logo for buildacomputer101.com
LEFT for buildacomputer101.com  


Well, it finally happened! My computer died on me, after using it for a couple of years to write this website and for other things, both personal and business.

I was getting ready to sit down at the PC to start another page of the website, and nothing happened on the screen when I moved the mouse. If I had the computer itself to use as a troubleshooting tool for this computer failure, I might have used "Microsoft fix it", or some computer help forums, or some other software utility as a diagnostic. Also, I might have looked else ware for someone to help fix my computer for free, but I decided to do it myself. The first thing that I checked in resolving this computer failure was to see if there was anything obviously wrong with the computer.  Finding nothing out of the ordinary, I powered down, and then powered up; in order to see if this would straighten out the situation and eliminate the possibility that the computer will not turn on. Of course, this didn’t solve my problem. Now it was time to take a more serious look at the computer failure. I removed the covers and began to troubleshoot the computer. After determining that the operating system was not loading; it was easy to see that the hard drive had failed.

Using my computer shopping resources I ordered a new 500 Gigabyte hard drive from one of the online computer stores, and in a few days it arrived. When I tried to install the new HDD, the computer would not recognize it. My problem was either that I had gotten a bad drive from the vendor, or something was wrong on my motherboard. Usually new components are pretty good, so I began to question the motherboard. While I couldn’t use the C: drive as a troubleshooting tool, I was able to run diagnostics from the DVD drive. This showed up as a motherboard failure in the hard drive controller.

Would you believe it? I was able to find an exact replacement for my five year old motherboard. The price was a little high, and it didn’t have the newer technology that I wanted; so I began to look for other options. After searching through our online sources, I found a barebones computer package that contained; a computer case with a 450 watt PSU, a motherboard, a 2.7  GHz dual core CPU, and two Gigs of ram. The only thing I had to add was the new hard drive that I just purchased, and all the other peripherals from my old system. Best of all, this package only cost a few dollars more than the replacement motherboard.

As soon as this package arrived, I began the assembly process with the hard drive that I bought the week before, and my original peripherals. When everything was complete and thoroughly checked, I began the power up testing. As soon as I was satisfied that the hardware was working perfectly I added the original hard drive back to the computer to see if truly had malfunctioned. It still did not work, and I could discard it without being concerned.

At this point, it was time to begin the time consuming task of loading the operating system, all of the programs with their updates, all of the downloads necessary to be creative, as well as all of the data that I had backed up so carefully. After hours of work my computer was finally back to being a useful tool, and allowed me to once again start building my website.

The final job is the disassembly of the old computer to see if I can salvage any components, cables, screws, nuts, clips, etc. Anything not usable was discarded.

Whenever I complete a project like this one; I like to reflect on it, and see how I might have handled this computer failure differently, perhaps better. I was reasonably good at finding the hard drive problem, but, I should have found the bad motherboard problem sooner. It was a good decision to purchase a barebones kit. But, if I had run diagnostics on the motherboard sooner, I would have found a better deal and ordered the barebones kit with a hard drive. The assembly went smooth enough; it is a slow tedious process that requires great care. When it comes to the testing it requires making sure that each component is working properly. Its a good thing that I know how to fix my computer, but one should not be afraid of asking for help.

If you would like to comment, or add any information to this computer failure page, please do so. Use the Contact Us form and we will respond as quickly as possible. If you would like to ask any questions, use the Questions and Answers form and an answer will be provided.

Return from this page computer failure to Repair my Computer.

Return from this page to Build a computer home page.

Terms and Conditions     Privacy Policy
footer for build a computer page
powered by sbi