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  1. #1
    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    Don't make assumptions

    I had a problem with my main PC earlier this month (lack of power after a power outage). I checked with a different mains cable but no joy, so the guy who built it for me fixed it. I was using it a week or so later and suddenly power was lost. No joy, couldn't get it to go. Emailed the builder again - but have had no reply (perhaps he's on holiday over Easter or he's got health problems - he had been in hospital around the time he fixed it).

    Today I was going to go round to his place and see why he hadn't responded, but thought I would just try another power cable - just in case. Lo and behold it booted up. Plugged the old cable in but checked before I switched on - and the plug was halfway out the power strip. It's now working fine.

    Moral of story - don't make assumptions, ever. Check simple things first (as someone recently told us). Break either of those and you may find you have a non working item, when it is really all OK. Ho hum!

    Oh, I was using my old PC to login to the net etc. and it seemed very slow. Back on this one it's red hot fast. But I had been wondering if it was getting slower. I realise now that it's a case of me getting used to its speed and so thinking it's slower. You can only tell with measurements.
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    A bit of maintenance doesn't go amiss either like cleaning out the %temp% files or running Disk Cleanup and a defrag if applicable.

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Another obvious thing you might not think of: Perhaps one or more controller cards aren't plugged in all the way. A friend called me once -- someone had fixed his computer, but it still had a lot of issues. I opened it and found a couple of controller cards weren't plugged in all the way. I plugged them in, and everything was fine after that.

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Moral of story - don't make assumptions, ever. Check simple things first (as someone recently told us). Break either of those and you may find you have a non working item, when it is really all OK. Ho hum!
    Troubleshooting (i.e. critical thinking) is a skill you'll want to develop. It always pays for itself every time.
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    Just to add, a lady called me the other day about her monitor having died. I visited her prepared to have a bad monitor but turned out that over time with the contacts of the power cord heating and cooling and the weight of the cord had pulled it part way out. Big fix: pushed the cord fully in and explained it to her.

  6. #6
    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    Troubleshooting (i.e. critical thinking) is a skill you'll want to develop. It always pays for itself every time.
    CLiNT - I don't think at my age I could develop critical thinking! But this is a case that I broke my own rules on this occasion and so suffered the consequences. As the saying has it - even Homer nods.
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    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berton View Post
    Just to add, a lady called me the other day about her monitor having died. I visited her prepared to have a bad monitor but turned out that over time with the contacts of the power cord heating and cooling and the weight of the cord had pulled it part way out. Big fix: pushed the cord fully in and explained it to her.
    Berton, I've actually experienced something similar - but when I asked if the PC was plugged in and switched on, they said 'of course it is'. When I started to suggest other things to try, they suddenly said 'it's working!'. Go figure!
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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berton View Post
    Just to add, a lady called me the other day about her monitor having died. I visited her prepared to have a bad monitor but turned out that over time with the contacts of the power cord heating and cooling and the weight of the cord had pulled it part way out. Big fix: pushed the cord fully in and explained it to her.
    You are probably far too young to remember the problems with "thermal creep" in the early days of the IBM PC, where surface-mounted memory modules in an add-in card would gradually work their way out of their sockets. Fixed by removing the card, laying it on a flat surface, and pressing back the (usually) 72 (8 x 9 - including a parity row/column) small memory modules, and replacing it.
    Ah, nostalgia isn't what it used to be...
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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by access-mdb View Post
    Berton, I've actually experienced something similar - but when I asked if the PC was plugged in and switched on, they said 'of course it is'. When I started to suggest other things to try, they suddenly said 'it's working!'. Go figure!
    In the days of the IBM mainframe, there was a hefty and heavy 3279 colour terminal often used by the operators as the mainframe's console. Every so often the screen would go blank, but switching it off and on again would not fix it.

    The first time it happened we had to call in the IBM hardware engineer, who simply unscrewed a small plug at the front of the screen which held a fuse (like the standard 13A fuses in UK plugs), removed the fuse, looked at it, and then put it back, screwing the front on again. The 3279 was then switched on and All was Well.

    After a couple more instances of this problem, the computer operators did this fix for themselves!

    No rhyme or reason - but it worked every time!
    BATcher

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  10. #10
    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    I remember the 3279 but not the fuse problem.

    We had a MicroVax II in my department which stopped working (I can't remember in what way). So we checked all power leads and connectors, but everything was seated correctly. We then called out the Digital engineer. She did a lot of testing and lo and behold, the problem was with one of the pins in a communications plug (similar to an old VGA plug for a screen). When the plug was pushed in, it pushed one of the pins into the plug, so no connection. But when the plug was removed, it pulled the pin out, so it looked OK. I was always impressed by her ability to find that particular problem!

    Far too young eh? What you after?
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    Quote Originally Posted by BATcher View Post
    You are probably far too young to remember the problems with "thermal creep" in the early days of the IBM PC, where surface-mounted memory modules in an add-in card would gradually work their way out of their sockets. Fixed by removing the card, laying it on a flat surface, and pressing back the (usually) 72 (8 x 9 - including a parity row/column) small memory modules, and replacing it.
    Ah, nostalgia isn't what it used to be...
    You're right, my first computer was an AMD 80386 AMD 386-40MHz in '92, started building computers in a store/shop a couple years later after I retired, mostly 80486 SX and DX.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by access-mdb View Post
    I remember the 3279 but not the fuse problem.
    <pedant> It may actually have been an IBM 3179, an altogether more rectangular terminal! </pedant>
    BATcher

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  13. #13
    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BATcher View Post
    <pedant> It may actually have been an IBM 3179, an altogether more rectangular terminal! </pedant>
    It was a long time ago! Did you use ISPF?

    Just Googled it and 3279 seems correct.
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