Atma Xplorer

Xploring Games, Computing, Photography

What to do when your PC dies

Broken PCIt started as a glitch while playing a video file during the New Year’s celebration and like any computer junkie, I felt it was simply a codec error or something as minor. Two days later, January 2 to be exact, my computer crashed and never booted again.

It’s the worst case scenario especially when you’re rushing to finish work like reports, programs etc. I’ve experienced a lot of PC deaths (some of natural causes and some by me.. don’t ask how) so it’s safe to say that I’m quite competent in the field and I thought of sharing that with everyone.

When your computer dies, here’s what you do:

First off don’t panic. Panicking is the worst thing you can do. Not only will you fail to see any hint that your computer is giving on what the problem is but you also risk doing more damage to your PC than what made it crash in the first place.

Check what’s wrong. If you haven’t learned the basics of PC troubleshooting, I suggest you pick it up sometime soon. It’ll save you a bit of trouble and most likely cash.

Fortunately for us, our PCs has a feature that (sometimes) tell you what’s the problem. If you boot and you hear beeps other than the regular single one, it’s time to check connections, cables or peripherals. If you don’t and you’re faced with a blank screen and little indication that your PC is turning on you need to dig around more or at worst ask for professional help.Note that most computer retailers have policies regarding customers opening their PCs computer cases so ask them first before lifting a screw.Also, it’s best to double check every test you’ve done.

At the rarest case, you’ll have two faulty parts instead of one and replacing either of them won’t exactly help without replacing the other too.

Repair or replace. Once you’ve pinpointed the problem, a faulty motherboard, dead RAM DIMMs, dead video card (like mine) etc, check whether it’s possible to repair or replace what’s dead or use a spare. If it’s a faulty hard drive check whether the file system is still intact (chances are 50/50 when your HDD crashes).

Considering my case, since I’ve been upgrading my rig by parts, I was able to cannibalize an AGP video card from one of my older rigs and got it working with my secondary one. If you don’t have a spare, ask a friend.If replacement is the only option, check if your local (or trusted) computer shops carry the part that you need. In example, if you have an AGP slot like me, you’ll have to scrounge up some cash to get a quality card since they tend to be more expensive than their PCIE counterparts.

Now if you can’t find a replacement part, you check out 2nd hand stores. If you really can’t find anything, you should consider replacing the whole system but this should be your last option since this will probably happen if you have a system that’s 6 years old or older.Note that you should pick a peripheral or part that’s equal to or better than the one you’re going to replace.

Check if the replacement is compatible. It sucks if you finally found what you’re looking for only to find out that it’s not compatible with your system. Check and double check before handing out the cash.

Install and check if it’s working. It’s almost always not an install and run thing since you still have to install drivers. If you’ve chosen a replacement that’s equal to your previous part, then you’re in luck, it’s almost guaranteed to work out of the box. If it’s something else (like me switching from ATI to Nvidia) then you need to remove the software that you don’t need and install what’s needed.

Now if you’re curious, I still haven’t been able to revive my rig since I’m still looking for a shop that carries an AGP card that I’m looking for, Nvidia 7300GT to be exact so I’m using primary (gaming) rig to surf around. The only store I’ve found to carry it at a reasonable price is PCXpress which sells them at P3050. If you know any store in the Metro or even in Cavite that carries one, please let me know. Last I checked they had no more stock of the said card and I really need one. ^^ Happy blogging.

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Comments ( 8 )

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  1. mschumey07 Schumey January 3, 2008 Reply

    You can try the shops along Gilmore in San Juan. I think the stores fronting PCExpress has that particular model. Try the shop beside CDR King. That’s where I got my 7300. I just don’t remember how much it cost but I am sure its cheaper than that of PCExpress.

  2. atmaxplorer sylv3rblade January 3, 2008 Reply

    Thanks for the info but I don’t know how to get there. My batchmates said to use LRT2 but their directions stop there.

  3. mschumey07 Schumey January 4, 2008 Reply

    I think its Betina Go/Broadway station. Its the station in front of St. Paul’s College. Take the Recto LRT2 station if you’re coming from Manila. If you’re coming from EDSA, take the MRT from Baclaran-Taft to Farmers/Cubao station, then transfer to LRT2. I hope you find your item there. There are other shops you can ask. Happy Hunting..

  4. atmaxplorer sylv3rblade January 4, 2008 Reply

    Ah.. I went to that store but they didn’t have a 7300gt for an AGP slot so I went another store, PC Options. I found one at rock bottom price. ^^ Again thanks for the info

  5. jphabaradas Jaypee January 6, 2008 Reply

    Sorry to hear about what happened to your PC. Hope you find the AGP card that you’re looking for and have your PC fixed soon. 🙂

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