Me & My Boys in the land of misfit computer parts


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A few days ago I decided to do some sewing, and so I went down, got all my fabric out and things ready to go,then popped onto my computer to do up and print a pattern, only problem was it would not turn on, my heart sank.

I know opinions of computers are pretty broad, those like my children who cannot live without one because of their generation’s tether to them, those who think people spend too much time on them, many who don’t even own one, and then people like me, many aspects of it for convenience as well as necessity for everyday living, additionally for me, I use it regularly for my hobbies and crafts. Needless to say I was in a panic as to why it wouldn’t turn on, how much is this going to cost me, how much of a pain in the butt is it going to be to repair, maybe it’s a simple fix? (Which when it comes to computer trouble shooting, simple fix is somewhat of an oxymoron). As all these thoughts rushed through my head and I repeatedly pushed the power button I happened to noticed the power bar had tripped off, perhaps the high winds we had days before had caused a flicker in the power that we didn’t notice and the surge bar did its job, for a split second I remained calm as I flicked the bar back on and anticipated everything to be fine, it was not. Once I flicked on the power bar the speaker light came on, the monitor light came on, and my led keyboard ( that looks more like a carnival ride then a keyboard but that’s ok, it makes me smile) lights came on, but no amount of pushing the tower’s power button turned it on, my heart sank again.

Ok I thought to myself; simple, think simple, I checked to see if somehow the power cord had been knocked out of the power bar, it had not, I tried to plug it directly into 2 different wall sockets as well as a few different slots on the bar, still nothing but a brick, at this point I called for assistance from our second youngest, he came down and we ran through a few more “simple” things. Within an hour of opening the case, not seeing any visible signs of damage, reseating components and consulting with my oldest who happens to be a computer programmer and actually built it a year earlier for me, we concluded it is probably the power supply or the motherboard, although big brother was not convinced, the younger one seemed to agree with me. Later that evening mom and the boys after everyone had clocked out of work, clocked into being pc repair personnel, a shift that would take us into the wee hours of the morning and into the next day, lost in the land of misfit computer parts.

Our first next simple step was to remove the power supply from another pc and hook it up to mine and if it powered on, my power supply was fried and we would go grab a new one, it did not turn on. At the encouraging and direction of older brother my youngest and I used a multi meter to test values on the power supply, (completely new to me, but I enjoyed learning) we concluded the power supply was fine, so what was going on?, perhaps it was the mother board, but no one wants to just drop a few hundred dollars on a new one based on a hunch,  so we took on the task of pulling all the connections off of every part in the tower and one by one replacing it and turning it on, first part, turned on no problem second same thing ,third, fourth and so one until we reached the last part and it still turned on, what a relief, it simply was “something” wreaking havoc on the system and now it was fixed.

Spoke too soon, while doing some things on it, it caused a different issue at 1:30am, it was restarting but would not show up on the monitor, we tried a few reboots and gave up. The next day I went down to work on it, baffled as to what it could be now, I proceeded to re-seat everything again in hopes I’d get lucky twice, no chance, however my last resort was to unplug external parts like the wireless mouse, keyboard and hard drive, first on the list, the mouse, and IT WORKED! I was so excited I messaged everyone, took keepsake pictures and everything, then moments later I almost tossed it out the window as I discovered my internet and sound was not working, and a simple fix was not on the agenda for this either. My patience had run out at this point when it was beyond the few things I tried, and computer jargon as in software repair and typing in commands is not my strong area, so our second youngest took the reins. We both scoured the net on our phones for ideas as to what it might be, two hours later he found a post explaining that this issue is often when the computer is in a deep sleep, those two components shut down, I still have no idea how it got into the deep sleep but at this point I am just glad to walk by and see my wallpaper of a family Halloween photo from a party we had a few years ago, seeing those dressed up guys and gals ( hubby and I too, me the cop , he the inmate that year) is one of the sweetest sights this week.

Aside from learning how to use a multi-meter on a pc, I also learned a few short forms, even for an “old” mom, my kids will tend to agree I am not one to refer to computer parts as the thingies. I do know a lot of terms and your basic functions of the parts as well I am capable of opening up a tower and navigating around inside, thanks to my boys for teaching me the following ( my kids still are shocked I know cpu stands for central processing unit and RAM is random access memory lol) a mother board is MOBO, a power supply is PSU, and a graphics card is GPU, it definitely made communicating with my oldest via Facebook messenger much easier, did I mention his phone broke , ( a wide spread issue with that phone) seems it’s a big fat tech fail for this family this week. He is on the hunt for a new one while he deals with warranty issues, and customer service reps, but that’s a whole other story and post, I’m sure most of you can relate to being lost in the land of incompetent customer service reps, not all are, but when you have to deal with the few that exist, or you cant get a straight or consistent answer, it truly does test your patience.

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