Thursday, November 27, 2014

Post 2832 - I Still Got It!

Ha. Frig you, computer! You're mine. Mine, I tell you!

You may remember that I was up far, far too late last evening trying to get a desktop computer up and running again. I am happy to report that it is fine again. And it only cost me $3.45.

Let me explain.

Much earlier today, I drove to Brilliance Computers on Kempt Road. It is my favourite computer repair store in town. They sell a lot of used parts as well.

I explained my situation, how the desktop machine was seemingly dead, and that I had been unable to revive a 2TB hard drive in it as well. Of course, he suggested a new(er) power supply, and pointed me to one at the back of the store that was only $12. I recalled that I needed a new sata data cable as well, and since they were only $3 each, I stocked up and got 4.

Before I paid for my stuff, however, the owner told me about a little trick that computer repair guys know about that I had never heard of. He told me that before I went through the work of swapping out power supplies, that I should first unplug the existing power supply from the motherboard, both 20 pin and the 4 pin connections.

What the frig?

I took the side panel off the cable, worked the connections off as suggested, and then plugged them back in. I plugged the power cord in the power supply and pressed the power button. I heard the fan start up!

I rapidly powered it down again, removed the panel again and re-installed the moribund 2TB hard drive, replaced the panel,  connected the webcam and the scanner cable and keyboard and the other peripherals. Pushed the tower back in the area of the computer desk and turned the machine back on.

It fired back up again. I had no problem logging on to the machine.

I felt so proud of myself.

There was still the problem of the hard drive. I had used one of the sata data cables because I broke one last evening. I fired up a disk utility and saw that the drive was there. I re-formatted it as an NTFS, changed the label to something meaningful, and waited a few minutes while the utility went out and performed the re-format. I ran some utilities. The drive was now healthy.

I now have 3 unused sata data cables, and the $12 power supply I purchased this morning. They were not necessary. The only thing I did use was the $3.45 cable.

I will hold on to the cables. And I think I will keep the power supply as well. Eventually, this one will fail, and won't come back from the dead, and I will need to be able to reach for the one I purchased this morning and swap out the thoroughly-dead power supply with this newer one.

It feels really good to be able to say that I fixed this on my own, with only a 30 second tip provided to me in passing and a used sata data cable necessary to save the day.

I hope to have this computer for years  yet. And its record of being a very low-cost thing to keep going, remains intact.

Tomorrow, I think I will find that cure to cancer that has been nagging at people for centuries. It can't be that hard, right?

See you tomorrow.



1 comment:

scott s. said...

thats good to know, and makes sense as it probably resets the board. Another trick is to unplugged the power cord from the PS and wait about 30 secs. I suspect that would the first thing to do, then to unplugged the PS from the board.

was working on drives this evening when I freaked as a critical plastic piece insert into the SATA connection on the mother board broke off. the board is old, only 2 Sata's that I need.

The plus? it was a clean break and the pins didn't break off, so I carefully bent them a bit and mixed a bit of 5 minute epoxy (FYI, I buy the adhaero brand from the dollar store for 1.25 and works incredibly well) and carefully covered the plastic piece, but it in place and reinforced it with a bit more along the seem of the break. I waited about 1/2 hour, plugged in the SATA cable and brought the machine up and it worked. go figure! hopefully it will hold.