Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Computer Repair Man's Rant

Computers in general are volatile systems. One minute they're crunching data by the gigabyte the next they've run across a script error and will be shut down immediately. Of course all computers are not built the same. Some larger companies, HP, Dell, Acer, Gateway, Sony, to name a few, offer great support in terms of drivers and help information. They protect their reputation by building the systems that last longer. Alas there will always be a market for cheaper goods. Enter the clones, and after market China products. Don't get me wrong, I'm lovin' the great price, it's the price you have to pay later down the line that will kill you.
Recently a customer from Rialto Ca brought a computer to my office that was constantly restarting. It didn't have a prayer. At first Windows would load and run for a half an hour then restart. Hours Later it began restarting every five seconds. I did suspect it may be the power supply. Switched it out, no difference. Exchanged the board and bingo! No restart. The damaged board was an ECS 'elite groups'. Funny cause I had that same brand mobo a  few years ago with about the same problem.
Now for my rant. The customer brought a second computer to my office and figured I could work with the extra parts. The board was a Soyo Dragon 2. The computer flashes a screen displaying Soyo.com when beginning to  boot. I looked it up the site is non-existant. So much for finding the drivers there. The crazy part about these two computers was that I was able to pull the SATA HDD out of the ECS and run the pre-existing copy of Windows in the Dragon 2! It actually started accidentally as I was about to load Windows XP from CD. The only problem was of course it needed the different drivers. In cases like these I google it, and check the forums and cnet download.com. It took some time. Conclusion- spend a few extra bucks and avoid custom boards. You'll save you're self a lot of hassle down the line. Once you have the right network driver working you're golden. From there it's a breeze. Windows updates, Anti-virus loaded. Having the internet is really the only reason they want their computer fixed in the first place right!?

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