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OT: In need of technical help

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by Moar, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. Moar

    Moar IncGamers Site Pal

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    OT: In need of technical help

    Please bear with me and my longwinded explanation. I don't know how to phrase it better/shorter.

    I just had a very unpleaseant experience with my computer. It's my old W98 desktop which I play D2 on. My newer laptop (which I am posting from) can't handle games anymore. It overheats, so I really need that old one.

    Anyway, I've done Pindleruns all day, on and off, and was just finished with about an hour's worth. I went over to the laptop, copied the stash over and prepared the update for the Pindlethon.

    During that the old desktop started to make a sound as if the CDRom was working heavily. It had done that now and then before. Then the computer suddenly started to reboot on it's own which it never does. So I went over just to smell burned rubber. I switched it off (with the switch on the back) and took the hot power cable out. The was no fire, luckily. The back was very hot where the power cable was.

    Now, my question is can I safely plug it in again a switch it on tomorrow?

    As a follow up question. If it still works, can I use it again? What can I do to solve this problem?

    If all that fails. How do I get the CD out of the drive without having it on? I can use my husband's computer to play for the next two weeks to play and would very much like to do that. I'll need the CD for it though.

    I'd normally just ask my husband to help with this, but he is away on travels and won't be able to help. So I need your help.

    I can tell one part of the computer from another and could probably open the case and maybe even remove this or that (no idea if I get it in again), but my expertise ends right there.

    Please help me. :smiley:
     
  2. Fists of Legend

    Fists of Legend IncGamers Member

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    As for whether you can plug it back in or not, I can't say. I always left thing like to my old roommate who had degrees in computer science and electrical engineering.

    However the thing with the getting the CD out I can help with. Take a paper clip and straighten it out. Look at the drive and you should see a small hole just under the door. Push the paper clip in to that hole and you will be able to manually pop open the drive. That will get you the CD back if you can't turn the computer back on.

    Hope you are able to get it back up and running.
     
  3. Delreich

    Delreich IncGamers Member

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    A possible explanation (not sure how probable though) is a failing fan causing something, likely the power supply, to overheat.

    This might be helpful here: http://www.dansdata.com/fanmaint.htm
     
  4. Asmodeous

    Asmodeous IncGamers Member

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    In order to create that much heat and to heat the cable up enough to smell like that needs mains power current levels to do.

    To put it simply, your power supply is stuffed. A power supply can be replaced quite easily and cheaply. They are worth 50 bucks aus where I am in australia, and can be replaced by somebody with basic "i can fix things" skills, and a screwdriver. Rope your hubby into that job. A new power supply will have some extra connectors as they are made for the current computers, but just tie these up inside the case somewhere out of the way. Or get the shop to do it. It's a 15 minute repair job.

    The issue is if it has damaged the motherboard/hard drive. My experience is that computer supplies are a "fail safe load" design which basically means that usually when they blow, they don't damage what ever they are running, usually. You could be one of the unlucky ones but you won't know untill you replace the power supply.

    Win98 box = 6 years old approx which is about when the fans in a power supply fail.

    Oh yeah. Don't plug it in again. if there is an internal short then the chance of damaging your computer components increases if you try and turn it on again plus the small chance of getting a shock.

    Edit. Hmmm. My 666th post is about a power supply that gets really hot. :devil:
     
  5. Moar

    Moar IncGamers Site Pal

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    Arghhh....you just confirmed that what I feared has happened is a reasonable assumption.

    I have my chars backed up from about a month ago and my main stashes are on this computer, so I should be ok there. The rest of the comp is ripe for the trash anyway. It was just there so that I could play D2.

    I don't think it's worth trying to get a new power supply for it. Might be easier to get the HD out and try to recover the one lost stash by putting it into another computer. That can sure wait the two weeks until my husband is back.

    Thank you very much for your answer. Even though you didn't have any good news for me.

    I've tried this and don't get it to work. I'll try more later. Thank you for the tip. I'm sure it'll work and it's just me that needs more patience.
     
  6. water_moon

    water_moon IncGamers Member

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    Well if you're ready to trash the comp put on rubber soled shoes and make sure your hands are dry and touch grounding (a door knob, or the like), then plug it and try to get the CD out as quickly as possible, some drives will let you open the CD rom up without the comp being fully on. Fans other than the power supply may be gone too and those are very replaceable, not to mention cheaper than a new comp.

    Do check and make sure that there's good airflow all around the computer case and that it's not in a direct heat souce (sunlight, vents, other electronic equipment, etc.) Get any dust bunnies out from around it too. All the fan in the world won't do any good if the air it's moving is just as hot.
     
  7. erics

    erics IncGamers Member

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    I'll second the paper clip idea. It's not actually pushing a button or anything, it's turning a gear. So get one that's long enough, or a piece of wire, and press a little harder to eject it out. I've retrieved a few disks doing this.

    Your power cable is getting hot because there's a large amount of current going through it, so it's not a fan issue, but more than likely either a short or a problem with the transformer. This isn't the main problem though. Your power cord got that hot, but what you didn't notice is that the wiring in your house also was getting hot as well. Your circuit breaker probably should have kicked open and turned everything off in your room. I would suggest you get someone to check your breaker/fuses just in case. Hopefully it's nothing, but it's nice to be safe.

    Touching a ground would give the current a path through your body. :shocked:
     
  8. Moar

    Moar IncGamers Site Pal

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    I couldn't get it done with the paper clip, so I decided to risk the 2 seconds of power. I'm fine, the computer definitely isn't, but I retrieved the CD.

    It wasn't the power cable causing the smell because it got hot. Those 2 seconds I had it switched on now caused an intense smell from inside the comp. It's most certainly dead and will go to where all dead computers go. I guess I'll get the HD out and see if it's still working. It doesn't matter much as D2 was the only data on it that was important and I had backups of my main chars which are the only ones I play. My main Atma stashes were on this comp, luckily.

    I've now installed D2 on my husband's computer and can play there. Runs are faster there as well. :cool:

    EDIT:
    Erics...I think w_m meant that you need to get grounded before you do this, i.e touch metal before you switch it on, not at the same time. I actually did that and had shoes with rubber soles on. I had a boyfriend some time ago who was an electrician and a safety freak. You can't help picking up some things there. Whenever I now see my husband changing lightbulbs without making sure the power is off or taking the fuse out, I'm leaving the room with phone in hand. :grin:
     
  9. water_moon

    water_moon IncGamers Member

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    sorry, should hae specified before hand so you discharge any static

    edit: what she said.
     
  10. English Muffin

    English Muffin IncGamers Member

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    You could've just taken the case off your computer and taken out the CD drive. Would've taken about 5-10 mins.
     
  11. Asmodeous

    Asmodeous IncGamers Member

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    You really shouldn't be advising on things you don't know about. A door knob is usually installed into a wood door. insulated from earth by all the wood. You might as well just hold a screwdriver in your hand. You probably where thinking the door frame but even these can be made of wood too.

    btw, touching ground at all while messing with mains voltage is a big no no. all your doing is giving the electricity an easy path thru your body. And if your body makes contact with the live and earth wiring at the same time, you could be standing on 2 feet thick super duper insulating xlpe rubber and you will still get a shock.

    There is little danger of getting an electric shock by turning on the computer. The front facsia is made of plastic and the on button is insulated. (assuming us design laws are similar to australian) The danger was a short in the power supply going thru the computer and destroying the mobo/cpu/cdrom/hard drive hence making it difficult to repair the system, or get the valuable data off the hard drive. By the sounds of it, the chassis could well be live in which case, the whole computer could be toast. You will know if you get the hard drive out and it doesnt work. if for some reason you want to plug it in again and turn it on, dont touch the metal casing.

    I think your best tossing the whole box in the bin and rescue your characters from your back ups.
     

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