VOGONS


First post, by ruthan

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We dont have only good days.. I today killed SB Audigy- good Win98 one.. i dont know how its possible, but return to one of my lair and turn on my test bench.. it was not working, i few times, switched PSU and it finally turn on.. after few second.. bad smell and smoke.. I find out that card to in half in slot and half of PCI connector was in front of slots.. i was probably lastime very hurry, or did it automatically..

Slot survived, card doesnt.. Left channel is dead and some burn contacts in PCI connector.

My Honorable mentions from the past:
- its ~17 years - VLB Videocard + 486 MB board, i tried to press it more firmly into slot when pc was running.. - sparks..
- last year i placed 3Com PCI Gigabit Nic in opposite direction to PCI-E to PCI bridge..
- 12 years back i had some issues with my machine, needed to test MB and i killed testing CPU (main and only one of my friend) in process in thing that it was some Athlon without cover and small part of main part fell apart.. I think that cost me maybe 100,150 bucks..
- ~14 years back, I bough new refurbished PSU it was really silent, i enjoyed it a lot, played WoW whole day, after it crashed, PSU dead.. i found out that during some re-connections i pulled out his fan cable which should be connected to MB, otherwise fan was not spinning
- its not kill, but.. I build computer for my friend, i called him that everything is ready, i wanted to add some icing to the cake and tried to change boot image with original utility i thing that i was from Gigabyte or Asus and after reboot nothing.. only single bios broken and 40 kilometer to vendor and no car at the time..
- i also killed i at least one MB with wrong Bios file.. but it was quite usual.
- 2018/07 - I killed Broadcom 5721M, these 1x PCI-E cards, are always clunky and i just had MB on table and no proper test bench

Especially "funny" are some unintentional killer parts, when you kill some parts in process to discover that you caught some serial killer.. Its always "nice" catch, i heard about them, but never that one of them (probably).

Retro is here everything what not standard current product in your computer vendor catalog, but its like in Carmageddon there are better and worse kills.. More rare item and bizarre accident is better. You can get bonus for artistic impression, Extra style bonus, Splatter bonus, combo bonus or killing spree(kill other computers by fiddling with other one..)!!

Stories when you purposely destroyed some naughty HW in some angry rage are welcomed too..

Im not robot so i do mistakes and i often thinking about lots of things, is just hobby and if dead part is not too expensive its fine. I want to know your stories..

Your serial killer..

Last edited by ruthan on 2021-05-17, 21:48. Edited 24 times in total.

Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough raw HW.

Reply 1 of 210, by Thermalwrong

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You're lucky it only damaged the card though 😀
I know that feeling, there was less burning but I thought I'd broken my Packard Bell 486 recently, until I found it was down to corrupted BIOS settings.
Some of those honorable mentions of yours look especially painful, I did something similar with a PSU a long time ago too.

My worst that I didn't live down for a long time - when I was a kid, I took apart the family PC one day after school and managed to put the processor in with the wrong orientation, which is fairly easy to do with a 486. That was the end of the VLB 486 computer, though apparently it only broke the voltage regulator 😕

Reply 2 of 210, by kixs

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A few months ago... 🙁

After booting fine, just blank screen. Turn OFF and ON didn't do anything. Just dead 🙁

Soyo VIP 486 board and PODP5V83 that worked without mods at 100MHz. My best VIP combination 🙁 Both CPU and mobo dead - CPU tested on another board and mobo with another CPU. Really sad about it as I searched quite some time for 100MHz POD.

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Reply 3 of 210, by schmatzler

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I slowly killed a Voodoo Banshee by not putting a fan on it and running it on 110MHz overclocked for a long time.
I was young and dumb at that time. When it started to freeze the machine and produce graphical glitches, it was too late.

Now I have a new Banshee. With a fan.

Reply 4 of 210, by SW-SSG

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Maybe not retro enough, but a decade+ ago I dropped a relatively heavy screwdriver into my old P4 machine's case while it was turned on. (It was in a desktop-style case at the time, with the MB mounted horizontally and the flip-top cover off). I was "lucky", so the metal part dropped into the CPU fan (Intel stock cooler) and took out a blade before I could catch it. It could have been much worse...!

Reply 5 of 210, by KCompRoom2000

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A few days ago, I killed an nVidia Geforce4 MX440 video card by attempting to flash a Mac ROM onto it. Long story short it turned out not to be compatible (the monitor received no signal when I powered up the PowerMac G4 with the flashed nVidia card installed) and now it needs its ROM reflashed, the only problem is I can't reflash it on a PC (the PC I used to flash it (Dell Dimension 4600) refuses to POST with the card installed now) so I'll have to either use an EEPROM programmer or salvage a BIOS chip from a defective Geforce4 MX440 (assuming I'll ever find a defective one). I have another identical MX440 video card that still works so it's not like I lost anything.

Now for something much worse... About a few years ago, I broke a Dell e773c CRT monitor by plugging it into a Compaq Presario 2100 desktop, due to how close the VGA cable was to the wall, it messed it up to the point where the image was all yellow unless something was pushing the cable. What makes this much worse is when I plugged it into my Celeron rig, I managed to break the motherboard's onboard VGA port in the process of trying to fix the monitor. That motherboard was an ASUS P2B-VT with a VIA chipset and integrated nVidia Riva TNT video! Because I was so fixated on getting another Slot 1 motherboard with ISA and integrated video, I ended up getting an ASUS P2B-VE as a replacement, its Intel 440BX chipset is fine for what I use it for, but the onboard ATI Rage Pro GPU is kinda what makes me wish I hadn't gotten that motherboard. Now that I think about it, I probably should've gotten a regular old Slot 1 motherboard without onboard video and some nVidia Riva video card instead. 😠

Worst of all: Black CRT monitors (particularly Dell) were getting hard to find at that point and since I was also fixated on having a matching black Dell setup for my Dell Dimension 4300S (my 9x gaming rig back then), I was also about to abandon that Dell desktop in favor of some other beige desktop.

Reply 6 of 210, by ruthan

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KCompRoom2000 : You can try to hotplug that Geforce card after post and kill even MB in the process, or fix it, if fixing tool could be run in some OS which is ignoring Bios cards detection.. you would not be first.. someone would say that it needs heart of the lion, someone that you have to be a bit mad. Try it with some spare MB would be probably better.

Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough raw HW.

Reply 7 of 210, by dondiego

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KCompRoom2000 wrote:

the PC I used to flash it (Dell Dimension 4600) refuses to POST with the card installed now

Of course but you could boot with a pci card and use nvflash to flash the geforce.

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Reply 9 of 210, by stamasd

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I have had flashing mishaps from PC to Mac in the past (IIRC a Radeon 7000 a few years ago). The way I recovered it was to flash it again in a PC that also had another working video card (preferably different from the flashed one in order not to confuse the flashing utility).

I/O, I/O,
It's off to disk I go,
With a bit and a byte
And a read and a write,
I/O, I/O

Reply 10 of 210, by henryVK

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Killed some 2.5" HDDs by plugging them in incorrectly. Don't really know how it happened, though. Other than that I haven't broken anything that I'm aware of.

However, I have accidentally dropped or similarly maltreated many things that should have at least taken massive damage, but somehow, miraculously, didn't.

One time was carrying my then main PC back from a friend's house after some troubleshooting. I was probably under the influence, anyway, I was on the train, fumbled, and the case fell at least a good meter hitting the ground with a corner for maximum impact. The front plastic cover broke into a dozen pieces and as I dragged the computer home I was certain the HDD head had crashed, the mainboard broken and then some. But when I plugged the thing in at home it ran like nothing ever happened.

Reply 11 of 210, by stamasd

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I was actually lucky and over the years I didn't release the magic smoke from too many things. One exception was a PS and a HDD. Both went to the great scrapyard up in the sky when I managed to plug the power Molex in the HDD upside down. In my defense it was a low quality connector and it didn't resist being plugged the wrong way at all.

I/O, I/O,
It's off to disk I go,
With a bit and a byte
And a read and a write,
I/O, I/O

Reply 12 of 210, by Errius

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Those variable DC voltage/polarity power bricks are useful but dangerous. Its so easy to get the settings wrong and fry something by accident. I killed an external floppy drive with wrong polarity current a few weeks ago. Is something like this fixable?

“I like to dissect PCs. Don't you know I'm utterly insane?"

Reply 13 of 210, by root42

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Errius wrote:

Those variable DC voltage/polarity power bricks are useful but dangerous. Its so easy to get the settings wrong and fry something by accident. I killed an external floppy drive with wrong polarity current a few weeks ago. Is something like this fixable?

Yes, just reverse the tachyon polarity flow to the deflector dish and it should return to normal.

Kidding aside: Probably not. Depends on what components got fried in the proces... Will probably take quite some time and instruments to determine that.

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Reply 15 of 210, by PC Hoarder Patrol

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stamasd wrote:

I managed to plug the power Molex in the HDD upside down

Done the very same twice (crappy plugs and all black cables - not my fault; honest! 😊 ).

Once was a Maxtor DiamondMax VL 40GB drive, which I was lucky to get replaced under warranty and once was an AGP X850 XT Platinum Edition which I wasn't so lucky with. Still have that card somewhere - wonder if it's fixable.

Reply 16 of 210, by torindkflt

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Only a few times that I can recall. Nothing outright catastrophic, but inexperience at the time did result in me prematurely writing off as trash a couple systems that were likely still good despite my mistreatment.

-Had an old retired 33MHz 486 that I got for free from high school shop class, and after having it for only a year or so I killed the hard drive by accidentally shorting its PCB against the case while it was running. I had removed it from the drive bay to install a second hard drive, and it was balanced precariously on a corner of the case when I turned it on for testing purposes. Accidentally bumped it while it was running, and saw a spark shoot from the bottom of the drive to the case. I turned it off immediately, but after a couple minutes I made a second "maybe it still works" attempt to power it on. Needless to say, one of the chips on the bottom of the drive quickly let go of the magic smoke, along with some fire. In all honesty the computer itself probably still worked, but after that experience I was afraid to turn it on again, thus I called the entire system a loss at that point and it ended up being trashed.

-Killed (or at the very least rendered unusable without repair) the power supply from a Gateway 4DX2-66V desktop system by ripping out the cooling fan so I could use it as a case fan in my first custom build (I was on a VERY tight budget at the time, thus was scrounging for parts wherever I could no matter how cheap they would have otherwise been to order). Of course, this also meant the computer itself was no longer usable, and ended up being trashed almost immediately after. Please don't judge me...this was when I was still young, long before I started appreciating older systems. 😢

-Fried the PS/2 ports on my first custom build by trying to use one of them as a power source for an external USB hub. No real big deal, the system still worked, I just had to use USB keyboard and mouse from that day forward. Besides, as I've said while sharing this story before, nothing of value would have been lost because it was an ECS motherboard. 😜

-More recently, I accidentally inserted a 486 processor backwards, rotated 180. 😵 Needless to say, the voltage regulator on the motherboard fried. Luckily it wasn't a fatal mistake...a quick five-minute solder job to replace the VR with an identical one from a different (already dead) motherboard, plus turning the CPU back the right way around (surprisingly it wasn't damaged!), and the system was back up and running with no issues. 😊

-Oh, just remembered one more...after several failed attempts to sell my old Compaq Presario 2200 back in the early 2000s, I decided to take it to the electronics recycler. But before doing so, I decided to forcefully pry the Cyrix MediaGX processor off of the motherboard as a curiosity keepsake (despite how crappy of a system it was, the all-in-one concept of the MediaGX processor intrigued me, and is still a mild fascination of mine today). For those who have never seen one of these systems, the CPU was soldered directly to the board, not socketed. Thus, this is perhaps the only system I have ever permanently and irreparably killed. 😜

Last edited by torindkflt on 2018-08-22, 14:49. Edited 3 times in total.

Reply 17 of 210, by bjwil1991

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Shorted two motherboards in 2009 and 2012:

1) DFI P5BV3+ Rev. B+ (accidentally switched the CPU voltage too high and it shorted) March, 2009 <-- this board was considered high end since it had an AGP 2X slot, BIOS update allowed my 80GB HDD to get recognized and working, and up to 768MB RAM
2) Shuttle Hot 443 Motherboard (PCI, ISA, integrated I/O, shorted the ISA slots when I was attempting to get a new video card to work in it, which was PCI) December, 2012 <-- this was high end as well and it used the Dallas RTC battery (still had juice as it was replaced by the original owner years ago).

Ripped a fan power connector on my IBM ThinkPad R40 (thought I need to replace said board, but, I ended up repairing the motherboard, and it still works).

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Reply 18 of 210, by PcBytes

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bjwil1991 wrote:
Shorted two motherboards in 2009 and 2012: […]
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Shorted two motherboards in 2009 and 2012:

1) DFI P5BV3+ Rev. B+ (accidentally switched the CPU voltage too high and it shorted) March, 2009 <-- this board was considered high end since it had an AGP 2X slot, BIOS update allowed my 80GB HDD to get recognized and working, and up to 768MB RAM
2) Shuttle Hot 443 Motherboard (PCI, ISA, integrated I/O, shorted the ISA slots when I was attempting to get a new video card to work in it, which was PCI) December, 2012 <-- this was high end as well and it used the Dallas RTC battery (still had juice as it was replaced by the original owner years ago).

Ripped a fan power connector on my IBM ThinkPad R40 (thought I need to replace said board, but, I ended up repairing the motherboard, and it still works).

I shorted a DFI like that one due to not putting any washer into a ATX case (I didn't have any AT case or PSU, so had to do with what I had).

Looking back I deeply regret it (along with a PCChips M577 - that was probably the only board close to the DFI) for the nearly same reasons.

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Reply 19 of 210, by RetroBoogie

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Choked an AT power supply to death by accidently plugging in my turbo LED power connector in with backwards polarity to the little case-mounted LED board. It actually took out the circuit for my entire office, which was comical when I found out what caused it. The power supply sparked and kind of worked off and on a few times until it just gave up the ghost.

Fortunately, the 486 motherboard I just spent time restoring/repairing traces was not bothered at all, nor any other component. What sucks is that I spent time cleaning that power supply and lubing the fan up.