Friday, April 4, 2008

Let Me Tell You a Little Story...

So I finally receive my PC parts on Wednesday at about 2pm. I spend about two hours unpacking and putting it all together, ever so carefully. I transport the behemoth to my office and plug it in for the very first time.

Odd, I think to myself, there's no 1 second hum of the PSU fan to indicate that power is surging through the unit. Hmmm... I press the power switch and! Nothing.

Sh*t, f**k, d*mn, so*uva***ch! What the hell did I do wrong?! I played with the front panel switches and every connection for hours. I got the unit down to the barebones. Just the PSU, MoBo, and the CPU. Still nothing. Just a faint high-pitched hum of electricity, as though the PSU is faulty.

I yank out the PSU and plug it into the already working 4 year old Dell. It boots up fine, PSU is all hunky dory, and no issues are to be found. Is it the CPU? Nope, all inserted and cozy just fine. The MoBo? Maybe. So I call Newegg and request to return and have sent out to me a new MoBo and a new CPU.

I went to bed that night angry, and feeling like I had just been ripped out of 800+ bones. What a crappy day that was.

So I wake up Thursday morning, and I'm tempted to stay home from work "sick" another day to play with the PC some more and make sure I'm not missing something stupid. But eventually, I realize that I'm fooling myself, the unit or part of it is broken and I need to go to work and just wait on the new parts from Newegg.

I hop in my car, slip in the keys, and... nothing. Oh SH*T. You've got to be kidding me, right? First my new PC won't start, and now the barely driven 4 year old car seems to be out of juice. "What an effed up week, this is turning out to be," I say to myself.

But it then took a turn for the better. After having the car towed to my Kia dealership for diagnostics, I got a ride back home from one of their staff and figured why not spend the day now screwing around with the non-working PC and see what I did wrong.

For a while I still can't get the sucker to work, and I resort to forum posting and checking for Tech Help since Gigabyte's help blew chunks, and Newegg doesn't offer tech support via the phone since they cover such a broad range of pieces. I come across a post about some poor chap who also can't get his new PC to boot, and the first reply strikes a chord...

"Did you remember to put in the grounding screws between the MoBo and the case?" the commentor asks.

Oh. My. Gourd. What a tool I had been. What a boner of a move. What a Charles Darwin award-winning fool I am. I had completely forgotten to put in the grounding screws, and the MoBo was simply shorting out with the rest of the case being pressed up against it. That's it. That's all it was. Nothing broken. Nothing plugged in wrong. Just about 7 little golden screws I had completely forgotten to install.

My PC building friends all say the first one's the hardest, and that it usually has something stupidly minor and obscure wrong with it to boot. I guess they were right.

Needless to say I was up and running about half and hour later. I dig Windows Vista. I dig DX10. The Nvidia 9600Gt is an EXCELLENT choice for a mid-range card. And Hellgate: London is marvellous looking in DX10. Oblivion is a whole new experience. I can't wait for Conan on May 20th now.

So what did we learn, kids? When building a PC for the first time, expect to f**k up and just hope that it's a minor issue and that you don't fry your own arse.



Thallian said...

grats bud good lesson ;)

Keen said...

That's precisely why I pay the extra money and have it pre-built. ;)

Andrew said...

Haha, well, I often make small (but important) mistakes like that too. Glad you figured it out in the end.

Aaron Miller said...

Google "world of dusaar" to see a pretty cool-looking Oblivion mod. It remakes Cyrodil into the Dune universe. If my Oblivion copy was for PC, and not the 360, I'd try it out. Bethesda was impressed by it.

Heartless_ said...

"That's precisely why I pay the extra money and have it pre-built. ;)"

Then you are getting ripped off. Building a PC, with advice, is so simple that I declare you fucking retarded if you can't do it. I've walked grandmas through it. For the cash you spend to get it built or the extra you pay for re-built can easily be put into upgrades that will last a lot longer than your labor warranty.

Plus, when all is said and done you understand how your PC is put together, and likely can fix minor issues in the future.

Best choice for a first-timer is to setup a phone call or voice chat with someone that knows what a standoff (the little golden screw) is.

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