Sunday, November 13, 2011

Technical Difficulties ...ugh!

They say trouble comes in threes.   Two weeks ago, the little truck had to have two new tires.  The old ones were literally down to the wire.  Last week, the transmission went bad in the same truck.  Well, technically just two of the five gears went bad ...but it still means a complete rebuild.   Since the second problem was astronomically more expensive than the first one, I was dreading the third thing.  That proverbial other shoe felt like it was hanging right over my head. 

Well, I didn't have to fret about it for long.  As soon as I walked in the door from my two days of visiting the granddaughter, I heard this loud annoying hum emanating from my computer.  Looks like one of the fans in the CPU is about to crap out on me.   It seems to be the one that cools the tower itself and not the CPU fan.  But if I ignore it long enough, I'll only end up with a bigger problem.  In light of the tire and transmission expenses we've already incurred this month, hauling the computer down to the shop for someone else to fix is out of the question.  I'll just have to dust off my 'geek hat' and do it myself. 

The inside of a computer is not terribly complicated these days.  Plug-n-play is more than just a catchy phrase.  Most of the internal components 'plug in' on the inside of your box just like a printer or other external peripheral would plug in on the outside of your box.  Usually the hardest part of the operation is figuring out how to open the case.  Since my tower has been with me about 10 years, I'm already familiar with how to  open it up. 

The fans themselves are not expensive so after I get the model number for both fans, I'll probably pick up two of the one that's currently on it's last legs and one of the CPU fans.  For all I know they're the same model, but that would be ultra convenient so I'm not counting on it.  Whatever the case is, I'll have to replace the bad fan and want to end up with a spare for both of them.  About $30 ought to do it if I pick them up in town somewhere and don't have to add shipping to the equation. 

Normally, my computer is up and running 24/7 because I'm lazy and impatient.  I don't want to have to turn it on and wait the two or three minutes for it to boot up and load everything.  Lazy and impatient, I know.  But in deference to the loud complaints from the bad fan, I'm going to modify my behavior at least until I get it fixed.  The computer will be shut down as soon as I finish this post and will remain shut down for most of the week.  Actually changing out the fan is about a 30 minute job and that includes opening the case and chasing out the dust bunnies that are sure to be there.  But I'm pretty sure it will be at least Friday before I can pick up the parts and probably next Saturday before I have time to install it.  

I'm just grateful that this time it's something I can fix myself and for not too much money. I'll have to limit my email and surfing to the allotted break times at my office.  I never take my 15 minute morning and afternoon breaks but I betcha I do this week ...just to get my 'web fix' ...ha!   But I only get those two 15 minute breaks and one half-hour lunch break at work, so I probably won't have time to post any comments.  I'm a confirmed net-ahlolic so being 'unplugged' at home won't be fun.  But who knows what productive things I might accomplish around the house without the Internet to distract me every evening!  


  1. Good for you. Geeks aren't cheap these days.

  2. @Stephen...
    Nothing is cheap these days, so we do what we can ourselves and bite the bullet to pay someone when doing it ourselves is not an option ...i.e., the transmission in the truck. I can replace the bad fan and buy one spare for both fans for about a third of a what a geek shop would cost me. But too bad MY skill saves us only $50 or $60 while the the skills we DON'T have cost us thirty times that figure. Such is life.

  3. @kx59...
    I know, anything with moving parts has a finite lifespan. I had to replace the same fan about five years ago. Five years is a pretty good life for a little $10 fan. I bought a computer desk about six years ago, one of the more 'furniture looking' kind with a nice finish and a nifty little cabinet on the left side to house the cpu. I knew better but I was short on space so I tucked my cpu in there. CPU's do NOT like enclosed spaces. They generate too much heat and the fans can't cool them fast enough. So when the fan crapped out the first time, I set the cpu up in the knee hole cubby under the desk. It's a little more cramped for me but a lot roomier and cooler for the computer. THIS TIME, when I get finished tinkering with it, I'm going to set it up on TOP of the desk where at least when I need to check or change a cable or crack the case open, I'm not crawling around on the floor. I've rearranged my office just recently and moved the big ol' scanner/printer/copier/fax machine OFF the desk so I have plenty of room for the CPU up there. Live and learn. Sometimes we are our own worst student.

  4. Happy Birthday HB. We can't wait till we can get back down there to see y'all.

  5. Thanks, MDR. Looking forward to it!