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Poll: Which components do you see fail the most?

Last response: in Systems
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Which PC component do you see fail most often?

Total: 122 votes

  • CPU
  • 0 %
  • Motherboard
  • 14 %
  • Hard Drive
  • 42 %
  • Memory
  • 10 %
  • Powersupply
  • 24 %
  • Network Interface
  • 3 %
  • Video Card
  • 5 %
  • Other Add-on Card
  • 3 %
  • Monitor
  • 2 %
July 13, 2006 6:49:47 PM

I thought it would be interesting to take this survey and see how it mactches up to my personal experiences. Let us know your thoughts and experiences. Thanks for the input.

More about : poll components fail

July 13, 2006 7:35:24 PM

I voted for harddrive, but I've had to replace quite a few PSU as well. Never had a bad cpu brought in though.
July 13, 2006 8:06:35 PM

Quote:
I voted for harddrive, but I've had to replace quite a few PSU as well. Never had a bad cpu brought in though.
'

I vote for HD too.. hard drives actually have moving parts (so do PSUs) and any device with parts that move will fail much more often that something like a CPU or RAM.
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July 13, 2006 8:19:08 PM

The only reason I didn't vote that way is that in recent months I have seen a lot more dead PSUs than I ever remember seeing dead hard Drives. I guess I have been lucky, but I have had to support relatively few dead hard drives in my travels. I think that even though the HD has more moving parts than the PSU, the PSU is more sensitive to power fluctuations both upstream (from the wall), and downstream (to the system). I think this is especially true with more modern equipment, as I have noticed newer mobos and processors are less tolerant of voltage and amperage fluctuations.

Thoughts?
July 13, 2006 8:31:34 PM

PSU and Hard drive. I've RMA'd one CPU and a few motherboards, but not that many.

Actually come to think of it (although it's no longer relevant) Modems coming to me fried by lightning strikes or whatever were always fun.

The best failure I've ever had - taking an EDO-SIMM out - it'd been in there for so long it had basically fused to the board and snapped in half (!!) when I removed it.
July 13, 2006 8:54:36 PM

I must be doing something wrong but the last three computers I bought all had their integrated nics die within a week. I haven't had any trouble with add on nics, but I'm getting ready to buy a new pc and I'm a little worried as most new motherboards only have one workable pci slot, which I want to use for a sound card. If the nic blows on my next mobo I'm going to have to return it.
July 13, 2006 9:01:21 PM

If you buy a higher quality mobo, many of them have two onboard NICs, which will solve that problem. Plus, short of power surges, I have rarely seen onboard NICs die.
July 13, 2006 9:12:11 PM

interesting to see that people say the motherboard fails 2nd highest. (as of right now, anyways - HDD, motherboard, PSU). I wonder if that could be attributed to other causes than just a dead motherboard though... *shrug*

I've never had a motherboard die on me, just PSU's and HDD's. Seen more PSU's than HDD's though.
July 13, 2006 9:12:57 PM

Ram ram ram.. Never broken anything as much as rams :p 
Throughout my 15 years of owning computers, only one harddrive has ever failed on me. That was relatively recently, with a Raptor drive (My fault, I tipped the case over by accident)

Only one mobo ever failed after 3 months, a crappy Asrock, not really broken, just not awfully stable any more :S

But rams, damn that shit don't last even a year. before it breaks.
I've had TwinMOS, Corsair, Winbond, Samsung..
Next buy will be Kingston, only SD-card maker I ever had that lasted this long...
a b B Homebuilt system
July 13, 2006 9:19:35 PM

Fans weren't listed, so in the close race between hard drives and PSUs, I chose PSUs. I've probably replaced more HDDs, but many of those were upgrades.
July 13, 2006 9:23:13 PM

Quote:
I think that even though the HD has more moving parts than the PSU, the PSU is more sensitive to power fluctuations both upstream (from the wall), and downstream (to the system). I think this is especially true with more modern equipment, as I have noticed newer mobos and processors are less tolerant of voltage and amperage fluctuations.

Thoughts?


I think this might have something to do with people having under-powered psu's. I've seen quite a few people trying to plug in new top of the line graphics cards into their Dell's with the stock psu. Alot of people don't take that into consideration when buying their new badass card.
July 13, 2006 9:24:13 PM

Ive only had one HD fail, but Sound cards always fail me. 1st one failed becouse of power surge second one was becouse again of power surge and 3rd one was becouse the capacitor fell off. My fault though for not being carefull enough when working on my computer. And now I have a cheap SB live 24-bit for 6 months and it has heat issues.
July 13, 2006 9:24:36 PM

I'd say hard drives or power supplies.
July 13, 2006 9:28:19 PM

As a tech, and being in a location where small brown-outs (the kind you never notice) were common, i saw power supplies go out more often then hard drives.
July 13, 2006 9:38:30 PM

Well at work over the past year and a half I've had the following breakdown:

4 Mobo's.
1 Video Card.
Roughly 6 hard drives.
2 LCD Monitors


So I'd vote HD's... followed a bit too closely by mobos.
July 13, 2006 9:41:12 PM

From my own experience with my PCs it's the hard drives.

Excluding the piece of crap PC I bought from Micron PC in 1997 (first PC), I've had problems with a few hard drives. Namely Maxtor and Western Digital, both are permanently on my "banned list".

Ironically, my IBM "Deathstar" 75GXP 60GB hard drive from 1999 is still functional to this very day. Not problems whatsoever.

My Micron sucked. Components died within 18 months are:

1. PSU
2. Motherboard
3. CPU

I built my first PC in 1999.
July 13, 2006 9:41:43 PM

Hard Drives and Power Supplies.

PSUs because no one ever cleans them out.
HDDs because people install them where they cook. Heat = death.
July 13, 2006 10:13:33 PM

My vote went for HDs too. I have never sent anything back except for HDs. Out of 8 years building PCs I had to RMA 6 HDs, 1 Maxtor and 5 Western Digitals.
July 13, 2006 10:22:50 PM

Quote:
I think that even though the HD has more moving parts than the PSU, the PSU is more sensitive to power fluctuations both upstream (from the wall), and downstream (to the system). I think this is especially true with more modern equipment, as I have noticed newer mobos and processors are less tolerant of voltage and amperage fluctuations.

Thoughts?


I think this might have something to do with people having under-powered psu's. I've seen quite a few people trying to plug in new top of the line graphics cards into their Dell's with the stock psu. Alot of people don't take that into consideration when buying their new badass card.

In cases you are correct, but from my experience, I mean that the PSU is in and working, then stops for one reason or another, not when a new component is added and the PC won't boot.
July 13, 2006 10:24:50 PM

Quote:
interesting to see that people say the motherboard fails 2nd highest. (as of right now, anyways - HDD, motherboard, PSU). I wonder if that could be attributed to other causes than just a dead motherboard though... *shrug*

I've never had a motherboard die on me, just PSU's and HDD's. Seen more PSU's than HDD's though.


I've never had a completely 'dead' mobo, but I have seen portions go bad, such as an IDE channel, controller, mem slot etc. I am working on one right now that was in an infinite reboot loop, and won't take a fresh Windows install. I have troubleshot everything, and come to the conclusion that the mobo is hosed somewhere.
July 13, 2006 10:30:10 PM

gotta be hard drives, then its prolly graphics for me, 1 went out from a power surge, my 6800 ultra is dying and my old fx5200 died. But about 5 hdd's (80gb,120gb) have died to.
And my pci NIC just went 2 weeks ago after heavey rain and lighting, comp just switched off. I dont understand how since i got my comp plugged into a APC so it condisions the line anyway, and prevents surges.
July 13, 2006 10:33:11 PM

The component that fails more than any other is actually the User!!!


But most of us already knew that.

peace
July 13, 2006 10:35:28 PM

I put PSU's but that has a lot to do with the fact that alot of people I have talked with didn't buy one with adequate power, or bought a bargain that wasn't worth what they saved.

User's aren't hardware, they are soft and squishy.
July 13, 2006 10:47:51 PM

OK here are my 2 cents....

I have owned a PC for about 15 years or so.
I have replaced 2 HDDs and 1 mobo.
Never had any trouble with the PSUs.

People dont cool their HDDs and it's the most important part in
their PC. You can replace your whole PC (just buy another one) but you cant always replace the data you lost.
One other probelm is the mobo. If you overclock they can fail and I believe it's probably the part that mostly fails when you overclock.
It happened to me just recently - Gigabyte K8NS-Ultra 939 the problem was I had my two Maxtors 200gb in RAID 0 and you cant
run the rain on any raid controler. I had to buy another Gigabyte mobo with NF3 Ultra chipset and I had to use the Active Restore partition software to find the partitions (Hiren CD8).
July 13, 2006 10:48:46 PM

Out of all the systems I've built, I've only had one failed part - an MSI mobo. I guess that I have been very lucky, as I have yet to see a hard drive failure.

I have had the pleasure of seeing a cpu and video card failure though. But even on the failed MSI mobo, only the integrated NIC died. Still had to replace it, computer without internet at college=bad.

I've been very, very lucky. *crosses fingers*
July 13, 2006 11:01:00 PM

Quote:

I've never had a completely 'dead' mobo, but I have seen portions go bad, such as an IDE channel, controller, mem slot etc. I am working on one right now that was in an infinite reboot loop, and won't take a fresh Windows install. I have troubleshot everything, and come to the conclusion that the mobo is hosed somewhere.

Yeah I see. The only dead motherboards I've seen were caused by faulty PSU's so I count that as a PSU surge/failure that took out other things.
(Its kind of fun to see capacitor guts everywhere) :) 

Hehe, if you had keyboards on there I would have voted for those. :p 
July 13, 2006 11:03:25 PM

Quote:
gotta be hard drives, then its prolly graphics for me, 1 went out from a power surge, my 6800 ultra is dying and my old fx5200 died. But about 5 hdd's (80gb,120gb) have died to.
And my pci NIC just went 2 weeks ago after heavey rain and lighting, comp just switched off. I dont understand how since i got my comp plugged into a APC so it condisions the line anyway, and prevents surges.


APC UPSes don't condition your data lines unless you have them plugged into the surge port also.
July 13, 2006 11:05:05 PM

I left keyboards, monitors, and other exterior peripherals off the list because they tend to be 'accidentally broken' more than fail in my experience.
July 13, 2006 11:05:34 PM

Quote:

Ironically, my IBM "Deathstar" 75GXP 60GB hard drive from 1999 is still functional to this very day. Not problems whatsoever.
My IBM Deathstar is from the same era as yours and it is the most healthies drive and fastest drive in my system according to benchmarks and speedfan. My 2 seagates that are not really even a year old yet are slower and in worse condition then my deathstar.
July 13, 2006 11:11:59 PM

VIDEOCARDS! My need for more frames is always my downfall =( I fry too many of em overclocking, lol. I know that doesn't count.
July 13, 2006 11:20:31 PM

Oddly enough, I don't think I've had a hard drive of the 80 plus GB range fail on any of my builds. I have had quite a few clients lose hard drives, but they don't count, because they were Dell's. :twisted:
July 13, 2006 11:26:20 PM

Quote:
I thought it would be interesting to take this survey and see how it mactches up to my personal experiences. Let us know your thoughts and experiences. Thanks for the input.


I think I voted for memory. I can't remember.
July 13, 2006 11:50:09 PM

Hehe

Since the DDR era started, I've only had I think one truly bad memory stick, and that's becuase I fried some of the contacts by not paying attention. I have had some that were not stable at certain SPDs, but not any that completely died.
July 14, 2006 12:28:23 AM

Quote:

Ironically, my IBM "Deathstar" 75GXP 60GB hard drive from 1999 is still functional to this very day. Not problems whatsoever.
My IBM Deathstar is from the same era as yours and it is the most healthies drive and fastest drive in my system according to benchmarks and speedfan. My 2 seagates that are not really even a year old yet are slower and in worse condition then my deathstar.

I just might put my Deathstar on a pedestal when I decide to switch all my drives to SATA.
July 14, 2006 12:32:42 AM

Ya know sum1 who works for dell/hp/etc should reply to this. Take their evening tally and post it. Im really curious as to how many of these things really do fail day by day.... as for me. Ive seen 3 hds (4th on its way... Maxtor....) 5 mobos... 1 video card. 1 stick of ram. 3-4 Power Supplies... 2 dvd drives

ZERO FLOPPIES!!!! those Floppy disks on the other hand.... ehhh no comment....

So i'll let ya decide, (all this within the last 4 years btw) whats the least reliable component on a pc....
July 14, 2006 12:33:45 AM

Quote:
The best failure I've ever had - taking an EDO-SIMM out - it'd been in there for so long it had basically fused to the board and snapped in half (!!) when I removed it.


At my college in the computer hardware class one guy manged to get an SDRAM stick in backwards (don't ask me how), fused the sitck to the mobo. Good times.
July 14, 2006 12:39:11 AM

Quote:
interesting to see that people say the motherboard fails 2nd highest. (as of right now, anyways - HDD, motherboard, PSU). I wonder if that could be attributed to other causes than just a dead motherboard though... *shrug*

I've never had a motherboard die on me, just PSU's and HDD's. Seen more PSU's than HDD's though.


One word. Capacitors. These little buggers blow their tops (literally...), voltages go off and weird things start happening.

Capacitors are often the reason PSUs go FUBAR, also.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 14, 2006 12:41:22 AM

One component that has not been mentioned that I find the most unreliable is CD/DVD drives. The lasers on them often fail plus the draw mechanism often fails.
July 14, 2006 12:47:05 AM

I have see 4 bad HDD in my computer days


All other parts I have good luck


I dropped a HDD on the floor ... it stopped working imagine that

I bet if keyboard/mouse was on the poll it would be put there
July 14, 2006 1:10:13 AM

Back when I had no life and only repared major brand pc's, I had more dell, gateway, compaq, and hp mobo's die than they'd like to admit. I actually kept a tally of what broken machines parts came in. Over 1 year (this is from memory over 5 years ago) I had just under 100 dead modems (very poor power in my region) around 50 mobo's, 20 or so hd's, a couple vid cards and sound cards, and over 300 ps's, the largest portion from emachines and dells. I should see if I can find my tally sheet as I broke down components and company.

Most mb's were pc chips (think amptron) and some tier 2 mb manufacturers from china. Most mb's simply lost ps2 ports due to people plugging and unplugging while powered on.

Unless the RAM was really cheesy like SpecTek, I didn't have many bad sticks, under 20 I'd say.
July 14, 2006 1:46:52 AM

Quote:
Hehe

Since the DDR era started, I've only had I think one truly bad memory stick, and that's becuase I fried some of the contacts by not paying attention. I have had some that were not stable at certain SPDs, but not any that completely died.


A kid from the neighborhood brought his computer over and said it suddenly would not load any of his games. WoW, Counterstrike, etc. When his dad bought the computer he had Fry's add 2 x 256 gig Corsair XMS silver spreader to the 2 x 256 meg. in there. The first thing we did was remove the Corsair RAM and leave what came with the computer originally. Loaded up the games like new money. I gave him a gig of Kingston I had and took the bad matched pair. Sent it to Corsiar and got a replacement under the warranty. Since, I built another kid a computer with the RMA'd under warranty Corsair I got back.

Speaking of what a great guy I am (stands up and runs fingers through hair looks for Jennifer Anniston look-a-likes) smirk! 8)

I built a computer last night and as I loaded more an more drivers completing the build, windows started hanging right before it loaded. The screen would just hang there and stop loading windows. Turned out to be the 9.1.3.1 most recent addition of Nvidia Drivers. Runs fine with the driver if I can get it running in windows. Installed 8.4.2.1. So far I'm good to go. The thing will probably crash and burn in a few days like I did with Jennifer. :roll:
July 14, 2006 2:01:41 AM

i work on a data center and the component i've seen fail the most is memory. Second comes hard drives and power sources in third
July 14, 2006 2:09:36 AM

Quote:
i work on a data center and the component i've seen fail the most is memory. Second comes hard drives and power sources in third


Memory is responsible for a lot of little 'things' that don't go right in a computer. Before I tried a different video driver and solved my 'hanging' problem for now, I was ready to start with the memory swapping agenda. How can manufacturers give life time warrantys on DIMMs of the stuff. Must be cheap to make. I would think computer memory would start looking like a rewritable Hard drive in the near future instead of DIMMs we have today. I don't know really. I'm sure someone does.
July 14, 2006 2:10:16 AM

I have seen everything fail... geeze... never really thought of that... every single pc component.. i have seen fail over the years.. sheesh

some by heat
others by moisture

some...by....screw driver..slippage... DAMN YOU SOCKET A HSFs!!!!!! :evil: 

But by far, hard drives. Fuck ***** *****!
July 14, 2006 2:34:09 AM

fuel pumps in any 90s and up general motors product
lol
July 14, 2006 7:35:42 PM

Quote:

One word. Capacitors. These little buggers blow their tops (literally...), voltages go off and weird things start happening.

Capacitors are often the reason PSUs go FUBAR, also.

Yeah caps are fun to blow. I had a friend who didn't use a surge protector. He said "I heard a big pop and then smoke came out from my computer."
I opened up the PSU and capacitor guts everywhere! It fried all the components.
After that his wife forced him to get a surge protector.

I'm kind of inclined to say that motherboards probably die the most from some sort of power issue from the PSU.

Quote:

When his dad bought the computer he had Fry's add 2 x 256 gig Corsair XMS silver spreader to the 2 x 256 meg. in there.

Know what the problem was? He went to Fry's. They take back broken parts and just put them back on the shelves.
I once had a stick of RAM that wouldn't work and I had them look up the order history on it (since they wouldn't let me return it) and about 10 people had bought/returned it before me. After seeing that they gave me my $ back.
!