Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Building It Ourselves

For those of you who have been reading my Twitter Tweets over the last couple of weeks, you'd know that Craig and I decided to build our own computer. Our home PC is about 6 years old and ever since Craig got an IPod and took up a HUGE chunk of memory with the tunes for it, we've seen horribly slow run times and any cool program we get for it doesn't run well, if at all.

We had heard that building a computer these days is fairly easy if you do a little home work, and that it can result in getting a computer for a substantially lower price than what one would find in the store. You can also put in more advanced items than what the average box retailers would have in their pre-build systems. So we figured we were clever enough to build one ourselves.

Well... we thought we were, anyway. And to be honest I still think we are. We followed 3 different sets of directions to make sure that we didn't miss a step. Everything seemed to go according to plan - the pieces fit where they were supposed to and all seemed good. Then after a few hours of careful assembly and anticipation, we plugged it in and turned it on.

Unfortunately only a portion of it powered up - just the part that was plugged into the motherboard. Not the hard drive, or the DVD player/writer, or the two extra case fans. Those would not come on. We tried a few things, taking some things back appart and reassembling, then plugging it back in, only to have the same results. Finally we got out the voltage tester that came with our computer builder's tool kit and discovered that the power supply wasn't working properly. While there was power going to the cable that connected to the mother board, there did not seem to be any voltage in the other power cables. So now we have to get the vendor to send us a return tag, then send the power supply back, and wait for a replacement. In another three weeks I hope we'll have a new, working, awesomely fast PC. Or we'll find out that we messed something else up. Either way, that power supply can't get here soon enough.

1 comment:

ManoDogs said...


It isn't that easy, is it?

I know; I've been doing it for 15 years and have 11 partial computers around the house. Every few months or so, I decide I am going to get back to work on my "Super-Computer" (the one that will rival Visa's and cause car lights to dim as they pass the house), only to find out something doesn't work right or something is in conflict.

In all this time, I can honestly say I have never once put together a computer that worked right off the bat!

Depending on how much power you need, a decent power supply can be had for as little as $50-60. Don't let the customer rep oversell you; having more power flow really can cause damage, and you don't need it anyway.

Good luck!