Maynard wrote:
    >
    >>Heat is an issue for all of the components and nothing was said about case
    >>ventilation. Was the case clean? (vs dirt clogging fans) What is the
    >>ambient where the computer lives? And, for example, is the case located
    >>inside a desk bay or crammed up against a wall, restricting airflow, or out
    >>in the open? All of these things could lead to high internal case temps and
    >>significantly shorten the life of internal components. 'Bad caps', already
    >>prone to failure, and hard drives are particularly sensitive to high case
    >>temps, and she's had those two problems.
    >
    >
    > Good point. Many folks put their pcs inside cabinets with no room for
    > airflow. Or next to baseboard heating units.


    Yep. And, since he mentioned the folks were rather well off, some put them
    inside fancy cabinets for 'appearance', or in an 'entertainment center'
    (which has the other components adding heat in addition to poor airflow).
    And those with kids sometimes use a lockable desk bay and just open the
    door when in use, or only to turn it on and then close it again to keep
    junior from playing with the power switch and the built-in motorized coffee
    cup holder.
  6. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    B. Walker, 5/6/2005, 10:38:07 PM, wrote:

    > Hello all,
    >
    > I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but
    > I'm unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:
    >
    > First I want to say upfront that I am a systems
    > engineer/builder/network engineer and have been dealing with hardware
    > for years now so I am truely experienced and am using this as a last
    > resort to figure out a problem I am having with a clients PC system.
    > Her system is a custom build tower she purchased on QVC some 3 years
    > ago.
    >
    > The client I have came to me 2 years ago to have the bad motherboard
    > replaced. It was a GigaByte board with an AthlonXP processor, I
    > replaced it with an exact model and everything worked for over a year
    > and half. Well last fall the client comes to me again with major
    > issues of Windows slowing down, crashing, not working and it was
    > determined that her powersupply was going bad and the motherboard was
    > damaged (bulgding/leaking capacitor). I replaced both of these items
    > last fall with an Antec 350 PSU and a albatron motherboard and again
    > her system worked great in my office lab area. I thoroughly tested
    > these prior returning the system to her
    >
    > I returned it to her and she was using it just fine till last month
    > when she contacted me again as to having major slowdown/crashing
    > problems that were a result of a knocking noise. I diagnosed the
    > problem as a failing Samsung hard drive, replaced it with a Maxtor
    > 7200rpm drive this past weekend. Again in my labs this system was
    > working great. Windows installed very fast, everything was very
    > responsive so again I dropped off the tower at her house.
    >
    > Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up
    > it breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running
    > very very slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system
    > simply wouldn't start, at all. She would power it up, only fans
    > would spin, no beeps, no signal to the monitor, no response
    > whatsoever.
    >
    > This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
    > something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or
    > could that be the source? Each of the several times I have worked on
    > her system the system ran great at my office after working on it.
    > Most of the hardware has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR
    > ram, otherwise the motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been
    > replaced. I simply am at a loss for what would allow the system to
    > work great at my office and then at her house instantly develop
    > serious problems.
    >
    > Brad

    Is the computer hooked up directly to the wall or does it go through a
    surge suppressor?
    Take an outlet checker and make sure the wall receptacle is hooked up
    properly. You can easily eliminate the power source with these two
    easy methods. What do you mean by "she plugged the system up"? Is
    that the first time she plugged it up or is she in a habit of
    unplugging and replugging the cord?

    --
    No matter what happens someone will find a way to take it too seriously.
  7. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Does she live in an old house? COuld be power problems.


    "B. Walker" <bawalkerREMOVE@THISmodemnet.net> wrote in message
    news:jSVee.637$w9.307@news02.roc.ny...
    > Hello all,
    >
    > I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but I'm
    > unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:
    >
    > First I want to say upfront that I am a systems engineer/builder/network
    > engineer and have been dealing with hardware for years now so I am truely
    > experienced and am using this as a last resort to figure out a problem I
    > am having with a clients PC system. Her system is a custom build tower
    > she purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.
    >
    > The client I have came to me 2 years ago to have the bad motherboard
    > replaced. It was a GigaByte board with an AthlonXP processor, I replaced
    > it with an exact model and everything worked for over a year and half.
    > Well last fall the client comes to me again with major issues of Windows
    > slowing down, crashing, not working and it was determined that her
    > powersupply was going bad and the motherboard was damaged
    > (bulgding/leaking capacitor). I replaced both of these items last fall
    > with an Antec 350 PSU and a albatron motherboard and again her system
    > worked *great* in my office lab area. I thoroughly tested these prior
    > returning the system to her
    >
    > I returned it to her and she was using it just fine till last month when
    > she contacted me again as to having major slowdown/crashing problems that
    > were a result of a knocking noise. I diagnosed the problem as a failing
    > Samsung hard drive, replaced it with a Maxtor 7200rpm drive this past
    > weekend. Again in my labs this system was working great. Windows
    > installed very fast, everything was very responsive so again I dropped off
    > the tower at her house.
    >
    > Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up it
    > breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running very very
    > slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system simply wouldn't
    > start, at all. She would power it up, only fans would spin, no beeps, no
    > signal to the monitor, no response whatsoever.
    >
    > This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
    > something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or could
    > that be the source? Each of the several times I have worked on her system
    > the system ran great at my office after working on it. Most of the
    > hardware has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR ram, otherwise
    > the motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been replaced. I simply
    > am at a loss for what would allow the system to work great at my office
    > and then at her house instantly develop serious problems.
    >
    > Brad
    >
  8. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    > This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
    > something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or could
    > that be the source? Each of the several times I have worked on her system
    > the system ran great at my office after working on it. Most of the hardware
    > has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR ram, otherwise the
    > motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been replaced. I simply am at
    > a loss for what would allow the system to work great at my office and then
    > at her house instantly develop serious problems.
    >
    > Brad

    Poltergeist. Well, it's one option, though I admit, not a
    particularly useful one from an engineering standpoint.
  9. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "badgolferman" <REMOVETHISbadgolferman@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:xn0e1xvjw7bkyp4002@news.readfreenews.net...
    > B. Walker, 5/6/2005, 10:38:07 PM, wrote:
    >
    > Is the computer hooked up directly to the wall or does it go through a
    > surge suppressor?
    > Take an outlet checker and make sure the wall receptacle is hooked up
    > properly. You can easily eliminate the power source with these two
    > easy methods. What do you mean by "she plugged the system up"? Is
    > that the first time she plugged it up or is she in a habit of
    > unplugging and replugging the cord?

    1.) Yes the computer is plugged through a surge protector.

    2.) I assume I can get an outlet checker at radio shack or any electronics
    store?

    3.) I dropped the system off at her house while she was not home and placed
    it in a secure location inside her car. When she returned she plugged the
    various items as th emouse, keyboard, monitor into the tower.
  10. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "B. Walker" <bawalkerREMOVE@THISmodemnet.net> wrote in message
    news:qQWee.645$nb.590@news02.roc.ny...
    >
    > "badgolferman" <REMOVETHISbadgolferman@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > news:xn0e1xvjw7bkyp4002@news.readfreenews.net...
    >> B. Walker, 5/6/2005, 10:38:07 PM, wrote:
    >>
    >> Is the computer hooked up directly to the wall or does it go through a
    >> surge suppressor?
    >> Take an outlet checker and make sure the wall receptacle is hooked up
    >> properly. You can easily eliminate the power source with these two
    >> easy methods. What do you mean by "she plugged the system up"? Is
    >> that the first time she plugged it up or is she in a habit of
    >> unplugging and replugging the cord?
    >
    > 1.) Yes the computer is plugged through a surge protector.

    From what I've read, surge protectors 'expire' - after so many blocked
    surges, they lose the abiltity to continue to work in that capacity - and
    don't cease to provide AC to the computer. You would think that the
    engineers who designed those things would build them in such a way that when
    the surge supression is no longer functioning, the unit stops working
    altogether. They're cheap: replace it. I replace mine about once a year or
    two, and use the old ones only as backups when I have extra systems in the
    home for repair.

    BUT! A surge protector will not clean up 'dirty' power. Voltage fluctuations
    can be moderate to severe, possibly harmful to the computers, but not be
    'surges' thus not being handled. We had to put a line filter on our power in
    one of the buildings at work. When the air conditioner kicked on or off, the
    load change was severe enough to degrade the power to the point where some
    of the electronic equipment in that building would 'hang'. Maybe a small to
    medium UPS for the single computer system would be beneficial, supplementing
    power if there are significant dips in the voltage.

    >
    > 2.) I assume I can get an outlet checker at radio shack or any electronics
    > store?
    >

    probably - or Lowe's, etc. - little plug in thing with some LEDs. The lights
    tell you if the wiring is correct - no neutral/positive swap, good ground,
    that kind of thing.
  11. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    B. Walker wrote:

    > 2.) I assume I can get an outlet checker at radio shack or any electronics
    > store?


    Sometimes that is not always enough. I encountered two houses within the
    same power block that had dirty power. It tested fine in the house, but
    when a load was placed on it (dishwasher or washing machine) all hell
    broke loose. I actually had the local power comany come in and place a
    line box on to soak test it. They then took the readings and graphed it
    out so we could see when, and by how much the power fluctuated. We
    nailed the problem to an outside line, so they fixed it at no cost to
    the customer, and the insurance covered damaged electronics.
    Just thought I would toss that in, as it may be handy information for you.

    Wheaty
  12. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Toolman Tim wrote:
    >
    > From what I've read, surge protectors 'expire' - after so many blocked
    > surges, they lose the abiltity to continue to work in that capacity - and
    > don't cease to provide AC to the computer. You would think that the

    My el cheapo surge protectors at home just "snap" after a nice surge and
    then fail to work at all. Doesnt bother me I have a supply and just
    replace it as I guess it did its job. Never had pc surge damage using
    the cheap units. Generally each system is protected by at least 2 of
    them, ie one plugged into the other. Anytime I rebuild a system or move
    it both protectors get trashed also and replaced with new ones just in
    case what you say above is correct, which it probably is.
  13. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "guess" <imnot@home.com> wrote in message news:1115435319.432088@news...
    > Does she live in an old house? COuld be power problems.

    Actually no, her husband is a doctor and they have a very very nice house,
    I'd say in the $500,000 price range, give or take a few.
  14. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    I'm beginning to wonder if you aren't onto something there. :)


    "Al Smith" <invalid@address.com> wrote in message
    news:mCWee.9086$Ph4.276805@ursa-nb00s0.nbnet.nb.ca...
    >> This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
    >> something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or
    >> could that be the source? Each of the several times I have worked on her
    >> system the system ran great at my office after working on it. Most of
    >> the hardware has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR ram,
    >> otherwise the motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been
    >> replaced. I simply am at a loss for what would allow the system to work
    >> great at my office and then at her house instantly develop serious
    >> problems.
    >>
    >> Brad
    >
    > Poltergeist. Well, it's one option, though I admit, not a particularly
    > useful one from an engineering standpoint.
  15. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    B. Walker wrote:
    >
    > I'm beginning to wonder if you aren't onto something there. :)

    Check the voltage perhaps its 135 or so. Perhaps the electric company
    has a bad/going bad transformer.
  16. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Toolman Tim" <no.spam.for.tcm@my.email.is.invalid> wrote in message
    news:M0Xee.34017$Ow2.10710@fe06.lga...
    >
    > probably - or Lowe's, etc. - little plug in thing with some LEDs. The
    > lights tell you if the wiring is correct - no neutral/positive swap, good
    > ground, that kind of thing.
    >


    Would this be what I need:
    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=12370-1781-GRT-800&lpage=none
  17. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "B. Walker" <bawalkerREMOVE@THISmodemnet.net> wrote in message
    news:45Yee.656$Zd.557@news02.roc.ny...
    >
    > "Toolman Tim" <no.spam.for.tcm@my.email.is.invalid> wrote in message
    > news:M0Xee.34017$Ow2.10710@fe06.lga...
    >>
    >> probably - or Lowe's, etc. - little plug in thing with some LEDs. The
    >> lights tell you if the wiring is correct - no neutral/positive swap, good
    >> ground, that kind of thing.
    >>
    >
    >
    > Would this be what I need:
    > http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=12370-1781-GRT-800&lpage=none
    >
    >
    Yup - that's the puppy!
  18. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Plato" <|@|.|> wrote in message
    news:427c45e5$0$79366$bb4e3ad8@newscene.com...
    > Toolman Tim wrote:
    >>
    >> From what I've read, surge protectors 'expire' - after so many blocked
    >> surges, they lose the abiltity to continue to work in that capacity - and
    >> don't cease to provide AC to the computer. You would think that the
    >
    > My el cheapo surge protectors at home just "snap" after a nice surge and
    > then fail to work at all. Doesnt bother me I have a supply and just
    > replace it as I guess it did its job. Never had pc surge damage using
    > the cheap units. Generally each system is protected by at least 2 of
    > them, ie one plugged into the other. Anytime I rebuild a system or move
    > it both protectors get trashed also and replaced with new ones just in
    > case what you say above is correct, which it probably is.
    >
    Yeah - I wish they all worked that way. I'd rather replace a $10 unit than
    repair a computer!
  19. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Wheat Muncher" <nope@nope.com> wrote in message
    news:117oii5l1g1s2a@corp.supernews.com...
    > B. Walker wrote:
    >
    >> 2.) I assume I can get an outlet checker at radio shack or any
    >> electronics store?
    >
    >
    > Sometimes that is not always enough. I encountered two houses within the
    > same power block that had dirty power. It tested fine in the house, but
    > when a load was placed on it (dishwasher or washing machine) all hell
    > broke loose. I actually had the local power comany come in and place a
    > line box on to soak test it. They then took the readings and graphed it
    > out so we could see when, and by how much the power fluctuated. We nailed
    > the problem to an outside line, so they fixed it at no cost to the
    > customer, and the insurance covered damaged electronics.
    > Just thought I would toss that in, as it may be handy information for you.
    >
    > Wheaty

    Excellent info - thanks!
  20. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    On Sat, 07 May 2005 02:38:07 GMT, "B. Walker"
    <bawalkerREMOVE@THISmodemnet.net> wrote:

    >Hello all,
    >
    >I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but I'm
    >unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:
    >
    >First I want to say upfront that I am a systems engineer/builder/network
    >engineer and have been dealing with hardware for years now so I am truely
    >experienced and am using this as a last resort to figure out a problem I am
    >having with a clients PC system. Her system is a custom build tower she
    >purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.
    >
    >The client I have came to me 2 years ago to have the bad motherboard
    >replaced. It was a GigaByte board with an AthlonXP processor, I replaced it
    >with an exact model and everything worked for over a year and half.

    IMO, it should not have had same model put in again, at that
    point the board was suspect- not just that specimen but the
    particular make and model, OR there was a contributing
    factor that also needed addressed, like the power supply or
    the case cooling (among other potentials but those being the
    more common).


    >Well
    >last fall the client comes to me again with major issues of Windows slowing
    >down, crashing, not working and it was determined that her powersupply was
    >going bad and the motherboard was damaged (bulgding/leaking capacitor).

    What make and model was the original power supply?
    It might've killed both boards. What part(s) failed in that
    power supply? Sometimes cause is equally as important as
    effect, the failed part is not always the "problem" per se.


    > I
    >replaced both of these items last fall with an Antec 350 PSU and a albatron
    >motherboard and again her system worked *great* in my office lab area. I
    >thoroughly tested these prior returning the system to her
    >
    >I returned it to her and she was using it just fine till last month when she
    >contacted me again as to having major slowdown/crashing problems that were a
    >result of a knocking noise. I diagnosed the problem as a failing Samsung
    >hard drive, replaced it with a Maxtor 7200rpm drive this past weekend.
    >Again in my labs this system was working great. Windows installed very
    >fast, everything was very responsive so again I dropped off the tower at her
    >house.

    The hard drive may've simply been coincidental, or the
    longer-term stress of being powered by the earlier failed
    drive. Not all failures are instantaneous but rather
    progressive, accelerated reduction of parts' lifespan.
    However, by this point it would've been prudent to have
    taken multimeter readings of the power supply while system
    is in it's typical running state.


    >
    >Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up it
    >breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running very very
    >slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system simply wouldn't
    >start, at all. She would power it up, only fans would spin, no beeps, no
    >signal to the monitor, no response whatsoever.

    Too many variables... Moving a system around (particularly
    with some of the flimsier cases I've seen) can flex the
    motherboard and break contact on cards, crack boards, or it
    could even be a loose cable. It would be helpful to go to
    the site and check it in that environment, measuring input
    AC power, checking the interior of the system, etc.


    >
    >This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
    >something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or could
    >that be the source?

    It's possible, but if the other electrical/electronic
    components in the house seem to be fine that's probably not
    it. Any fairly decent power supply will accept a fair range
    of input voltages and other anomolies in the house should be
    noted if the power is problematic. That is, unless it's
    isolated to a particular circuit or even one outlet (in the
    chain-of-outlets considering surge protectors or UPS, etc).
    Simply trying the system at another location in the house
    might suffice.

    What specific Albatron motherboard? Some of the nForce
    chipset based boards had a bug known roughly as "lost bios
    syndrome" where the bios would become corrupt somehow.
    Clearing CMOS is one thing to try. If the system becomes
    operational (and stable) it might be good to update the
    board bios. While the more obvious culprit would be
    (anything remaining) a constant though all these failures
    like the AC power or the case cooling, on the other hand
    stranger things have happened.

    >Each of the several times I have worked on her system
    >the system ran great at my office after working on it.

    True, BUT on more of the occasions the system did work after
    being returned home. Do these failures seem seasonal?

    >Most of the hardware
    >has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR ram, otherwise the
    >motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been replaced.

    True, but not simultaneously. This is one of the problems
    with starting out with a poor system (if it were), not only
    will the system have the typical failure rates expected for
    a "normal" system but also the additional failure modes or
    lifespan reduction seen from particular components like the
    motherboard, PSU, or fan failures.

    At this point it might be useful to also have the system
    back in the lab and determine IF it works there and if not,
    which part is now failed. I hate to write it but sometimes
    it seems people are just cursed, if anything can go wrong it
    will at higher frequency than anybody else would have
    similar problems.


    >I simply am at
    >a loss for what would allow the system to work great at my office and then
    >at her house instantly develop serious problems.

    I had one lady whose monitor was more temperamental than her
    system itself. Her descriptions were of a system not
    posting, but it turned out that only the monitor wasn't
    working right on the flaky AC. As I'd instructed she had
    turned off the monitor, but only using the soft-off button
    on the front. While on-site I turned it off via a switch on
    the rear (though disconnecting AC would've worked as well)
    and voila, it worked again. Apparently this particular
    monitor had it's logic (or ???) go bad when power dipped,
    then it would be locked up and non-functional until AC was
    reset to it. I'd though "failing monitor" and advised her
    that it might go out completely but now over 2 years later
    it still works fine with regular use.

    Sometimes it helps to just "forget" the prior attempts at
    fixing a system and start clean again as if you'd never seen
    the system. Other times (like with smokers) it can just be
    expected that the system will deteriorate with time,
    especially in humid environments. AC house power is an
    obvious suspect and I'd definitely check that but there are
    a lot of other variables still.
  21. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "David Maynard" <nospam@private.net> wrote in message
    news:117orble6ic4cdd@corp.supernews.com...
    > B. Walker wrote:
    >
    >> Hello all,
    >>
    >> I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but I'm
    >> unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:
    >>
    >> First I want to say upfront that I am a systems engineer/builder/network
    >> engineer and have been dealing with hardware for years now so I am truely
    >> experienced and am using this as a last resort to figure out a problem I
    >> am having with a clients PC system. Her system is a custom build tower
    >> she purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.

    [snip]


    >> Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up it
    >> breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running very very
    >> slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system simply wouldn't
    >> start, at all. She would power it up, only fans would spin, no beeps, no
    >> signal to the monitor, no response whatsoever.
    >>
    >> This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
    >> something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or
    >> could that be the source? Each of the several times I have worked on her
    >> system the system ran great at my office after working on it. Most of
    >> the hardware has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR ram,
    >> otherwise the motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been
    >> replaced. I simply am at a loss for what would allow the system to work
    >> great at my office and then at her house instantly develop serious
    >> problems.
    >>
    >> Brad
    >
    > I'm having a wee bit of a problem following the extent of your logic. All
    > of the problems you mentioned took a year, or more, to manifest with the
    > exception of the recent hard drive replacement and, as far as I can tell,
    > you haven't diagnosed the current problem yet.

    Exactly. Everything that happened before is irrelevant to the current
    problem.


    > I mean, it's a bit of an exaggeration to say it works great on the bench
    > and then always fails as soon as she gets it home.

    Yeppers.

    [snip]

    > On the other hand, one could imagine two, identical, main board failures,
    > since odds are decent they had the same caps, taking, over time, the
    > (possibly cheap) PSU with them. Hard drive failure in three years, or even
    > less, seems to be all too common with 'compact' (mini tower) systems these
    > days (poor case ventilation and sometimes odd mounting).

    I'm betting on some sort of component failure.
  22. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Oxford Systems wrote:

    > "David Maynard" <nospam@private.net> wrote in message
    > news:117orble6ic4cdd@corp.supernews.com...
    >
    >>B. Walker wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>Hello all,
    >>>
    >>>I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but I'm
    >>>unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:
    >>>
    >>>First I want to say upfront that I am a systems engineer/builder/network
    >>>engineer and have been dealing with hardware for years now so I am truely
    >>>experienced and am using this as a last resort to figure out a problem I
    >>>am having with a clients PC system. Her system is a custom build tower
    >>>she purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.
    >
    >
    > [snip]
    >
    >
    >
    >>>Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up it
    >>>breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running very very
    >>>slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system simply wouldn't
    >>>start, at all. She would power it up, only fans would spin, no beeps, no
    >>>signal to the monitor, no response whatsoever.
    >>>
    >>>This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
    >>>something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or
    >>>could that be the source? Each of the several times I have worked on her
    >>>system the system ran great at my office after working on it. Most of
    >>>the hardware has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR ram,
    >>>otherwise the motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been
    >>>replaced. I simply am at a loss for what would allow the system to work
    >>>great at my office and then at her house instantly develop serious
    >>>problems.
    >>>
    >>>Brad
    >>
    >>I'm having a wee bit of a problem following the extent of your logic. All
    >>of the problems you mentioned took a year, or more, to manifest with the
    >>exception of the recent hard drive replacement and, as far as I can tell,
    >>you haven't diagnosed the current problem yet.
    >
    >
    > Exactly. Everything that happened before is irrelevant to the current
    > problem.
    >
    >
    >
    >>I mean, it's a bit of an exaggeration to say it works great on the bench
    >>and then always fails as soon as she gets it home.
    >
    >
    > Yeppers.
    >
    > [snip]
    >
    >
    >>On the other hand, one could imagine two, identical, main board failures,
    >>since odds are decent they had the same caps, taking, over time, the
    >>(possibly cheap) PSU with them. Hard drive failure in three years, or even
    >>less, seems to be all too common with 'compact' (mini tower) systems these
    >>days (poor case ventilation and sometimes odd mounting).
    >
    >
    > I'm betting on some sort of component failure.
    >
    >

    Certainly a possibility. But it could also be something jarred loose in
    transport. And even if he was as careful as a mother hen on eggs there's no
    telling what the owner did in getting it just from their car in the
    driveway to the final destination.

    Another poster's comments about vacuum cleaners reminded me of another
    customer with 'mysterious' semi frequent failures of various kinds, most of
    which were his lack of computer knowledge, including the 'feeling' of
    'frequent'. But they only bumped the vacuum cleaner into the case 2 or 3
    times each cleaning, in addition to the less than motherly rearranging of
    the system to get around it. The problem was, in fact, a card that had
    jiggled loose.


    It's all just speculation and amusing stories, though, till he finds out
    what's wrong with it.
  23. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Oxford Systems" <oxfordsystems@earthlinkdot.net> wrote in message
    news:TL%ee.8611$HL2.8069@newsread3.news.pas.earthlink.net...
    > "David Maynard" <nospam@private.net> wrote in message
    > news:117orble6ic4cdd@corp.supernews.com...
    > > B. Walker wrote:
    > >
    > >> Hello all,
    > >>
    > >> I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but I'm
    > >> unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:
    > >>
    > >> First I want to say upfront that I am a systems
    engineer/builder/network
    > >> engineer and have been dealing with hardware for years now so I am
    truely
    > >> experienced and am using this as a last resort to figure out a problem
    I
    > >> am having with a clients PC system. Her system is a custom build tower
    > >> she purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.
    >
    > [snip]
    >
    >
    > >> Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up it
    > >> breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running very
    very
    > >> slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system simply
    wouldn't
    > >> start, at all. She would power it up, only fans would spin, no beeps,
    no
    > >> signal to the monitor, no response whatsoever.
    > >>
    > >> This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
    > >> something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or
    > >> could that be the source? Each of the several times I have worked on
    her
    > >> system the system ran great at my office after working on it. Most of
    > >> the hardware has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR ram,
    > >> otherwise the motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been
    > >> replaced. I simply am at a loss for what would allow the system to
    work
    > >> great at my office and then at her house instantly develop serious
    > >> problems.
    > >>
    > >> Brad
    > >
    > > I'm having a wee bit of a problem following the extent of your logic.
    All
    > > of the problems you mentioned took a year, or more, to manifest with the
    > > exception of the recent hard drive replacement and, as far as I can
    tell,
    > > you haven't diagnosed the current problem yet.
    >
    > Exactly. Everything that happened before is irrelevant to the current
    > problem.
    >
    >
    > > I mean, it's a bit of an exaggeration to say it works great on the bench
    > > and then always fails as soon as she gets it home.
    >
    > Yeppers.
    >
    > [snip]
    >
    > > On the other hand, one could imagine two, identical, main board
    failures,
    > > since odds are decent they had the same caps, taking, over time, the
    > > (possibly cheap) PSU with them. Hard drive failure in three years, or
    even
    > > less, seems to be all too common with 'compact' (mini tower) systems
    these
    > > days (poor case ventilation and sometimes odd mounting).
    >
    > I'm betting on some sort of component failure.


    OH IC, but not the memory module...........its irrelevant
  24. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "B. Walker" <bawalkerREMOVE@THISmodemnet.net> wrote in message
    news:jSVee.637$w9.307@news02.roc.ny...
    > Hello all,
    >
    > I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but I'm
    > unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:
    >
    > First I want to say upfront that I am a systems engineer/builder/network
    > engineer and have been dealing with hardware for years now so I am truely
    > experienced and am using this as a last resort to figure out a problem I
    > am having with a clients PC system. Her system is a custom build tower
    > she purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.
    [snip]

    Everything that was snipped out is irrelevant. It has nothing to do with
    what is going on now. You haven't bothered to troubleshoot and diagnose the
    *current* problem.

    > Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up it
    > breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running very very
    > slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system simply wouldn't
    > start, at all. She would power it up, only fans would spin, no beeps, no
    > signal to the monitor, no response whatsoever.

    Well, it sounds like a component failure or a loose connection somewhere,
    doesn't it? Maybe you should take a look.

    > This has TRUELY
    ^^^^^^^

    Once I can stand. Twice is unacceptable. It's spelled T-R-U-L-Y.

    > got me baffled

    Why are you baffled? You haven't even looked at the damn thing to see what
    the problem might be. You don't get to be baffled. Personally, I'm baffled
    that you're baffled about a problem that you haven't even tried to diagnose.

    > and I'm wondering if this doesn't have something to do with an electrial
    > problem in the house?

    Why would it? Does she have a rash of failures in other appliances? First
    rule: K-I-S-S.

    > Would it or could that be the source?

    Anything *could be* the source but you need to stop being "baffled" and take
    an actual look. I wouldn't be surprised to see a bad capacitor on the
    motherboard. Just because it happened before doesn't mean it hasn't happened
    again and the symptoms sound right.

    > Each of the several times I have worked on her system the system ran great
    > at my office after working on it.

    And that has not a damn thing to do with the present situation.

    > Most of the hardware has been replaced

    Irrelevant.

    > except a stick of Kingston DDR ram, otherwise the motherboard,
    > powersupply, and hard drive have been replaced.

    Irrelevant.

    > I simply am at a loss for what would allow the system to work great at my
    > office and then at her house instantly develop serious problems.

    Right now you don't know that this system will work fine in your office. As
    far as when problems develop, ever hear of "coincidence"? Go check the damn
    PC. And if you think it might be a power problem, sell her a line
    conditioning UPS and make a buck or two.

    You said you were an engineer? That's funny!
  25. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    A completely useless post...let me guess 24 hour help desk..... does your
    ego get in the way often?
    and the spell check was really necessary I suppose.


    tell me why the 'memory' is completely irrelevant?


    "Oxford Systems" <oxfordsystems@earthlinkdot.net> wrote in message
    news:oU%ee.8616$HL2.649@newsread3.news.pas.earthlink.net...
    > "B. Walker" <bawalkerREMOVE@THISmodemnet.net> wrote in message
    > news:jSVee.637$w9.307@news02.roc.ny...
    > > Hello all,
    > >
    > > I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but I'm
    > > unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:
    > >
    > > First I want to say upfront that I am a systems engineer/builder/network
    > > engineer and have been dealing with hardware for years now so I am
    truely
    > > experienced and am using this as a last resort to figure out a problem I
    > > am having with a clients PC system. Her system is a custom build tower
    > > she purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.
    > [snip]
    >
    > Everything that was snipped out is irrelevant. It has nothing to do with
    > what is going on now. You haven't bothered to troubleshoot and diagnose
    the
    > *current* problem.
    >
    > > Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up it
    > > breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running very very
    > > slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system simply wouldn't
    > > start, at all. She would power it up, only fans would spin, no beeps,
    no
    > > signal to the monitor, no response whatsoever.
    >
    > Well, it sounds like a component failure or a loose connection somewhere,
    > doesn't it? Maybe you should take a look.
    >
    > > This has TRUELY
    > ^^^^^^^
    >
    > Once I can stand. Twice is unacceptable. It's spelled T-R-U-L-Y.
    >
    > > got me baffled
    >
    > Why are you baffled? You haven't even looked at the damn thing to see what
    > the problem might be. You don't get to be baffled. Personally, I'm baffled
    > that you're baffled about a problem that you haven't even tried to
    diagnose.
    >
    > > and I'm wondering if this doesn't have something to do with an electrial
    > > problem in the house?
    >
    > Why would it? Does she have a rash of failures in other appliances? First
    > rule: K-I-S-S.
    >
    > > Would it or could that be the source?
    >
    > Anything *could be* the source but you need to stop being "baffled" and
    take
    > an actual look. I wouldn't be surprised to see a bad capacitor on the
    > motherboard. Just because it happened before doesn't mean it hasn't
    happened
    > again and the symptoms sound right.
    >
    > > Each of the several times I have worked on her system the system ran
    great
    > > at my office after working on it.
    >
    > And that has not a damn thing to do with the present situation.
    >
    > > Most of the hardware has been replaced
    >
    > Irrelevant.
    >
    > > except a stick of Kingston DDR ram, otherwise the motherboard,
    > > powersupply, and hard drive have been replaced.
    >
    > Irrelevant.
    >
    > > I simply am at a loss for what would allow the system to work great at
    my
    > > office and then at her house instantly develop serious problems.
    >
    > Right now you don't know that this system will work fine in your office.
    As
    > far as when problems develop, ever hear of "coincidence"? Go check the
    damn
    > PC. And if you think it might be a power problem, sell her a line
    > conditioning UPS and make a buck or two.
    >
    > You said you were an engineer? That's funny!
    >
    >
  26. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Toolman Tim wrote:


    >
    > Excellent info - thanks!
    >
    >
    np. Just hope it helps.

    Wheats
  27. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    > A little background never hurts. It allows people to form their answers
    > based on the perceived knowledge of the poster. Not everyone has "Nerdese"
    > as a second language.

    You are right. I do this for a living, and I can spot the phoneys,
    and this OxSys guy is one. The problem BWalker is having is
    not unusual at all. I'm having the same problem, and I have
    every tool and trick in the book to examine these things in
    detail ... and I do. I'm finding that there are users out there
    who are just destructive and thoughtless, and come back
    with weird reports of problems that could have been solved
    with a single reboot .... slow OS is a biggie. So the story
    gets stranger and stranger until I'm ready to tell her/him to
    go buy a DELL and torment the devil out of them. I'm
    also seeing the results of "buying Chinese". Their quality
    standards are very poor, and they will put out products
    that they know are bad, and we get to go through periods
    of trying to maintain junk. Right now, I can't keep a
    Maxtor drive running. Even the SATAs are failing at a
    tremendous rate ... bad spots all over the drive. The
    big video cards are fun to play with, but again, I don't see
    how the average user can stand it. The drivers take
    a lot of babysitting. Buy a new DELL .. if you want to
    hear rattle trap fans raising hell late at night. If you
    really like WEIRD .. build a system with VIA chipset.

    johns
  28. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Your the one that is ASSUMING...just about everything you said was either
    your OPINION or a assumption.
    Not that there was much else to give, except you come off like you have the
    whole thing figured out.
  29. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "David Maynard" <nospam@private.net> wrote in message
    news:117p5cnqg1ulj6d@corp.supernews.com...
    [snip]
    >
    > It's all just speculation and amusing stories, though, till he finds out
    > what's wrong with it.

    Perfect summary.
  30. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    B. Walker wrote:

    > First I want to say upfront that I am a systems
    > engineer/builder/network engineer and have been
    > dealing with hardware for years now so I am truely
    > experienced and am using this as a last resort to
    > figure out a problem I am having with a clients PC
    > system. Her system is a custom build tower she
    > purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.

    > 2.) I assume I can get an outlet checker at radio shack
    > or any electronics store?

    Why didn't you simply use your meter and scope? Or at
    least run her system from an UPS with its power cord
    unplugged from the wall outlet (everything run off UPS,
    including monitor, nothing plugged into wall outlets)?
    Any real engineer would have tried such things.
  31. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Well to sum it up, the family is having an electrician come in for other
    reasons this week and I suggested they have the electrician check out the
    outlet and or circuit for that part of the house.


    "Oxford Systems" <oxfordsystems@earthlinkdot.net> wrote in message
    news:%19fe.8599$GQ5.5633@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
    > "David Maynard" <nospam@private.net> wrote in message
    > news:117p5cnqg1ulj6d@corp.supernews.com...
    > [snip]
    >>
    >> It's all just speculation and amusing stories, though, till he finds out
    >> what's wrong with it.
    >
    > Perfect summary.
    >
  32. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    JAD wrote:
    > A completely useless post...let me guess 24 hour help desk..... does your
    > ego get in the way often?
    > and the spell check was really necessary I suppose.
    >
    >

    Actually in one respect, Oxford was completely on the ball. Until the
    OP actually sees the computer and does some elementary trouble shooting,
    it is all speculation as to what the problem could be.

    I'll play the game though. I suspect the most recent fault is
    unrelated to the previous ones. I also suspect the slowdowns and
    crashes reported in the past have been *software* related, rather than
    hardware, and in an attempt to solve the problems new hardware has been
    thrown at the computer.

    Each time new hardware was installed, the operating system was
    re-installed, and during testing worked as expected until it got back to
    the client, then over a period of time the same things happened again.

    But then again, I could be just as wrong as anyone else.

    --
    Cheers
    Oldus Fartus
  33. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    New guy takes a stab at it:
    Hi, I'm Trucker Al, an obvious pseudonym that has nothing to do with my
    real name nor profession.

    When I lived in a cheap-built "garden apartment" I had bad hardware luck
    all the time - even oversized APC Back-UPS systems wouldn't survuve more than a
    year. Reason: I was running everything off one poor 15-amp line, with a dirty
    ground, in an area with frequent lightning strikes.

    Since I've moved out to an area that delivers better-regulated wattage
    than Atlantic Electric, my problems have all gone away....


    1) When I moved in, (actually, back to an apartment attached to my
    parents' home due to a crippling on-job injury) I started by testing the
    polarity of every outlet with a cheap 3-neon-bulb tester to make sure all was
    well with the house wiring, much of which I had done myself years earlier.

    2) I made one change. The house had the old ground, a deep-enough
    galvanized pipe well, no longer in use, the telco ground, the power company's
    meter ground and a lovely copper pipe that led below the frost line to the
    public water supply put in when the shallow wells became polluted - all within 4
    feet of another, and each serving as part of the electric system's ground point.
    I freshened all the ground clamps and wired all the grounds together with fresh
    12-gauge copper - then I wired all the pipes in the hot-water system directly to
    the cold, so both heating system and domestic hw pipes were good solid
    connectors except in a few places where modern plumbers had gotten to them with
    plastic.
    NOTE: before I did this, I checked carefully to make sure each ground
    was true and not floating at some peculiar voltage level due to a bad connection
    somewhere.

    3 Then came my big break. The computer room took over what had been a
    kitchen, complete with a 2-phase x 20 amps each phase stove outlet with its own
    breaker a short distance away..Wired a stove cord/plug to an old breaker box
    that also had a floating (ungrounded) neutral bar. Ground the paint off part of
    the interior of the box and installed a standard ground bar (a length of metal
    pierced by holes of all sizes with screws to hold tight your wires.

    Added 1 double-pole x 20 amp breaker coming into the box, then 4, 15-amp
    outgoing breakers - each one leading to its own 15-amp outlet in a plastic box,
    I checked the outlets, and though I couldn't afford the certified hospital
    orange models, these sure had separate neutral and ground lines.

    Right now, everything plugged into the outlets is plugged into a surge
    supressor first. If the money ever comes in, I plan on buying six HUGE MOVs
    (metal-oxide varistors, aka ZNRs, aka surge supressors) and adding them to the
    extention cord box (linking hot x to hot y, each hot line to neutral each hot
    line to ground and neutral to ground) This means that a voltage spike on *any*
    line gets clamped and drained. I'll probably still keep the battery backup on my
    main machine and the separate smaller unit on the cable modem and
    firewall/distribution hub and all the surge surpressors intact, along with the
    minimum APC or Tripp-Lite 3-MOV some + gas discharge tube surge surpressors on
    every piece of consumer electronics I own.

    At least the house is surrounded by 70-year-old oaks, which form a
    natural ring of lightning protection as good as lightning rods could achieve,
    without risking bringing a strike towards the house.

    Things are a whole lot more reliable around here these days...... (now
    if folks would stop hitting utility poles at 5 a.m. so I'm awakened by battery
    backup alarms from all over......

    TrAl
  34. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    On 7 May 2005 21:16:59 -0700, manny@london.com wrote:

    >
    >B. Walker wrote:
    >
    >> First I want to say upfront that I am a systems
    >> engineer/builder/network engineer and have been
    >> dealing with hardware for years now so I am truely
    >> experienced and am using this as a last resort to
    >> figure out a problem I am having with a clients PC
    >> system. Her system is a custom build tower she
    >> purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.
    >
    >> 2.) I assume I can get an outlet checker at radio shack
    >> or any electronics store?
    >
    >Why didn't you simply use your meter and scope? Or at
    >least run her system from an UPS with its power cord
    >unplugged from the wall outlet (everything run off UPS,
    >including monitor, nothing plugged into wall outlets)?
    >Any real engineer would have tried such things.

    No real engineer adds ANOTHER variable by putting an UPS
    intbetween the systen and outlet if they had a meter and
    scope there too. Actually, most engineers wouldn't be
    bothering with a scope at all, it is not necessary for AC
    troubleshooting into a PC SMPS.
  35. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    It sounds like she probably has a sup-prime electrical supply to her house
    from the local utility company. She may want to invest in a quality
    external unit that acts as a high quality surge suppresion/voltage
    stabilization device. Not cheap, but far better than repeatedly replacing
    one's computer.

    --
    DaveW


    "B. Walker" <bawalkerREMOVE@THISmodemnet.net> wrote in message
    news:jSVee.637$w9.307@news02.roc.ny...
    > Hello all,
    >
    > I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but I'm
    > unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:
    >
    > First I want to say upfront that I am a systems engineer/builder/network
    > engineer and have been dealing with hardware for years now so I am truely
    > experienced and am using this as a last resort to figure out a problem I
    > am having with a clients PC system. Her system is a custom build tower
    > she purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.
    >
    > The client I have came to me 2 years ago to have the bad motherboard
    > replaced. It was a GigaByte board with an AthlonXP processor, I replaced
    > it with an exact model and everything worked for over a year and half.
    > Well last fall the client comes to me again with major issues of Windows
    > slowing down, crashing, not working and it was determined that her
    > powersupply was going bad and the motherboard was damaged
    > (bulgding/leaking capacitor). I replaced both of these items last fall
    > with an Antec 350 PSU and a albatron motherboard and again her system
    > worked *great* in my office lab area. I thoroughly tested these prior
    > returning the system to her
    >
    > I returned it to her and she was using it just fine till last month when
    > she contacted me again as to having major slowdown/crashing problems that
    > were a result of a knocking noise. I diagnosed the problem as a failing
    > Samsung hard drive, replaced it with a Maxtor 7200rpm drive this past
    > weekend. Again in my labs this system was working great. Windows
    > installed very fast, everything was very responsive so again I dropped off
    > the tower at her house.
    >
    > Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up it
    > breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running very very
    > slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system simply wouldn't
    > start, at all. She would power it up, only fans would spin, no beeps, no
    > signal to the monitor, no response whatsoever.
    >
    > This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
    > something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or could
    > that be the source? Each of the several times I have worked on her system
    > the system ran great at my office after working on it. Most of the
    > hardware has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR ram, otherwise
    > the motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been replaced. I simply
    > am at a loss for what would allow the system to work great at my office
    > and then at her house instantly develop serious problems.
    >
    > Brad
    >
  36. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    kony wrote:
    > On 7 May 2005 21:16:59 -0700, manny@london.com wrote:

    > >Why didn't you simply use your meter and scope? Or at
    > >least run her system from an UPS with its power cord
    > >unplugged from the wall outlet (everything run off UPS,
    > >including monitor, nothing plugged into wall outlets)?
    > >Any real engineer would have tried such things.
    >
    > No real engineer adds ANOTHER variable by putting an UPS
    > in between the systen and outlet if they had a meter and
    > scope there too. Actually, most engineers wouldn't be
    > bothering with a scope at all, it is not necessary for AC
    > troubleshooting into a PC SMPS.

    An UPS isn't an extra variable if it's unplugged from the wall outlet.
    Its only purpose is to eliminate the household AC as
    a possible cause of the problem. I agree a scope isn't needed,
    but it can show any bad noise on the AC lines.
  37. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    On 10 May 2005 05:37:30 -0700, manny@london.com wrote:

    >
    >kony wrote:
    >> On 7 May 2005 21:16:59 -0700, manny@london.com wrote:
    >
    >> >Why didn't you simply use your meter and scope? Or at
    >> >least run her system from an UPS with its power cord
    >> >unplugged from the wall outlet (everything run off UPS,
    >> >including monitor, nothing plugged into wall outlets)?
    >> >Any real engineer would have tried such things.
    >>
    >> No real engineer adds ANOTHER variable by putting an UPS
    >> in between the systen and outlet if they had a meter and
    >> scope there too. Actually, most engineers wouldn't be
    >> bothering with a scope at all, it is not necessary for AC
    >> troubleshooting into a PC SMPS.
    >
    >An UPS isn't an extra variable if it's unplugged from the wall outlet.

    It is because IT'S output is still subject to scrutiny.
    It is simply introducing another variable when the prior
    variables can be passed/failed without it.

    >Its only purpose is to eliminate the household AC as
    >a possible cause of the problem. I agree a scope isn't needed,
    >but it can show any bad noise on the AC lines.

    It can show noise, but it won't point out the noise as the
    source of the problem, rather than distracting from the fact
    that the PSU needs replaced if it can't reject that noise
    and function properly. To that extent, perhaps a scope
    would be helpful in troubleshooting the PSU itself, but to
    confirm it another PSU would need be tried and would also
    eliminate the need for the scope... at least until later
    when a decision is made whether that PSU is suitable for
    *anything* if not the original system.
  38. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    The computer is on a standard 'Wal-Mart' type $20 surge protector but
    not a UPS. Amazing...if you spend the money for a nice computer this is
    the minimum I'd recommend.
    > http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16842101124
  39. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "JoeA" <Jsalpha2@ATnetscape.net> wrote in message
    news:-YKdnfH9JuSPHgTfRVn-ug@comcast.com...
    >
    > The computer is on a standard 'Wal-Mart' type $20 surge protector but not
    > a UPS. Amazing...if you spend the money for a nice computer this is the
    > minimum I'd recommend.
    >> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16842101124

    Adequate only if you plug no peripherals into it. I'd suggest using it for
    the computer and monitor only - nothing else. Leave the printers, speakers,
    scanners, etc., plugged into the surge protector.
  40. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    I have read some of your suplimental posts and some of the replies.
    While I should probably read them all, I didn't. Because of that, some
    of my answer will be duplication, and some is intentially repeated
    because it is so important.

    I have diagnosed some very unusual situations including one where the
    pc worked on the bench, but failed immediately in place. Take it back
    to the shop and it again worked fine, consistantly. I solved another
    problem where the machine would crash at around 7:30AM two or three
    times a week. These can be very difficult.

    It is a good idea to check the power, no matter how expensive the
    house is or how new it is, mistakes happen. In addition to other
    things, put a load on the circuit at the outlet you are using. A. Test
    the voltage from hot to ground at the outlet. B. Test the voltage from
    hot to neutral at that same outlet. C. Test the voltage from ground to
    neutral at the same outlet.

    A should equal B exactly, zero deviation. C should be zero, not even
    0.1 volt. Remember to have a load on the outlet, perhaps a 75 to 100
    watt incandescent light bulb, not florescent.

    Force the refrigerator on and watch the voltage on a DVM. It is
    unlikely you could see a dip, even if it was significant, but it is
    worth a try. Same thing with the garbage disposer, toaster, oven, and
    the dish washer. By the way, all these are bad to have near a p.c..
    There is a chance that one or more is on the same circuit as the p.c.,
    even though they really shouldn't be. I don't like to see a p.c in the
    kitchen or dining room for that reason.

    It is a very common misconception that surge supressors are mostly for
    lightning. There are LOTS of other surge generators. One of the bigest
    in a house are the refrigerator and the garbage disposer. The pc is in
    the kitchen...hmmmmmm. Since it is a kitchen, it is on a GFI circuit?
    An outlet can be on a GFI circuit without being directly on a GFI
    breaker. GFI can introduce EMF.

    Any surge supressor under around $50 is not good enough. If Walmart
    carries it, is is probably also not good enough. Tripplight and APC
    costing over $50 is suggested. If this was an critical pc in a
    business, I would put in a UPS WITH VR, not just a UPS. This doesn't
    warrant it. At least get a good one with EMF supression too.

    The following paragraph is personal opinion formed over several years
    of advising people who build pc's professionally: use MSI or Soyo
    motherboards, there is a big difference in reliability; use Antec
    power supplies, the cheapie ones are cheap for a reason; use Maxtor or
    WDC hard drives; use major brand memory, e.g. Kingston, PNY; use name
    brand video and sound cards, not the $9.95 off brand ones.

    The reason for the above is experience. I saw a tremendous decrease in
    warrany returns when the above was implemented. The savings in
    warranty repairs made up for the hastle of getting the good stuff.

    Before everyone tells how wonderful their particular brand of parts
    are and how they have had such great experience with them, I say, look
    at the statistics. If you build one computer a year, you may easily
    not see the difference in the quality of parts. If you build a hundred
    a week, you see the difference. I am happy for those who use brand X
    and have had a good experience, but I have to go for the highest
    percentage. The same goes for the fact that even my favorite brands
    have had problems, nothing is perfect, its all percentages.

    If the original power supply regulator was bad, it could have trashed
    or simply stressed ALL the other components. That could have been a
    factor in their short life. I have actually seen that happen, but
    almost never. Most of the "power supply testers" out there are
    basically checking only for a voltage in the ball park. They won't
    tell you if it is 20% too high or varies from hour to hour. The fact
    that some of the components are brands that I stopped using because of
    their lower reliability may be an important factor also.

    Did you, personally, verify that the user did not load anything to
    cause a slowdown? Could she have visited a web site and gotten
    malware? When she hooked it up at home, was there a printer? If so,
    that would add new drivers. Her monitor is different than yours, also
    would cause new drivers to load at her place. Any other periferals at
    her place? A portable MP3 perhaps.

    Did she load ANYTHING at all? Weatherbug, a music sharing program,
    atomic clock, IE toolbars, anything? These all often contain malware.
    Incidently, using one or two spy checkers is not adequate. I have
    never seen one catch all the spyware.

    Good luck.


    On Sat, 07 May 2005 02:38:07 GMT, "B. Walker"
    <bawalkerREMOVE@THISmodemnet.net> wrote:

    >Hello all,
    >
    >I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but I'm
    >unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:
    >
    >First I want to say upfront that I am a systems engineer/builder/network
    >engineer and have been dealing with hardware for years now so I am truely
    >experienced and am using this as a last resort to figure out a problem I am
    >having with a clients PC system. Her system is a custom build tower she
    >purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.
    >
    >The client I have came to me 2 years ago to have the bad motherboard
    >replaced. It was a GigaByte board with an AthlonXP processor, I replaced it
    >with an exact model and everything worked for over a year and half. Well
    >last fall the client comes to me again with major issues of Windows slowing
    >down, crashing, not working and it was determined that her powersupply was
    >going bad and the motherboard was damaged (bulgding/leaking capacitor). I
    >replaced both of these items last fall with an Antec 350 PSU and a albatron
    >motherboard and again her system worked *great* in my office lab area. I
    >thoroughly tested these prior returning the system to her
    >
    >I returned it to her and she was using it just fine till last month when she
    >contacted me again as to having major slowdown/crashing problems that were a
    >result of a knocking noise. I diagnosed the problem as a failing Samsung
    >hard drive, replaced it with a Maxtor 7200rpm drive this past weekend.
    >Again in my labs this system was working great. Windows installed very
    >fast, everything was very responsive so again I dropped off the tower at her
    >house.
    >
    >Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up it
    >breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running very very
    >slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system simply wouldn't
    >start, at all. She would power it up, only fans would spin, no beeps, no
    >signal to the monitor, no response whatsoever.
    >
    >This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
    >something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or could
    >that be the source? Each of the several times I have worked on her system
    >the system ran great at my office after working on it. Most of the hardware
    >has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR ram, otherwise the
    >motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been replaced. I simply am at
    >a loss for what would allow the system to work great at my office and then
    >at her house instantly develop serious problems.
    >
    >Brad
    >
  41. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "p.c. guy" <none@none.com> wrote in message
    news:qtdaa190dgs3fk206n0rlgp0n5kj54r3ln@4ax.com...
    > I have read some of your suplimental posts and some of the replies.
    > While I should probably read them all, I didn't. Because of that, some
    > of my answer will be duplication, and some is intentially repeated
    > because it is so important.
    >
    > I have diagnosed some very unusual situations including one where the
    > pc worked on the bench, but failed immediately in place. Take it back
    > to the shop and it again worked fine, consistantly. I solved another
    > problem where the machine would crash at around 7:30AM two or three
    > times a week. These can be very difficult.
    >
    > It is a good idea to check the power, no matter how expensive the
    > house is or how new it is, mistakes happen. In addition to other
    > things, put a load on the circuit at the outlet you are using. A. Test
    > the voltage from hot to ground at the outlet. B. Test the voltage from
    > hot to neutral at that same outlet. C. Test the voltage from ground to
    > neutral at the same outlet.
    >
    > A should equal B exactly, zero deviation. C should be zero, not even
    > 0.1 volt. Remember to have a load on the outlet, perhaps a 75 to 100
    > watt incandescent light bulb, not florescent.
    >
    > Force the refrigerator on and watch the voltage on a DVM. It is
    > unlikely you could see a dip, even if it was significant, but it is
    > worth a try. Same thing with the garbage disposer, toaster, oven, and
    > the dish washer. By the way, all these are bad to have near a p.c..
    > There is a chance that one or more is on the same circuit as the p.c.,
    > even though they really shouldn't be. I don't like to see a p.c in the
    > kitchen or dining room for that reason.
    >
    > It is a very common misconception that surge supressors are mostly for
    > lightning. There are LOTS of other surge generators. One of the bigest
    > in a house are the refrigerator and the garbage disposer. The pc is in
    > the kitchen...hmmmmmm. Since it is a kitchen, it is on a GFI circuit?
    > An outlet can be on a GFI circuit without being directly on a GFI
    > breaker. GFI can introduce EMF.
    >
    > Any surge supressor under around $50 is not good enough. If Walmart
    > carries it, is is probably also not good enough. Tripplight and APC
    > costing over $50 is suggested. If this was an critical pc in a
    > business, I would put in a UPS WITH VR, not just a UPS. This doesn't
    > warrant it. At least get a good one with EMF supression too.
    >
    > The following paragraph is personal opinion formed over several years
    > of advising people who build pc's professionally: use MSI or Soyo

    great post right up to here ..I woudn't touch either of those boards...soyo
    was hit really hard during the capasitor nightmare...


    > motherboards, there is a big difference in reliability; use Antec
    > power supplies, the cheapie ones are cheap for a reason; use Maxtor or
    > WDC hard drives; use major brand memory, e.g. Kingston, PNY; use name
    > brand video and sound cards, not the $9.95 off brand ones.
    >
    > The reason for the above is experience. I saw a tremendous decrease in
    > warrany returns when the above was implemented. The savings in
    > warranty repairs made up for the hastle of getting the good stuff.
    >
    > Before everyone tells how wonderful their particular brand of parts
    > are and how they have had such great experience with them, I say, look
    > at the statistics. If you build one computer a year, you may easily
    > not see the difference in the quality of parts. If you build a hundred
    > a week, you see the difference. I am happy for those who use brand X
    > and have had a good experience, but I have to go for the highest
    > percentage. The same goes for the fact that even my favorite brands
    > have had problems, nothing is perfect, its all percentages.
    >
    > If the original power supply regulator was bad, it could have trashed
    > or simply stressed ALL the other components. That could have been a
    > factor in their short life. I have actually seen that happen, but
    > almost never. Most of the "power supply testers" out there are
    > basically checking only for a voltage in the ball park. They won't
    > tell you if it is 20% too high or varies from hour to hour. The fact
    > that some of the components are brands that I stopped using because of
    > their lower reliability may be an important factor also.
    >
    > Did you, personally, verify that the user did not load anything to
    > cause a slowdown? Could she have visited a web site and gotten
    > malware? When she hooked it up at home, was there a printer? If so,
    > that would add new drivers. Her monitor is different than yours, also
    > would cause new drivers to load at her place. Any other periferals at
    > her place? A portable MP3 perhaps.
    >
    > Did she load ANYTHING at all? Weatherbug, a music sharing program,
    > atomic clock, IE toolbars, anything? These all often contain malware.
    > Incidently, using one or two spy checkers is not adequate. I have
    > never seen one catch all the spyware.
    >
    > Good luck.
    >
    >
    >
    > On Sat, 07 May 2005 02:38:07 GMT, "B. Walker"
    > <bawalkerREMOVE@THISmodemnet.net> wrote:
    >
    > >Hello all,
    > >
    > >I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but I'm
    > >unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:
    > >
    > >First I want to say upfront that I am a systems engineer/builder/network
    > >engineer and have been dealing with hardware for years now so I am truely
    > >experienced and am using this as a last resort to figure out a problem I
    am
    > >having with a clients PC system. Her system is a custom build tower she
    > >purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.
    > >
    > >The client I have came to me 2 years ago to have the bad motherboard
    > >replaced. It was a GigaByte board with an AthlonXP processor, I replaced
    it
    > >with an exact model and everything worked for over a year and half. Well
    > >last fall the client comes to me again with major issues of Windows
    slowing
    > >down, crashing, not working and it was determined that her powersupply
    was
    > >going bad and the motherboard was damaged (bulgding/leaking capacitor).
    I
    > >replaced both of these items last fall with an Antec 350 PSU and a
    albatron
    > >motherboard and again her system worked *great* in my office lab area. I
    > >thoroughly tested these prior returning the system to her
    > >
    > >I returned it to her and she was using it just fine till last month when
    she
    > >contacted me again as to having major slowdown/crashing problems that
    were a
    > >result of a knocking noise. I diagnosed the problem as a failing Samsung
    > >hard drive, replaced it with a Maxtor 7200rpm drive this past weekend.
    > >Again in my labs this system was working great. Windows installed very
    > >fast, everything was very responsive so again I dropped off the tower at
    her
    > >house.
    > >
    > >Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up it
    > >breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running very very
    > >slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system simply wouldn't
    > >start, at all. She would power it up, only fans would spin, no beeps, no
    > >signal to the monitor, no response whatsoever.
    > >
    > >This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
    > >something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or
    could
    > >that be the source? Each of the several times I have worked on her
    system
    > >the system ran great at my office after working on it. Most of the
    hardware
    > >has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR ram, otherwise the
    > >motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been replaced. I simply am
    at
    > >a loss for what would allow the system to work great at my office and
    then
    > >at her house instantly develop serious problems.
    > >
    > >Brad
    > >
    >
  42. Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    On Mon, 6 Jun 2005 21:04:28 -0700, "JAD"
    <kapasitor@earthcharter.net> wrote:

    <snip>

    >> The following paragraph is personal opinion formed over several years
    >> of advising people who build pc's professionally: use MSI or Soyo
    >
    >great post right up to here ..I woudn't touch either of those boards...soyo
    >was hit really hard during the capasitor nightmare...

    I'd take MSI as often as Gigabyte, but IMO Soyo hasn't been
    especially good in several years. Back when they make
    pre-super 7 boards seemed to be their golden era. Not that
    they're "bad", I'd take a Soyo (or a tub of glue and some
    string) over a PCChips.
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