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The worst thing you've ever done to a pc part that still works.

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January 16, 2010 2:38:37 AM

Well, i've been curious for a while about just exactly how much abuse some computer parts can really be put through, what with people and their tin-foil-hat and anti-static crusades to the point of shaving the entire extent of their body (lol). So i thought a little story sharing of such abusive events would be fun.
I have a soundcard that came with my motherboard. I never really used it, since i always had a different one to use. Well, it's spent its times in a wooden drawer for about a good year, been constantly picked up by every extent and surface, and even has some sort of liquid stain on its back. Well, to anyone it would never even work at a glance. But, about a year ago my soundcard's drivers screwed up something (mad props to creative for that one by the way), and i was stuck without a soundcard, and my laptop that i normally would have reverted to had a blown hard disk. Well, in some sort of stressed out, sleep deprived stupor, i put the much abused auxiliary card in, and upon booting the system up, remembered all the abuse i had put it through. Muttering to myself, "no way this thing will work", upon installing it's drivers, my jaw hung slack when hearing the windows startup chime.
Needless to say, some things are just more resilient than people put them up to be.
Feel free to share stories like this.

More about : worst thing part works

January 16, 2010 4:49:05 AM

Everything you can imagine from keeping a HD in a backpack for over a year (constantly thrown, squished, and X-ray-ed) to using a lighter to burn off the goop of a mysterious nature that appeared on my ram one day, to more recently, replacing chips/capacitors and generally overhauling and mixing boards components and what not...
January 16, 2010 4:50:13 AM

it is resilient as its environment.

don't even bother with tough guy electronic stories, it is all so flunking feminine.
until you mention certian hdds and shockproofing, or the explosive proof military camera....stuff backed by law and gov't in other words.
Everything else count on as pnasy hass flunking crap...like an lcd.

I do respect some things, still not good, but better since my 1999..

there is certain pcbs obvious tougher to elements..I know what to look for but won't mention it.

and parts do not fear two part urethane, or epoxy...hint for you.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2010 6:42:56 AM

Posting mostly so I can keep track of this thread.

Abused hardware that still works? The only story I have that can come close is in old Slot A motherboard. It ran my Athlon 950 in it. Developed a stability problem where it would lock up then shut off if the temps got above 38c. I kept a house fan on it and for the most part it worked. I got tired of this however, and shut it down to take a look.

Sure enough I found a bad capacitor. Checked Radio Shack, no luck. Found a site online and bought the cap. Did the reading online and said, "I can do this, even though I've never really soldiered before." Took the mobo out of the case and went to work. Free tip for anyone who does this, grab a bigger iron then the 25W I was using. I basically held it to the board for minutes at a time, still couldn't work it loose. I eventually ended up getting one leg out, and broke the other one trying.

So now I have one hole, and one plugged. The badcaps site said to use a dental pick, which I tried but it didn't work so well. I ended up trying to push it out with the iron. Was ok when it was on the tip, but as I pushed down the iron made contact with the mobo and started burning it. Smelled BAD. I did get it out though and did solder the new one in.

Held my breath, turned it on, and it worked. No longer froze as it got hot. Worked like it did from day one for about 3 or so months, then the problems returned. I shut it down and looked again. The badcaps site said to replace them all at once. I only did the one. This time I saw three of them buldging. I said F it this time, and bought a new system.
January 16, 2010 8:23:56 AM

Well,
I have to change some things in order to tell the story but here goes.

At a place in a wartorn country we have servers... alot. We run them all (2 domains, file services, phones, email, the works you know) on generator power. The generator usually dies every few days and the whole place goes dark :) 

*Edit* I forgot to mention they are in a tent with unfiltered HVAC. We have to literally unrack the servers, take them apart (remove power supplies and drives) and blow them out with an air compressor from time to time.
January 16, 2010 12:06:37 PM

I'm not going into details as to why this was done... but I've forced a screw driver into a PCI slot of a PC while it was running... did this on numerous slots and it just wouldn't die. Ultimately it took water on the motherboard to kill it. Silly Packard Bell computer!
January 16, 2010 12:58:54 PM

Put my 512Meg thumb drive through the wash hot water.Missed it pants pocket.Found in bottom of washer.Plugged it in all files and info
ok.Forgot to wait to dry.Edhat
January 16, 2010 3:15:13 PM

Like edhat, I've also washed and dried a thumb drive (on multiple occasions) Durable little thing!
a b B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2010 3:12:58 AM

You should see what hapenned to my friends drive when his bull mastiff got done with it. No chance that would work...
January 18, 2010 7:18:53 AM

This all happened to my current motherboard this past month....

Week 1:
I came home drunk on New Years, went to the fridge for another beer, sat down at the computer. Somehow I knocked over my beer and spilled all over my G15 keyboard. The PC then shuts off 5 seconds later. Power supply tripped I assume. So I wait a day and the PC works fine again.

Week 2: Migrating PC from a MicroATX case to a giant cheapo case for future water cooling plans. While the PSU was sitting on living room table, curious brother looks at it and switches the voltage switch on the back from 115V to 230V I think it was. I wasn't aware and completed the migration, powered up the PC. POP, FLASH, WTF is that? A microchip on the mobo was glowing bright yellow and smoking. I turn it off, yelled for 5 minutes, found the switch was moved, put back to 115V, boots to windows. WTF lol it still works. I think the chip was for onboard video, but I'm using a card.

This week:Come home today to find windows is frozen, then notice my new water cooling system tank was nearly empty. UV ink is found all over my northbridge and GTX 260. Turns out the cheap clear epoxy on the water block is fractured at a seam.

For reasons I don't know, this PC still runs fine.

Moral of the story:
Don't settle for cheap 100 dollar water cooling kits and don't drink and facebook....
January 18, 2010 7:35:51 AM

I have a Xiggy Dark Knight that was on my Gigabyte P45 UD3R mobo. I went to take off the heatsink one day so could lap it. i got three of the four screws out but when trying the last one I found that as I turned the screw the LGA 775 insert on the backplate was spinning too. I tried everything I had but couldn't get a hold of the insert stem well enough to hold it so I could break the screww loose. After about 2 hrs of throwing things and a "bit" of cursing, I had the bright "idea" to grab my trusty dremel and cut the damn backplate off. While doing this I nicked the bottom of my board a couple times and the panic ensued. I finally got the plate off and after lapping my h/s i was left hoping and praying my pc would start up again...LOL...it did
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