While I update this blog on a strict when-I-feel-like it basis, any missing posts over the four weeks (and beyond) is outside of my control. My computer is broken.

While none of my problems were truly terrifying (as in, my hard drive is perfectly fine), I still had one of the weirdest problems ever. My computer kept freezing. It happens to everybody, you’re using the computer and suddenly everything just stops. Mine was different though, it wasn’t a software problem. I tried using Windows when Ubuntu kept freezing but it froze too and I got worried. Then my computer started freezing before an OS could start, while the BIOS was loading.

I freaked, removed every non-mission critical piece of hardware, and cursed the man who invented the PC. I ordered some new memory but it took me 8 days to get ahold of it. For some reason UPS required someone to sign for it (usually they just leave it), and between two attempts to deliver the package to the wrong address, the delivery man knocked quietly enough to go unnoticed by my roommates. A notice that nearly flew away with the wind became my only connection to the package. I went to UPS’s customer service place to pick it up, but they closed before I could reach it. And so it goes.

Once I finally got ahold of the memory it had not effect. I brought it to a repair place and they returned it to me a few days later saying it was the power supply and it wasn’t. Now they seem to think it’s the motherboard. I have an Asus P5N32-SLI Deluxe. It’s the most expensive part of my computer because I decided that I wanted a quality motherboard since it was the only part I didn’t intend to change in the future and it ends up being the first thing to break down.

Asus now wants me to send it to them, but I’d rather they just give me my money back. Besides the fact that I’ll have to wait a while for it to make the trip back here, I have this cold feeling that tells me it’ll arrive at my doorstep still broken. I’ve had some bad experiences with hardware manufacturers sending back refurbished hardware that other people sent to them. I’m sure some people send in hardware that can be easily fixed and sent to other customers but all I’ve ever gotten back is unfixible hardware that belong in the garbage.

This has taken away countless hours of coding from me, as well as money, time and it’s even hurting my grades. I’m taking two computer courses in college right now. I don’t have a car so getting to a repair shop or mailing a broken motherboard is a huge hassle that requires me to ask large favors of people around me. I don’t have any choice but to send the motherboard back in, but I wonder if I’ll ever get it fixed without a replacement.

Update: 6 weeks later… it looks like I’ve got a working computer again. I still don’t know what was wrong other than it was the motherboard. Asus sent me back someone else’s motherboard, which I know because they left the original owner’s settings intact, something that they shouldn’t have done. I’ll probably never buy from Asus again. To be fair, it looks like they sent me a working motherboard, so it could be worse, but meeting the most basic requirements isn’t enough. This motherboard was supposed to be something I could trust, that’s why I spent the extra money on it. Now I’m stuck with it, wondering when this one is going to break down.

One Response to “Woe is Me (aka My Computer Broke Down)”

  1. Greg Caporaso Says:

    Have you tried cleaning the CPU’s heat sink? I had a similar problem with a Dell laptop — it was truly baffling. It turned out that dust was building up on the heat sink, and not allowing effective heat dissipation. I used some compressed air to clean the heat sink, and no more freezing. Months of frustration ended with a $5 can of compressed air!

    Good luck!

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