Friday, November 24, 2006

A Geek Horror Story

Yesterday I decided to give the ole computer a bit of a spring clean. (Yes, I’m aware it’s November, I’m a procrastinator, what can I say?)

So I open the case, to find a potentially mineable seam of compacted dust.

This is when things started to go wrong.

I removed the processor fan with no problems and unclipped the heatsink. I tried to lift the heatsink out, and it wouldn’t move. I checked I’d unclipped it properly, and tried again.

This time it came free with a little pressure.

Then I noticed something very, very disturbing.

There was no processor in the socket.

With a sense of growing dread, I looked on the underside of the heatsink. There, almost glued into place with far too much thermal paste, was my processor.

To the non techies-out there, let me explain why this is a problem.

The underside of a processor is made up of hundreds of tiny little pins. These things are Delicate, with a capital D. In fact, they’re so delicate, installing or removing a processor is done with a “zero pressure’ system. The processor is dropped into place, then locked with the use of a tiny little handle.

Guess what I’d just done?

Yep, just yanked out a processor that had been locked into place.

With an even greater sense of growing dread, I examined the underside of the processor.

No fewer than six of the pins were bent.

Know how if you bend a paperclip backwards and forwards a few times it snaps? Ok, now imagine that paperclip is about 0.010mm thick, about 2mm long and is made of gold, one of the softest metals on the planet.

Yep, I hate to bend 6 of them back into place, while trying not to bend any of the other VERY close set pins out of shape.

…and if one of them snapped, it would turn my processor into a $400 plastic and silicon novelty ornament, and my computer into a great big $1100 paperweight.

Oh, and without SL, Sunny would go through withdrawals and probably kill me.

So I spent about an hour moving pins the slightest amount I could, then test fitting it.

Luckily, I finally managed to fix it.

Next time, my computer can get as dirty as it likes. I’m not opening that case unless it’s absolutely necessary.

3 comments:

OzzyC said...

Bending pins back is a pain, isn't it?

Paulius said...

Pain? Try 'torture'.

Not only would I have been cut off from the internet for a good few months if I'd broken it...Sunny would have flat out killed me in a "Second Life Withdrawals" rage.

mistyforeverlost said...

Sunny without SL? Yeah...HIDE...NOW...FAST! Good thing you got it fixed. I thought *I* was bad last night?