Saturday, June 17, 2006

My CPU suddenly stopped working

One great thing about a career in the service as technician is that you gain a tremendous amount of experience working on different converging technologies. As weapons system technician my core expertise was in the areas of mechanics, hydraulics, electronics and pneumatics. Its too long a story to tell you how many systems I have worked on for the Navy and Coast Guard but one position I held was Systems Program Manager for computer based security systems, processing everything from video recording devices and listening devices to ID card data bases. All of it Microsoft based software and hardware. In other words basically not much different then you home computer. Which brings me to my point in this entry as today one of my CPUs suddenly stopped working. After a bit of basic diagnostic checks determined that it was not any of the basic and most likely problems as It wasn’t the power supply, not the memory chips, not the onboard audio and video cards, and not a bad CPU fan. It was however the worst possible problem, a burned out motherboard. I suppose I can’t complain though as it has been running almost continuously since 1999 when I built the system. Sad thing is if I had did a little of the hardware maintenance I preached to my crew it would probably still be working, so for you folks out there remember that besides making sure you have a great virus protector and firewall, it very important to blow the accumulated dust out of the inside of you computer. Dust is the number two culprit of motherboard failure due to heat build up and component failure due to shorts.

     Anyway I will be looking for a new motherboard with the same chip configuration. This eliminates having to reload your operating system and programs. As a matter of fact if you can find an identical mother board replacement or a newer model with the same chip and bios configuration, your computer will start up to the desk top like nothing ever happened, a little trick I learned when they needed system repairs overnight and wondered how I pulled it off, like the character Scotty in Star Trek I only gave the explanation that “it was just a bit of indispensable know how Sir.”