[CLOSED] Share your PC Building Horror Story and enter to win a 3070 Graphics Card!



  • Shatter
    First Comment
    edited January 2021
         A Half-Life Time Ago............ , I had finally convinced my wife to let me spend $700 of our tax return to purchase PC parts. In my attempts to build the best pc I could, I decided to buy some parts used on Ebay, some new parts from Newegg and a few from local PC conventions. (For those who are too young to remember, Yes they had Computer conventions where vendors competed for you business to sell parts) I was very proud of the rig I had built with my purchases. It was Glorious. I built the PC on a Friday night and spent all day Saturday installing Windows. (Once again for those not old enough, Internet was slow in those days, so downloading windows update took forever) After that I installed my games and was ready to play Half-Life online. 

        My excitement was overwhelming as I decide before I played to launch my Favorite benchmarking tool from Mad Onion. I started the benchmark and about half way through my wife asked if I needed to shut down my PC because a Thunderstorm was coming. I had never had any issue with weather, so decide to continue on. Within a few minutes of that conversation the power surged and went out along with my new gaiming PC. It never saw life again. A lightning strike close to the house took out a Transformer which surged to my house. No surge protector meant my PC got fried. It took out the PS, MB, and the Nic as well as my Monitor. 

          I use a surge protectors on everything since that day.
     And Yes my wife has used this as one of her many,  "I told you so"  examples since that day.

  • Nick_Burns
    The best horror story when building a computer comes from when I was about 10 back in 1999.  A computer I helped my dad build stopped booting after a RAM upgrade.  we tried to swap back to the original RAM but it would not boot.  Upon further inspection we realized the RAM that was ordered was HP only RAM and the notch didn't quite line up like normal DDR2.  during installation the RAM damaged the slot on the mother board and it had to be replaced.  That lesson stuck with me my whole life.  On a scarier note though it was nothing compared to what happened to about 5 machines while I was in Iraq.  I worked with another Marine that thought if at first you don't succeed try and try again.

    Back in 2007 I was deployed to Iraq.  We kept having issues with Machines that my fellow Marine was trying to set up.  They all kept coming into the shop with bad power supplies.  It took me about 6 hours to realize that when he was plugging in the machines he was not switching the power supplies from 110 to 220 in the back of the power supplies and he was letting the magic smoke out of the power supplies.  We had to RMA about 5 computers and wait for replacements from state side.  Luckily I brought a few spares.  
  • Jtomtb
    I built my first PC 2 years go and it turned into a major hobby of mine. Pre-COVID, I had gotten into purchasing used hardware for good deals and creating budget builds to sell and make a few bucks....more so out of the craving to build than the desire to make money. I had just completed my third flip PC and was showing it to a buddy over beers, extremely proud of how cheap I had built it for and how awesome the RGB looked. I awkwardly leaned over the top of the PC to flip the PSU power switch, and my freshly opened beer decided to cartwheel out of my left hand, landing perfectly upright on the mouth of the bottle like some sort of Internet bottle flip challenge. IPA proceeded to flood the interior of the Corsair Carbide case, drenching everything inside. I looked at my buddy and said "welp...guess I need to clean this thing". He looked at me and said "yeah man...better HOP to it". He laughed. I laughed. The PC cried. Fun times.

    It took a week of scrubbing and a whole bottle of alcohol before I finally trusted that it was clean enough to attempt a boot. She booted just fine on the first try! I didn't feel right selling it after what happened so now it functions as a HTPC in my basement. When it warms up, it emits the slight scent of skunked beer. It makes for a great story when asked "dude, what is that smell?".
  • I decided my first build would be a no compromise system with the latest and best cpu and gpu. I picked fall of 2020 to do this. If you've tried to buy computer parts in the last few months I don't have to say any more. 
  • alisalim
    My story begins as I decided to switch from my gaming laptop to a pc. It was my first pc and I was so excited about it, I started ordering the parts last December and as I got all of the parts I called a friend of mine, and we started to put everything together. It came our really beautiful. I had set a budget for it but I forgot to add the monitor to the build, I obviously spent the entire budget on pc parts, so I had to buy a used monitor. I went up on offer up and surprisingly I found me a new lg 34' ips monitor, it was spectacular and for half the price of a new one. So it was a fantastic deal. I took it and I want home, when I was moving the box to put it on the table so I can take the tape off I accidentally pumped the box to the table, I didn't think much of it at the time, the monitor looked amazing and beautiful, but when I turned it on the was the bummer. The screen had a crack on the side. The crack had me thinking my entire lifestyle lol. It totally ruined my mood for days, then I got over it and now I'm sort of used to it I guess.  :'(
  • Hanval
    About 4-5 years ago I was working as an I.T at a mortgage company and decided to go on vacation. The computers we had to run our software and multiple screens were horrible, the boutique company who sold my boss the computers before I was hired screwed him over. They would overheat, underperform , the PSU would die randomly, and I would be to blame since I couldn't fix dead hardware. Well I had ordered new heatsinks for all our PC's about 30+ of them since the one that was on the PC's was a low form factor heatsink with a 90mm fan for a FX-8350 in a case with no airflow and for some reason our offices even though they seemed clean the computers would act like vacuum cleaners as I would need to dust them almost every week, no exaggeration... Well when I got back from my week long vacation, our coolers had arrived. I went to my office to get started on the project. Well when I walked into the room all, ALL of the computers in our office was in MY OFFICE. Not only that they were OPENED, with NO CPU. As confused as I was since I was not messaged about what I was looking at I started looking around and in one huge box were all, ALL of the CPU's with the Coolers attached to it by the thermal paste. When I looked at the first one what I had feared the most had happened, the pins were bent, ripped out, or broken... All of them were dead. I stood there with a hand over my mouth just running scenarios in my mind as to what the heck I was looking at. Suddenly my boss walks by and sees my door open and just peaks in and says "Hey my kid helped you out by taking out the coolers from the computer so you can just install the new ones today as I need them all ready by tomorrow" then gives me a thumbs up and keeps walking to the kitchen for some coffee. At that moment I didn't know if either to just quit on the spot or attempt to salvage the CPU's with bent tips and get started. I walked out of the office and politely informed my boss of how all of them were now trash and we either had two choices, buy 30+ FX8350 to keep using the computers in the room or to allow me to request new computers to fix the issues that were slowing us down and causing me to waste my time in these repairs. Well 30+ new and used FX8350's later I got all of our PC's working with new coolers and placed my two weeks after I finished putting together the last computer. Till this day I think this kid watched a video on how to install a CPU cooler and freaked out once he saw the CPU stuck on the cooler and decided to tell his dad that he helped me get the ball rolling. Working there was a nightmare every day. But it helped build my work history so I guess it was worth it the end lol. This is my work PC horror story. 

    My Home gaming PC one is truly freaky. I had been upgrading my Graphics Card through the years from a GTX 560 to a GTX 970 and into what I'm currently using which is a RTX 2060 Super. Well the rest of my PC hardware was a bit old when this issue happed I was running an i7-2600 with two different types of ram from corsair on an Asus P8P67 Deluxe motherboard. Everything was running well and my 9 year old computer was still running games ok but the bottleneck of the old hardware was super obvious now and I had been thinking of upgrading. Well the day AFTER I decided to look into parts and such, my computer suddenly goes crazy, it freezes and sometimes just doesn't boot. I started troubleshooting and it got to the point where I had 3 systems in my home from my friends swapping out parts figuring out why my PC does not want to work. After many tests we came to the conclusion my graphics card would some how do something to windows files were after trying to boot just ONCE with the 2060 Super FE/Reference card in ANY system regardless of hardware, would destroy windows to the point we had to install the OS fresh into the systems and try it again. The card was still under warranty so I contacted NVIDIA and sent them more proof than possibly they ever needed that this Card was a serial PC killer and had it RMA. The new card works fine, and since then I have recently upgraded my pc as of about a month ago into a i7-9700k with 16G of ram by Crucial in a MSI Z390-A Pro all thanks to Microcenter. And that is the story of my Graphics Card the PC Serial Killer. 
  • Zidia
    My horror story is simply this, I have a brand new computer I just built.  Best cpu, motherboard, memory and case I could get locally at Microcenter.  The horror is utterly no gpus to be had, none.  I now have this screaming super machine up and running on a GeForce 550 ti that I found in a pile of junk in my basement....
  • AlexS
    Zidia said:
    My horror story is simply this, I have a brand new computer I just built.  Best cpu, motherboard, memory and case I could get locally at Microcenter.  The horror is utterly no gpus to be had, none.  I now have this screaming super machine up and running on a GeForce 550 ti that I found in a pile of junk in my basement....
    oh dear god - Raisins Face  Meme Generator
  • kngspace
    First Comment
    edited January 2021
    Not sure if this is exactly the same. But I learned the Lenovo t420 Laptops could be upgraded by flashing the bios to Coreboot and then you could run an Intel extreme cpu I7 3920xm, and then buy a display lvds adapter guy, to add a 1080p panel in place of the original. Pretty awesome setup for a used $50 dollar ebay buy, I thought.   
    Then after several busted motherboards later, from burning up the lcd lvds diode I finally gave up. But I do still have several t420 laptop motherboards with vga out only, and the coreboot. bios. 
    One I hooked up bare and used it to run Folding@home, at least it could do something. And I can now flash a bios pretty confidently with a CH341a too.  B)
  • potatohead
    Not nearly as grand as the other stories, but this was terrifying nonetheless. I was carrying a Lian Li O11 XL case up the stairs when my cat decided it'd be the perfect time to walk in between my legs... I ended up tripping and dropping the case down an entire flight of stairs. Though, by some miracle of God, all the glass stayed intact despite the box looking like it had been delivered by Ace Ventura himself! If anyone's wondering, my cat was fine although I nearly had a heart attack because of him :P
  • kopas
    In the early 2000s... CPU retention mechanisms weren't nearly as reliable as they are today. I had just put the finishing touches on a Pentium 4 build. Perched atop my CPU was a massive hunk of copper, held in place by metal clips and a dainty bit of plastic on either side of the socket. As Windows was installing away, my attention was now on cleaning up the mess I hade made to the dining room and surrounding area. BAM! Thudda thudda thudda... ka-CHONK! I looked up to see my mid-tower case leaning slightly to one side and righting itself back. The monitor then went dark and small puff of smoke wisped out from the power supply. Upon further investigation, the plastic bits on the CPU socket had broken. The heatsink, now free of it's restraints, saw fit to lay waste to the internals of my brand new PC.
    I ended up having to RMA everything except the optical drive. (Remember those?)
  • A couple of years ago I was building a new PC for my parents. I was using the Cryorig Taku case to give their PC desk a cleaner look. I got it booted and everything working, the last thing to was stick in their old SSD so I could copy any last set of personal files over to their new PC. 

    Alas I couldn't find a sata power cable with the right length and angle from the modular PSU I was using to reach to where I needed to place the SSD. Fortunately the old PSU had a sata power cable that fit the new PSU and would reach long enough. So I plug it in and the PC doesn't detect the old SSD. Weird, let me try plugging it back in to the old PC, also not detected!

    That was the day I learnt that the PSU end of power cables are not standardized and I likely shorted something inside the SSD and it remains a paperweight to this day.
  • nworbcire
    First Comment
    edited January 2021
    Decided to build my first computer maybe 5-6 years ago, no experience other than online research/tutorials. I get all the parts and start assembling slowly, carefully, making sure not to discharge static electricity, keep uninstalled parts on their anti-static packaging, using "operation" style care moving my fingers/screwdriver/components. Everything went together quickly and was simple and intuitive like legos, or that box you play with as a kid where you push shapes through corresponding shaped holes. The only thing I needed instruction on was how to set up the jumpers for the front panel connectors on the case to the mobo, and I had to take the mobo back out after mounting because there wasn't room enough in the case to manipulate certains cables I hadn't yet attached.

    Finally I finish. No static discharge. No spills/drops. No kids around to throw a nerf football at the open case. Seems like it was easier than I thought! Almost too easy.

    I go to power on my brand new comp (i5-4690k, gtx 960, 8gb ram, 250 ssd, 2 tb hd, things that at the time were a step above what i was used to which set the bar for my excitement) she beeps once and starts to whir as the cooling fans power on, my graphics card lights up, I wait for the screen so I can start loading games/updates but nothing happens.....

    I double check all the cables are tight. I double check the gpu/ram/monitor on a separate comp. All are verified good and working. I worry now that I got in too deep on my own. Did I just spend 1k on a machine that I can't make work? What an idiot I was for thinking it was going well. I take everything apart and put it back together again. Beep, whir, lights, nothing. I try what I think is everything I could possibly try. Beep, whir, lights, nothing. I curse the gods. Beep, whir, lights, nothing.

    After torturing myself in this fashion for several hours I come to find that my stupidity was even greater than I could have imagined and I was simply plugging the monitor into the mobo and not the gpu. I had done everything else perfectly. Twice.

    TL;DR spent an afternoon rebuilding a computer that was functioning fine because I plugged the monitor into the mobo and not the gpu....
  • It was my first build ever of a pc. I had a fairly large budget and knew what I was doing. Of course, the first thing I should have installed was my CPU. But, even though I wasn't going to install It I wanted to look at my graphics card. It was an ASUS GeForce GTX 1650. When I looked at it it seemed fine. When I got to open the CPU I was very excited. The CPU was a Ryzen 9 5900X. I don't know why, but the packaging was tough to open. When I finally got the cover off, the CPU landed pins first on the hard floor. When I picked it up every single one of the pins was flattened. I ended up getting a replacement. When I got the replacement I installed everything and it didn't post. Turns out the metal on the insert port for the graphics card was just a bunch of plastic painted gold. Then I got a different graphics card and IT STILL DIDNT POST. To this day I have no idea what happened. I ended up buying a rebuild from Alienware.
  • Faux
    Long time ago, a friend was getting ready to upgrade the system I'd built him previously to a new version of Windows which promised better video graphics. But the motherboard chipset didn't support it without a BIOS upgrade, so I grabbed it online and went to help out. It was accepted without any problem ("Choose file, upload, install, success!") until I rebooted and got a black screen. Nada.
    Contacted the manufacturer only to find out that another (Asian) company had a motherboard with the same name and I'd gotten their BIOS upgrade instead. No way to uninstall; bricked. I haven't even seen their brand on the market in years now...
    So drove back home (lived in another state about 45 minute drive each way). Grabbed a compatible motherboard out of a spare system, drove back down, installed it, and ended up spending the night, it was so late (I think it was 2am when all was stable and running).
    That was around 1999. I have not done BIOS upgrades since... if it's not broke, don't fix it. If it's broke, replace it.
  • Incred
    So, back in the early 2000s I almost summoned Raiden and burned down the house. Let me explain. I had just gone through the journey of buying all the components needed to build a new gaming PC. I was still pretty new to the whole thing, but this wasn't my first build. The power of naïve confidence allowed me to rush the build together in no time, and I was pretty proud of myself. I simply had to power it up and behold the results. With the PC case laying on its side, I gave it a go.  

    The motherboard lights twinkled with life and the fans whirled for about half a second and for the span of a heart beat, I thought I had been successful. Then, the system fell dark. Strange. What's going on? I hit the power switch again and got the exact same results. A flicker of life, then nothing. I peered into the case and carefully checked every connection. I tried removing a stick of RAM. Nothing. Trying older RAM. Nothing. Same with the GPU. Same with just about every component. Same results. Nothing.  

    Why does it power up for only half a second and then die when I hit the power button? After all the trouble of swapping and reseating components, I was perplexed. I don't know what possessed me, but in the name of insanity I decided to flip the switch one more time. This time, the motherboard was not having it. 

    A piercing arc of light flashed from my motherboard and nearly reached the ceiling with a loud snap. This brief burst of angry electrons was short-lived, but I remember it vividly. It sparked upward from the motherboard and came crashing down against it. The event left in its wake a burning smell and a small puff of ominous smoke. That board was dead. Mercifully, my house was spared.    

    In the aftermath of depressing disassembly, I found the problem - one that I would have found if I had just been more careful and less rushed. I never put standoffs underneath the motherboard. That's right, it was sitting directly on a metal chassis and it shorted. If there was anything to be gained from that day, it was that I learned to prepare myself for a long building session. No hurrying, no skipped steps. Just do it right. I've never had such a problem again, but to this day I put the standoffs in FIRST.  

    You may now laugh at my bumbling youth. :)

  • Phork
    Back in the early 1990's I was just getting into computers.  I had an old IBM 13mhz 386 and an IBM 20Mhz 386 which I installed a math co processor in myself!  Those were my entrance into the PC world.  I browsed local shops for parts which we had 2.  The guy had a used motherboard with memory and a bad "processor" in it.  So I bought that for $40!!!  I remember the day I bought it.  The other shop had a 486DX2 50mhz!  I was stoked!  I had in hand a paradise 2mb video card and I was ready for that 3d epicness.  I get home, slam everything together.   Turned it on and it ran for about 20 seconds before I had one of the most odd smells I've ever witnessed enter my nose. 

    Most of the younger crowd will never know about the Socket 7 and earlier era.  Putting a CPU into your socket wasn't the only necessary steps you needed to take.  On the motherboard I had; it had 7 "dip switches" that needed to be selected correctly for the processor you're using.  Well..  I just so happened to tell it that I was using a 100mhz chip.  At the time, I'm not sure if it was more voltage or just the speed that killed that processor.  I can tell you this however, that smell is something you'll never forget.  I learned that making sure to read the manual has stayed in my PC building methods since.  I ended up picking up a motherboard with a Pentium 100mhz in it 2 weeks later and that's where my real "gaming" builds started.  From there I went from being super scared of processors and setups to overclocking a Pentium 3 450Mhz at 633Mhz for years, to an Athlon XP 1700+ at ALMOST 2Ghz to my previous 6700k which daily ran 4.8Ghz for years. 

    Moral of the story, always double check your parts are compatible and if they need setup in a certain way before turning on.  Could be something stupid; could be something expensive..  Taking an extra 2 seconds to double check things can save you a ton of money later on.
  • Jaycat
    I'm a beginner PC Builder and I'm almost celebrating my 1 year anniversary as a builder. My first build went perfectly well even though I had no idea where everything needed to go. I have a experienced lot of wild journeys not even on PC on consoles as well. I had a decent system 2700x with a 1660 super pretty good for what I was doing. My case EHHH wasn't the best Thermaltake Level 20 MT but I learned my lesson Any who, one year past and over that time bent some pens on the CPU when I installed a new cooler got that figured out. Where it gets interesting is this past month I cleaned my pc and everything boots up and at the time there was a new GPU Driver for my pc I performed a clean install and my screen went into a black screen and never came on. I went into full panic mode and I restarted my PC nothing; took out my Ram and Graphics Card and CPU nothing. I inspected my motherboard and didn't notice physicals damage so I was lost. Went to my local Microcenter to see if they could try, they tried everything and nothing even the PSU so on that day my Motherboard was sent to afterlife and to this day I have no idea what the problem is .I still believe that it can be fixed but I don't know what or where the issue is. I'm still scared that the new Build I made would do the same luckly I managed to get Lian Li lancool 2 mesh and a new motherboard and cpu but my wallet didn't like it. 
  • fools33
    My horror story is an everyday affair right now, I'm trying to build my first gaming PC and have almost everything but a GPU is that big part that is currently missing. The main part of my horror story is I am currently on my second gaming laptop which is not even 1 year old yet and already dying, the first ROG laptop had the keyboard completely die on me and would need a motherboard along with the keyboard so I took advantage of the warranty and paid an extra 400-500 for my current ROG laptop... Was more convenient traveling (by car) from South Eastern US to Toronto all the time to have the laptop over a PC. Now my less than a year old laptop is having issues loading programs, communicating with the hard drive and is constantly not responding. I need to get this pc built and ditch the laptop before it completely breaks down. I'm pretty much stuck unable to play games for more than 20 min at a time. Would be awesome to win but at this point I would settle for being able to buy at retail prices instead of resell prices. 
  • Arnavsareen
    edited January 2021
    Oh, you want a horror story? Imagine being totally new to the PC world. I could barley tell RAM apart from an SSD and yes, I decided I wanted my own gaming PC. I researched for a few hours, deciding on a perfect setup. Of course it would per perfect if the MOBO supported an intel CPU. I didn't find this out till it had came in the mail. Of course, me being the cocky guy I am, I decided to make it a challenge for myself and not watch any videos on how to assemble and set it up during the build. When I popped the CPU in the MOBO, I quickly realized my mistake. I looked at the CPU for any bends in the pins. To my great sadness, yes I bent a couple pins. The Amazon team wouldn't refund me a broken product, so I was forced out another $300 to but a new CPU and replace the MOBO. The rest of the build went "smoothly" (I didn't break anything surprisingly.) But of course, this was not the end. The PC powered on to my great surprise, and In the coming days, everything seemed fine. All in till, my GPU started majorly sagging. Me not knowing of GPU supports, I just ignored it and thought of it as normal. Also, for some reason, I wasn't reaching the advertised FPS on games. All I could wonder was why. I decided to buy a new GPU and return the old one, but of course, the GPU actually gained quite a lot of damage from sag. I had to buy a completely new one and soon realized that the whole time I used PCI3 on a PCI4 card. (Oh and the ram was in the wrong place SMH)
  • Zhalo2722
    For a good while I was thinking wether I should build myself a gaming pc or not. What finally got me to build one was when Henry Cavill posted a video of himself building a gaming pc on his Instagram. It looked so nice I just had to build one. I started doing research on the parts I needed and that’s when I learned about microcenter and I fell in love so fast. I went down to micro center and spent about half my day enjoying everything the store had to offer and buying all the parts I needed. Soon after I went home and started up the YouTube videos to start the build. After a long and slow process I was finally done and all I had to do was install windows and that’s where it went down hill. You see my room wasn’t big enough to build the computer so I built it in the living room so all I had to do was carry it to my room and plug it in. I started carrying it to my room until suddenly I trip over something and drop the whole rig shattering the glass and cutting myself in the process. I look back to see what I tripped on and saw the evil eyes of my dog’s duck toy looking at me. At least I learned one thing that day Always buy warranty.
  • Kade7596
    Kade7596 ✭✭
    First Anniversary First Comment Photogenic
    edited January 2021
    Some definite "first-world"-type problems. Nothing major, just... a little embarrassing and frustrating...
    1. The only thing to go wrong during my most recent build... and this is the first time this has ever happened, I swear!... is that I forgot to remove the little cellophane sticker/cover from the 'coldplate' on the AIO and smeared Arctic MX-4 all over the place. Had to clean it up and re-apply. I think I was red-faced the entire time even though literally nobody was around to see it. lol
    2. The second thing to go wrong was one of the AIO fans chirps VERY audibly and MSI has yet to reply to my RMA request... 🙄
    3. ...so I bought two Silverstone ARGB fans that got good reviews... and one of them has a slightly more reddish hue. I bought two. I have no idea which one has the problem, and so no idea which one to send back. 🙄
    4. The fan in the SFX EVGA power supply is usually silent, because it's usually not spinning... but when it kicks on, it spins up to what seems like at least 1400RPM and vibrates the whole chassis in an otherwise now silent-at-idle build. Wonderful. 🙄
    5. The last nuisance affects us all... there are no GPU's. Winning a 3070 would be nice... otherwise, I think I'm going to be using my previous build's GTX 1070 from 2016 for a LONG time. Maybe even until my next PC is built. Not sure yet. It's fine for now, though. I guess. Sigh. 🙄
    Fortunately I have a lot else to be thankful for and I really am not sweating these things too much. lol
  • Kidz
    Typically, you imagine horrific, drastic stories when a build goes wrong. You know, broken side panels, leaking coolant, shorts and fires sort of thing. But in reality, those pale in comparison to the worst type of build failure... the elusive instability that is impossible to find and hard to diagnose. I've been though it all, but this is the story of the build that nearly broke me.

    In middle school I dreamt of a new gaming computer, but my Dad insisted he'd only buy me parts. Being new to this world, I instead completely smashed my piggybank from years of allowances to purchase an Alienware system (the pre-Dell era, with a first-gen blower GPU and flat CRT... the works!). It was heaven, until one day it died. A technician came out under warranty and I watched as he changed out the power supply. And that was it, I was hooked! "I can totally do this!", I said to myself. So down the rabbit hole I went, building computers, modding cases, watercooling, overclocking, and pouring over every new issue of CPU magazine. But all this while, I never built a computer for my father, and he never asked. 

    Until finally, one day after he had retired, over a decade since I started building, he was due for an upgrade and I offered. With my spare parts, I could easily beat any prebuilt prices and I was determined to give him a bang-for-the-buck rig that showed him what he was missing! I selected parts so carefully, built with extra care, and did 3 phases of stress testing and tweaking to balance performance, thermals, and noise. I cut my own logo in vinyl and adorned the case and box. I was so proud, and wanted to make him proud as well.

    This is where the disaster strikes. I leave my parents home, the pandemic strikes, and so does failure. The computer has an instability that I missed and reboots randomly, but I can't get back to them as they are older and in quarantine. The guilt swells inside me. I finally got the chance to make my Father a computer... and blew it. He's living with a rig that quits at any given time, be it in the middle of editing family videos or a round of Civ V. I see him log into steam, suddenly leave, then come back on. Another crash. I tried to ask him about it and diagnose from afar, but it was no use. He said it was ok because the new SSD reboots so quickly, but I was not okay in the least. This ate away at me and went on for over 7 months. Finally, I would have a chance to safely visit them over the holidays. I packed a bag full of spare parts and diagnostic tools. I ended up gifting him my PSU and GPU, just in case his were failing. I planned tests and stayed up all night rebuilding this computer. Finally, I found something. Memtest had a single failure after testing into well into the next morning. Finally! I never suspected it as I used this memory in my prior personal build for several years with no problems, but in his computer it was not stable at XMP. How could I have missed this?!? 

    Exhausted, I regifted my Father a refurbished computer this Christmas. It cost me months of anxiety, my favorite GPU and PSU, an all-nighter over the holidays... but it finally worked without issue. At this very moment, I can see that he's on Steam enjoying a game of Civ. I can't be more thankful for a Father who not only introduced me to computers, but had the patience to support me even when I felt that I let him down.
  • Yang
    My story was pretty simple. I needed to update the BIOS. While it's updating, my son came into the room and like, "what does this switch do, dad?". I need a new motherboard after that. Can't blame him. He was not old enough. 
  • cartime99
    so I have 2 the first one actually starts at Micro Center. so it was black Friday(2020) I woke up at 4:00 am to go and get in line to wait for a 3080. when I got there I saw that there were already like 15 people there that had been there since like 10:00 pm the previous day. anyway, I was in line for like 3 hours and that's when I notice the horde the line had started to wrap around the parking lot there were so many people there. at around 8 they started letting people into the store they didn't hand out graphics card waivers like previous days which had me worried id be coming back the next day. I got inside and walk straight to the GPU section. I asked a guy if they happened to have any 3080s in stock I was almost 100% sure that like every other time the answer would be no, it wasn't. he said they had some went got one and I was shocked, I couldn't believe it. 
    Anyway fast forward to later that day. I got home and immediately moved my pc onto the "operating table". I took out my gtx 1650 put it in its box, then I grabbed the 3080 and admired its brick-like size. I went to put it in and it was like a child putting a cylinder in a triangle hole, it didn't fit. I had been a little worried about this for a while but I never really cared about it too much. it took some geometry skills to do but I decided to move my front aio inside the front panel area. it worked I was just able to fit my GPU with maybe a cm of room between it and the aio fans. I was so releived 
    some pictures
     in the top pic I was pushing the GPU back into the cables. the second 2 are an after then a before.
    the second story is a bit shorter than the first one and takes place about a month after the first. 
    basically, I had been trying to oc my "Asus tuf RTX 3080 oc edition" I was trying different software and when I tried afterburner it somehow broke my pc. it would crash and then restart but one time it didn't turn the display back on. I had ended up using intel integrated graphics for like an hour before I noticed a red light on my GPU. I googled it and it came up with stuff about power. I opened my case and just tapped the power cable for the GPU and the light went away and everything went back to normal. I was so stressed for an hour about such a minor problem/fix. 

    Oh and I just remembered one time I spilled thermal paste on my GPU but that's a story for not at 1:00 am on a work night. 
  • Cark
    My dad needed a case for a home server he was setting up so he went out to buy a new one and offered to take my old case since it'd just be in corner all neglected-like. I accepted. At the very start of switching all the components out I had to take a break and go tend to something else and just left it for about an hour. I come back to a normal case, mostly everything's installed, the PSU's already locked in place, everything's dandy and pretty it's all set up and I'm happy. Computer starts black screening under load. GPU's getting a little toasty so I scrounge an extra fan. It keeps black screening. Until it no longer wants to black screen and just artifacts. And now I smell hot thermoplastic. The pcie power cable wasn't seated all the way in the PSU, it over-currented my vega 64 crippling it and fried the connector on my PSU. After Christmas in peak GPU drought. I've yet to score a replacement.
    Also my case rgb doesn't work now.
  • In the summer of 2019, I was convinced by my friends to buy a computer so that I can spend more time with them via games and discord. I personally wasn't a big gamer before this but after I purchased my very first computer, I got addicted to it. We spent countless nights playing until the sun came up just to see our ranks in each game to stay the same. Now that I got my love for my computer out of the way, let me tell you the horror to the ending of my PC. 

    Around a year ago, my dog was in severe heat so any "living" thing was a playmate for him. The "purring" of the computer from the fans may have been a go sign for him or something because one day I came home to my computer a bit.... wet. Yes. My dog may have had sex with the PC. After that, I couldn't look at my dog nor my broken PC the same way. If someone else wins this prize, congratulations to them, but just know that this new graphic card may erase my trauma from my dog with my computer. Thank you.
  • Pacman1994
    I’ll start at the beginning when the Cambridge store still ran B&W cameras (I had a friend in LP there). My first “gaming” PC was before dual core chips came out and I played on AOL dial up. Since then I’ve built probably a dozen systems. My last about five years ago was pieced together at Microcenter and was my happy place. I7 6700k, three Asus 27” monitors and a 980ti, water cooler etc. Fast forward a bit and I get divorced. I lost the PC in the divorce!!! My son was playing on it while I was in a one bedroom dive apartment. My dog Tyson, who I also lost in the divorce, knocked over a drink apparently and fried the cooler and the mobo. Eventually the GPU and PSU went as well. I’m still gaming on a laptop but slowly buying parts for a desktop. Guys prenup your gaming PC! Either way see you soon Cambridge store!
  • aspa_pasta
    My first build was last summer--my girlfriend and I were building a gaming rig together and went to Microcenter to buy all of the parts. We went back home to start the build. First mistake: I forgot to get an SSD, so I ran back out to grab one. We install the SSD, finish building the PC, and try to get it to post. Nothing. We realize that the monitor's HDMI cable is plugged into the wrong port after 20 minutes. Seeing some hope, we plug it into the right spot and try again to post. Nothing. TWO HOURS LATER, we're finally able to start up the PC (I can't even remember what the problem was but it all worked out). Then, fast forward to a week later, and I'm playing Overwatch. Suddenly, the screen freezes and my GF swears she heard a popping sound. Turns out the GPU was completely fried! (we got a replacement to test to see if it was the GPU or motherboard). We were able to return the faulty GPU and got a new one--everything works great now but we were terrified of having ruined our PC for basically the first month of its existence. 
  • When building my first pc, some of the pins in my cpu were bent (hand me down), but trying to do surgery on a cpu was the scariest thing especially when you're just starting out with pc building lol.

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