Posted 30 December 2010 - 01:40 AM
Hey there fellow Tricksters and Tinkers. I'm Q. I love broken computers. Each one is a brand new puzzle. I can't help myself from poking at them till they come back to life. I'm pretty sure I blew about 30 hours resurrecting an Apple II E, with a sweet green screen, just so my sister's kids would know what my "Oregon Trail" sweatshirt is so special to me. I'm a compulsive computer resurrector. I have fixed many things, and always with help from boards like this.
Hands down though, the Coolest trick I've pulled off so far (IMHO) is remounting a loose Graphics processor from a POS Gateway motherboard. This was the 2nd motherboard in that system, and the second time that GPU magically 'broke' after system standby one fine evening. My best guess is that Vista's fancy hibernate mode left just a little too much heat around the GPU mounted on the ?corner? of the motherboard. Stuff gets hot, it warps. edges first. GPU comes loose. Great frikkin work, Mr. Computer board engineer... what a schlepp. Anyways, I made 4 little tinfoil feet about an inch tall with a wad of aluminum foil squished around 4 x case thumb-screws. I flattened the bottom of each foot for stability. Removing everything from the motherboard you can is a Must. take off CPU, and heat sink, and anything that unscrews or unplugs. Leave no Ram or cards or cables: Melty bad new.
Placing the 4 aluminum mobo risers in a shallow turkey baking pan, and then resting the broken motherboard on those tin pegs, worked great, so easy. Standing there for 5 minutes waiting for the pre-heat oven light to indicate that we've reached 375 degrees...Yes, those 5 minutes left a mark on my soul. Five minutes of asking myself if this is really a good idea or not. But, I read it on the Interwebs so it must B3 Tru3. Next I put on a Darth Vader Apron for safety and turned the Oven from Preheat, to Bake. 375 for 7.5 Minutes. Apparently those are the magic numbers. This temperature seems to be just hot enough to soften the solder, but not hot enough to melt plastic or circuit-board. I baked my $200 paperweight for 7.5 minutes, and then took it out of the oven. I cooled it off through the whole night just to be safe and tried it the next day. The Board seemed to have no visible defects but shrunken serial number stickers. (I forgot to peel off the Labels)
I strapped it up in to my fancy cardboard computer case that I use for quick Mobo\Proc/Ram tests. Plugged in a monitor and mouse, jumped the wires for the power button and Quazang!! The effin thing worked. Like a champ. The guy is still using that computer and it's been like 4 months. I don't really expect it to last... but it was the only thing I've ever baked in the oven-(that you can't eat)- so it makes for an epic nerd conquest.
My Name is Quinton, but my friends just call me Q. or Q-Ball, Q-dawg, or... His Q-ness if you're not into the whole 'brevity' thing.
I went to college for 11 years, got degrees in English Lit, Psychology, and History.... and still I end up my own computer repair business. As English teacher I'd make around $2.50/hour out here in these boondocks. But those rednecks pay me $60/hour... working at home... in my Pajamas to bring their (BLEEP)ing Computers back to life.. So yeah, I'm a super lazy uber nerd, that refuses to work for anybody ever again.
It's all thanks to folx like you, with fantastic boards like this. I learned 8% of my tech savvy from college. The other 77% I learned from google. And yes that's only 85%, that other 15 I just make up as a go and see what happens.
That is all for now.
Duct tape IS The Force.
All Energy Flows according to the Will of the Great Magnet. What a fool I was to deny it.