Screwed-up installation



  • Today I was screwing a new motherboard onto the tower case, and my cheap Walmart screwdriver dropped its bit.

    Which wouldn't be a big deal, if said bit hadn't landed on the CPU heatsink.

    Which also wouldn't be a big deal, if it had been short enough to just shake out between the fan blades from a flat position, or too wide to have fallen flat between the heatsink and the fan.

    From now on, I'm using a one-piece screwdriver for all my hardware installs.



  • That sounds very unlucky. The last time I attempted a hardware upgrade was to install new RAM and a new graphics card. I'm not sure how straightforward this was supposed to be, but the computer started hanging a lot. To this day I have no idea exactly what went wrong. Did I damage one of the components during the installation? Were the components incompatible or faulty in the first place? I've no idea, but I don't do hardware upgrades anymore.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    The last few times have been OK for me (probably due to me taking great care) but I remember the bad old days when opening a computer tended to involve a small blood sacrifice and much swearing of oaths.



  • @dkf said:

    The last few times have been OK for me (probably due to me taking great care) but I remember the bad old days when opening a computer tended to involve a small blood sacrifice and much swearing of oaths.

    FTFY.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Master Chief said:

    @dkf said:
    a small blood sacrifice and much swearing of oaths.
    FTFY.
    “Jesus H. Fucking Christ!” counts both ways…



  • @Seahen said:

    Today I was screwing a new motherboard
    Ouch.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @Seahen said:

    Today I was screwing a new motherboard
    Ouch.

     

    That's a spelling error. It should be "Today I was screwing a new motherbroad."

     

     



  • @AndyCanfield said:

    That's a spelling error. It should be "Today I was screwing a new motherbroad."

    A new mother's already pretty broad, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!! nudge wink nudge nudge wink nudge



  • @Seahen said:

    Today I was screwing a new motherboard onto the tower case, and my cheap Walmart screwdriver dropped its bit.

    Which wouldn't be a big deal, if said bit hadn't landed on the CPU heatsink.

    Which also wouldn't be a big deal, if it had been short enough to just shake out between the fan blades from a flat position, or too wide to have fallen flat between the heatsink and the fan.

    From now on, I'm using a one-piece screwdriver for all my hardware installs.

    I don't get it. What was the big deal? You had to take the fan off?



  • In school I was good at the broad jump -- until some of the broads complained.



  • @dkf said:

    The last few times have been OK for me (probably due to me taking great care) but I remember the bad old days when opening a computer tended to involve a small blood sacrifice and much swearing of oaths.

    Stopped buying the cheap cases then? The gods of PC hardware will take their pound of flesh one way or another!



  • @Seahen said:

    Which also wouldn't be a big deal, if it had been short enough to just shake out between the fan blades from a flat position, or too wide to have fallen flat between the heatsink and the fan.

    Easy job.

    Wait until you drop a screw into the power supply through the grille, and it doesn't come out by inverting the whole case. You'll have to disconnect every power cable to the motherboard and peripherals, remove the PSU and shake it around until the little blighter drops out. I always put a post-it note over the PSU grille after it happened to me.



  • @Quango said:

    Wait until you drop a screw into the power supply through the grille, and it doesn't come out by inverting the whole case. You'll have to disconnect every power cable to the motherboard and peripherals, remove the PSU and shake it around until the little blighter drops out. I always put a post-it note over the PSU grille after it happened to me.

    Isn't that what fridge magnets are for?



  • @Seahen said:

    @Quango said:
    Wait until you drop a screw into the power supply through the grille, and it doesn't come out by inverting the whole case. You'll have to disconnect every power cable to the motherboard and peripherals, remove the PSU and shake it around until the little blighter drops out. I always put a post-it note over the PSU grille after it happened to me.

    Isn't that what fridge magnets are for?

    Or just take the PSU apart. Just don't get shocked!


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Or just take the PSU apart. Just don't get shocked!
    If it's not been powered up for a few weeks, you'll probably be OK. Or you'll end up with another funny story to tell.



  • @dkf said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    Or just take the PSU apart. Just don't get shocked!
    If it's not been powered up for a few weeks, you'll probably be OK. Or you'll end up with another funny story to tell.

    Eh, I just always did it after unplugging the PSU. Just don't touch any conductors.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @dkf said:
    @morbiuswilters said:
    Or just take the PSU apart. Just don't get shocked!
    If it's not been powered up for a few weeks, you'll probably be OK. Or you'll end up with another funny story to tell.

    Eh, I just always did it after unplugging the PSU. Just don't touch any conductors.

    My dad did that once with an amplifier just after it was unplugged. He flew across the room. Thankfully, he survived, but yes he knows it was a stupid thing to do.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Eh, I just always did it after unplugging the PSU. Just don't touch any conductors.
     

    I used to unplug them and then hit the power switch a couple times to try and coax the thing into discharging the caps... or are modern PSUs "too smart" and prevent that? (I haven't had to work on a PSU in quite a long time...)



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    hit the power switch a couple times to try and coax the thing into discharging the caps
     

    ...I'm not an EE but I don't think electronics work like that.



  • @dhromed said:

    ...I'm not an EE but I don't think electronics work like that.

    I'm not an electrical engineer either but I did lots electrical electronics diagnoses cars... but it can as long there is a path a load to use the current stored the capacitors. We would touch the battery terminals after disconnecting to provide the path when working on cars, in order to clear the computer memories instantly (you can disconnect the battery and wait thirty minutes otherwise and the engine computer could still have stored values)



  • @DrakeSmith said:

    @dhromed said:
    ...I'm not an EE but I don't think electronics work like that.

    I'm not an electrical engineer either but I did lots electrical electronics diagnoses cars... but it can as long there is a path a load to use the current stored the capacitors. We would touch the battery terminals after disconnecting to provide the path when working on cars, in order to clear the computer memories instantly (you can disconnect the battery and wait thirty minutes otherwise and the engine computer could still have stored values)
     

    Okay, but that's applying a load.

    On a PSU, the tiny switch is purely in series with the plug, right? So flicking it would do absolutely nothing?



  • @dhromed said:

    So flicking it would do absolutely nothing?

    Might help you feel better.



  • @dhromed said:

    Okay, but that's applying a load.

    On a PSU, the tiny switch is purely in series with the plug, right? So flicking it would do absolutely nothing?


    If the switch is wired to say power up the fans right away, it could work. But I doubt anything in the PSU is wired directly as such and is instead controlled through transistors, and power probably won't get to those loads.



  • Yeah, seriously though: don't touch anything with those huge caps in it unless it's sat for at least 6-12 hours to discharge first. CRTs can and will literally kill you, and the PSU in your computer ain't much smaller. You don't want to die in that geeky-ass way.

    Fortunately, we've replaced CRTs with LCDs which are much less likely to kill you. Although I guess the big ones could fall on you.



  • Sorry, I should have clarified: I didn't mean the PSU switch; I meant the power button on the device for which the PSU is intended to supply power: "attach a load" as others have said.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @dhromed said:
    So flicking it would do absolutely nothing?

    Might help you feel better.

     

    giggle

    you tease


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Quango said:

    @Seahen said:
    Which also wouldn't be a big deal, if it had been short enough to just shake out between the fan blades from a flat position, or too wide to have fallen flat between the heatsink and the fan.

    Easy job.

    Wait until you drop a screw into the power supply through the grille, and it doesn't come out by inverting the whole case. You'll have to disconnect every power cable to the motherboard and peripherals, remove the PSU and shake it around until the little blighter drops out. I always put a post-it note over the PSU grille after it happened to me.

    Interesting--I've never had a PSU with holes big enough to drop a screw into.

    Modern power supplies--at least the more expensive ones--have modular cables, so in such a case you wouldn't have to unplug everything from the components; you could unplug all the cables where they went into the PSU. Makes life a little easier.



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    Sorry, I should have clarified: I didn't mean the PSU switch; I meant the power button on the device for which the PSU is intended to supply power: "attach a load" as others have said.

     

    Just stick a coat hanger in it and touch a central heating pipe with your other hand.

     



  • @FrostCat said:

    Interesting--I've never had a PSU with holes big enough to drop a screw into.

    Fan?



  • @dhromed said:

    @too_many_usernames said:

    Sorry, I should have clarified: I didn't mean the PSU switch; I meant the power button on the device for which the PSU is intended to supply power: "attach a load" as others have said.

     

    Just stick a coat hanger in it and touch a central heating pipe with your other hand.

     


    Hey! That's the combination to my abortion!


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    CRTs can and will literally kill you, and the PSU in your computer ain't much smaller.
    But a CRT also had a substantial inductor involved, the coils that moved the electron beams, which made it rather more powerful (and meant you could get several shocks in alternating directions); PSUs never used anything like as big an inductor, and are mostly switched mode these days anyway (since they work fine with a much wider voltage range, enhancing export opportunities).@blakeyrat said:
    Fortunately, we've replaced CRTs with LCDs which are much less likely to kill you. Although I guess the big ones could fall on you.
    LCDs are also a hell of a lot lighter than CRTs ever were. I remember borrowing a 24"-wide CRT back in the mid 90s and it took several strong people to lift it onto a desk. It was a monster (and hellishly expensive too). Modern LCDs of quite a bit larger size are trivial to pick up and carry about.

    I suppose if it was dropped from a few floors up, the corner could bash your skull in, but that's hardly a special feature of LCDs; a good keyboard would be nearly as dangerous…



  • why do you have to ruin all my dreams


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @FrostCat said:
    Interesting--I've never had a PSU with holes big enough to drop a screw into.

    Fan?

    Fine-mesh grille covering.



  • @dkf said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    CRTs can and will literally kill you, and the PSU in your computer ain't much smaller.
    But a CRT also had a substantial inductor involved, the coils that moved the electron beams, which made it rather more powerful (and meant you could get several shocks in alternating directions); PSUs never used anything like as big an inductor, and are mostly switched mode these days anyway (since they work fine with a much wider voltage range, enhancing export opportunities).
    Actually, it was the capacitors that were dangerous. They stored charge at several hundred volts, with enough capacitance to push significant current at that voltage. An inductor just sitting there is harmless, although if you managed to discharge one of the capacitors in such a way that current flowed through an inductor, you could potentially get multiple oscillations (and multiple shocks) before things settled down. The capacitors in a switching power supply operate at lower voltage, but I still wouldn't want to go poking my fingers in there until I was sure the capacitors had been discharged.@dkf said:
    Fortunately, we've replaced CRTs with LCDs which are much less likely to kill you.
    The LCDs themselves are low voltage, but be careful of fluorescent back-lighting; that may have high voltage. (I don't know much about monitors, but other fluorescent lighting uses high voltage to start the discharge.)



  • @FrostCat said:

    Fine-mesh grille covering.

    We're talking about PSUs, not your oiled-up, tanned, magnificently-hirsute chest.


  • :belt_onion:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @FrostCat said:
    Fine-mesh grille covering.

    We're talking about PSUs, not your oiled-up, tanned, magnificently-hirsute chest.

    And now, Dune is ruined for me, forever.

    Fuck.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @FrostCat said:
    Fine-mesh grille covering.

    We're talking about PSUs, not your oiled-up, tanned, magnificently-hirsute chest.

    Ew! Get those NSFW ads off of this completely SFW site!



  • @Ben L. said:

    Ew! Get those NSFW ads off of this completely SFW site!

    When that ad was made, it was absolutely SFW. There were no gay people back then, so that was just a normal, straight, wholesome ad for mesh underwear.


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