OT: Weird Hardware Problem

Frank Shute frank at woodcruft.co.uk
Wed May 20 12:56:47 UTC 2020

On Tue, May 19, 2020 at 11:26:24PM , David Christensen wrote:
> I have also seen power supplies that were marginal and/or that had 
> partial failures (one bad rail).  Thankfully, the components they were 
> powering did not appear to be permanently damaged once I replaced the 
> power supply.
> I am not the OP -- I was attempting to give suggestions to the OP that I 
> had not seen posted yet.  The OP stated that he had installed a new 
> power supply, and Arthur Chance has already mentioned the power supply. 
> Without information about the loads, the original power supply, and the 
> new power supply, we cannot verify the OP's choice.  I can only assume 
> that the OP selected a "correct" part for his application.
> Of course, the OP could do more testing with yet another power supply as 
> a double-check.  A 500+ Watt ATX2 power supply should be adequate 
> overkill for a desktop box with a motherboard, an optical drive, and one 
> or two HDD's.
> Without full engineering information and (expensive) test equipment, our 
> efforts are limited to "monkey see, monkey do".  We throw ideas at the 
> OP, he tries what he wants, and perhaps he'll get lucky.
> Understand that this is an obsolete low-end consumer-grade Dell product, 
> albeit with big CPU and memory options.  It was designed for casual 
> Windows Home users, not Linux/ FreeBSD madmen like us who want to flog 
> it like a workstation and server. ;-)
> Perhaps it is time to cannibalize the good parts and junk the rest -- 
> FCLGA1150 motherboards are still available new, and some are made with 
> high-spec parts (for gamers).  But, a new motherboard may require a new 
> case, as I believe Dell uses the uncommon BTX motherboard form factor. 
> Alternatively, Inspiron 3847 motherboards start at $40 on eBay.
> That said, given the shrinking margin of memory and storage sizes vs. 
> bit error rates, and the increasing risk of bit rot, I now put my money 
> into computers with ECC memory.
> David

I'm in agreement with David on this one. It's a Dell, dude...

What one has to remember is that we are technical people and are thus prone to
behaving like a dog with a bone when we come across a technical problem, more
often than not much to our own detriment.

Of course, we all know about our 'sunk cost' cognitive bias but it's still
very hard not to be a victim to it. So we end up expending time, money and
energy chasing problems like this down which means that we then don't have the
money to buy decent hardware; recurse.

Tim, for the sake of your sanity as much as anything, spend some money!

If you haven't got any money then do the usual: sell kids into slavery, wife
into prostitution etc.

If you haven't got a wife or kids then steal your neighbours.


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