1. Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

The Avoid killing your Hardware Thread

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by dr emulator (madmax), Apr 13, 2010.

  1. dr emulator (madmax)

    dr emulator (madmax)

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    2,241 (1.17/day)
    Thanks Received:
    176
    Location:
    the uk that's all you need to know ;)
    so what's this thread going to be about?

    well i want to hear your stories about what you've blown up
    and how you think you could of avoided it
    and hopefully it will help others avoid making the same silly mistakes

    here's my big mistake of the day

    well anyone who knows me will know i like 12 volt equipment, fans, lights etch
    so i built myself a set of window fans to blow cool air in the room through my window in summer

    why did i build it ?

    well we have cats that will jump out and walk along the ledge which is to high for them to jump down from ,hence the crazy design and it stops them getting out :rolleyes:

    here they are sideways after i plugged them directly into the mains:eek::cry:
    [​IMG]

    why did they blowup? :rolleyes:

    well i foolishly used the same sockets for my 12 volt equipment as my pc mains input, which would have been fine had the plug been in my pc,
    but it wasn't because i moved the pc downstairs into my summer retreat,

    so yes i plugged 240 volts directly into nine 12 volt fans :shadedshu

    strange thing was it only made a little spark, no big flash and bang no big puff of smoke
    so my point? well if i had have put some inline fuses in and connected the positive to the earth (on the 12volt stuff) it just might have saved me about £50 or 76.84 US$:twitch:

    so come on guys i want to hear your horror stories and hopefully we can help some newbies avoid blowing their expensive gear to bits
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2010
    ste2425 and D007 say thanks.
  2. Binge

    Binge Overclocking Surrealism

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    6,981 (3.25/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,751
    Location:
    PA, USA
    My condolences. I hate paying for fans... they can be expensive.

    ::EDIT::

    Be careful about screwing your coolers into a backplate. If you miss the hole and end up screwing into the motherboard there's liable to be some broken traces. Mobo companies don't warranty that kind of abuse.
  3. Sasqui

    Sasqui

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    7,504 (2.37/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,314
    Location:
    Manchester, NH
    Oops. To bad there weren't more fireworks, perhaps the enjoyment would have offset the loss :laugh:

    Pulled a video card out of a running system once. Miraculously, everthing still worked fine.
    dr emulator (madmax) says thanks.
  4. Yukikaze

    Yukikaze

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,309 (1.08/day)
    Thanks Received:
    481
    Back in 2008 I ran 1.4v to my Q6600 at 3.2Ghz (B3 Stepping and a completely useless OC'er) on my first P45 board (MSI Neo). Didn't pay attention to the PWM temps (Board had no temp sensors there and for some reason I didn't measure manually) and one of them burst into an open flame after a few minutes of Linpack load.

    Luckily the case was open, so I put it out quickly enough. The only casualty was the motherboard itself. Chip was working but we parted ways shortly after (Still running today in the system of a g/f of one of my friends at its stock 2.4Ghz) and the system was replaced with a Q9650 and a DFI P45 (Both of those are still running in the systems in my sig), and my i7 setup a few months later.

    I've been way more careful with ALL temperatures while overclocking since, especially on budget hardware.
    dr emulator (madmax) says thanks.
  5. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Messages:
    9,163 (5.37/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,961
    Location:
    Home
    Fooled around with a Pentium 3, next thing I know I kept on getting shock everytime I touch the case. Didn't notice its psu was giving problem, so it took down a modem before dying. Subbed with a quality psu and the rig still run to this day. My parents use it as secondary printing device. So, everyone else take note: when you feel too much static from the case, its probably the psu.
    dr emulator (madmax) says thanks.
  6. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    13,881 (5.08/day)
    Thanks Received:
    5,615
    Location:
    Cheeseland (Wisconsin, USA)
    I opened up a computer at work to clean out the dust.
    Grabbed the 100 psi air hose and opened it up about 1 inch from one of the case fans.
    It spun at about 1 million rpms for about 2 seconds then exploded into pieces.

    Lesson : Keep the fan from spinning when using high pressure air hose to clean :D
    robn and dr emulator (madmax) say thanks.
  7. D007

    D007

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Messages:
    3,060 (1.13/day)
    Thanks Received:
    374
    Location:
    Pompano beach, Florida
    Well, I would recommend that if your stressed, walk away then come back.
    Being stressed and continuing to work on my pc has made me do some pretty dumb stuff.. XD
    dr emulator (madmax) says thanks.
  8. dr emulator (madmax)

    dr emulator (madmax)

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    2,241 (1.17/day)
    Thanks Received:
    176
    Location:
    the uk that's all you need to know ;)
    thanks thumb.gif i'll bear that in mind in the future
    and yes they were expensive about 10us $ for the blue led version of which i had 4 i think

    yes i'm supprised their wasn't more light and sound :laugh: strange thing was i thought i had plugged them onto the right socket (that'll teach me to use a iec socket:shadedshu) although their is a slightly different version that kettles use with a groove in both the plug and the socket
    maybe i should get one of those:rolleyes::D
  9. dr emulator (madmax)

    dr emulator (madmax)

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    2,241 (1.17/day)
    Thanks Received:
    176
    Location:
    the uk that's all you need to know ;)
    i agree
    and also keep kids away from them as i remember my young cousin stuck his finger in the cpu fan (little devil) and cut himself,
    strangely it didn't break till about a year later, when i stuck my finger in it :eek: now that killed it :slap: :laugh:
  10. PVTCaboose1337

    PVTCaboose1337 Graphical Hacker

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Messages:
    9,513 (3.06/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,142
    Location:
    San Antonio, Texas
    I tried to do inert cooling once. Everything was working ok till the hard drive died. Hard drives cannot be inert cooled, they have a pressure hole, and when it is not filed with air, and oil instead... well you can guess.
    dr emulator (madmax) says thanks.
  11. reverze

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Messages:
    1,368 (0.57/day)
    Thanks Received:
    131
    I had just installed a ZALMAN CPU cooler, and somehow the copper parts were bent keeping the fan from spinning.

    I was in Windows, and noticed a sudden freeze. I wondered hmm what happened?

    So, I turned off the PC and stuck my hand inside grazing the CPU cooler and burnt my hand so bad.

    Once windows booted back up, it was reading the CPU temperature at 109 degrees Celsius, so I immediately turned it off and fixed the issue. :)
    dr emulator (madmax) says thanks.
  12. PopcornMachine

    PopcornMachine

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,563 (0.86/day)
    Thanks Received:
    459
    Location:
    Los Angeles/Orange County CA
    Let's see...how many dumb things have I done to pc hardware...let me count the ways.

    My first build was and AMD system about 10 years ago, back when the dumb things actually let you put the main mobo power connector on backwards.

    Well, I was aware of that and thought I had it right, only to see blue flame shoot out of that socket when I first turned it on. Only then did I get smart and immediately yank the power cord out of the wall.

    I was convinced the whole thing was fried, but it turned out OK once I turned that power connector around the right way.


    I've also ruined my share of fans over the years...got bitten a couple of times reaching inside a running box. A 120mm or 140mm can cause pain if they are running fast enough, but adding insult to injury is the fact that the blades will brake off. Very sad.

    Don't reach inside running systems...that's my words of wisdom. :laugh:
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2010
    dr emulator (madmax) says thanks.
  13. CDdude55

    CDdude55 Crazy 4 TPU!!!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Messages:
    8,179 (3.17/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,277
    Location:
    Virginia
    I only have about two screws holding my X58 mobo in place.(though i doubt anything will happen):D

    Other then that, i got nothing.:)(always take care of my hardware)
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2010
  14. blkhogan

    blkhogan New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Messages:
    2,315 (0.91/day)
    Thanks Received:
    648
    Location:
    If I told u.. I'd have to kill u
    I just blew a fan out last week from doing that. :shadedshu I had the pressure on my compressor set low so things like that dont happen, well one of my little darlings decided to play with it and cranked it waaaay up. Blew the freaking blades right off it before I could let go. :laugh:
  15. Robert-The-Rambler

    Robert-The-Rambler

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    646 (0.28/day)
    Thanks Received:
    119
    Location:
    Bay Shore NY
    I have killed many parts

    The Most Memorable Stupid Mistakes

    1. The smell of burnt popcorn!!!!!!!

    It was about 15 years ago. It was probably my first PC. I hadn't a clue. I think my intent was to change a power supply. There were four wires near the front of the case that I tried to switch around. What they were for I still don't know. It was an AT power supply and motherboard, I think. I pressed the power switch and smoke spewed from my 386 speedser. In hindsight it was a POS anyway.

    2. The Baldurs Gate Shocking Moment (Circa 2000)

    No it wasn't anything like a Luke Skywalker Darth Vader moment. My cat happened to be sitting on my lap as I held my USB Gravis Gamepad I was using to emulate a mouse. Suddenly I felt a shock in my hands and the game crashed. Goodbye System RAM. Thank God for wireless technology today. I can't remember what system I had at the time.

    3. Waterlube!!! (Just a few years ago)

    Well, I figured I could squeeze more performance out of my Radeon 3850s. (256meg version) I had four of them. I ran the tubes for two of them and fired up my system. All seemed well until something went terribly wrong. The system crashed. It leaked. Two dead Radeon 3850s. Anyhow, I went and bought two more Radeon 3850s also with 256 megs of RAM. (An even dumber move than water cooling)

    4. I yanked it (In the last year or so)

    I had got home from work late around 10:00pm and decided to change video cards in my I7 setup. I forgot that my Gigabyte had locks on the PCI Express slots. I yanked and yanked until I cracked the PCI Express slot in half. $284 gone in one swift yank. The lesson is to not yank it after a long hard day's work.

    5. Yankee Rain Delay

    Last season a Yankee game went into a rain delay so I decided to change the video setup in one of my AMD rigs to quad crossfire Radeon 3870s. I was just curious how well it might perform. Well, on initial powering up I heard a wire hitting the CPU fan. I panicked like a fool and quickly turned the PC off while it was posting. Well, it never worked again and I think the board is dead. I'm not 100% sure. The crazy bastard immediately comes on when you flick the power on from the power supply but never posts. I tried numerous times hoping it would come back to life. I have a MSI K9A2 Platinum motherboard sitting lifeless. I haven't the heart to throw it out.:mad: The lesson is to let the thing boot up then shut it off the right way when it is only a fan issue.

    Anyhow, that is 5 of the dumbest things I've ever done to a PC.:)
    dr emulator (madmax) says thanks.
  16. Sasqui

    Sasqui

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    7,504 (2.37/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,314
    Location:
    Manchester, NH
    Hmmm... I just realised I have a 155 PSI compressor out in my garage, and there just happens to be a 90mm fan that's been kicking around in a corner.

    I will wear my safety glasses. :laugh:
    dr emulator (madmax) says thanks.
  17. tacgnol

    tacgnol New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Messages:
    23 (0.01/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2
    Sounds well dodgy - the psu case and hence the pc case should be earthed! So if the power supply isn't earthed properly, kinda dangerous :eek: Oh well it's broken now anyway eh :)

    Oh yeah, hardware I've blown up... Well I once used a carving fork try and get a stuck piece of toast out of a toaster, current arced between the prongs (really) and melted the ends, the handle was wooden though so I survived, toaster didn't. Blew up a power suppy (not for a PC though), put a 50V cap where it should have been 75V. It worked for a few minutes, then the cap started whistling, then it literally exploded.

    As for PC stuff not much really, broken fans and stuff. I did once back in the day plug in a parallel port printer while the computer was on, it sparked and damaged the port. My Celeron 300A died after a few years of being run at 450MHz but meh.

    Oh actually recently I did something really stupid but got away with it luckily - my laptop has a slot loading CD drive, on the same side as the SD slot. Reached down to put SD card in without thinking, somehow posted SD card into the CD drive by mistake. I turned it on its side and managed to get it out with a ruler.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2010
    robn and dr emulator (madmax) say thanks.
  18. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Messages:
    13,472 (5.06/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,210
    Ive killed both my 4870's (not at the same time of course) & a Xonar D2X

    about 6 months ago I was fiddling around with some stuff inside my comp & had to take my 4870 to get to make room for what I was doing (god i hate mid-tower cases - too small for a mobo & my big hands) & at one point the side panel of my case fell onto my 4870 but i didnt notice it & when i did, had a close inspection to see if anything was damaged I plugged it back in & as soon as i hit the power button - there were sparks inside my case & there was a small fire eating my 4870.

    needless to say there was nothing i could do but RMA it.

    the lesson i learned was always put your hardware in a safe place if you are parting out the system for cleaning or putting shit in etc etc...

    ------

    second time I fried my other 4870 was due to my trusty Antec TP 850 Quattro failing. I was playing MW2 when all of a sudden it bluescreened & after a longtime fault finding - it finally boiled down to my 4870 was dead. it at the start it would boot into windows then crash - then it wouldnt even post anymore...

    that couldnt of been avoided - I had a PSU that had 9/10 in most reviews & I had enough power to feed 2 4870's.

    But prior to that - I had trouble with a Xonar D2X i bought from a shop which started causing my PSU to trip when it booted up. That D2X & the first 4870 i fried musta really really done it for the PSU as even without the faulty D2X & dead 4870 plugged it - i was having cold boot issues & occasions where my systems power would just trip for no reason at all. so yeah - the D2X really got the ball rolling on my already damaged PSU & it was only a matter of time before it would die completely & probably kill a lot more then just my 4870.

    I swapped my dying Antec PSU for a Corsair HX750w (cost me £130 :( ) & I havent run into any issues as yet.
  19. DonInKansas

    DonInKansas

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Messages:
    5,096 (1.95/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,265
    Location:
    Kansas
    This is the truth. I had my PC apart outside cleaning it and my son, who was 3 at the time, got a hold of my Xiggy S1283 and dropped it down the deck stairs. That thing had a mean lean and dented heatpipes after he got done with it. :p
    dr emulator (madmax) says thanks.
  20. FilipM

    FilipM New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Messages:
    802 (0.33/day)
    Thanks Received:
    94
    Location:
    Bitola, Macedonia
    I've cut my fingers on spining fans about 20567 times - broken an LCD monitor while trying to fix a dead pixel - knocked a capacitor off my X48 DS4 (previous PC, probably me) luckuly it was from the onboard sound card so i just slapped in a new one and sold it like that (didnt wanna sell my SB) - trying to ghetto mod my TT Tsunami Dream, ending up with only a small mess - vacum cleaning my keyboard and ending with half of the buttons in the freaking cleaner (lol).
    dr emulator (madmax) says thanks.
  21. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    16,899 (6.01/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,061
    Location:
    Ohio
    I once ruined a 9800GT, motherboard (same one in my specs) and a Phenom 9500 when overclocking. You see, the 9500 is a 95w processor, and the board takes 95w max... I overclocked and overvolted it to the point where it was using around 125w (2600MHz, 1.375v) and the vregs fried, rendering the board useless and killing the cpu (maybe, I never really tested it, just threw it away :banghead: why did I do that...) and, when I got the board back from RMA, I found out that it fried my 9800GT too :cry:

    Lesson here is always check to make sure your board can handle the power your cpu is drawing from it, because if you don't, the results could be disasterous...
    dr emulator (madmax) says thanks.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  22. ste2425

    ste2425

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    3,395 (1.50/day)
    Thanks Received:
    370
    Location:
    Huddersfield, uk
    i once modded a playstation controller to work with the pc, it drew power from a molex connector, me bein dumb though ill plug it in see if it work then cover all the wires, except the wires touch the side of the case big sparks, blew the controller up an left me rather shaky you could say
    dr emulator (madmax) says thanks.
  23. HalfAHertz

    HalfAHertz

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,886 (0.98/day)
    Thanks Received:
    378
    Location:
    Singapore
    I was changing the cpu cooler of a nforce2 mobo and applied too much pressure. Somehow the mobo got bended without me realizing it and was barely touching the case...
    When I started the PC everything was normal for the first couple of seconds then all of a sudden it stopped posting and a smell resembling rotten eggs filled the room. When I looked at the case there was a thin line of smoke coming from the NB. Luckily the mobo was the only thing that got fried.
    Moral of the story: always take out the mobo when installing a cooler to prevent damage.
    dr emulator (madmax) says thanks.
  24. Zubasa

    Zubasa

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    Messages:
    3,980 (1.39/day)
    Thanks Received:
    457
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Mount a TRUE Copper on that mobo and you will see something happen :laugh:
    CDdude55 says thanks.
  25. ste2425

    ste2425

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    3,395 (1.50/day)
    Thanks Received:
    370
    Location:
    Huddersfield, uk
    ive always wanted to spill water on my rig when running just to see what it would look like, of cause i never will tho :p
    dr emulator (madmax) says thanks.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guest)

Share This Page