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PCs & Gaming #1 - Repairs and Maintenance

Seeing as how over the past week there have been several basically inflammatory cblog articles (more specifically the comments of said cblogs) dealing with PCs and PC gaming, I thought it would be a good idea to set the record straight with a short series on the topic. To begin, I�ve chosen a topic I think anyone can get behind, regardless of whether you game on PCs or not, you�re probably reading this on one right now, and odds are there has been some point in the past where you�ve had technical issues with it.

This is by no means a complete guide on how to fix all problems, but there are several rules of thumb you can follow to avoid a needlessly expensive repair bill from Geek Squad. And no matter how much I may have argued with some of you in the past, I�ll still gladly walk you through problems because it�s something I love doing and no one should have to go through losing all of their files and being without a computer for an extended period of time. If you ever want tech support feel free to message me on Steam or IRC.

When replacing a fan on a processor or video card, the core will have some kind of thermal compound on it. First remove the old paste by using a paper towel that is slightly wet with 98% isopropyl alcohol, then apply new compound with a small paint brush. When replacing the fan on the processor do not be afraid to use force to put it on, it typically takes a decent amount of force to clip the fan on, don�t worry if the motherboard bends a little under the pressure.

Oh Crap, my Hard Drive is Dying

The other kind of noise you might hear is a clicking noise, this is the sound of the reader head inside the hard drive hitting the edge of the case, and you should be very scared if you hear this sound repeatedly. The first thing you need to do is move any critical files off the disk. Depending on the severity, either windows may not boot if it is on the dying drive, or the computer could restart randomly if windows is using the dying drive to cache virtual memory.

Just get what you can off the drive as soon as possible and replace the drive, there isn�t much else you can do. Another fix for a non-hardware malfunction with a hard drive where you can�t see it or the data, such as if you delete the partition tables, is to use Phoenix FAT & NTFS recovery, this can allow you to get the data off or fix the problem.

Always have a Spare

Unfortunately sometimes it takes a computer to fix a computer, keep a hold of at least one piece of old hardware just in case.

Hard Drives are like Lays � You can never have just one

Always have at least one extra hard drive, this prevents windows errors and forced reformats from destroying your precious data.

0xc00000000005 � followed by hexadecimal Addresses

This is a memory error and will typically cause a blue screen, try swapping out your RAM chips and replacing the bad one.

Registry Editing

Don�t�.at least don�t without an exact step by step guide, screwing something up can destroy your entire PC.

If You MUST take It In

Use a small local independent shop, they will be more knowledgeable and get it back to you faster than any large retail chain.

If ALL else fails�

Phone a friend, no seriously, as good as even I am at fixing problems, we all have someone more knowledgeable that we call when something stumps us, phone a friend when you need help.

I hope this has helped some of you learn about what to do the next time your box decides to kick the bucket. Heck, anything is better than spending $200 � 300 getting the thing fixed at best buy, I�m sure we�d all much rather spend that money on more games.
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About CaffeinePoweredone of us since 3:26 PM on 12.20.2006

Clog Banner by [WTF]Joel - much <3

Been gaming since I was five when I bought my own NES

I'm also on my 3rd custom built PC specs as follows....
Athlon 4800+
Asus M2N32 SLI Deluxe w/Wireless
2gigs of DDR2 - 800
Geforce 7950 GX2 1gig DDR3
600 gig RAID 0 Array
2x120g EIDE HDD
150g External Drive (makes nearly 1000gigs total)

Steam - CaffeinePowered
XBL - CaffeinePowered
Wii - 1339 8895 8600 7750

Most Recent Games Played:
Mass Effect
FFXII Revenant Wings
Ace Combat 6
Ace Attorney: Justice for All
Contra 4

Xbox LIVE:CaffeinePowered
Mii code:1339 8895 8600 7750


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