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Cables and cases
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Marc Thomas
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November 14, 2013 - 10:10 am
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I'm not a world renowned expert in hardware diagnosis, but recent experience has told me that very often, intermittent faults will be memory problems.
Or so I thought.
When I say 'intermittent faults', I mean freezing desktop or applications, blue screens or the machine will simply reboot itself with no warning.
Or just switch itself off, which is my favourite.
So, on a recent problem machine, I had discounted almost everything through trial and error although you can never discount the motherboard itself, which is definitely NOT my favourite.
By pure chance, I changed the HDD sata cable on this machine and the problem went away and I am pretty sure, not to return.
And it's not the first time I've come across dodgy sata cables.

Cases?
Well, I've recently been building some new PC's and a recent case came with a bottom loading PSU.
I've had a few bad experiences with this design, mainly because most motherboards have the 4/8 pin 12v cpu power connector at the top of the mobo, near the io shield.
If the psu cables aren't long enough, you end up scratching your head and wishing you'd never started the damn job.
On another occasion, the case itself had front panel connector leads that weren't long enough to reach the front panel connectors on the mobo.
One could say that it pays to do the research first, but sometimes you can only discover these foibles when you mate everything together, so to speak.
So when the customer says he wants the Supercharger mobo, with a bottom loader, you just have to cross your fingers behind your back.

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Jim Hillier
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November 14, 2013 - 3:27 pm
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Good one Marc, I would never have thought of the SATA cable myself.

The cases I dislike most are the ones with a hidden locking mechanism for side panel entry. I had one machine in particular came in for repair, a Dell I think, and I spent half an hour or more just trying to figure out how to get into the darn thing. https://davescomputertips.com/wp-content/sp-resources/forum-smileys/sf-confused.gif

Random and/or intermittent faults are always very difficult to diagnose, and the culprit often not what you'd think. I had a machine not so long ago that was DOA; fans not spinning, hard drive not active, no sign of life. First thing I checked was the PSU... it's fine, so now I'm thinking the worst. I barebone the machine and up she boots, good as gold. Started reconnecting items, one at a time, got to the GPU and... back to nothing again. Replaced the GPU with new equivalent, all good. Considering the symptoms, a faulty GPU didn't even enter my head.

Weird and wonderful machines! https://davescomputertips.com/wp-content/sp-resources/forum-smileys/sf-smile.gif
Cheers mate... Jim

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Marc Thomas
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November 14, 2013 - 3:49 pm
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Agreed Jim, it can be frustrating.
But you know what?
It's usually staring me in the face without me realising.

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Marc Thomas
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November 15, 2013 - 6:05 pm
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Jim
The very same thing with a GPU happened today.
A very nice gaming machine, so the bloke was understandably nervous.
The main symptom was loss of video after about 15 seconds at post, everything else seemed fine.
So I did what you did and swapped the GPU and all seems normal, for now anyway.

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