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



  • Chargozard
    A couple years back I helped a friend of mine build a new computer. He was getting a 2080 ti no matter what I said. We built the pc and he went to go and get a second monitor a few days later. He asked me where to plug the monitor and I said the graphics card not thinking much of it. He called me about an hour later and said the LED lights are dim. I went to his place right away to take a look. He told me he connected the HDMI cable to the monitor then opened the pc case and tried to plug the HDMI cable on the side of the graphics card where a connector for the for the RGB lights is and caused a short. I thought he would follow the monitor cable that is already connected and connect the new monitor into the back of pc in the HDMI port of the video card. I should have been more specific. I've never seen or heard of anyone opening up a pc case to connect a monitor. The  LED lights eventually stopped working and some temperature sensors stopped working. I recommended RMAing the card. The company stood behind the card and a swap was made.  The new card that was sent seemed to have an overheating issue, a game could only be played for about five minutes before the pc would lock up and symbols would appear on the screen. Only fix was to force power off the pc. The issue happened several times. I took the graphics card to my house and tried it in my pc and I also experienced the same issue. My friend called the company back and let them know what the card was doing and the troubleshooting we did. Another replacement card was sent. There have not been any issues since. Six to eight weeks went by before he was able to start enjoying the 2080 ti.
  • KaydenN
    My horror story is not that much of a scary horror story, but it's a story nonetheless. My story is mostly of how I was so scared while building my brothers pc the other day.
    I used the wrong screw in the motherboard on the case, and I noticed it was shredding the motherboard, it's a Gigabyte b460m, and I was about to cry, I eventually finished building, and the computer posted.. Ah, a moment of relief. Thank god.

    (i know its a short and terrible story, but I can't lie, so that's all i had :neutral:)
  • dustwick
    I built a computer over Zoom with my parents this past year.

    They've never built their own system and thought I could walk them through it. Internet issues, severe communication problems, lost screws and many swear words (on my end, with a muted mic) later the system was ready. Watching them install the air cooler, terrified they were adding too much torque and me constantly reassuring them they're not, was hilarious I cannot lie.

    In the end, the build worked. I would never do it again though. Ha!
  • My horror story is quite simple and something I personally think there needs to be a standard for instead of the proprietary crap companies love to use. When we got the first stimulus check I went to my local microcenter and purchased a 2070S was in may thought there would be no way during COVID-19 that the 30 series had a chance coming out that year nothing but sadness ensues. I grabbed and EVGA FTW3 ultra+ 2070S and figured I would grab a new PSU got a Corsair my previous was G-Skill. I figured the whole point of modular PSU was to just swap them out when you got an upgrade leave your extensive cable routing intact that is not the case at all. So after swapping out the PSU slapping in the 2070S and then firing up the computer I see that things are not quite right and smell a little burning of electronics quickly rush to shut it down. Now I sit down and take inventory of what I just fried My EVGA Nu audio sound card the headphones attached to said sound card(Cloud Alpha), Intel 120gb SSD, 1TB HDD, My AIO corsair H115i. My GPU survived my motherboard survived except the slot the Nu audio was in CPU was ok my 1 500GB SSD for some reason. Mostly all things connected through sata power got fried except that one SSD. So with my remaining stimulus and a little help from a very gracious and understanding wife I replaced all things that got destroyed. So ends my horror story and a great learning experience.

  • TGM
    Two quick ones:
    I wanted a sound card for my new higher end head phones and just happened to have an older one sitting around. It had been working fine and was just sitting in the corner for the past 6 years. I plugged it in, started the computer and it didn't work. I was sitting there wondering why when it started to let out the magic smoke. I quickly turned off the computer and tossed the sound card in the garbage. No damage to anything else.

    I travel, a lot. And I bring my computer with me. It is in a large, heavy case (HAF 922) but it is old and so does not have any glass in it and is solidly steel. But I like it for all my spinning drives and for the fact it is tough. I use a Strap-a-Handle to carry it around since it is so big and heavy. One day I was walking into my hotel room with the tower, the last load in, when the buckle on the handle gave way (I apparently hadn't buckled it completely) and this 40-ish pound computer came crashing down on my foot, corner first. And bounced off my steel-toe work boots. Luckily everything was fine. No computer or foot problems and only a small scar in the boot, which did its job admirably.
  • Sept. 2019... Broke my ankle playing basketball. Couldn't go to work so I had my pc and decided to stay home for the next couple weeks. I had the PC for about a year already. All this stuff was used when I bought it, but money was tight. Got a Asus z370 mobo, EVGA 1080Ti i7 8700k so on and so on.... Sept 20 2019 lightning hit my house and fried all that. Had to fix the whole in the roof, electronics, A/C, Hot water heater, All that jazz. Glad I had home insurance, but it did not cover it all so instead of re-building I had to fix stuff around the house. All I got is a B450 Asus ROG Strix mobo and my DDR4 16 gb 3200mhz ram. 
  • Sky_Hunter
    While upgrading my Ryzen 5 1600 I forgot the twist and pull trick and yanked the cpu right out of the socket. One of the corner pins got bent but after carefully straightening it back into place it works just fine in another pc. Gave me quite the scare and I don't think I'll ever forget that trick again.
  • TekVibe
    So... This one time, at band camp of 2017. 

    I had decided that I was going to finally chase my dreams and learn the ins and outs of PCs and go back to school for computers. As a result, I also decided I'd build my own gaming PC, so I ventured off on my own with the intent of building a budget gaming PC. Everything seemed to go just fine,(totally had help picking parts) I could run the Oculus Quest VR headset I got for Christmas just fine and the world seemed to make much more sense. Until one day, the performance bug hit me. I began to unnecessarily seek more graphic power for my budget PC that ran just fine. I thought I knew what I was doing and figured I didn't need the internet to tell me how to go about this, so I got the bright idea to purchase a second GPU.  At the time I was using an AMD ITX AERO RX560 and I began my search on Facebook Market Place for a new GPU to add to my PC, and I came across a Radeon HD 6850 and thought I was about to Run these cards in Crossfire and get a heap of graphics. After overpaying for the second-hand GPU, and attempting to install it into my system, it wasn't long before I realized that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and that crossfire required the same cards to even work. Not even gathering that I had bought a card that was nowhere near as powerful. Amongst all the chaos I somehow killed my Motherboard and RX560 in the process. 

    Scholars maintain the PC is still dead in my closet. 
  • In 2007, I managed to score an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 in my motherboard only to find out that upon completion of my first rig, the power supply decides to go south on me.  I nearly lost $3000 in computer parts only to find out the power supply did not take out any components.  Thankfully, the replacement power supply powered my first build without further incident and I managed to get ten years of usage from this computer.
  • I was making my first pc build in 2021. However, I'm afraid that my motherboard won't see my ryzen 7 5800x because of the bios flash. All I need is a graphics card to see if my parts will boot up or it will just be sad.
  • ABusOfNuns
    Back in 2012 or 2013, I paid close to $250 for 16GB of Corsair XMS3 DDR3 RAM. On Christmas day, when I received a new motherboard and proceeded to build my computer, I didn't properly ground myself and killed all of my RAM via ESD. I was probably wearing socks and stepping on carpet at the time. Combined with the cold and dry weather, it was more than enough to create a static shock strong enough to kill my RAM. Needless to say, after that very expensive lesson, I always ground myself properly when working with PC components.
  • nvidiapowrd
    I've been tinkering with PC's for almost 20 years now. Building for about 15+ but this one takes the cake in my book. This was a "random parts in the closet build".

    AMD FX-8350 AM3+ @4Ghz

    4GB DDR3 PC3-10700 667Ghz 1GBx4 

    Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5 AM3+ Motherboard REV 3.0 

    Inland 240GB SSD 2.5'' SATA (Boot drive) 

    500GB+2x 1TB Western Digital SATA Hard Drives 

    XFX Radeon RX 550 2GB Video Card 

    Cooler Master HAF 932 Series Chassis 

    Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit BUILD 1909 

    This was an eBay build. I fully tested and shipped with it no issues. A day or two later the buyer (who btw had 0 feedback and yes I should have known to never sell to 0 feedback buyers). The stated that the pc does not show anything on the screen. I go through the typical trouble shooting steps. Unfortunately I was at my wits end and threw in the towel. I sent a return shipping label and full refund since I didn't want to deal with more bs...but wait there is more.

    I got it back but I just let it sit in my living room thinking "probably just needs a new PSU and its good". The money was refunded back to the buyer and I opened the returned pc a week or two after the fact. It came back worse then when I initially sent it out. The CM HAF came back with more dents. the RX 550 PCI bracket plate was tweaked (still working afterwards). I tried to turn on the PC again but no avail. Then I realized there was thermal paste smeared on the chipset heatsink (that goes up to the MOSFETs/VRMS) I took off the CPU cooler and pulled the 8350 and behold....half the cpu pins are jacked up like no other. Pretty much destroyed. I flipped the backside of the motherboard and sure enough the VRM area has burn marks. Which didn't have before  when I built the system initially. Right then and there the entire system is trashed and I'm out $80 bucks shipping and returning the pc back home. In my years of PC build and selling a few rigs on eBay. This one made me not want to sell towers anymore.

    What I should have done is have the PC shipped back, inspected it then and send a claim with eBay that the product was destroyed but I guess I wasn't thinking clear that time.

  • Christian_Agama
    It was september 17 2020 i woke up at around 6:30am I had bestbuy and newegg ready for the 3080 drop then when it came out the sadest thing what should happen to no person happened "sold out" in seconds on bestbuy and newegg crashed I had no chance because of the bots saddest day in my life ever.
  • Dilet1
    Some time ago when I was still in high school I saved up for an X58 build with a MSI X58M Pro and i7 920. I bench tested it and it worked fine, then I turned it off and went to do some work. When I came back the motherboard had black smoke rising and the bottom of the CPU got a lot darker. The power supply was a Cooler Master 550W non-80 plus unit. I lost roughly $120 that day, a lot considering I was just going to spend another 50 on the graphics card, re-use my hard drives, and not have a case and use a cooler off of an old 1366 workstation totaling about 200.
    Moral of the story is, as usual, to never skimp on your PSU, even on a budget. And maybe to get a case, too.
  • Dilet1
    I've got a second story, one similar to a few people over here. I was busy cleaning my current rig with an i5 2500K, Gigabyte Z68XP-UD5(weird VRM on that one), and Vega 56 back home when all of a sudden, my mom's friend's son, Alex, who is autistic barged into the garage. In shock i dropped a screwdriver into the socket, bending 20-30 pins. He crashed into me but i managed to keep the board from the floor (and his hands). I immediately ran upstairs to my old room and spent the next few hours straightening pins. During that time I almost broke a pin almost five times. But somehow I managed to fix everything. When I got back downstairs, I found Alex playing with the GPU. Thankfully, he was only playing with the fans and didn't touch any of the contacts. I put my PC back together after getting Alex out of the garage and locking the door. It boot cycled a few times, but finally, it POSTed.
    Moral: don't let kids anywhere near sensitive things...
  • Last year as the initial lockdown started, I decided to give myself a little upgrade for ending the semester with some pretty decent grades. After getting the new CPU, motherboard and RAM, I brought them home ready to swap out the old ones ASAP. The first thing I did was make sure I had all my tools and extra fittings that I would need for my cooler since I was going from LGA to an AM socket. Unable to find the fittings or the original box, I knew I would have to order the fittings separately and wait. For the time being I decided to use the Wraith cooler that came in the box. Fast forward a few days and the fittings have arrived, and I am ready to put my liquid cooler back on. I go to take the Wraith cooler off, well off comes the CPU with it. I lost it, I though just killed my brand new CPU and motherboard all because I forgot to twist the cooler off. After 15 minutes of panicking, scouring the house for tweezers, and watching a few YouTube videos, I was able to rescue the CPU. Put it back into the motherboard, nice new coat of thermal paste and went straight to the stress testing to make sure everything was fine. One year later, still runs like a champion, and now I’m getting ready for a GPU upgrade and case upgrade. 
  • john_a
    I decided to build myself a gamming computer during all the craziness of the Virus, so I spect out a new CPU, RAM and Motherboard. To my ignorance, I didn't check to see if they were compatible, so I when  I put all of the components together onto the board nothing worked. Luckly I didn't put it into the case, I thought it was the board and it turned out my CPU was not compatible with the board. I ordered a new board and it fried after a week for no reason. I returned it and got the right board, that was finally in stock
    from there I assembled everything and it was all good. Until I loaded my game and it was really slow, well the ram I bought was to much for the CPU to handle. Luckly I was able to change the ram settings in the Bios and everything has run great since. The moral of this story, make sure to write down a  build plan and to double check everything is compatible.
  • jbr017039
    I got a $30 OpenBox H310 MB from MicroCenter to reuse my 6700K when I was struggling to get a 9900K. One week after finishing the build I decided to repaste because of thermals, and I decided to take the CPU out of socket to wipe it (because of stupidity of course). And I DROPPED the 6700K onto the socket when putting it back. The CPU survived but the one-week old (in my posession) MB was totalled. There's something so cringy about destroying a CPU socket that I still feel bad thinking about it today. I probably should frame that MB and hang it somewhere.
  • illiterate
    I build a lot of custom gaming computers and have for 20 years. I was making the last of 8 computers and it was after midnight. I was really tired. I put the aio pump head onto the cpu on the motherboard. Finished it up and turned it on to go into the bios and nothing. No video just black screen. Thought oh crap bad video card. I then noticed that the aio pump head was rather loose so I pulled it and wala.....I forgot to put the cpu into the motherboard. there top that one!
  • Siefield
    I first built my first gaming pc back in 2011 and it was my freshman year of college, just builted the rig with a i5 2500K, and a Radeon 6950 with the money I been saving since 11th grade. One day there was a power surge and I didnt get a surge protector for the computer yet and had it plugged directly into the wall. When the power came back on the PC wouldn't turn on, so I contacted Intel, Asrock and Antec to RMA and replace the CPU, Motherboard, and PSU, when I get the new parts I tested it outside the case and everything booted up so I put everything back in the case and the computer wouldn't boot up. So I ended up taking the PC back apart but I ended up ripping out the CPU out of the Motherboard socket and messing up the latching system, so I contacted asrock and they RMA'ed me a new motherboard, as a one time condition return for the mistake. I got the new motherboard and took everything to the computer shop down the road and the repair man diagnosed that there's a short in the standoff positions in the case and that I should use plastic standoffs, so to Microcenter I went to purchase plastic standoffs and put everything back together and still not booting. So back home I go and put everything back together and all of a sudden the PC boots up and I couldn't figure out why. Fast forward 2 years later I upgrade to a I7 4790K and a GTX 980 and tested everything outside of the case and everything boots up, but went I put the pc inside the case and the computer wouldn't turn on and flashbacks back to 2011 occur in my mind and I decided to try powering on the pc using on the power button on the motherboard without any other cables connected other than the power cables and cpu cooler/fan and the pc turned on! YAY! So I power off and each Sata, IO Cables and what not and finally I plugged In a USB cable for a USB port on the front of the case(Coolermaster HAF Full Tower) that hasn't worked since the PC finally booted back up in 2011 and the pc doesn't power on. So this whole time the PC wouldn't turn on wasn't cause of a possible short on the motherboard standoff's in the case, but the USB port the whole time. I could have saved a lot of time, heartaches, and money if I actually troubleshooted better.
  • EricE

    The four cores on my trusty I7-7700K just were not cutting it anymore and last October I decided to upgrade.  I was going to build a beast of a machine with a Ryzen 9 5900X.  My first mistake:  I bought an Asus TUF X570 motherboard and realized I had to flash the bios on this particular board with a previous generation of CPU.   So I returned it and bought an MSI B550 Carbon with the usb bios update feature. 

    Launch day for the Zen 3 on November 5th rolls around and EVERY VENDER sells out in minutes.  I was kicking myself for not standing in line at my local Microcenter. With that lesson learned, I settled on an AMD 2700X – not a bad chip, and its 8 cores would certainly satisfy my needs for awhile. 

    Finally, all the parts arrived.  It had been three years since my last build, and I just got lost in the process.  I tore my old machine down and built out the new rig – took my time and spent several hours getting all the drives installed and wiring reset.  That was my third mistake – I didn’t test anything until the build was complete.  Shaking my head, I did the usual trouble shooting routine – disconnecting components and restarting to see if the problem was identified.  I got all the way down to the minimum single stick of RAM, CPU and GPU – still only a couple of flashing lights on the board and then darkness.

    I did a quick breadboard build with the old I7 to test the new RAM and verify the old, reused components hadn’t broken during the rebuild – it fired up perfectly.  So, it was the motherboard or the CPU that was dead.  Since I bought the CPU on sale, I decided to buy a third motherboard.  I finished rebuilding the old PC while waiting for the new part. 

    I got an Asus Strix B450, and went to work on my third attempt.  This time it posted successfully!  I assumed my bad MB guess was right, so I finished putting the whole PC together.  My celebration was cut short the next day, when I started receiving strange Grub rescue errors.  These are Linux messages that I had a bad file system.  Unusual for the Windows OS I was using.  Did I have a bad CPU after all?   Only one way to find out.

    No more waiting – I was frustrated – off I went to my local Microcenter, where I should have been to begin with.  I bought a Ryzen 5 3600, came home and was up and running, finally.  Just to make sure, I tried the new CPU in the old MSI MB, and found out that was bad too.  Both the original CPU and motherboard were dead on arrival. 

    I connected the drives and guess what – those weird file system errors might have been correct.  My hard disk drive was reporting bad sectors and the life on my NVMe SSD was down to 89 percent.  Was it the bad MB or CPU that caused this issue?  Maybe it was a Windows 10 bug that ran a defrag on every restart.  I’ll never know.  My last mistake in this whole saga, however, was my fault.  Test your backups, people.  Somewhere in those 24 bad sectors were the old family photos, that are now lost because my backup did not restore. 

    Truly a build horror story and fitting end to 2020.

  • Jaxonize
    My friend bought a prebuilt from sky tech because he thought it had better parts for cheaper. He thought that because all it said was Ryzen 5 Pro 2600 Gaming PC on the Newegg site. He told me that he wanted to get his dual monitor setup to combine using AMD eyefinity. I then download the drivers and during the part where it says, “Restarting in (countdown)...” he says “This is taking too long. It’s fine, you don’t have to.” He then shuts off the computer and I tell him he wasn’t supposed to do that and it would mess up the installation process. He basically ignores that fact and we go take a walk around. The next day he calls me and says that he thinks I installed a virus because the computer is really slow and takes 10 minutes to restart. Not only that, he describes the gpu fans not spinning. This is because he shut down during the gpu drivers installation and he is super mad that I broke his computer, although it was mostly his fault,
  • JCTechPro
    A couple years ago, I built a PC for my new entrepreneurial work load and light gaming. I filmed myself unboxing and installing components, and also wanted to learn more video editing to post some YouTube videos. 
    Well between editing videos and creating websites , I was being told I was useless and wasting my time. Eventually I came home to find my pc thrown out from the second floor, amongst other possessions. 
    Needless to say, I never came back. My SSD survived, but I never got the courage to build a new machine nor post any content...
    Thankfully, I am at a new stage in my life now, and would love to give it all another shot and be consistent with it. 
    Thank you for the opportunity and glimmer of hope Microcenter! And for the best priced components in any retail store in the US!
  • A long, long time ago my VGA cord was messed up, I took apart the entire computer looking for the answer as to why my newly built PC wasn't working. Took me days.
  • WCFJ
    15 years ago I had replaced a dead power supply in a computer.  When I finished I pressed the power button but the system did not turn on but rather the new power supply started buzzing.  I got my ear very close to the fan exhaust to see if that was where the buzz was coming from and pulled away just as the new power supply exploded.  Turned out that when I replaced the power supply I had plugged in the power for the 3.5" floppy drive but misaligned the pins and was offset by one.  
  • zkokosa28
    First Comment
    edited January 2021
    about 2 months ago I started ordering parts for a new build.
    Im 15 in may and literally saved for nearly two years for this, with of course some casual spending here and there.
    Needless to say, it was supposed to pay off, all that work, and i somehow managed to build with a 3070 vision at retail price
    for one, I had no idea how lucky that was until now, and secondly, I put the cooling block for my AIO on before installing the motherboard because my RAM and card had not arrived and I wanted to do something and something in my head didn't click right. after I put it in my case, which was hell btw, there was not room for me to plug in my cpu 8 + 4 pin cables, so I had to undo that then redo it. gpu comes in, im pumped, ig I had installed it wrong, as i did not click it in all the way, and my aio, the second time I did it I messed something up and I went upstairs to eat(built in my basement), only to come down to see a dangling radiator, and a bent PCI-E connector on a diagonal card(maybe a big exaggerated but certainly sagging)
    As you could expect, "it was my fault" and warranty did not cover that as I did not get a separate one, and so now I have no gpu, a half built pc, and no money to buy a new one. fantastic.
  • BudaBellyX
    I've been building PC's for quite a while, so I have several.
    My most recent one was during a routing cooler upgrade/swap on a Ryzen 5 3600X. I made the rookie mistake of not heating the thermal paste up before pulling the cooler, and of course it stuck to the CPU. That in and of itself isn't too bad, until I noticed some of the thermal paste had made its way into several pins. I started to do a basic cleaning, and realized exactly how many rows the thermal paste had made it in. After what felt like an eternity of cleaning out rows of pins, I finally felt comfortable placing the CPU back in the socket and installing the new cooler.

  • Band
    Uncle had problems with his computer so I went to check it out. Was looking everywhere for a problem then realized he had his VGA cable plugged into the motherboard and not the video card.
  • I'm not usually one to enter these kinds of contests, but there is one story from "back in the day" that kind of matches this scenario. Back in that time, I was a rural ISP tech, one of two in the bunch that built PC's for fun and gaming. One day I get a call from a local customer looking for a gaming build because the game she bought won't run on her computer. I drive out there to see what she has and what it is she is trying to play, knowing she's an old and somewhat eccentric lady and not much more. Turned out she was trying to play one of the first 3D interactive horror adventures on the market needing something pretty powerful. I look-up what will be needed, give her a quote for the parts and a little overhead for my own hobby use, and away I go. Keep in mind that back then there was no Amazon and I lived far from anything like CompUSA or MicroCenter. Everything had to be ordered, take days to get to me, and then I put it all together.

    First batch of materials comes in. Flaw in the motherboard. Send back.

    Second attempt, flaw in the graphics card. Send back.

    Third attempt, unknown error. By the time I track it down to a bad memory card, it is 30 days later and I am paying out of pocket to replace.

    Fourth attempt, finally get it working and load the software and... driver issues. Back in those days, DSL was for rich folk and was not anywhere near our area, so it meant days of downloading updates via a connection that... let's just say it was not fast and the connection crashed often.

    Two months later, I finally delivered the computer and the client was happy.

    A year later, I get another call...

    Oy vey...
  • My worst pc build experience is when I bought all my components from Newegg and it was my first build. I bought them over a 6 month period, hoping they’d all work together. When I put it all together (5 hours later), I went to boot my computer and it didn’t turn on. I thought it was ram so I swapped each out and nothing happened. Let’s just say I tried a bunch of things before I realized my power supply came with an on and off switch. Whala it worked and I felt stupidly annoyed.
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