My personal hardware WTF



  • It is an evening in 2002 and I have just installed a new harddisk in my Athlon thunderbird 1.4 GHz system. While I have the case open I decide to have a good clean out for dust etc. Take the fan off the CPU heatsink and remove all the gunk from that.

    I am left happy with a shiny machine inside. Since I am in a "cleanup" mood I decide to defrag the original main harddisk as well. It was a 60 gig bugger at the time so it would take quite a while. I set it going and start watching TV.

    About an hour later I notice some wierd chemically smells in the air.

    After removing the fan I had forgot to plug it back into the motherboard so the CPU (And if you had a TBird you know they ran hot) was slowly cooking under the non-fan assisted heatsink during the defrag. In a panic I shutdown the machine and (assuming it would cool down quicker with the fan running than just turned off) plug the fan in and boot into the BIOS. Out of curiosity I checked the BIOS temperature sensors:

    CPU: 183 Degrees Celsius

    Motherboard: 112 Degrees Celsius

     
    Both motherboard and CPU are still in active service. To this day I have no idea how they managed to survive my little trial by fire. 



     



  • At least you ever know if you're starving you can boil some water on it to make Kraft Dinner (or Kraft Mac 'n Cheese if you're American)!  



  • Well, that equipment was built before these new-fangled hi-tech wafers; back in the day when good ol' fashioned iron was used to build components. Ahhh, the good old days!



  • I've got that beat I think....

    Back in the days of the 8086 and 8088, I had one with a full height, 10mb MFM HDD. I was doing some mucking about with which drive was first (I was lucky and had two), and had pulled this drive out of the case and set it on top.

    I made the mistake of keeping the circuit side down, and across the top of the case, where exposed metal could reach various electronics on the board.

    Flip the power on, see smoke start pouring out from the drive, and shut the PC back off.

    Back then, 10MB was about the biggest drive that you could get, and you'd spend an arm and a leg on it.

    After waiting a few days (I didn't have it in me to actually see if I'd killed the drive up until then), I adjusted the position of the drive so that it wasn't shorted, and turned the PC back on. Everything worked fine, and I had no data loss.



  •  If it hadn't got to the point where the CPU just halts and stops executing instructions, then it was still several degrees away from permanent damage. 



  • @reed said:

     If it hadn't got to the point where the CPU just halts and stops executing instructions, then it was still several degrees away from permanent damage. 


    Forgot to mention this in the original post but the AMD specified maximum safe operating temperature for that CPU is <font color="#333333" face="Arial">95°C</font>. I had been over that after the first 20 minutes probably and by the end was near double.



  • That magic smoke got so close to escaping!

     

    BTW, you can't meaningfully "double" temperatures. :-) 



  • @RayS said:

    BTW, you can't meaningfully "double" temperatures. :-) 

    Yes you can - 50K is twice as hot as 25K 



  • I had a really neat luggable case that could carry a full-sized AT
    motherboard, and had an integrated (though now far outdated -- passive matrix monochrome VGA) LCD
    display on it.  The exterior of the case was plastic, but there was an
    aluminium subframe that had to be dismantled to gain access to the
    motherboard, etc. 

    One day, I upgraded the motherboard.  On
    re-assembly, I pinched the power cord to the display between two
    portions of the aluminium subframe, shorting out the 12V line.  Being a
    very small-gauge wire, it heated up very quicky, but had enough
    resistance that it didn't prevent the rest of the system from powering
    up.  After about two seconds (and, of course, no display), smoke
    billowed out through the exhaust fan.  I spent the next half hour soldering
    together a new power lead for the display.



  • @Rurouni said:

    After removing the fan I had forgot to plug it
    back into the motherboard so the CPU (And if you had a TBird you know
    they ran hot) was slowly cooking under the non-fan assisted heatsink
    during the defrag. In a panic I shutdown the machine and (assuming it
    would cool down quicker with the fan running than just turned off) plug
    the fan in and boot into the BIOS. Out of curiosity I checked the BIOS
    temperature sensors:

    CPU: 183 Degrees Celsius

    Motherboard: 112 Degrees Celsius

     
    Both
    motherboard and CPU are still in active service. To this day I have no
    idea how they managed to survive my little trial by fire. 

     
    I'd be willing to bet that they weren't anywhere near those kinds of
    temperature.  Sounds to me like the only thing that got damaged
    was the on-board temperature sensors!




  • I've once seen a person's heatsinkless Duron somehow running stable at a toasty 212 F (100 C) but I can't even begin to imagine 183 C.

    Damaged temperature sensors is perhaps a more likely scenario but it's a funny thought nonetheless.



  • Back when I worked in a mechanical testing lab, four of our test machines were run by a single 386.  One morning, the software started generating large numbers of file I/O errors.  Scandisk reported thousands of bad sectors, so I figured the hard disk had suffered a head crash -- not surprising, the machine had been in service for fifteen years at that point.  When I opened the case to replace the disk, I noticed two things: first, there were scorch marks around the power supply, and second, the hard disk, which sat next to the power supply, was too hot to touch.

    Further investigation showed that the computer's cooling fan had burned out.  The resulting thermal expansion of the hard drive was causing the drive heads to no longer reliably line up with the tracks, resulting in the reports of bad sectors.  After replacing the cooling fan, everything went back to normal.



  • I was in some sort of IT class in highschool, which really meant that we just ran around campus with the school's admin, and helped him set PCs up, etc.

     

    Once, the teacher/admin gave me a PC, and told me the powersupply was dead.  I'm not quite sure what he expected me to do with it, in retrospect.  The power supply was one of those AT PSUs, with the 4 big main power leads that went to the power switch.  I plugged the system in, and touched two of those leads together.  CRACK.  A big blue arc flashed between the two, vaporizing a chunk of the contact on each wire.

    Everyone in the class turned, shocked, and then started laughing their asses off.  When the instructor re-entered the room, I believe I told him that, yes, that power supply was in fact dead.
     



  • @GettinSadda said:

    @RayS said:

    BTW, you can't meaningfully "double" temperatures. :-) 

    Yes you can - 50K is twice as hot as 25K 

    I meant not in C/F. Yes you can double Kelvins.


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