What's your worst experience with a computer?

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shroudofsorrow

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Pretty self-explanatory title, and an off-topic thread I'd been meaning to do on Comicvine for a while now but decided to do here instead. Basically, what is the absolute worst experience with a computer you've ever had? For me, it would be the entirety of my time with my Windows 7. What are your stories of computer-related frustration?

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fisk0

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#2  Edited By fisk0

Leaning towards the early 00's when I had to change the heatsink on a socket 462 CPU. That socket was terrible, a huge fucking CPU chip, extremely thin plastic parts and a low quality metal lever you had to pull to seat the CPU, and hinges on the heatsink that were extremely hard to get in the right position. Spent several hours with that thing and was terrified I would break something throughout the entire time.

At least it was before thermal paste was a widespread thing, because having to reapply that for every try would've been terrible.

Other than that I haven't had too much trouble with computers. I had an ATX case in the late 90's where there were metal parts you couldn't remove which connected to the ports on the back of the motherboard, producing visible sparks when you connected stuff to the USB ports, but surprisingly enough, the machine never failed before it was time to retire it for it's old age (at which point I bought a better case).

I've only had one major virus event around 2000 or so, which wiped a whole bunch of stuff off my hard drive, but apart from a couple of StarCraft themed images I had made in PSP which I thought had turned out great, nothing of particular value was lost.

Or, well, I guess the bad time I had with an AMD Radeon 6750 GPU could count, I bought it because it was energy efficient, but it turned out every time the computer went to sleep mode the GPU would trigger the motherboard's surge protection. So I had to disable all energy saving features in the system, kinda defeating the entire purpose of getting that card.

And then about a year later the GPU fan exploded shooting fan blades all over the case and damaging one of my hard drives.

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deactivated-5c4a6d7d37a3f

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When my first PC died I attempted to pull the hard drive (The only piece that survived) and use it in my next PC. Turns out there was some kind of protective sheathe on the Hard drive that was razor sharp. I cut my hand wide open and bled all over the old hard drive I was trying to save. I scrapped the whole PC after that.

Second worst? The PC I bought to replace that one had some defect and the video card caught on fire the first week I had it. I got a free replacement PC from the store I bought it from thankfully.

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chu52

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Cloning a Windows Seven drive. and after re-installing it the OS did not recognize the CPU, somehow it would boot, and run, but at about .001% speed. Installed windows 8 and it ran beautifully. Never could solve why

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agentboolen

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#5  Edited By agentboolen

I had a gateway Pentium 2 with a whopping 4gb hard drive. Grand Theft Auto 3 had just came out and I was dying to play it, I did not own a ps2 at the time (I did have a Dreamcast, but that only had gta2). So I bought it for the pc, installed it and got it running. I would walk around the city and all seemed to be working well. But then when I get into a car the frame rate just could not hold up.

At this time I was limited on computer knowledge so I was afraid of buying a new video card. Instead I bought a ps2 from EB Game's with a new copy of GTA3, and gave up on pc gaming during the 90's.

Later with more knowledge of the computer and a combination of the wireless Xbox 360 controller for pc and Steam would later make me a big fan of pc gaming, now I'm starting to question gaming on the consoles since the games tend to be more expensive then the pc versions.

My 2nd big problem was controller support before the Xbox controller. I like that controller support on the pc has really improved over the recent years. But it wasn't always this easy, there was allot of choices before the Xbox 360 controller took over and usually they weren't as good a quality as the console controller. Often they would copy the consoles designs bit would feel more cheap. You also had to setup up the controller since there wasn't a set standard at the time, which was annoying if the game had to many buttons. Now they make the controls mirror the console version and the Xbox driver does the rest. Now we can use either a Xbox 360 or ps3 controller and the experience feels just like the consoles. They made it allot easier once the Xbox controller took over.

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BabyChooChoo

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#6  Edited By BabyChooChoo

I've had quite a few headaches throughout my Windows 7 years, but in the interest of keeping on topic, I think my worst ever experience had to be when my PC just decided to give me the finger and lock up if I did just about anything. I would boot it up, everything would seem to load just fine like it always had, I would open a browser, then BAM - hard lock up. Tried opening Steam next time I booted up...lock up. Next time was the media player...lock up. Tried watching a movie...lock up. I don't know what I did with my Windows 7 disk so eventually I just fuck it.

And that's how I started using Linux.

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hatking

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#7  Edited By hatking

Being the 'go-to' guy in the family when it comes to computer troubles. The worst repair was a burnt out power supply that fried a graphics card when it went out. The machine was some pre-built Dell POS that had an odd case, so when I bought a new power supply I had to do some steel cutting to seat the damn thing properly. It was a headache.

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Corevi

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@hatking said:

Being the 'go-to' guy in the family when it comes to computer troubles.

Yeah. Especially if you tell them that it's unrepairable and they insist you try anyway.

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irrelevantjohn

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The first PC I ever built, all 3 motherboards DOA. Even the computer store worker felt sorry for me lol.

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FacelessVixen

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So far, it's between getting a virus that would shut off my laptop every two hours while I'd try to save my files by transferring them to an external drive before factory resetting and reinstalling everything, taking off the heat sink for a 13-year-old Sony Vaio desktop, or instilling an HP printer.

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tourgen

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electrical grounding issue in the house + thunderstorms. afterwards hard drives started dying, network card fried, main board fried, power supply eventually went a month or so later. It was a long string of one hardware failure after another for about 3-4 months. I think the half-fried power supply was doing most of the damage.

finally got outlets properly grounded. got some isolation and power conditioning stuff and a UPS.

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shroudofsorrow

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Well, I have to say, after reading through all of these it really does put MY computer-related woes into perspective.

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ViciousBearMauling

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A friend had some cheap POS case and he asked for my help to install a video card. I couldn't get it to sit right until I realized that there was this unnecessary metal garbage covering the ports, so I can to take clippers and rip all of it out. It was a mess and cut my fingers a few times.

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kickbeer

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#14  Edited By kickbeer

one time i cut my dick on the fan in a sony desktop.

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deactivated-601df795ee52f

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Laptops.

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Kidavenger

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#16  Edited By Kidavenger

Last year I upgraded my server, windows server 2008 doesn't play nice with 2013 hardware, it was a nightmare to get it working, I'm thinking about going to server 2012 now because of the issues I'm still having, something I should have done in the first place if I wasn't a cheap ass.

Getting my first CD burner to work 20 years ago was a freaking nightmare too, hardware wise things are so easy now.

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deactivated-630479c20dfaa

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Windows ME. Well, at least it booted up really fast.

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CByrne

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My first SSD took a dump while compiling a term project for 28 hours. Luckily the prof was nice and understanding.

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Hailinel

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#19  Edited By Hailinel

A really bad string of luck with hardware breaking down. It was my original college computer, and I had had it for a few years when the floppy drive started to go bad. It kept corrupting disks. So I called Dell and got a replacement. But in the process of installing the replacement drive, the motherboard fried. So I had to call Dell again and get a replacement motherboard shipped. This of course also meant that I couldn't use my computer at all until I got the problem fixed. Fortunately, my luck wasn't so bad for it to break during the school year. After the motherboard arrived, a friend helped me put everything together and thankfully nothing shorted the second time.

The moral of the story? Fuck floppy drives.

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audiosnow

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When I reformatted my internal HDD and an external one before realizing that the external one held the only backup of the internal. Recovery software was the only thing that saved me from losing a dozen years of computer use and fifteen years of music collecting. But it failed to do anything to .DOCX and .MID files so I lost a ton of writing and personal music.

Pretty self-explanatory title, and an off-topic thread I'd been meaning to do on Comicvine for a while now but decided to do here instead. Basically, what is the absolute worst experience with a computer you've ever had? For me, it would be the entirety of my time with my Windows 7. What are your stories of computer-related frustration?

There has to be one in every village...

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FLStyle

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#22  Edited By FLStyle
  • As @hatking said, "Being the 'go-to' guy in the family when it comes to computer troubles."
  • As @tothenines said, Windows ME.
  • My disc of Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 Yuri's Revenge exploding inside (which I later heard was common because the discs were ass), destroying my disc drive.
  • Trying to force Mass Effect 1 to play because of a stupid error that escapes my mind at this time. It resulted in my PC's power unit burning out, which made me metaphorically soil myself in particular when I saw smoke rising from the back of my PC.
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shroudofsorrow

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@mlarrabee: Hey man, my Windows 7 was far and away the absolute worst computer I've ever had. But that said, a lot of these stories make my problems look almost bearable.

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deactivated-5ea35e2382c82

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I bought a 'Vigor' gaming laptop in late 2006 because I was younger and had a bunch of money to waste, without a doubt the worst computer decision I ever made and has made certain I'll never buy another laptop like that in the future. The thing was bulky (17" laptop) and about as loud as a table fan, it had no battery life and if you ever unplugged it the computer would slow to a crawl, I somehow managed to use it for 3 years. I finally ended up selling it to a family member for about 20% of what I originally paid for it and ended up getting a MacBook Pro in 2009 that's still working well to this day.

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Kidavenger

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#25  Edited By Kidavenger
@shroudofsorrow said:

@mlarrabee: Hey man, my Windows 7 was far and away the absolute worst computer I've ever had. But that said, a lot of these stories make my problems look almost bearable.

I don't think anyone is doubting that your bad computer was bad, but thinking/implying that windows 7 was the reason it was bad is just wrong.

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DasBoot

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I'm part programmer, part IT support at work. My worst experience with computers is that we let just anybody sit in front of one. Heyoo.

Also, when I got my very first computer that was exclusively mine I decided to get a Dell with a Pentium 4 before they switched over to using SDRAM on the motherboards. So I had this computer with 64MBs of RAM and if I wanted to upgrade it I was going to spend a boatload buying pairs of Rambus RDRAM. Also it came with WindowsME. I had that stupid thing for three years through college.

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Tyrrael

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@corevi said:
@hatking said:

Being the 'go-to' guy in the family when it comes to computer troubles.

Yeah. Especially if you tell them that it's unrepairable and they insist you try anyway.

Yeah, this is definitely one for me, too. My mom had a computer that was having constant problems with locking up, especially when using the internet. It would run incredibly slow, and then just freeze sometimes. It wasn't the internet speed, nor was it Internet Explorer. It happened on all browsers. We have a 30mb connection, and my computer worked fine. It would also often take several minutes (think 5-ish) to load a program like Word or Excel. I constantly told her it was a lost cause, and that it wasn't going to get any better. However, she insisted I "fix" it, even though the problem was that the PC was probably on its way out (think 10 years old). "PCs don't last forever" is the hard truth that a lot of people don't want to accept.

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stonyman65

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#28  Edited By stonyman65
  • Most of my time with Windows XP home. When it ran, it was fine. When there was a driver issue or a security breach, all hell broke loose.
  • Before I learned how to build a PC, I had a PC built by the tech guys at CompUSA (back when that was a thing). They screwed up the heatsink installation (too much thermal paste) and that caused my machine to randomly crash whenever I was doing something CPU intensive. We figured it out finally and fixed it without a problem, but those 2 months or so of my machine shutting down randomly sucked because we didn't know what was causing it.
  • My mom's old Dell got fried when lightning traveled through the phone line and fried the 56k modem. That in turn fried the motherboard, so the whole machine had to be rebuilt with a new motherboard and whatever parts we could salvage that weren't destroyed. We ended up with a new case, new motherboard, new GPU, and new RAM. The only stuff we were able to save from the old PC was the CPU, CD burner and the hard drive.
  • Everything that has to do with Windows Vista. There is a reason why Vista almost destroyed Microsoft singlehandedly. "piece of shit" is an understatement.
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Jeust

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#29  Edited By Jeust

My worst story with a computer dates back to the time I got my first computer with Windows 95. And is hardware related. I broke my monitor's on/off switch the sixth, seventh time I used.

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dagas

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#30  Edited By dagas

Back in early 2006 I bought what was then a really good vidoe card. A Nvidia EVGA 7800GT and it was broken. I sent that back and got a new one, broken as well, did that again and another broken one. Then I said fuck nVidia and got a crappy AMD (or was it still ATI at that time?) card that was not as good but it worked! I ended up spending 400 dollars on the card and 50 dollars per shipping to the US for a new card on warranty so in total 500 dollars. And I got nothing for it except a broken card. I was too tired to keep sending that back and at that time I had left Canada where I lived and moved back to Europe so it would be even more of a hassle to keep sending it back to the US.

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Yakumo1975

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For me the worst time on a computer was back when I was using Windows '98 in you guessed it, 1998 all the way until XP came out. The amount of times I had the blue screen of death is uncountable but that wasn't the worst problem I had.

One day the computer was infected by a virus that wiped every JPEG and MP3 file clean. Most of the MP3s could be fixed but the JPEG files couldn't. Each one had just become a white empty space. This really made me mad as I had "visited" a local abandoned amusement park just after a typhoon had hit and took 100's of very good pictures (for 1998 digital camera standards). It was like a digital museum. All of those pictures were gone as is the amusement park. Now a very large hospital stands were the amusement park once stood.

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deactivated-63f899c29358e

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My worst experience was having to install around 10000 dollars worth of hardware into a couple servers and the shit didn't work after that... Luckily they figured out the issue, and it wasn't me breaking the stuff.

I was pretty nervous installing that hardware, while sitting on the concrete floor of the hot server room. But it was an awesome experience working there, especially when you had to access that server room. An identification keycard and two passwords to open the steel doors into it.

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Humanity

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I remember the period between 1995-2005 like one long horrible nightmare. Several games come to mind that have caused me never ending woes. I remember one time my CD-rom drive had an issue where it had problems spinning up but once it was up to speed it worked great. So I ended up cutting out a small opening in the cd tray so that whenever I put in a CD and it would attempt to spin it up (and fail; it would just jerk back and forth) I'd use my finger to give it a push.

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GweedyJ

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Ohhh lordie. One time my girlfriend had me come over and look at her computer because it kept over heating. What she had failed to tell me that it was actually her moms computer and her mom is crazy. I had taken the cover off and was looking at the mobo and saw that the heat sink was missing. Her mom at that moment walked into the room and went nuts. Claiming i have been stealing parts from her computer and selling them to some sort of black market.

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TheCrazyToast

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About three months ago I would repeatedly get BSOD errors on Windows 7, but my computer would always crash before being able to make a dump of the error code. I figured that something was wrong with my hardware so I spent an entire week running diagnostics for all components without getting any results. By this time I had wiped my system four times, spent endless hours researching on forums ect. until I decided to install Linux to see if that would help fix the problem. Two hours into running Linux my computer froze up again, but Linux was courteous enough to actually tell me what the problem was instead of presenting me with a blue screen for a split second.
As it turned out my SSD was malfunctioning despite it being able to run multiple diagnostic tools without any errors for over 24 hours. From this miserable week I spent endlessly staring at excruciatingly slow progress bars I learned that the best way to diagnose an error in Windows is to diagnose it in Linux instead.

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deactivated-60534c109535a

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Socket A was horrible the cpu didn't even have a heatspreader that protected the core,so i crushed a AMD XP 2400+ once it was brand new that was a crunch sound i never forget. There was also a time when i i used a wet towel to clean of Thermal past on Geforce 4 TI 4200 what happened is that the entire screen was filled with yellow artifacts, good times. Remember that AMD sold the CPU protector for socket A, i had one of them it was a copper plating that you had to stick to the cpu it had glue on but, i didn't know what it was so i scrubbed it off with water. After that watched my pc with AMD XP 2200+ go up in smoke, when it shortfused hehe.

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rorie

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I used a Mac once.

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GweedyJ

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@rorie said:

I used a Mac once.

I don't believe it.

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TehPickle

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I remember my first PC had a (allegedly 100% pentium compatible) Cyrix processor. God, that thing was terrible. The amount of games I purchased that just flat out refused to work because of that hunk of crap was bewildering.

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Giantstalker

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So this thing was brutal for so many reasons, sometimes in the worst ways possible, and technically it's a modern "computer" despite the fact it feels and acts like its from the 1980s.

Need to hit a distant target? No problem, except your camera is linked to the platform such that high elevations mean you're staring at the sky

Like stabilization? Too bad cause this thing has no gyroscope, thus the stab is all-software and completely ineffective while the vehicle is moving

It also doesn't count ammo properly ever so you'll run dry and your screen shows a couple hundred rounds left, what a confidence booster that ended up being

The other fun thing about high elevations, like inside the wire, is that to arm or disarm it meant there was a chance the actuator wouldn't 'lock in' properly all the way back. This meant it could skip forward and result in the .50 cal equivalent of a desk pop, something that actually happened also. The laundry list goes on and it became a huge bummer with the realization of what you're dealing with here, and it's basically all you got for the next couple months. Glorious

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audioBusting

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#41  Edited By audioBusting

Edit: ^^^ that takes the cake, I can't imagine ever having lives depending on a shitty computer that I have to use.

One day, my iPhone randomly decided to wipe itself out and the backup on my PC turned out to be corrupted. Photos and notes and stuff were exclusively on that phone, and I have used it for two years. I spent the whole day trying to save what was already lost, and it was pretty traumatic.

Also, I don't know if this counts, but accidentally seeing your parents' internet history while fixing their computers is easily one of the most terrifying experiences a person can have.

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amyhm

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Can't connect to network.

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Honkalot

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Back during Windows 95 days, I had 3 or 4 times where bluescreens would happen and then Windows was fucked and you could never get on the computer again. This was on pre-made home computers that my dad got from his company so there was no Windows disc and all you could do was ghost the computer back with the ghost discs. Since this was early days of home computing for all of us, nobody knew what a CD burner was - they might not have been available, and all backups were on floppy's if there were any. So generally every time it happened would mean a total data loss of everything on the computer, save maybe a few documents that were on a floppy.

It fucking sucked.

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fattony12000

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Windows Millennium Edition

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rorie

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#45  Edited By rorie

I remember my first PC had a (allegedly 100% pentium compatible) Cyrix processor. God, that thing was terrible. The amount of games I purchased that just flat out refused to work because of that hunk of crap was bewildering.

Ooo man, you just brought up a lot of bad memories for me. Cyrix - never again.

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Honkalot

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#46  Edited By Honkalot

A more recent bad computer experience was with a macbook pro, I was just finishing up rendering a project that was due shortly after and had taken about one work week. I had naturally not backed up since I started it, during the last hour or so of rendering it died without warning. Turns out that the wall socket had no current and it had simply run out of juice. Plugging it in to a functioning socket didn't work though, no light on the charger so I tried another charger that I confirmed was working. Still nothing. I thought the battery loss had hard crashed the system into a brick at that point. But after intense googling it turned out that the microcontroller handling charging had probably busted from the power loss and needed to be reset, which I did with some arcane button sequence involving the power button.

So that situation actually worked out in the end, but was hellishly scary. But I question them using a controller that enables/disables charging the battery which can apparently be shut off when the battery loses power. Seems very dumb to me.

Another, probably the worst scare I had, was when I forgot my whole laptop bag in the lobby of a cinema. I only realized it after the film was over, but it was the last show and we left through a side exit so there was no way back in that night. Pretty tough getting sleep that night. It was a $1500 laptop and I was a student with little means at the time, so I would not have had any way to get a new one. But some nice folks had turned it in to the staff and it all worked out good too.

ANOTHER time, the shoulder strap of my laptop bag broke off and it went flying down the stairs. This was with my current macbook pro. The screen/lid of the laptop had skewed maybe 5 degrees or so off axis, so that the laptop was more rhombus than rectangle if that makes sense. It was brand new too, so I was pretty upset. It was at my parents place so my dad came over and looked at it and went "Hmm" and cranked the hinge back into place before I could yell no. The equivalent of kicking something delicate as a technical solution. However it snapped into place and has never been an issue for 2 years now.

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MikkaQ

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Back in like 2004 I was upgrading my computer to have a whopping 512MB of RAM from it's original 256. I really wanted to play KOTOR and Sims 2.

I got the ram which was like 90 dollars, and excitedly went home to install it, only to turn it on and have my PC not work. Turns out I somehow installed the RAM wrong and fried one of my hard drives as a result.

That PC sat there for like 6 months unrepaired. I was massively anti-apple that time (I was an opinionated little 12 year old, I don't how many other 12 year olds cared whether they had an IBM or Intel processor but I did so hey) but I had to use something for my homework and websurfing and ended up borrowing my dad's G3 iBook. Over the course of that six months I started to love the OS X interface and how sleek and snappy everything felt. Once the Intel MacBooks dropped I grabbed one right away and have been loving my macs since. I still keep a desktop PC for gaming, but for getting any work done, email, regular life stuff, I use my mac.

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fisk0

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#48  Edited By fisk0

@flstyle said:

That was a common issue with games at that time (Diablo II was also a common example). Not a disc quality issue, but an issue with the fact that the games at that point were pretty large compared to the hard drive space available, so they were loading lots of stuff from the discs, making them spin non-stop, while CD/DVD-ROM drives had become pretty fast (around 50 times faster than a regular CD player). The discs would become really hot and fragile when read at those speeds for long times, and the slightest bump to the computer case could make the disc loose in the drive and damage things or explode.

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ShaggE

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#49  Edited By ShaggE

Bought a really nice mobo.

Didn't realize the screwdriver I had borrowed was magnetized.

...

...

I no longer have a really nice mobo.

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AlexW00d

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@rorie said:

I used a Mac once.

I do hate to appear inflammatory, but this might seriously be my answer. Every time I have had to use a Mac to help out a friend it's just been so frustrating. Nothing is ever simple, all this flashy shit and uh. I wish I wasn't the computer guy in my circle of people.