QOTD: Worst Thing to Ever Happen to Your PC?

Earlier we posted two videos from Lenovo's official YouTube channel that showed people doing horrific things to a ThinkPad T400s. Running over your computer with a DOW truck or leaving them out to feel the full effects of a tornado isn't really something you can do by accident but it got us thinking about all the horrible things that have happened to our computers.

Jane: I used to work in a computer repair place so we got a ton of b0rked laptops. In one week we got water damage (which we fixed), a "sticky substance" which the customer insisted was beer but definitely wasn't (fixed) and "a roof fell on it," which we also fixed. On the Friday afternoon we got a lady on the phone who kept saying "something spilled on it" but she wouldn't say what. Considering the week we'd had, I said, "Trust me, we've heard it all. Just tell us what happened and we'll arrange a collection." Her answer? "My cat peed on it." I lied and said we couldn't take apart something like that because it might be a biohazard but really, I just didn't want to clean cat pee off of someone's mobo, which might not even work anyway. Yuck.

Marcus: Wow, it's been a while since I've seen anyone make use of the word "b0rked." Anyway, aside from the horrific hard drive crashes or power supplies gone bad, nothing terrible has happened to any of my desktop or laptops. I've never set myself on fire while shooting for an ambitious overclock (though the night is still young). So in this case, I'll defer to one of the most unique and interesting cases of notebook damage that I've ever heard of. As you can tell from Jane's story above, people get the weirdest things spilled on their laptops... and so, here's a reason why not to let your girlfriend come near your computer.

Tuan: Well, the worst thing that ever happened, happened to a PC I was using that wasn't really mine. [laughter] It wasn't loaned to me because I was writing a review at the time. I was reviewing a CPU at the time, and literally fried it. The CPU actually went up in smokes. As far as something happened to my PC? The worst thing is probably accidentally shorting out my power supply and then causing an electrical fire. I was plugging in a 3.5-inch drive power cable. Somehow, there was a short. The cable sparked and lit up in flames, also causing a burn to my hand at the same time--and damage to the system.

The question of the day is: What's the worst thing that ever happened to your PC?

  • Purrorritt
    The worst thing that every happened to one of my machines was a fried motherboard. You could hear the sizzle and popping sounds and everything. I even let the magic smoke out of one of the larger chips.
  • unlicensedhitman
    A power outage during last summer, and it lasted for two weeks. I couldn't play on my pc =(.
  • B-Unit
    My best was with an old Athlon XP. I was convinced it was running too hot, and the cause HAD to be the way I installed the heatsink. On about the 4th remounting, I chiped one of the edges off the exposed die. Spent the next 6 months using an old PII 233...
  • CrispySilicon
  • CrispySilicon
    Whoops, scratch the above.

    Back when the Tualatin core s370 P3 was released. I blew a huge chunk of change on a pair of 1.4ghz engineering samples (were NOT easy to obtain) coupled to an iwill dual socket board, 2gb of ddr2700, and a new radeon aiw, and a scsi raid array.

    Cooled by custom made copper water blocks, an eheim pump and a radiator out of a civic, complete with 20" cooling fans. I had scrimped and saved for a new system for 2 years, took every penny. Clocked to 1.8 it simply screamed, far faster then any p4 system at the time, my pride and joy.

    Came back home one day about a month after I put it together to find a burnt mess. One of the hoses attached to the coolant reservoir ruptured, and hosed down the power supply, burnt the system to the ground.

    I've carried the moniker CrispySilicon ever since. RIP tualatins, they were amazing compared to anything else at the time.
  • ravewulf
    I've accidentally reformatted my hard drive with all my stuff on it quite a few times. Each time I was able to get everything back using free software (although getting back a few hundred GB's of data took a long time). That's about the worst that's ever happened to me.
  • jhansonxi
    Bad caps.
  • aspireonelover
    My worst accident?
    It was a while back, when I was mounting my e4300 cpu into my P5K mobo. What happened back then, I thought to myself "Why is it so hard to mount the cooler, and pushing the pin it in?!". Me being stupid enough, I took out the mobo, and clipped the heatsink on with force, and guess what? My Motherboard snapped in half! WTF.
    I've mounted LGA 775 coolers before as well, but never as bad as that mistake.
    Another time was, my power supply blew up! It was scary, especially gaming.
  • xyzionz
    Harddisk went kaput...
    thats the worst..especially I didn't backup my songs and movies..
    like 300GB of them just gone like that
    I rather my mobo or anything else in my PC burnt but not my HDD lol...
  • rbarone69
    Not talking about hardware here but back in teh 90's my system was infected with a virus that stored itself on boot sectors and would load in memory whenever the disk was "accessed". It infected floppies and hard drives. The virus spread to all my friends and to my family.

    Ya, so the point, the virus erased the bios settings after every boot. I got real good at setting up the virus and wasted LOTS of money on new batteries (thinking that was the cause) and eventually wasted money on buying a whole new motherboard to find out it simply happened there too! Lol, lots of time wasted... not to mention none of my friends were happy either.