You are here

RTFM! Stupid things YOU have done

For anything relating to music-making on Windows computers, with lots of FAQs. Moderated by Martin Walker.

RTFM! Stupid things YOU have done

Postby Jez Corbett » Thu Mar 31, 2005 12:16 pm

After reading Wurlitzer's recent thread I recalled similar stupid PC-maintainance things I have done in the past. Lets share why not.

1 - When I built my first PC, aged 18, I didn't have the faintest idea. Trying to upgrade my Packard Bell 486 to an AMD K6 system was not as simple as my friends suggested 'just take the old bits out and put the new bits in'. A new case and power supply later I managed to get everything in properly. But it wouldn't start up. And what was that ticking noise?

The guy in the computer shop then explained what the risers you get with motherboards are for, and that screwing the motherboard directly to the side of the case, thus shorting it out, is very unhealthy. I was lucky that the CPU and RAM were unharmed!

2 - Fitting a Zalman graphics card heatsink to a Voodoo 3 gfx card. The card got pretty hot and my PC would crash sometimes when playing games so I guessed it was overheating and a nice fat copper heatsink would be what I needed. Trying to prise the old heatsink off with a screwdriver was a bad idea. The guy in the shop informed me that it was very unlikely that a gpu core snapped in half would be repairable. He did, however, have a very good deal on Geforce 2 cards.
User avatar
Jez Corbett
Frequent Poster
Posts: 526
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Helsinki, Finland
http://www.jeremycorbett.co.uk

Re: RTFM! Stupid things YOU have done

Postby PWGLE » Thu Mar 31, 2005 12:21 pm

In the days before usb cables where notched, and cases with USB ports where damn rare! I built my self a nice new rig, with a really nice coolermaster case...

Set it up, worked very well, then I went to fit these usb cables. There was no notching or guide, so typical me just whacks 'em in and hopes for the best...

Booted up the computer, smelt some burning looked inside the case, and the cables have disappeared! By connecting them the wrong way around they had melted away! All that was left was a stump at either end! :roll:

So I bodged it with some old ribbon cable! Its worked 100% ever since! No problems at all..
PWGLE
Regular
Posts: 100
Joined: Sun May 04, 2003 12:00 am

Re: RTFM! Stupid things YOU have done

Postby tom101 » Thu Mar 31, 2005 1:56 pm

Got my first keyboard 15 years ago and plugged the MIDI out into the tape player socket in the back of my dad's amp. Well they were both five pin DIN, how the hell was I supposed to know?
tom101
New here
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2003 12:00 am

Re: RTFM! Stupid things YOU have done

Postby Guest » Thu Mar 31, 2005 2:17 pm

tom101 wrote:Got my first keyboard 15 years ago and plugged the MIDI out into the tape player socket in the back of my dad's amp. Well they were both five pin DIN, how the hell was I supposed to know?

I did exactly the same thing about 15 years ago too! I went out and bought a 5 pin DIN cable especially! I wasn't impressed by the resulting bleeping noises, and remember thinking how pointless MIDI was! :headbang: :headbang: :headbang:
Guest

Re: RTFM! Stupid things YOU have done

Postby jkcosborne » Thu Mar 31, 2005 2:50 pm

Here's a short one:

I began shutting down my old PC, got up and went to turn the central heating off. When it says windows is shutting down, in that last split second just before it turns off, I caught the master elctricity switch for my flat which is right next to the central heating switch; power cut off to the PC in that last second. So put the electric back on, booted up the PC and guess what, windows was buggered, corrupt system files.
Had to reinstall and lost a lot of stuff. Great. :headbang:
User avatar
jkcosborne
Poster
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2004 1:00 am
Location: England

Re: RTFM! Stupid things YOU have done

Postby Guest » Thu Mar 31, 2005 3:04 pm

Wow! I've done that too - I must be dumb!!! :headbang: :headbang: :headbang:

In my case, it killed the hard drive and I lost everything! Of course, it was all backed up you understand... ;)
Guest

Re: RTFM! Stupid things YOU have done

Postby Michael B » Thu Mar 31, 2005 3:46 pm

I bought a new P4 motherboard and chip but it used 174 pin memory and I put 168 pin memory. I'd decided to save my pennies and use the 168 from the old motherboard, and it slotted in fine. Result 1 smokey mudda, chip held out though and is now happily processing away 1 year on
Michael B
Regular
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 12:00 am

Re: RTFM! Stupid things YOU have done

Postby p.dakin » Thu Mar 31, 2005 4:14 pm

Bought a new CD/RW drive way back when they first came out. My PC tower had enough space for three CD drives, and I'd always wondered why the computer shop hadn't put the exsisting drive in the top..

Anyways new CD/RW drive arrived, took out the bay cover, slid it slights and attached all the correct cables, booted computer up, everthing was working. Switched back off, then proceeded to shove drive further in, so it could be screwed in permanently. Only prob was it would go all the way in, so I shoved a bit harder, still wouldn't go all the way in. So looked round the back to find the offending obstruction, only to see to my horror, I'd bent a big transducer-electrical-type-computer-thingy 90 degrees the wrong way. Quickly unpluged drive, bent the transducer back and booted up computer... it luckly still worked!
p.dakin
Regular
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Scotland

Re: RTFM! Stupid things YOU have done

Postby jellyjim » Thu Mar 31, 2005 6:41 pm

A friend asked me to repair his PC that wouldn't boot up. It was giving the diagnostic beeps indicating no gfx card.

So I opened it up and sure enough the gfx card was loose. So I pushed it in firmly. Booted up. Computer happy.

So I put the case back on. Tighten things up and hit power. Beep! Same problem.

I did this about 8 times. With driver reinstallations in between for good measure. I was thoroughly confused. Remove case. Check gfx card firmly seated. Boot. Ok. Reassemble. Boot. Problem.

I finally realised after a few hours that the case and internal chassis were slightly twisted. Every time I reassembled the case with a firm twist of the screwdriver it was tugging the gfx card out of it's slot just enough to prevent it being detected!

Jim
User avatar
jellyjim
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1572
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 12:00 am
Location: uk
Original artwork and unique devices inspired by vintage technology http://www.thisisobsolete.com

Re: RTFM! Stupid things YOU have done

Postby AntiLuddites » Thu Mar 31, 2005 8:38 pm

I rebuilt a system on an old board to give to a mate.

When it came to installing XP home, and getting it going, the CD would start but it wouldn't get far into installing the OS and didn't seem to be recognising the drives.

After 2 days of fidling and tearing hair out I took it to my pooter shop (where I have tried to cultivate an image that I know what I'm doing).

Turned out that I had previously set the BIOS not to autodetect drives (to save boot time). So it was not surprising that it didn't boot very far.

Stick you tongue into your lower lip and say uuuuurrrrhh!
User avatar
AntiLuddites
Poster
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2004 12:00 am

Re: RTFM! Stupid things YOU have done

Postby xandyreverex » Thu Mar 31, 2005 9:19 pm

Tried Overclocking before i knew anything about computers. Melted the processor :bouncy:
xandyreverex
New here
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2004 12:00 am

Re: RTFM! Stupid things YOU have done

Postby milan » Thu Mar 31, 2005 10:22 pm

Ever wondered what would happen if you would plug the hi fi speaker into 220V? I did - luckily for the fuses, or else I wouldn't be sitting here and writing this... :headbang:
User avatar
milan
New here
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2004 12:00 am

Re: RTFM! Stupid things YOU have done

Postby Marc99 » Fri Apr 01, 2005 2:17 am

When I was a kid, I had the stunning brainwave of trying to connect a battery operator digital clock/stopwatch to the (spanish) mains supply, using a couple of bits of copper wire and a plug. Result - a large flash and and entire building's electricity fuses tripping. Not sure how I escaped unharmed...

Also, I had trouble getting my last PC build to work - connected the power button and hard drive LEDs to the motherboard jumpers exactly as the manual stated to no avail. I took the whole lot back to the shop, where the assistant simply muttered about the manuals being "a load of pish" and simply plugged the PC in and started randomly connecting the wires onto the jumpers until he found a combination that worked! Is this sort of guesswork normal? I'm always amazed at just how sturdy some of this computer stuff actually is..
Marc99
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 1:00 am

Re: RTFM! Stupid things YOU have done

Postby RichardT » Fri Apr 01, 2005 3:51 pm

Not music related but software - in my first job I was backing up the latest version of some new software to install on a client's machine when I realised I had actually copied the backups from the previous day on top of the latest version.

Ah - slight problem!

I had to work to midnight to finish it and had to scale the security fences to get out.
RichardT
New here
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:00 am
Location: London UK
The big crunch is NOT a breakfast cereal

Re: RTFM! Stupid things YOU have done

Postby Sly One » Fri Apr 01, 2005 5:39 pm

A few weeks ago I had just fitted a new 200gb hard drive. Copied over my data and them removed the old 120gb one, having wiped the old drive to put in someone else's machine.

Then reinstalled windows using my Windows XP install CD with no service packs, and watched quietly and tearfully as Windows destroyed every file on my disc that I'd edited for the last three weeks. I hadn't thought about 48 bt LBA...

http://www.48bitlba.com

I am still trying to retrace my steps on nearly a months' work on my new release, starting from my last backup. The tune was due to go to press around about now.
Sly One
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2004 1:00 am