OT- The smell of SW2004 in the morning...

My morning...

Arrive at the studio and turn on the PC, check my email on my Mac (never use a PC for that! virii and all...). Then I notice a bad smell. Thought it was my colleague :-) really! he had wet socks from cycling to work in the rain! But no, it was becoming more of an acrid plastic / electrical / software burning smell... WTF?

So everyone starts looking around... Shoes on the radiator... No. New studio lights... No...

Then we check each of the 9 Macs and pcs in the room....AAAAAAARG! It is my primaryPC with SW2004 and all my projects on it!!!!!

(yes, thankfully I do have a backup system... Only I never wanted to test it...)

Seems it is the power supply, but the whole PC and components were extremely hot since there was no fan running. My fingers are crossed that the HD is ok....

And of course... The computer is- get this: 1 year and 3 weeks old! well, now I get to find out what the warranty was. 1 year, right?

On the bright side, I needed a bigger power supply for a new graphics card... :-) Suppose I need a faster processor too. Maybe a bigger drive....also...

While Macs are not perfect, in 18 years I have not had one have a failure like that. The advantage of paying for quality components. But I digress yet again... Incredibly annoying and a massive time killer. Blah!

My real wish: SW on a new G5!

So, now comes the fun of tracking down the person who will solve this: The original geek who sold it to me? The power supply company? Microsoft for writing a driver that toasted it? The electrical grid for allowing a surge? My banker for authorizing me to buy it in the first place? Hmmmm

This is a day that can only get better :-)

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Why not just pay for a high quality PC power supply? Often the sleeve- bearing fans in cheap supplies gum up, make horrible screeching noises for a few months then quit entirely, leaving the supply to cook to death. Usually they don't take anything else with them, but they can kill the HDD, motherboard etc.

Why not just pop in a new Enermax 550W two-variable-speed-fan supply and (hopefully) get on with things? The $150 power supplies are better than the $10 ones. ;-)

Hope so, but I would never tempt fate by saying it could only be so.

Best regards, Spehro Pefhany

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Spehro Pefhany

Turn on my pc one morning and it spat fire out the back! Pretty exciting way to start the day.

New power supply fixed it right up.

Richard PMSC ________________

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I had a power supply go slowly (unknown to me at the time becasue there were no visual or audible indicators of impending failure). It took a mobo, RAM, and video card with it and indirectly an Athlon XP processor. The processor was taken indirectly because during the time I was trying to identify the root cause, I accidentally burned up the processor. This came about because I was running the whole system out of the box, on the bench. I was going to add components to the system one at a time until I found the one that casued it not to boot. I had removed everything down to the processor (to visually inspect for signs of overheating). I reinstalled the processor, but got distracted by someting more important before I secured the heatsink/fan to it. I came back to the job, and powered it up (just a mobo and cpu at this time). I realized immediately after I hit the power button what I had done and tried to turn it off....but alas, it was to late. The processor was already smoking and had a distinct burn mark on the top.

In the end, a new mobo, processor, video card, and RAM were required, in addition to a new power supply (Enermax this time). Somehow the HDs still run fine today.

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Spehro Pefhany wrote on 23.9.2003 12:55

20 20 hindsight... That horrible noise... Yes, I had that...

Believe me, I am a 1000% quality oriented person - except when it comes to PCs for some reason - just seemed to be the PC / windows ethos to do it all by the bootstrap ;-) (but actually it is by the reboot, not bootstrap...)

NOW YOU TELL ME!!!! well... Funny actually. Had to baby-sit a dog for a friend who was baby-sitting the dog for someone else. So between trying to fix my PC, walking the dog in the rain (and this one smell really nice in the rain...) I am feeling... Um grrrrreat! OK, I have now had 2 bottles of fine swiss beer to smooth over the bumpy bits.... :-)

But seriously, I will look at the Enermax as that will be cheaper than my other solution (a new Dell).


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MHill wrote on 23.9.2003 18:40

OK, your story makes me fell better :-)

Well, the beauty is that I took it to the guy who cobbled it together and the bugger started right up!!! OK, the guy at least agreed that it it smelled rather burnt and that the fan sounded like a Harley. However, the only option I have is to send it to the manufacturer (since this guy only supports the manufacturers warranty) and that can take a week! Ha!!!

So now I am either going somewhere else to buy a new PS and maybe a new case, and new mobo, and processor... Since it will be faster, or buy a dell with next day onsite service! Honestly, I think that cannot be all that bad!

So, what opinions on the dells? 340? 640? Single / dual? I am serious! Anyone had to use on site service?

I really have had too many issues with these home built jobs. I would like to work, and have someone else take a little responsibility for the machine. In a one or slightly more man shop, I cannot spend this much time with these issues (even if I do have a voyeuristic interest in the tech!).

Thanks to all for comments and suggestions. I think I call it a night now Daniel (gmt+1)

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daniel wrote in news:BB95F02C.DBE8% snipped-for-privacy@gratiotdesign.com:

As another poster pointed out there are quality PC parts available -- you just have to know where to find them. I suppose I could take a jab at Mac users here and point out hwo they have few choices when it comes to hardware like power supplies but I have to concede that since Apple lives or dies according to the success of the Mac they have to pump up the quality (and the cost of course). Unlike the PC world where cost is king.

Even so, I've learned how to uncover the cream of the crop when piecing together my own PCs but I suppose that doesn't help the average joe.

6) Gremlins.

Joel Moore

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Joel Moore

Joel Moore wrote on 23.9.2003 23:26

True. However, I think that at the end of the day my interest is in the end result (design), and the tools that get me there should enhance and simplify the experience. I think that could be the fundamental difference: apple has the ability to plan a user experience (providing both hard and software) while PCs, since none of those companies make the whole experience, are left to make each part as best they can. The result IMHO is less a than satisfying experience with the hardware and software. (In fact, It has always been be mystery to me why any company thinks hardware and software are separate endeavors when)

OK, I love to tinker too. But right now these are project $ and deadlines that are at stake. I would just like to get on with the work. Unfortunately, I have no system admin or purchasing department to talk to (I would get tired of looking in the mirror :-))

Oh, I had not thought to check for them... I'll open the PS and check in the morning - they do smell bad when electrocuted....

cheers! Dan

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You've experienced the "get what you pay for" syndrome. You saved a couple hundred on a cheap clone PC and it cost you many times that in disruption to your business. Unless you are good at tinkering with computers, why would you not go with product that has good quality reputation and warranty? I've used many branded PC's that have performed flawlessly for years. In today's market, they don't really cost any more than the noname junk from the "PC's and Stuff" storefront down the street.


Reply to
bill allemann

perhaps an anomaly, but I'll offer my tale whoa with Dell for your amusement and edification....

About 3 years ago, I had a (under warrantee) laptop on which the keyboard went bad--the "s" key (not exactly the rarest letter in the English language) didn't work.

So, I call up Dell. They talk me thru the usual crap (no, rebooting doesn't help...), and agree to send somebody out. Next day, nobody shows up. Call them up, they waffle for a while, and then say that the keyboard is out of stock. It's going to take them a week to get one. I point out that nobody's making them a keyboard in a week, and that perhaps they should consider spending the money to have the thing shipped by air. Woman agrees that it's coming off the suppliers shelf, not off the assembly line, but says there's nothing she can do....

When I point out that this isn't exactly next day, and is in violation of our service contract, she (and 2 levels up the supervisor chain) claim that it meets the terms of the contract--which is where it starts to get good. Dell points out that there is a clause in the contract that exempts the next day garantee from "Acts of God". My understanding of "Acts of God" is tornado, hurricane, etc. They claim that failing to keep parts in stock falls under the "Acts of God" provision... 10 days later, after a zillion increasingly unhappy phone calls, they get the keyboard, overnight it to the service guy, and he shows up to install it "the next day".

So.... your mileage may vary, but I'd take their service contract with a LARGE grain of salt...

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bill allemann wrote on 24.9.2003 15:50

Believe me Bill, I am the last person to take the cheap solution "normally". But I have owned PCs only since I needed SW. I always use apple macs for everything and anything else - for these very reasons, among many others. However, when I started out searching for a PC, so many people told me I was insane to buy a brand name PC when I could build one SO much cheaper. So I thought, OK, I try it. Maybe I am wrong about buying into quality, and maybe the laws of nature do not apply to PCs. Amazing how one can delude oneself!

So after my first not great experience (issues of gaming cards verses "pro" graphics cards...) I got another... Then another... And I would have to say it has not been entirely bad. But in the end it does always feel like throwing good money after bad.

So my solution totay: paid about 150 USD for a new PSU, with installation. Done. Works. OK, back to work with lustful dreams of more robust and faster hardware....

I have also got an offer coming from Dell for a 360 workstation with P4

3.0Ghz, 1GB RAM, 80GB HD, CDRW, KB and optical rat. Interestingly, I called them for clarification on a couple items, and they said they can give me better prices than are on the web. That surprised me, but OK! ....oh, it just arrived -WOW! 20% cheaper price than the web! Hmmmm. Now that is tempting....

But now I feel better I can work....

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Michael wrote on 24.9.2003 16:20

Your story is indeed rather scary. I will have a look at the fine print. Somehow I expected to hear this. As we all "should" know, if it sounds to good to be true, then it is. But it sure looks good!

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There you go. Their warranty is for real, also.


Reply to
bill allemann

By the way, I've installed lots of Dell's for various customers since back in the 486 days, and never had an experience like the one Michael posted. At any given time, I suppose one can get tangled with the wrong middle manager. It wouldn't appear that they have many like that. Bill

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bill allemann

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