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I've had a couple of unlikely successes this week

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by soundian, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

    Bit of a week for fixing hardware. I don't normally get any hands-on at work (still first line :cry:) so have to rely on friends bringing things to me.
    Success #1
    One guy brought a failed build to me, he'd managed to bend some of the CPU pins in a botched CPU/FAN install. I see bifocals in my future because I couldn't focus on those pins with my bins on. Anyway, much to my surprise I managed to bend all the pins back without breaking any off or destroying the CPU with static. Job done, works with no issues (so far, fingers crossed).
    result: Kudos
    Success #2
    Then he brought me the PC it was replacing. Treacle city. A quick perfmon.exe showed me it was probably an HDD issue so I had a look in devmgmt. Somehow XP had decided the hard drive should be knocked back to PIO mode instead of DMA. A quick delete of the appropriate reg key and reboot, game on. It was now running in ultraDMA mode 5 instead of PIO mode 4. Sweet! (the mobo manual said it could only do UDMA4. Liars!)
    Result: Kudos.

    It still wasn't running right. Aaaargh!! A taskmgr showed an AVGID security process running, taking up about 20-30% CPU frequently. One google later I discover that it's possibly because a scan hasn't been done since install. This turned out to be the case (since it was in PIO mode a full scan would have taken hours, I can't blame them for skipping it) and the ID protection service was constantly caching. Uninstall AVG, slam on Avast, issue resolved. It is now up and working about as well as I'd expect something with a 1.19 GHz single core AMD Athlon CPU and 512MB 2600 DDR RAM to work.
    This PC is now going to a good cause, I fixed the bodge job in return for this PC because I knew someone who had lost their job due to ill-health and was retraining, but couldn't afford to buy a PC to practice basic ECDL skills on.
    Result: Karma points.
    I went into my part time job today, in a pub, and one of the tills was down. The cash drawer wasn't opening. Turned out a couple of wires had been ripped out of their connectors. It's really difficult to solder a connection which is entirely encased in plastic but you can drip it in if your deft enough. In the reverse of the normal procedure I heated the tinned wire while maintaining thermal contact with the solder I'd dripped in to the proprietary connectors and managed to melt enough solder in the connector to make a good contact. Particularly pleasing since the boss had advised the manager to ask me to have a look before phoning the EPOS guys.
    Result: Brownie points at work!

    I just had to tell some people that might appreciate the work for what it was.
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  2. JK2447
    Highly Decorated Member Award 500 Likes Award

    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator

    Well done mate, particularly on saving that CPU and identifying a lighter AV based on the PC's spec. Its good to get your hands dirty :)
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV, VSP, VTSP
    WIP: AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate
  3. steve_p1981

    steve_p1981 Byte Poster

    nice job mate, had a look at your certs at the bottom of your post cos it though that it sounded like you know too much to be on 1st line still, i was right. You should be on your way to bigger things if you keep this up :-) I have my fingers crossed for you.
    Certifications: A+ 220-701 and 220-702
    WIP: none at current but poss 70-680 soon
  4. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    Nice one mate. :D
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Office 365, Server 2016, CEH
  5. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

    Cheers guys, I knew someone would appreciate my work. I've spent all morning stripping the PC right back and giving it a good clean. Quite an impressive pile of dirt sitting on my workbench at the moment.

    I've got a bit of an issue with USB headers for the front ports. I'm pretty sure they've never worked and the way they were wired up when I pulled the mobo out doesn't tally with any 5 pin header I've seen before. I can't find the mobo manual online, and the last time I had this issue the mobo manual didn't have the pin assignments in it anyway when I eventually tracked it down.
    What's the best way of figuring out the pin assignments?

    I think I've identified the power pins, there's continuity between the pins I expected to carry power. When I fire her up again I'll get the multi-meter on it again and figure out which one is ground and which one is +5V. If I have the power pins correctly identified, does anyone know if there is any danger to USB devices I insert if I get the data pins wrong?

    EDIT: Job done. The multimeter did show me the correct pins for power and I got the data pins sorted on my second guess. Looks like the shop that built this machine must have had horses tied up outside and a preponderance of Stetsons inside because that wasn't how they'd wired it up. Luckily they didn't wire it up so it trashed devices by firing power up the data lines.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  6. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    Great stuff mate, well done 8)
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  7. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Well done good job.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  8. dales

    dales Terabyte Poster

    sounds like a great run there, I'd forgotten about bending pins back, used to have to do that alot in my first job when people bought in their self upgraded rigs that wouldn't boot (used to use jewlers screwdrivers for that and an eyeglass).
    Certifications: vExpert 2014+2015+2016,VCP-DT,CCE-V, CCE-AD, CCP-AD, CCEE, CCAA XenApp, CCA Netscaler, XenApp 6.5, XenDesktop 5 & Xenserver 6,VCP3+5,VTSP,MCSA MCDST MCP A+ ITIL F
    WIP: Nothing

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