Your strange/bizarre computer repair stories

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by Charles P. Jefferies, May 28, 2019.

  1. Charles P. Jefferies

    Charles P. Jefferies TG Lead Moderator Super Moderator

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    I just fixed an issue with a computer that I hadn't seen before and wouldn't have imagined. I figure plenty of you [gearheads] have had a similar moment. So, what was the problem/event, and how did you fix it/figure it out? Stories can be from any time, hardware and/or software related.

    Here's mine: I diagnosed a stuck "Delete" key on an out-of-warranty Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5-1470, where it acted as if the Delete key was continuously pressed (and thus would delete anything you clicked on, would delete any text in front of your cursor, etc). I thought it was a problem with the keyboard, but the issue persisted after disconnecting the laptop's keyboard, and was still there after plugging in an external keyboard. To rule out a software cause, I booted from a live CD and still had the problem. I also tried removing the main battery and the CMOS battery, and disconnecting the display/touchpad (also sources of input), but none of that isolated the problem. I ended up having to replace the motherboard (got one for $46 on eBay). It probably was a bad keyboard controller or some other gremlin. But never would I have imagined needing a motherboard replacement to fix that.

    Charles
     
  2. Arrrrbol

    Arrrrbol Notebook Evangelist

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    I was getting constant BSODs when trying to install Windows XP on my Clevo D901C. Tried everything - different GPU, different RAM, different CPU, different hard drive and nothing worked. Turned out that it was the battery which had gone bad and it installed fine after removing it. Wouldn't have thought that would throw up a BSOD in that way, especially since Vista installed without issue. o_O
     
  3. jaybee83

    jaybee83 Biotech-Doc

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    LOL, Vista out of ALL systems :D

    funny timing of this topic, actually!

    these past few days i've had weird freezes on my system and i couldnt figure out for the life of me what caused them. no bsod, no sound hangup/loops, just system freeze and that's it. would stay that way until hard reboot. fresh windows LTSC 2019 install, brand new SSD, brand new RAM, so what could be the issue?

    i rechecked my cpu undervolt, to no avail (freeze at stock VCore). lowered my RAM OC back to SPD settings, still freezes. so then i opened up the machine and guess what i found!

    apparently, the thermal pads used for my SSD heatsink were a tiny bit too long on one side (heatsink with backplate, thus two thermal pads used). that tiny bit actually got into the contacts of the M.2 port and likely disturbed the data transfer, thus causing the system freezes. so i thoroughly cleaned out the thermal pad residues from the contacts and voila - no more freezes!

    so yeah, on a system where every single component is tweaked/overclocked/undervolted/non-stock its a frigging piece of THERMAL PAD that causes system freezes :D
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
  4. TANWare

    TANWare Just This Side of Senile, I think. Super Moderator

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    A while ago friend at work had a dell that constantly froze or intermittently would not boot. brought it home and tore it down. All looked fine and worked on it several days. He finally remembered to tell me he replaced the old CD drive for DVD burner, an older IDE setup. Went back in and found he used the same 5v/12v power connector and almost all things were on the same leg from the cheap stock ATX supply as assembled. rewired the system splitting the load from the PSU on the two legs for the different devices and all became fine.

    memories of the old days...……..
     
  5. ole!!!

    ole!!! Notebook Prophet

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    not that bizarre. upgrading m18x r1 from a 2630qm to a 2920xm. after replacing the cpu only 2 sticks of ram work and 1 of 2 GPUs aren't getting picked up in bios. swapped 2630qm back and everything is back to normal.. faulty cpu with faulty imc and half the link to GPU is hard to find, didnt think i'd see one. it was easy troubleshooting.
     
  6. ryanlecocq

    ryanlecocq Notebook Consultant

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    Before I begin: I have all the tools and I used most of them. I have a bench tester for PSUs, a fancy multimeter and everything was tested on a proper insulated surface while using anti-static gloves and tether.

    I had a computer in which all of the parts tested fine, but it would not boot in its original case. Like anyone, I assumed it was either the PSU, the power switch or one of their wires shorting somewhere. I tested everything, removed every part, even booted another test system using that PSU. There was nothing wrong with the parts. So then of course I assumed something about the case was causing a wire to rub, static build up, whatever. So I went absolutely nuts checking every part of the case for stray voltage or heat when the power supply was engaged. Nothing. The switch in the PSU would engage, the rail would carry power, but nothing would happen. Tested the board, good. 100% nothing wrong with anything and all of it would boot outside that case with no issue.

    Finally just grabbed an identical case off a refurb pile at my friend's warehouse (refurbisher, had hundreds of them). Put the parts in, booted fine. I was forced to finally, after thousands of repairs, accept that gremlins are a thing. In EVERY other case I have always been able to figure out the issue. This one was just cursed to not boot.

    Also just a few days ago I bought a cheap busted Asus laptop off a dude on cL. I just picked it up because the shell was pristine and I have a line of the best main board for cheap (Asus X555L 2017). The guy even tried to lie about what components it had, because it was dead and he knew it would never boot. Said it was the i5/gt930m model when it was just the i3 one. Anywho, I decided to test the bad board for fun and holy god it lit up my test bed like a Christmas tree. I have never seen so many shorts in a laptop board. Turned out that some kind of conductive sand plus beer had been spilled on it and I guess the person must have shook it until it got under every single heat pad and adhesive, then tried to turn it on like 200x.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
  7. heretofore

    heretofore Notebook Geek

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    A week ago, I wanted to clean my external keyboard.
    I violently shook the keyboard, over the sink, while turning it upside down.
    Lots of shaking, beating, smacking. It lasted for minutes.
    I found some "things" trapped under the keys. Removed them and more excessively violent shaking, beating, smacking.
    After that, I plug it back into my laptop.
    A few keys seemed to be stuck or not working, but after a few hours, the keyboard "settled down' and all keys work fine now.
    It's good to clean out keyboards sometimes, but I was lucky there was no permanent damage.
     
  8. ole!!!

    ole!!! Notebook Prophet

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    i've got a few problems here maybe someone here can help me find a solution or whats wrong with it.

    XPS M2010:

    1. SATA I so 1.5Gbps ~ 150MB/s at best but when I overclock T7600G and then do benchmark Crystal disk mark or HD Tune, it'll bench at higher speed say 175-200MB/s depending on the overclocked frequency but actual speed of course capped by SATA I. Restart computer with the higher frequency (saved by TS profile) and then down clock, reverse will happen I get lower MB/s reading from benchmarks.

    2. its got a unique ODD bay you can look it up on google. swap out the ODD (IDE connection) for a SSD and caps out at 80MB/s read and 60MB/s write. Write no issue, read has a ton of problem. HD Tune test run at 80MB/s for like 2 sec and it'll drop down to 2-3MB/s and eventually lock up. Put a game, play from disk & it'll freeze up and forced to restart PC. install windows from original ODD bay has no issue, no lock up and definitely faster than 2-3MB/s read. lastly, if I use a software called FastCopy and transfer file read/write from/to disk, no issue at all, at full 80MB/s speed.

    3. T7600G is like T7600 at base clock 2.33ghz but G means unlocked so I can overclock with throttlestop. for those who uses throttlestop knows the clock modulation is always at 100% and if that is lowered it'll lower frequency and performance etc. I can overclock cpu with 1 more multiplier and have no issue ~2.5ghz but anymore than that I start running into issue where clock modulation reading on TS is at 25% and computer is extremely sluggish, this can't be changed/fixed until a hard restart. other weird thing is that it passes TS stress test, but browsing/gaming will cause this down clock very quickly.

    if you know a solution/ workaround to these problems especially 2/3 i'd really appreciate it.
     
  9. jaybee83

    jaybee83 Biotech-Doc

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    1. is not a problem, its just a fact :) CPU and storage performance are indeed linked together and looks like u have a cpu bottleneck at stock clocks.

    2. Just wild guess this might have something to do with power delivery. writes usually use up more power than reads, so could be that the ODD connector gets to its limits when u do write intensive operations.

    3. have u checked TS throttle reasons? maybe ure running into a power limit of some kind.

    Sent from my Xiaomi Mi Max 2 (Oxygen) using Tapatalk
     
  10. ole!!!

    ole!!! Notebook Prophet

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    for 2. its giving issue when its read not write lol which is the mess up part. but fastcopy reading files from the ODD bay at max speed gives no problem at all.

    for 3. i'd have to check with latest version of TS but i seriously doubt it will give me the info i need, cause this is old ass cpu. as to how old.. T7600G, x7800, x9000, x9100, QX9300, 940xm (first gen i7).
     
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