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Thread: A cautionary tale...

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    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    A cautionary tale...

    Colleague brought a friend's PC into work. He had been looking at the RAM, pulled and replaced a couple of power leads, switched back on and smoke stated pouring out of the back.

    We took it apart and found that all the insulation on the leads going to the floppy disk had melted and burned off, and had also melted the power leads and a ribbon cable. The PSU was a cheap unbranded one.

    Tested the computer with another PSU - all OK, so I ordered an FSP from Scan. (350W - about £23.00)

    Fitted it - all started up, then realised I hadn't plugged in the floppy drive power lead. Did so, powered up - nothing.

    Checked again, and realised that I had misplaced the floppy connector by one pin - which I think my colleague had also done, so shorting one of the power rails to ground. (Difficult to spot because of the location of the connector). Once that was corrected the PC started up normally.

    The difference? - the FSP PSU just shut itself down safely. The cheap and nasty just delivered the maximum current it could with the inevitable result.

    Lessons (re) learned

    1. check and double check connections - most are very difficult to mis-connect - the floppy isn't

    2. (and probably the most important) Use a quality branded PSU that will help prevent errors turning into something much worse. The PSU that was replaced was really nasty lightweight one.

    And as a bonus the FSP is also quieter!
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    Re: A cautionary tale...

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    2. (and probably the most important) Use a quality branded PSU that will help prevent errors turning into something much worse. The PSU that was replaced was really nasty lightweight one.
    Heh definitely agree here. I used to use stuff like Q-Tech and EZ Cool, then I moved to better ones like Antec / Corsair and never looked back. For something that gives power to the whole system, people really can't count pennies when it comes to something that critical.

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: A cautionary tale...

    Lesson: Don't bother with a floppy drive?

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    A shadowy flight. MSIC's Avatar
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    Re: A cautionary tale...

    Nice one, a good message there Peterb.
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    Re: A cautionary tale...

    Noted; will remember for future reference, as I still use a floppy drive for certain things (don't ask why...lol To me, moving small files from one computer to the other in the house is faster this way than trying to get sharing folders set up on the other machine, which is ancient; using the floppy drive is less hassle. lol).

    I think the true lesson here is: don't buy cheap PSUs. Just onem ore reason to avoid them.

  6. #6
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    Re: A cautionary tale...

    Floppy Drives

    People still use that old ancient technology.... I'm confused

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    Re: A cautionary tale...

    Quote Originally Posted by 2Cold Scorpio View Post
    Noted; will remember for future reference, as I still use a floppy drive for certain things (don't ask why...lol To me, moving small files from one computer to the other in the house is faster this way than trying to get sharing folders set up on the other machine, which is ancient; using the floppy drive is less hassle. lol).
    USB Pen! :)

  8. #8
    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: A cautionary tale...

    I only use the one that came with my 3.5" card reader bay.

    And yes I managed to get the cable wrong as well, though in my case I had just inverted it so no damage was done, though computer didn't boot until I fixed it.

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    Re: A cautionary tale...

    Good message...... and one that lots of people need to hear.

    So many people skimp on a PSU... as they think it doesn't matter. Remembering not to do things like use floppy drives as well (Ancient technology! how can you stand such a small size disk? The worst thing I use is a CD....) seem to be useful
    Quote Originally Posted by Fortune117
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    Re: A cautionary tale...

    Was that a 5 1/4" drive then

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    Moderator DavidM's Avatar
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    Re: A cautionary tale...

    <snip>
    Last edited by DavidM; 29-07-2008 at 03:49 PM.

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    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: A cautionary tale...

    Yes, I used one the other day to boot into Dos 6.22 to run Norton Disk Editor.

    The point of the post (as 2ColdScorpio said) was to point out the requirement to double check connections - and use a good PSU - rather than the merits of floppy drives - it could have been some other cause of the short circuit.

    (And beefore anyone asks why - or what Norton DE is - it was the only program that I could use at the time to do what I needed to do to a hard drive in a laptop that didn't support USB booting!)
    Last edited by peterb; 11-07-2008 at 05:32 PM.
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    Re: A cautionary tale...

    Sysrescuecd?... I'd rather use hex edit to directly edit the device node. Floppies are the work of the debil, dosutils even moreso.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: A cautionary tale...

    No - the CD drive had the CD with the data I was copying back to the drive (a disk image) So only option was to use a dos tool to write the image to the disk. Interesting setting up config.sys and autoexec.bat and the DVD ROM drivers. It worked though.

    But that wasn't the point of the post!
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    Re: A cautionary tale...

    sysrescuecd can cache itself into ram so you can insert other cds
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Lightbulb Re: A cautionary tale...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee @ SCAN View Post

    Floppy Drives

    People still use that old ancient technology.... I'm confused
    I realise you said it (half-) jokingly Lee, but in your line of work... you'll be well aware, that many older motherboards still require SATA/RAID drivers be installed from floppy disk - and often don't recognise USB FDD's... unfortunately
    Beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder


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