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



  • Jay467
    My horror story came with my first build in 2017. I'm a mechanically, electrically, and technologically inclined person thanks to my line(s) of work, so the build process itself wasn't bad. However, I was building at a terrible time - after spending entirely too much to cobble together a budget gaming PC, I got everything up and running. Everything went wrong after about two weeks. Every 20 minutes or so, my PC would just flat-out lock up for a matter of seconds, then return to operating like normal. At first I thought it was a fluke and rebooted for good measure, but this continued over and over again. After looking into the motherboard's most recent reviews at the time, I learned there was a manufacturing problem with that specific board and RMA'ing it only yielded another faulty board for other people - So, I jumped ship to another board and ate the cost to save myself the hassle. After tearing my new PC apart and rebuilding it, everything was good to go again. However, this was in the early days of Ryzen with ram compatibility and clock speed issues which would supposedly be remedied by a BIOS update. I did my research and performed the update per manufacturer instructions, except it froze while in-progress. After waiting hours, I gave up, rebooted, and faced another bad board.

    At this point, I was defeated and left the PC that could have been for months. Then my old laptop finally bit the dust, leaving me without any PC. This resulted in me heading to the nearby Microcenter and asking a staff member for whatever reasonably priced b450 board they saw being returned the least - they pointed me to the ASUS TUF gaming b450, and after the third time rebuilding my PC once more, everything has been smooth sailing. Since then I've massively overhauled my build, but I'm still using that same board. This one actually survived a BIOS update when I went to update my processor, too - I'll call that a win.
  • bjpgolfnut
    Built my 1st PC in quarantine this year. My dad heard what I was doing and wanted one too. He was quick to order some parts and IO built him a Ryzen 5 3600, Samsung NVME, x570, Corsair Ram, Rx 580 GPU (that he can upgrade later if he chooses). Build, Power Up and Windows install went off with any hiccup. It has been for 8 months a perfect PC. So now excitedly start my build. Ryzen 7 3700x, Rx 5700xt, Crucial Ram, X570, Crucial P1 Nvme. Build, Power and Windows install went great. The PC has a gremlin somewhere. It has random reboots almost daily. Replaced the power supply and re-installed windows. Still reboots almost daily. I want to RMA the mobo and or the GPU however, Gigabyte has told me the turnaround for each could be 6 months plus. It is my primary work PC as well but I am about fed up with it. Probably will just RMA the parts and start a new build when parts are a little more available. 
  • CraigR
    Imagine trying to build a PC in 2020/2021 and you are able to source all your parts without an issue.  You are super excited to build your PC and get everything working.  You then try to source a GPU, even a used one and find your PC budget build just got thrown out the window. Your build just tripled from a single component because the market is hugely inflated, you sink back into your chair thinking there is no way to continue your build on the budget you had set aside.  I see Micro Center has some GPUs in stock and I rush to the store to be met by a 40 person line. Reality sets in and you admit defeat. I then see Micro center is having a GPU contest for a free RTX 3070, excited re-surges and I continue my budget build in hopes to win.
  • I had purchased a Gigabyte AMD RX5700 XT from Micro Center at the start of 2020. After installing it turned out Gigabyte put a 5600 XT in the box. So I returned it for the correct card because of how great Micro Center is. There is a story told quickly.
  • Filminator
    So I was building my first PC and watching Bitwit's video on how to build a PC to guide me since I had never built one before. And I must have missed a part of the video or wasn't watching when the video was explaining how to install the CPU cooler... so I didn't install my CPU cooler and completely forgot about it until I turned on my pc and realized that the CPU in the video couldn't be seen as it was covered by a cooler and I could see mine as it wasn't covered by a cooler, so I quickly turned it off. There were no problems thankfully but it was still really scary as I had spent so much on the PC and it would have sucked if I ruined it then and there.
  • mcmcvirul
    I fondly remember gazing into my new PC after properly and lovingly securing the case, and the ensuing giant wad of drool that dripped from my mouth in awe, straight onto the board. I remember freezing in horror as the droplet of saliva dropped on the circuit board, thinking it was all over. The confused panic for a paper towel to clean it was an unforgettable experience.
  • JakeFrost
    I was in the process of building my PC when I realized I was standing on the carpet after I built it... Soon after I went to boo tit and nothing bad happened as I thought... 2 hours later while I was playing human fall flat I smelt a burning smell and soon after... Yeah to cut to the chase my pc lit on fire and I lost everything then... I got new stuff and yeah I did it again and yeah the same thing happened ;(
  • beri311
    Back in the day when I first started building computers there were the 486 processors.  I was pretty good at building them then the 586 AMD and Cytrix processors came out.  It was then you had to do all of the DIP switches to change the setting on the motherboards.  I was using the AMD processor that didn't have the nice finish on the top; it was a green circuit board with the processor chip in the middle.  You could see the solder points for each pin around the edges.  I finished building the computer and was getting updates for the I believe Windows 95 and we went to have lunch.  When we came back there was an unbelievable stench of burning electronics coming from back in the shop.  We went back and I was looking at the the computer and noticed that all of the pins had liquid solder on the top of the processor around the edges.  Well I turned off the computer and let it set until the morning.  Upon arrival, I looked at the processor again and all of the solder hardened once I turned off the computer.  It turns out that I set one of the DIP switches wrong for the voltage making it get so hot it re-melted the solder from the factory; I then set it correctly.  Guess what, it still worked!  I thought I was going to have to cough up the cost of the processor!!!! Whew........
  • GearedInc
    So my story has two major parts and if you messed up as bad as I have don't feel terrible!

    Over the last 14 years of being involved in computers I have built or helped build something like 60 pc's for friends and family, but the first and second computer I ever built was a disaster.
    I was a 18 and one of my best friends had graduated early and was going to be moving to Australia to live with a girl he met playing World of Warcraft. While I had played games on consoles, I really hadn't ever had a great gaming pc, I was a diehard sports guy playing football and baseball, but this friend who I had known since the 3rd grade was a self taught programmer and kept me in the loop on gaming. When he went to move he suggested I build my first pc to keep in touch. Well at the time I was dead broke and getting ready for college so I didn't have two pennies to my name, but I did have a credit card with a $2000 limit. So I bought the pieces I needed reading forums (Pre-youtube being helpful) and asking advise from Circuit City employees (remember those).

    Long story short I spent $1500 in brand new parts, which is saying something for the early 2000's and when I finally got it together, there was a short and it literally lit on fire! I was furious and left a scathing review on the website for the motherboard manufacturer as that is where the short occurred. Later I found I out as I started a lengthy refund process that like a dummy I hadn't used any standoffs and the case had acted like a ground and shorted the board! Completely my fault and by the time I found out my mistake I couldn't change the review! Still feel bad 14 years later.

    The second part of this story is what happened after. Well I got my refund for the parts and ordered all new stuff. This time having a friend I thought knew what he was doing guide me. When the parts arrived I noticed the cpu was too small for it's socket. But being ignorant at the time of the difference with server and desktop boards I chalked it up to a modular socket design (I know!) and put a desktop cpu in a server board. Well it fried the cpu and board, but everything else was fine. My friend helping me build felt so bad he offered to pay for it. I told him instead he could introduce me to a girl in his class he was friends with (a date with a pretty girl at the time was worth far more to me) It took me 10 months to pay off what I owed on the card, and then 2 months to pay cash for the right parts.  By this time my friend had lived in Australia for almost a year and half, and I was so excited to get to play with him! Although he broke up with his girl shortly after and moved back state side, but it started my love with PC gaming and building, so I would say a net win!

    Hope you enjoyed my story, also I hope you build a store in Utah - Much Love!

    - Andrew L (GearedInc)
  • Chungus
    About 2 years ago I decommissioned a Monero mining rig that had become unprofitable, and I decided that I would gift it to this hottie I had met on a previous trip to Miami and continued to chat with, given that her computer failed. Since cases and power supplies are weight prohibitive for flights, when I went back I brought only the gpu, mobo, ram, and ssd on the assumption that she could get everything else in Jacksonville. Umm oops... You don’t what you’re missing until you’re no longer in range of a Microcenter. Just finding a PSU down there was a sordid affair involving several empty-handed dry runs before finally getting an overpriced, low wattage, low efficiency unit at a big box electronics retailer. And it gets worse: apparently nobody in Jacksonville sells computer cases. Literally none in that entire large city. How is this even possible? Unfortunately my gift was a worthless pile of PCB and semiconductors because I took my local Microcenter for granted... 
  • JoelToro
    I was working with a computer at work and it stopped being able to run a PCIe card on the motherboard. After testing out all the components one by one with a mostly working computer, I found the PSU to be faulty. Figured the PSU wasn't sending power correctly to the PCIe card so I ordered a new PSU and it still didn't fix the problem. Then I figured it was the motherboard itself that. was faulty so I ordered a new one of those. Ended up unseating and reseating the CPU between those motherboards about 20 times with different configurations including the 2 PSUs but nothing was working. Eventually found out the problem was the motherboard was indeed faulty, but the new one didn't have the proper bespoke BIOS configuration to run the PCIe card. Had to get a motherboard from the vendor directly with the proper BIOS installed which finally fixed the issue. All in all I ordered too many parts and it took about 3-4 months to fix since shipping of parts took so long.
    First Comment
    edited January 2021
    My good friend decided that he was going to build his first PC and bought all these high end parts and had an other buddy come put it together.  They installed everything with out any issue but when they went to turn it on they got nothing.  There was not lights or anything so he reached out to me to come test the power supply to see what the issue maybe.   I stopped by and within seconds could see what the issue was.  They had put in the felt spacers for the screws but had not put in any risers so the motherboard was screwed down to the metal case.  Needless to say nothing good came out of that and the next time he built a PC he made sure he called me first just in case.
    Another story happen to me, and I am still dealing with it.  Ordered an ASUS P6T motherboard with a top of the line I7 processor back in the day.  Got it with 12 GB of Patriot Memory, 150GB Velociraptor, and a sweet new BFG GTX 260 Maxcore 55.  I'm thinking this thing sound be awesome get it all installed and loaded with Windows Vista Ultimate and it just sits on the most annoying Window emblem.  I start to troubleshoot, so I take out some memory so now I have 10 GB of memory and I get past the emblem but Windows crashes again.  I take out more memory and when I get to 6GB of memory everything runs great.  I test everyone of my sticks of memory but same results only runs on 6GB of memory.  In fact to this day it runs on Windows 10 Pro, Thanks Microsoft for the free upgrade, but still only works with 6GB of RAM.
  • Donovan
    In my first PC build I was installing the cpu fan on the motherboard but I couldn’t get all the screws in. One would go, but not the rest. It turns out it was because the motherboard box I had it on top of was flexing. Got really scared that I stripped the screws, but it all came out fine.
  • Braf1895
    I do custom build work for most of my friends and family locally. Most of the time I do used part builds to keep cost down for anyone new to PC gaming. I was doing a case swap for a friend so he could run a better CPU cooler, and a motherboard that wasn't mini ITX. Got the whole thing together and no boot. Figured I needed to update the BIOS. Snagged an older i5 2500, and got to flashing the BIOS. System hangs about half way through followed by a shutdown. I thought it just finished and powered itself down. Nope! Bricked BIOS. Installed old motherboard and had to stretch the front panel headers to reach from an ATX full tower. Ended up ordering a $5 BIOS chip to replace the dead one. Got it all together again about a week later. Needless to say, he wasn't too keen on upgrades anytime soon.
  • Zelnar

    Yeah, so, this is going to date me a little. So, I started building machines way back, because, well I couldn't afford a pre-built IBM PC, but I could afford a copy of ComputerShopper and an XT Clone. (Okay, I know I lost most of you there.) I had just finished building my XT Clone and had put in a used 5MB full height drive a friend had got for cheap (he owned a computer store selling unbranded IBM clones)  So, one day I am on a BBS and there is a message that some guy has a handful of "like-new" Seagate ST-225 20MB hard drives for sale for $150 each, some company is upgrading their machines and sold these machines as used and the guy is parting them out.  Cool.  Now, understand at the time 20MB drives are selling new for upwards of $800 each so, I'll take TWO!  Yeah, that was 3 car payments, and drained my account but heck, I couldn't pass it up.  So, they were AWESOME! Two half-height 20mb drives in my computer, yes my friends were jealous! That is until about two months later when there is a knock at the door.  A nice man with an FBI badge and another from AFOSI (Air Force) informed me that they were looking to recover stolen hard drives from Hanscom Air Force base.  Turns out the drives had been brand new, multiple CASES of drives had gone missing, they caught the guy, got my name from the BBS. Anyway, they didn’t charge me with anything, but they did take their drives and gave me a stern warning about “too good to be true deals” and after like 2 days of searching through my entire life and everything I owned looking for anything else and wanting to know if I knew anyone else who had bought the drives, they finally left me alone, poorer, but in peace.  Yeah, so, a year or so later I finally did get a bigger hard drive for my machine, but, that was my build from hell.

  • Cgaming
    Cgaming ✭✭
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited January 2021
    My first build ever, I carefully walked through all the pieces. Motherboard, PSU, CPU, RAM, GPU, HDD, etc. Set them all in place and worked out power for each.  Go to push the power button, it beeps then shuts down.  I thought here we go, doa board or faulty psu. Luckily I still had my laptop available at the time. Some google searching pointed me to check the jumper pins.  The pins are small as anyone building can attest to and it turned out I had them flipped the wrong way. Checked the motherboard manual again. Reset the pins and BAM!! Power to bios, loaded my Win 7 ultimate and was in business.
  • Red786
    Almost a year ago just before quarantine I was moving out of my apartment. My brother was carrying down my pc down 2 sets of stairs. On the last few steps he slipped and dropped my pc. The only thing that broke was my msi gaming x trio 1080ti. I am currently using a asus strix 970 which can't play cyberpunk at 1080p low. I was hopping to get a 3080 when it came out but I haven't had much luck. To make things worse I built a system for a friend who got lucky and bought a ftw3 3080. Now gpu prices have gotten higher so the 3080 is now out of my price range. Things just keep getting worse probably going to wait for prices to go down or go for the 3070ti when it comes out.
  • when putting in my first graphs card i forgot to uninstall Nvidia and install amd so my computer stopped working ,and it keep beeping when I turned it on. Then I factory reset the pc and didn't have the windows key, so my pc had no windows and the graphics card wasn't working so my aunt had to pay for a new windows pro but the pc worked.
  • dtemple87
    A friend of mine wanted to build his very first custom gaming PC. Over the course of a few weeks, he bought various components and eventually wound up with enough parts to complete the entire build. He asked me to help him assemble it, and we arranged a time for me to help him... but in the meantime, he got too excited and tried assembling it himself. I went over to help and found a fully assembled system. He told me it wasn't getting power, and he figured he just forgot to plug in a cable somewhere. Upon initially opening the case, I noticed that his power supply was not screwed into the case, and was upside-down (so the fan was facing the solid PSU shroud). The RAM was in the wrong slots on the motherboard. The cables were going absolutely everywhere through the inside of the case. The motherboard was held into the standoffs with 7 of the 9 screws being incorrect. The M.2 SSD was not screwed into the motherboard, and was only held in place by the heatsink covering the M.2 slot. However, all the cables were in the right spots. I started taking it apart piece by piece to figure out the problem and got down to his motherboard, CPU, test ram and a test PSU hooked up outside his case, and still no power coming into the motherboard. I removed his AMD stock heatsink that came with his CPU, and went to remove his CPU to try mine - I also have a Ryzen system. The CPU wouldn't come out.
    I looked at him and said "I moved the lever up... it's supposed to just lift right out..." and after some messing around with it, I got it out. He had forcibly installed his Ryzen 5 5600X CPU rotated 90 degrees from the correct position, and about a dozen pins on the bottom of the CPU were bent, including 2 bent severely to the point of being flat, flush against the bottom side of the CPU itself.
    The smallest flathead screwdriver bit I had available, a very steady hand, a lot of patience, some swearing, and a half hour of time later... all the pins were bent back in place and none were broken. I was able to get it to fit into the socket, cycle the lever a few times to really get the pins in place, and double-checked my work. Everything looked good. This time when I switched the PSU on, the RGB lighting on his motherboard lit up. It powered on the first try, POSTed after a few power cycles (as usual for a first-time POST) and we reached BIOS. His RIDICULOUSLY rare CPU was saved!
  • It was summer and it was hot. To save money we didn't run the air conditioner. I did however need/want a new computer for college. I went for 3d animation. I bought my dream computer. A great AMD processor at the time, mother board, some top of the line ram, big ass hard drive and 2 Nvidia 8700GTs. Two things went wrong. The store I bought the 8700GTs from told me SLI would make my 3d renders faster. At the time that was a HUGE lie. I wasted my money. After that I vowed to know more than anyone that worked in a store. I should have just gotten the 8800 or splurged and got a quadro.

    Back to the disaster besides being lied to. It was summer and as I was leaning over to put stuff into my brand new case one drop of sweat dropped on the motherboard. I wiped it off thinking nothing of it. After putting everything together and turning it on I heard a pop. My one drop of sweat blew a capacitor or something and ruined the entire motherboard. Asus at the time had crappy customer service and it took 3 months for me PAYING them to fix it to get it back to me. I spent over 2 grand on that computer and had to wait to use it because ASUS was so slow.

    Never put together a computer if it is hot.
  • Manav_Ch
    So this is a horror but success story. So a couple of months back my mom and I are building our first PC. So basically I put the CPU in and drop it terribly to the side so we had to wiggle it around. My mom got super scared that the computer would not turn on because the cpu was damaged. Then when we were putting on a Hyper 212 EVO it would just not go into the screw holes and we had to press extremely hard on the CPU to get it to fit. Once again my mom was scared that the CPU was damaged. Then when we are installing the case fans the EATX connector comes out and does not go back in. Now we are afraid that we broke the connector. Then when we are installing the hard drive it will not fit into the holes correctly. My mom accidentally scrapes the hard drives board and we are afraid that it is too broken. Then after we turn on the computer we find out that we literally have no keyboards in the house cause we threw them away a few months back and the next morning we had to go and buy a keyboard.
  • I finally decided to build my very first PC and I was so excited.  I used Micro Center's custom pc build option and I got all of the parts that I needed, I even double checked with my friend who confirmed with me that I had gotten all the parts I needed since I was so nervous.  I had never undertaken a task like this before but I was ready.  

    In any case, I got all of my stuff and went to Micro Center and took everything over to my friends house.  We of course did not look at any instruction manuals but watched a youtube video on what to do from start to finish.  We tried to go in order as best we could and we had finally gotten all the parts inside and the moment of truth arrived... it was time to turn it on.  I pressed the on button and it was glorious.  The PC turned ON... for a second.  It immediately died.  Confusion set over me and I just stood there in shock.  What happened?  Where did we go wrong?

    We took it to get looked at by a professional but they said that it would be over 2 weeks because it was back to school season and they were flooded with orders.  I asked another friend of mine to take a look and he was able to diagnose the issue, but not before the damage was done.  I had shorted the motherboard because it was not grounded properly.  Long story short, my computer budget exceeded my initial estimate.
  • cmr0905
    Last summer I bought a 2060 over newegg. When I received the part in the mail, the connecting pin was all bent and it looks like a dog chewed it up. I contacted newegg and the seller but I was unable to get my money back due to some bs. Lesson learned, always go to microcenter for everything electronic related!
  • Arcticthunder
    A couple of years ago I decided to liquid metal my CPU I7-8700k for better overclocking and to keep the noise down. I bought a cheap delidder from amazon for $15 and conformal coating and bought conductonaut from Microcenter. All was going well, I was doing all this on an ESD safe area and I just got the lid off. In an effort to get the CPU out of the delidder I tried to flip it out of the tool. I ended up missing my hand completely and my CPU ended up hitting the wooden floor. Turns out the CPU had bent from the impact with the corner being bent up a couple of degrees. No damage was done to the dye so I figured it would be alright and I just bent the CPU back into shape using my hands and it still gets 5.2ghz to this day 
  • Dav1d
    I have no horror story. My first build gave me some trouble, ram and cpu compatibility issues, nothing too hard or crazy. Just commenting hoping I win. Thanks Micro Center!
  • Serzyfritz
    Built my first custom loop liquid cooled pc a few years back and after being super thorough checking for leaks and being 100% sure all was well I finally powered on the PC. Success!!!! It booted up and I was into the BIOS beginning to tweak everything when all of a sudden a loud *POP* and then *HISSSSS* were heard and everything shut off. I looked over and saw a small string of dark gray smoke coming from inside the case but no indication where it came from.

    I quickly disconnected power. Said several choice swear words and walked away for 20minutes questioning all of my life choices and wondering just how F'd I was. I was unable to tell what had smoked itself so I began disassembly of everything. After having it all back in pieces I thoroughly looked over each part and found no issues until I got to the Power Supply, gave it a good sniff and it was definitely the culprit. I had no spare to see if it took out any other parts but thankfully when its replacement finally arrived and installed everything else was happy and worked and I was able to breathe a sigh of relief.

  • Tilli
    When I was building my boyfriend his first PC for Christmas many years ago, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I had a friend who offered to FaceTime me and help us pick out parts and then build it later on. I basically took the guys advice on everything, after explaining that this was gonna be for streaming and gaming, as my boyfriend was already streaming and gaming from his PS4. Most of the parts arrived by Christmas, I wrapped them all up, he opened them excited but also I think secretly wishing it was put together already. LOL. So the next day we got everything put together, and it eventually powered on, but would ALWAYS end up powering off randomly. We spent SO MANY DAYS researching online, calling friends, taking it to computer shops, bringing it to our friends houses and trying to troubleshoot, taking it apart and putting it back together, and nothing worked. We didn’t have a lot of money so we couldn’t afford to buy new components, so the poor thing had to use that PC as it was for over a year, and he couldn’t stream or play anything because it would always turn off. He would literally walk by it in the house, or by computers in the store, and say “I wish I bought a prebuilt” hahaha. Eventually the horror story all made sense when I discovered that the CPU (FX-9370) was part of a class-action lawsuit against AMD because it had misrepresented the amount of cores and everyone was having issues with it!!!! By the time the claim was settled in early 2020 (years later) they only sent us like $25 instead of the $300 the claim mentioned, AND we had to replace a bunch of components over time because half the stuff we bought wasn’t compatible with any decent new parts anymore. Fast forward to current and he is able to stream and game, but a 3080 would vastly improve his build, and much satisfy my inner guilt for building him a huge pile of crap for Christmas. 
  • Drew_c
    It was April I was building my first pc and I had finished I turned it on and it made a loud click noise that’s odd I thought I try again the motherboard caught fire and then it fried my psu also with it I found it it got fried because I put fans into the 3 pin cmos clearers. So there went a grand.
  • WolfSage
    Years ago I was building my first computer. I was so nervous because I had no idea what I was doing. I watched a  few videos and decided it was time to start the build. I went to install the CPU and my hands were shaking like I drank a gallon of coffee. Finally manged to put the CPU in, placed some thermal paste on it before i closed the locking mechanism. All that and realized I didnt seat the CPU properly and now I have a glob of thermal paste on it. Went to re seat the CPU and dropped it upside down and got all the thermal paste into the CPU socket. Did everything I could to clean it out and managed to get some of it out but it was hours of tedious work, contemplating my life decisions, and sulking in my tears while curled up  in a cradle position under my desk. Got the CPU in properly and the motherboard wouldnt recognize the CPU. Probably because it was  soaked with alcohol and still had some thermal paste. Had to get another mother board.
  • UneLolitaCharmante
    edited January 2021
    Alright, here's my story.
    So as I'm sure y'all know, the 5800X was pretty tough to find on release. A friend of mine let me know that my local Micro Center had a few in stock, and I had taken the week off of work, so I figured I'd been putting off upgrading my i7-6700K off for a while now and Cyberpunk is coming soon (heh), so now seemed like as good a time as any to do a little upgrading. So I get there in time to grab one of the last eight CPUs in the store and I grab an open-box X570 board since I'm gonna be using it for a few years. I hear good things about the Aorus board, so I grab that.
    I get home, take my PC apart, and try to put my cooler on the new mobo and it doesn't fit. Weird, cause according to literally everything else I had read, all I needed to put my h115i on that board was a new mounting bracket ($5 on amazon).
    I spent days trying to get this thing to fit. My precious vacation time was wearing thin, and because I took my entire PC apart, I hadn't been able to spend it playing anything at all.
    I figured maybe my older pumphead is just too old to fit. I borrow a friend's spare stock AMD cooler. No luck.
    I spent yet another $150 on a new cooler that's supposedly compatible.
    I check online for answers, and finally something catches my eye.
    Here's a picture of my board:
    Here's a stock picture of the board:
    One of the heatsinks was upside down.
    I lug my PC back to Micro Center and talk to support there and they tell me that the board was tested and it was definitely working. I tell them that it's not. They insist that the motherboard is installed according to factory specs. I tell them it's not. I show them the pictures. They tell me that I'm just installing it wrong. I give up. I ask them to let me pick a board from their stock and just put it in my PC while I'm in the store so I don't have to do this whole song and dance again. They tell me they can't touch my PC without charging me. Finally, they let up and they offer me access to a spare workbench. I grab an Asus TUF board after holding my cooler over the sockets and dubbing it 'good enough.' At this point, I've gotten quite good at taking my PC apart. My pump fits. I cancel the order for the one in the mail. I leave.
    I get home and try and boot my PC and it doesn't post. Part of my soul dies as I realize that my BIOS is one version too far back to support 5000 series Ryzen chips. I try borrowing my girlfriend's old 1600X to flash it. Turns out the 1600X is too old. I trudge back down to Micro Center and they offer to flash my BIOS for $40. As this endeavor has completely broken me at this point, I begrudgingly accept. I return to the Micro Center an hour later like a new mother looking at her child for the first time, and I breathe a sigh of relief as I see my baby purring away.
    So that was all two months ago. Nowadays, Tiresia's doing pretty well! She runs everything wonderfully, her temps are great, and she's whisper silent. I don't really fault the Micro Center folks, they were just doing their jobs. If there's a moral to this story, it's probably that 'There's certain things you can't control, but what you can control is how you react to them!'

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