Computer Problems

I rescued a 1.6ghz Athlon about three years ago. It had a burned up power supply connector on the motherboard. The connector was toasted due to the failure of a third party cooling fan. Fan motor shorted and pulled enough current to fry the connector.

The connector was replace with one salvaged from a defunct ATX motherboard and we were in business with a new computer.

For years I had been using hard drive trays. Long ago I invested in a hard drive tray system and installed it into all the computers I used on a regular basis. With a tray system you can remove the hard drive without opening the computer case. It is an easy way to change out, upgrade, secure, and play with various operating systems and have fun in general.

Well, the drive tray system had been in use for over ten years which was probably five years too long. The connectors started to get flakey. I even replaced some of them with new cables but problems just seemed to grow as time went on. Eventually the new, rescued, computer required rescuing from the hard drive tray system.

After I junked the tray system the athlon began performing as it was supposed to and I was finally able to turn it into a very reliable PVR running WindowsXP+SP2.

Its got a Hauppague TV tuner card which does mpeg2 with on-board hardware, 2gig of ram memory, SATA controller running a 250gig hard drive, IDE controller running 80gig-60gig-and DVD burner, video card with TV out (s-video) to run a seperate TV in the den, on-board100mhz ethernet, and usb and firewire ports.

This PC is finally a true media machine allowing recording off-air (has a digital conversion box but also has a digital TV tuner running into one USB port), and off cable. Every bit as good as a TIVO for quality but not quite the same control. Should have bought a TIVO in the first place and saved some money.

Oh well, it has finally become a reliable system and it is paid for.

Main lesson learned on this PC is don’t play around with removable hardware and use new cables when installing drives especially onto an old machine.

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