The 10 Best Ways to &*$% Up Your Computer

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Philips

This is so cool. Thank you for the information. Recovery of the device is a much valuable topic.

Dewalt Laser

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1redone

Good article. Some people say magnets can damage computers too. I know one person who said that happened to them.

how to make essential oils

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Philips

This is a reminder. Thanks for the post. All of these shall be watched out and readers must now be aware.

Amazon Kindle 3G

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Philips

This is a reminder. Thanks for the post. All of these shall be watched out and readers must now be aware.

Amazon Kindle 3G

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486DieHard

My first PC Build was a Pentium1 75Mhz

TX Pro motherboard... supported Intel, AMD and Cyrix(IBM sold out to VIA) upto 300MHz!

32Meg of Ram(2x16Meg 72Pin... 168pin was available)

500Meg HD

20x CD-ROM SANYO(Theese guys make parts for sony)

2Meg Video Cirrus Logic PCI (M/B had support for AGP)

ESS 16bit Soundcard

33.6k Modem

15" TTX SVGA CRT Monitor

- The times that I had with this rig... especially the BBS Parties!... Before Internet took over.

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I_pwn_newbz86

I built my first computer when I was 12. 

Antec 300

Intel Pentium DC E5200

2GB DDR2 800 CAS4

Gigabyte GA-EP43-DS3L

MSI 9800GT 512MB

250GB Seagate Barracuda

Assembled it in a few hours without a problem. Best day of my life.

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billcipp

We all know that a geek looks good wearing a wrist strap, but they do play a role far more than a fashion statment.  They are critical when poking around the insudes of a computer.  I was showing my son where his grapic card was and as I pointed to it a 1/4" spark left my finger tip and hit the board.  When we tried to power up his computer, the familiar coded beeps had told me I fried it.  He got a new GPU out of the deal and I was out $50.00

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almhuss1

Remove side panel after shutting down.  Take the hose from your vacuum cleaner (you do have one, don't you?) and vacuum out the debris, gently.  It works much better than compressed air, because it takes the dirt away, rather than moving it around, and most vacuums don't move air with the force of a new can of air.  Be sure to vacuum all of your chassis fans, and your CPU and Northbridge cooler fins as well.

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itgurudude

I fix alot of coworker and freinds PC.  All of them have hairballs inside that would choke several large cats.  I used to be very meticulous about cleaning the inside with compressed air and then cleaning each of the fan blades with cotton swabs and cleaners.  Then I tried it on my own system first and man did it work!

What I do now is remove the case door, go outside and place the computer on the ground by the garage.  I then go and get my toro electric leaf blower out of the garage and stand back about 10-15 feet and hit the computer with the shot of air from the blower.  Dust blows out of every orifice on the case and although air may be coming out at 100 mph on the blower, by the time it hits the case, it is quite benign to the components inside (don't want to be too strong to bend anything like a capcitor).  A few seconds of this and the entire inside of the case, drives and bays are all clean.  Sometimes, if I see the power supply is full of crud, I will remove the power supply from the case and blow them out the same way (only I can get closer) you should see the dust in those things alone.  It really cleans up the heatsinks!

 

 

 

 

 

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Skrýmir

The reason why compressed air is used is because it's not like to generate static. It might take longer but i usually take my videocard and all my fans out when i blow out my case to make sure they're all clean again.

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Caboose

a Vacuum... Really? 'cause you know the static build up at the nozzel is nothing to be worried about.

There's a reason why compressed air is strongly recommended.

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dentaku

After installing Win7 I did NOT install Quicktime and I've never installed iTunes on my own computer ever. It's horrifying how much stuff that software messes with and how many useless services it runs in the background.
I've also seen older machines become completely unusable because of Bonjour.

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Glycerin

Apple and its software sucks.

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dracx619

working with media, i am pretty much forced to install quicktime pro so i can work with these mac heads and fcp. i hate it...and it sucks that quicktime alternatives dont work

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Keith E. Whisman

A friend of mine had a Dell with the BTX MB and cooling system. His computer would run slowly for a few minutes and then reboot every couple of minutes. I took his computer apart and there was about 5" inches of hair and dirt just completely clocking up the front panel, the air intake, CPU fins were clogged and the fan was jammed. 

I was able to clean it all up in about an hour or so. The fan was high quality and seemed to work great after it had been cleared of all the dirt and hair. 

The PC in this article looks almost pristine compared to my friends computer.

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Eoraptor

Yup, when I was in highschool, Iwas tasked by a neightbor to put a larger hard-drive into a windows 95 era compaq. on opening up the PC, which had not been moved since first put in three years earlier, I physically had to scoop hand-fulls of dust out of the box *eww* especially if youre a microscopy nerd and know what dust is made of. Imagine their surprise that the old hard drive had failed u to *drumroll* heat soak of the controller.

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Morpheous416

As seen in the picture under the section "Ignoring AV Software" here in this article,.. I can't tell you how many times I have remoted into a customer's computer and seen so many toolbars installed that IE was almost non-existant.

And they wondered why their net connection was almost dead.

 

When installing software, free or otherwise... WATCH the install screens!!!  More often than not, they are loaded with additional options to install 3rd party software.  Toolbars are among the most common, and they add up quickly.  Some are innocent and just stand there in IE waiting to be used, while others actively re-route your connection to the net to other servers to watch your activities.  This not only slows your connection down to the site you are trying to get too, but it can leave you open to email spam as well.  Spam leads to links, clicking links leads to disaster as your email quickly spreads across the world.

Also be aware, that an option to install a toolbar or other 3rd party app, may not have a choice on the install screens, but is an agreed to requirement in the EULA. 

Going click click click click on the happy little Next button can also lead to problems that you probably won't remember how or when it happened.  That's when you call in to tech support and go, "it was working fine last week, I don't know what happened.  I didn't do anything".... uh, yeah... ya did. 

 

To quote Scotty from Star Trek 6, The Undiscovered Country, " A computer doesn't lie "

 

=)

 

I do not have any AV software such as Avast, or Norton.. and will never use it.  I use MSE and Malwarebytes because they work, and I don't get any of the half a billion issues that you do run across when legitimately using AV software.  Yes.. the problems of using them can be just as disasterous as the viruses they protect you from.  But just as we've seen a few really experienced people in our lifetime, get taking out by the unexpected.. or being careless when they thought things were just fine, you need some kind of protection installed.

 

Another thing that will take your system down are natural disasters.  Most common, is the thunderstorm.  If a storm is coming, turn off your system and UNPLUG all components from the wall.  Do not trust surge protectors.  They are good for the every day use of power, but not a 10 million volt strike of lightning.  Besides... it's not the power going off that causes the problem, it's the power coming back on that does... and a spike or surge of high voltage happens too fast for anyone to save their system before it's too late if you've left it plugged in.

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tornato7

When I see someone who has 12 toolbars, along with the space wasting interface of a 10 year old version of internet explorer, waiting 30 seconds for a page to load because of all the viruses they have gotten, it makes me want to scream

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KevFed

You didnt mention how you shouldnt move your computer too much while it's turned on. Drives go bad real quick with enough g-shock...unless your roll with the big boys and use SSDs

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lunchbox73

Spelling police:

Ignorning Antivirus Software

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dracx619

my first build ever was met with probably one of the stupidest mistakes anyone can do...screwed in the mobo with no standoffs. i thought to myself "why does it look weird and WHY WONT IT TURN ON?" luckily, the board did not fry. i was like 14 and the only tech nut in training in my family so i guess it was ok?

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StahnAileron

I had a co-worker come to me about looking at a new build he and a friend put together (the guy that helped him had transferred elsewhere by this this time.) I told him to bring it to work and I'd take a look during lunch and/or my breaks.

The problem he described was it not turning on. I cracked open the case and the first thought I had was (something doesn't look or feel right.) To make a long story short, the MB was affixed directly to the case (no standoffs) and while I was checking the status of the parts, I found the CPU was overly coated in thermal paste (like they applied a WHOLE tube of paste to it) AND they DID NOT REMOVE the adhesive plastic sheet from the HSF (you know, the type used to protect the mirror polish on some after-market coolers). So even if they had the MB mounted correctly, they woulda just fried the CPU eventually (or at least had continuous thermal shutdowns.)

The kicker to all this? The guy who helped this unfortunate co-worker was a pure Mac boy...(I knew that guy as well. When the co-worker told me who helped him, it clicked in my head because that guy had come to me a few months prior about helping him and a friend build a system. Neither had ever built a system from scratch.)

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Eoraptor

Fortunately my first two builds (okay, the first one was actually a REbuild of a P6-133) the cases had the stand-offs pressed in to the sheet metal. I wondered why they sent me all these little hexagonal risers and just stuffed em away *l* fortunately, but the time I bought my first midrange case, I was a bit wiser.

And of course, bonus points for workout, since that P6 case was a solid steel unit from gateway2000 and weighed a freaking ton!

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iMo0n

Wow. My first build was when I was 14 also. I bought all the components myself and assembled the entire thing in a couple of hours. Had no problems whatsoever and I am still using that computer today!

Specs:

AMD Phenom IIx2 555 BE

ATi Sapphire HD 5770 Juniper XT

2GB DDR2 @ 800MHz

Gigabyte GA-MA78LM-S2H

Oh btw, this was last year LOL.

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dracx619

you are lucky enough to have so many great resources nowadays. for me, this was 9 years ago and i didn't even know building your own computer was possible. needless to say, it was a fun experience. never made that mistake again! lol

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Ry03

Any apple related software is just bloat, removing bonjour is so annoying.

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mseyf

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/the-unofficial-guide-to-installing-itunes-10-without-bloatware/2390?tag=mantle_skin;content   

Ed Bott wrote an excellent guide on installing iTunes without all the other crud that comes along with it - works pretty sweet.

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Caboose

Don't forget, installing iTunes will fluck up your PC too!

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johnny3144

it certainly does!

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GreenTurtle

Quicktime too !!

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Eoraptor

I've managed to run for literally YEARS without using Jerktime. what a pig that thing is.

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dizzy1

add the Perfect Paper password genarator to the list for generating impossible to remember passwords from grc.

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Wareagle

Install Vista!

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486DieHard

- Leave your Hard Drive resting atop of your powersupply.  A friend of mine blew two powersupplies that way.

- Leave your PC resting on the livingroom floor collecting dust for a year.  An air compressor solved that problem after purchase...   TY!

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Eoraptor

Spinning fan't don't just hurt, they can do some serious damage... I was rockin an old Thermaltake (dragon or orb, either way it was a tall round orange/blue two-piece heatsink with a fan on top sucking air down in) on an Athlon XP cpu. I noticed an errant fan-wire running across the top of my sound card's very rough PCB and went to move it so it wouldn't short, and *WHING* off came the tip of my index finger thanks to that high speed little 40mm fan.

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KevFed

dude, i can stop a 40mm fan with my ballsack (ok maybe not). you might be thinking of the orb with the 120mm fan with the blue LEDs. i got my finger caught between that and the f-ing sharp fins of death while trying to "pick off" some dust bunnies.

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johnny3144

been there, done that.

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reutnes

Back in my newbie days, I decided to unseat a RAM module and forgot to unplug the machine first.  A huge POP and some smoke came out.  Teacher gave me a dirty look.

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haxden

ive decided to roll around naked until some malware gets to me because i need to reinstall my OS anyway due to loads of freeware and demos which popup alot.

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Zachary K.

trying to give yourself a reason to reinstall? if you want to expedite your getting a virus, try googling "give me a virus" or "screw my computer" let me know the results.

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Nickompoop

How long have you been doing this? It could be an interesting experiment in determining how safe the internet is.

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Velox

I haven't used anti-virus software since 2005.  Have not had a single problem.  Common sense in web surfing goes a long way.  My ISP does scan my emails before I download them and they do catch some viruses every so often but again, all these emails are nothing I would have opened anyways.

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Caboose

You sound just like my wife's cousin.

"ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE IS A GIANT SCAM!"

Right... Thats why he has a constant stream of customers in to his shop (and some are return... to have another virus removed).

You know, as long as you're smart about it, and wash your hands, you don't need to get a booster shot, or vaccinated against something. Why bother?

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bikerbub

you could start with trying to buy some clothes from the retailers who spam MPC!

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dracx619

sometimes i wonder if all this spamming is due to a couple of pissed off banned commenters

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JE_Delta

Honestly I don't know why they would spam clothing sites on a Computer/Tech site.

It makes no sense :s

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hk1777

I know right?

If they have to spam why dont they spam something we might even want?

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Caboose

But that would make sense...

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