Happy fun tech time!

So I’m working on this customer’s computer…she’s been having problems with blue screens. Sometimes the computer won’t boot up properly, and I’ve even had to recover it once with a repair install of windows, which of course led to having to reinstall countless patches from Microsoft - yay. Needless to say it’s been a very intermittent problem. I’ve run countless tests all day long, and after all is said and done, I finally determine that she’s got some sort of RAM problem. Okay, great, I can finally get the RMA done and have her system up and running tomorrow.

She comes in, and I explain all this to her, and of course her main concern was having to reinstall her programs - she’s got a lot of different programs that she uses for her business, but I tell her that there are no worries - her programs are still installed and running and that all we need to do is replace a couple sticks of RAM which won’t affect her existing installation. She leaves, somewhat relieved.

So I go back into my tech room and turn on her system, because I forgot my ultimate boot cd in her DVD drive. I press the power button, but the system is unusually quiet, and I catch a whiff of burning electronics…I look down to see a really big thick plume of smoke wafting up between the power supply power connector to the fucking hard drive.

What. The. Fuck.

This is shit you’re only supposed to see happen in sitcoms.

Once the magic blue smoke leaks out, it’s all over.

I was fixing a customer’s computer back in the day, had my head halfway into the case listening to the hard-drive knocking…and BOOM, a freaking capacitor blew up on the motherboard causing me to almost shit a brick right there and then.


You have my deepest condolences. I’ve only had something like that happen once in the years that I’ve been doing a similar job. There’s nothing worse than trying to explain how the quote you gave them just got shot to shit.

I’ve had two harddrives go up in flames, and countless PSUs exploding with a loud bang.

They’re after us. Computers are acting like suicide bombers.

Fire is our friend, treat it nicely…

Dude, “her.” Show some class.

Also I think it’s not capitalized.

Fortunately, I had previously backed up her data before running all the tests and such, but damn, I’m not looking forward to calling her up today.


I’ve had similar things happen. Usually relying on someone else to change a PSU, then me checking the work POW fried PSU and sometimes f’d up PC.

What are the odds the HD is okay? It’s worth a shot checking it.

The power connector has melted/fused plastic all over it, now. I can’t really get it powered back up again.

But, as I have her data backed up, it thankfully isn’t as big a problem as it could have been.

What a damned nuisance, though.

Yeah, the best practices for any PC tech job involves first cloning the drive before you do anything else. It’s situations like yours that show what a smart move it can be.

Wait, wait, wait! I have an idea.

So call her in, give her the bad news but then right as she’s about to flip out, close with “hey I backed up your data, by the way, what’s with all that insert incriminating files?!?” You know miss you really shouldn’t have stuff like that. By law I’m supposed to report it.

You know you could SO get away with it …

Heh. Well, I finally called her and explained the situation. She was extremely gracious about the whole thing. Now I just have to cross my fingers that my backup drive doesn’t go up in flames.