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Your strangest hardware malfunction

Aquinus

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#1
Hello TPU,

I was just thinking about an issue that I had and I was thinking that it would be neat to hear from everyone else about their strangest hardware malfunctions.

Just the other day, I replaced one of my 1TB drives in my RAID-5 because it was the second time my WD green drive got kicked out of my RAID. A week a different drive gave an error, so I just went ahead and rebuilt the array with the same drive because it appears to be working. Then a drive errors out again, I check it and it said it was the new Caviar Black drive I used to replace the GreenPower drive that was "dying." So I noticed that some SATA power cables might not have been plugged in all the way (there was a little play,) so I pushed them all the way in. Nothing changed, a day later a drive still got kicked out. In the end, I ripped out the 3 SATA cables for all 3 1tb drives and replaced them with brand new sata cables that had come with my P9X79 Deluxe. I haven't had a single issue since. I initially made the bad assumption that the hard drives were getting old since they're about 4 years old with almost 24/7 use since I got them and have been running in RAID-5 since, but quite frankly, the SATA cables are just as old and have been moved around a lot since I've upgraded.

First time a SATA cable has failed on me before. Looks like I have a new 1tb backup drive. :banghead:

Another time I had a 500Gb drive produce a flame right out of the IC chip on the bottom of the drive for a good 10 seconds. That was pretty interesting, but I was pretty pissed that I was now short a drive, but that is story for another time. :rolleyes:

Lets here your stories, I bet some of you have some damn good ones.
 
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#2
I had EXACTLY the same issue, also with a RAID5 repeatedly failing. I RMA'ed the HDDs repeatedly and typically they'd come back with a statement of "not faulty". One actually failed, but the other two and the replacement of the first were in perfect health, yet the array would keep on failing. The issue was, indeed, the SATA cables. They were UV-reactive cables that came with my DFI X58 motherboard, and while they definitely looked cool, they did not make perfect contact. Once I got some proper latching cables, the problems vanished, never to be seen again.

However, that's not the weirdest cable-related problem I had. Once, at work, I struggled to get a HW emulation (FPGA based) setup working. It would apparently start properly, but I could not attach a debugger to it. The debugger works over USB and after spending nearly the whole day trying to figure out why it failed to connect I narrowed it down to the one thing I failed to suspect: The USB cable. Once I replaced it, everything worked perfectly.

That was a serious WTF moment.
 
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#3
Good idea! ;)

I have had that it also was an cable

Then, a Geforce 1 slotter, that looked perfectly clean.... but was totally obstructed inside by dust at the very end of its tiny air channels... only totally dismantling it showed this. Grafic artifacts and crashes were gone
 
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#4
a buddy of mind was having a problem with his gaming system(it would not boot up). Long story short, we started replacing parts, and eventually ended up buying a new MB, CPU, GPU, RAM. At that point, my friend said hell with it, bought a PSU and case and we assembled him a new computer out of all the parts he bought. Now you have to realise that when each part was bought, we would install it and try it with negative results. Well I gathered up all the parts of the old computer asked him what he wanted to do with them. Throw them away he said. Well as the enthusiast, you know damn well I can't do that. So, for safe storage I assembled the computer, AGAIN, and figured hell with it, one more try. So I plugged in the computer, hooked up a mouse and KB and hit the power button. Wouldn't you freaking know it, the damn thing booted up. This is after taking it apart and reassembling it approx 10 different times.

That computer to this day is still in use by my mom. To give you idea of it's age, it's a XP3500 based system.
 
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#5
This happened to a computer that was given to my grandparents.

My grandma uses that computer once in a while. For what, not really matters for this post.
When that computer is not in use, it does not receive power from the grid - after shutting it down, the extension cord that is used to feed the whole "set", is unplugged from the AC outlet (the set being: the computer itself, its display, and the printer).

So, one day, after working normally and doing a normal and successful shutdown last time it was used, it just failed. I took a look at it. It was really odd - whenever the computer was plugged in AC power, it would automatically try to start itself without even pressing the power button. Yet failed every time (no POST beep, etc.) I took it back to my place for better inspection.
It was really odd: I inspected every element - no mechanical damage, nothing seem to have fried, everything was completely in tact. I tried many things/approaches, just to localize the failure, but to no avail.
In the end, after lots of testing, I got a little frustrated, and decided to do a "last try",just for the sake of it. Of the computer, I only left the mobo with a CPU & (new) ram, a PSU (also a "new" one - as I have a PSU I only use for testing hardware, etc., I used it, just in case.), a display attached to the integrated VCard (took out the discrete one) and a keyboard attached. That means, I unplugged it from and took it out of the case. That also means no power button. As I suspected it might had shorted out somewhere, it had to go... In other words - left as little as possible. Also cleared the CMOS, yet again. Supply the AC power to the PSU >> it still tries to unsuccessfully start itself.
My left eye started to twitch.
In the end, I did not manage to find the failure. But the strangest thing: That computer, worked well on the last use, shut itself down with no problems, was unplugged, and since it was always revered by my grandparents almost as a magical piece of technology, they would not even come close to it, unless they were using it, and also made sure that no one beside me would come close to it either, so no one touched it. And yet it failed. Why did it fail then o_O ? Weird, huh? The only explanation I could think of in the end was: "invisible magical gnomes came and tinkered with it, just to pull a prank".
 
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#6
AM3 build I did for a friend, constant crashes and couldn't get it to stay on no matter what. Turns out pins on the underside of the board were sticking through the sticker coating of the CM 212+ backplate. When I removed it and inspected the area, could not see what was digging into it but there was visible marks. Enough to touch the metal.

Solved the issue by taking the stock backplate from the board, removing the plastic film from it, then applying it to the 212's. Gave an extra cushion and the stock film was much heavier duty. System booted just fine and installed Windows without a hitch like it was brand new. Just a strange issue I hadn't seen before. Almost RMAed it as faulty.
 
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#7
That sounds like a problem caused by the pc not been used and getting damp.


Oddest one i ever had was a rig i build for my sister. Motherboard was fine then the cmos battery stopped charging. So i went over replaced the cmos battery, it failed after a few days. So i taught my sister to manually enter the bios information to get the pc to boot. It was supposed to be a temporary solution. 5 years later she was still on the same motherboard with the same problem! Oddly tho the pc was faster than any of her mates pc's and they used to come do there uni work on it.... She just used to sit laughing saying it was the most secure pc in the world as no one else could boot it! And even if they did get it to start without a manual time set in windows it would fail to connect to the internet :D

strange thing is none of the caps were blow and the battery casing was producing voltage.... i suspect it was undervolting somehow.
 
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#8
I had a 7600GT. I bought another (the 2 were EVGA 7600GT KO), the second one work fine. Plug the 2 card, put SLI bridge, install driver.. At the middle of the installation, black screen. reboot, black screen. First 7600, #1 second one not working. Died of a driver installation. :) when received the RMA' the 2 were working fine on pencil mod overclocked :)

P8P67 EVO. First bios, 40C CPU, second, 32C, 3rd 28C, since the last 2 or 3, 24C into the bios :)
 
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#9
i don't get strange malfunctions, just self-inflicted ones :roll:
test, test, and more testing, so much so that's all I do...:twitch:
 

lyndonguitar

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#10
My "strangest hardware malfunction" is not a malfunction. :D

Once I tried running a Q8200 C2Q with 4 Gigs of ram + HD 5850 + 3 HDDs + Corsair H50 and all these powered things with a 500W GENERIC PSU. I was a ignorant of the importance PSUs that time.:confused:

Guess what. it lasted for 1.5 years until somebody told me that it can destroy my system. (So In a way It was a malfunction because it should mess my system up right? Its like it malfunctioned in a good way:roll:)

so I bought a new PSU. thank god it didnt happen for that 1.5 year period and parts are still working(sold it to my cousin). :rockout:
 

Athlon2K15

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#11
I had a 1TB Seagate 7200.11 take a shit on me not long ago so i threw the drive away only to find out that it was the top bay in my Level 10 GT that took a shit and the drive was actually fine!!!!:banghead:
 
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#12
I had a faulty ground on one of the power strips I was using, along with a bad DVD drive...

The case would shock you anytime you touched it, but everything worked fine...
 
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#13
I've got a wooden peg on the top of my power supply, holding the casing of one of my XFX cards up, because it appears the glue for it has unseated and drops down, so the fan whirs against the plastic :confused: Gonna have to RMA it, but hate to do it, since I know how long it will take to get it back in :(
 

lyndonguitar

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#14
I had a faulty ground on one of the power strips I was using, along with a bad DVD drive...

The case would shock you anytime you touched it, but everything worked fine...
AKA anti-thief case
 
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#15
My system reset itself when my keyboard tray (and obviously the keyboard too lol) fell on my case.
 
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#16
one of mine would be with my Abit NF7-S 2.0

It started with lightning... the lan failed due to Comcast not grounding their damn cable lines. every network device had to be replaced. well the rest of the components worked fine.

that is until another storm came, this time knocking out my sound. all of which is onboard btw. :ohwell:

anyways... 2 hits from lightning and the motherboard was still working fine. what finally killed it? a BIOS update of course. :wtf:

my strangest? well that'd be digging an 8800GT out of the dump from an old HP computer, finding it wouldn't work, baking it in the oven at 400deg for 20min, letting it cool off, installing in my pc, and presto! it started working. Still running fine to this day :cool:

I've also had PC100/133 sticks catch fire :eek:, power supplies blow fire out their ass :eek::eek:, and CD drives shoot CDs out at me shattering when they hit something :eek::eek::eek:. oh and a floppy drive shorting out its power connector, lighting the cable like a fuse all the way to the psu :wtf::eek:
 
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#17
For me would be some old HP Pavilion

it's pentium 4 with nvidia geforce fx5100 128mb vram. 512mb ram.

it was working nicely (been using it as a microsoft word/excel pc for quite some time and I bought it brand new before and never had any problem, (bought it when it came out) then after turning it off for like 3 hours it won't start up anymore, when i press the switch on button, the green circle light at the back on the psu is blinking. but nothings coming up. so I suspect it's the psu. so been planning on getting it a new psu (old model but can get one new really cheap) or everything just died out, If I recall right this was bought at 2000 or 2001 maybe it lived up to it's use but was thinking maybe I can still get it to run.
 

eidairaman1

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#18
Had a machine powerup on its own by installing a AGP video card.

Had a Old Sattelite Receiver Settop box catch fire in a PCB
 
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#19
Oh yeah I just remembered just now, it's the same machine that I wrote above, it was around 5 years ago or so.

me and my friends were browsing the net and we went down to get some drinks after going back up to my room, there was a sound playing some spanish music (or so that's how I hear it). I thought there was some playing on firefox, so I closed it off, then check my task manager, closed all the other stuff I don't normally have, but the sound kept playing so both of us just ran away after I pulled the plug from the wall. LOL just wanted to share it to you guys ^_^.

well even now we still don't know where it came from.
 
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#20
On my old main rig a Q6600 powered abit x38 quad GT ,i ran it at 3.4 and three times, it BSOD'd and upon reboot the bios post and any software i tried said my cpu was at 6.3Ghz :eek:,yeh a sensor glitch right:wtf:, probably but the wierd bit is that every bench i tried , sisoft 3dmark vantage or 11 , allmost convinced me it was at 6.3ghz my gflops performance went from 55- 60 on average to 90:eek: and every other bench showed a 40% :eek: improvement , many thought me a straight lier but it deff happened here is a pic of sisoft the one in blue was the 6.3 run red was normal boot:cool: shame it wasnt real but i still cant figur how it went like that

now thats a sensor glitch



pic
View attachment 46708
 
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#21
wow would be awesome if that happened to my old dell studio hybrid so i can milk out more performance from it before it dies out.
 
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#22
Brand new Gigabyte 8800GT running at 112C for 1-2 days and then dead.
 

OneMoar

There is Always Moar
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#23
Brand new Gigabyte 8800GT running at 112C for 1-2 days and then dead.
user fail you knew it was over heating but ran it anyway .... INVALID
 
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#24
user fail you knew it was over heating but ran it anyway .... INVALID
I contacted Gigabyte Support, they told me that it might be a Software Glitch with Temp readings and to contact them if there was an actual problem...
 
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#25
@ syeef

what happened afterwards? did they replace it or something/