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When It Rains, It Pours

So yesterday evening, I finally decided to shut off my computer and blow all the dust out of it. I never shut it off or reboot it unless I really need to. So I take it out into the 103 degree heat (it was 107 today) and start blowing all the dust out of my trusty 3 year old computer.

I happen to notice that the motherboard chipset heatsink was lying on the back of the video card. As some of you know, this isn’t right. Then I realize the mechanism that holds it down has broken. One of the two anchors that hold it to the board had come off. The offending piece is shown below. As you can see, it is basically just like a little header.

Having a broken computer really irked me because this was supposed to be a short cleaning job. So with little recourse, I took the system a part so I could pull the motherboard out. After looking at the board from the bottom, there was a little bit of solder left but it seems that 3 years of almost constant operation, well over a dozen moves and other wear and tear caused it to come out. Due to the nature of the board design, there wasn't much I could do without that anchor.

So I had to try and fix it. Luckily using a circuit board clamp, some solder and some luck I was able to re-attach it. And after buying some thermal paste for it today, I was able to get my system back up and running this evening after work. Luckily I didn't damage the board at all it seems when I repaired it.

Overall I suppose I should consider myself lucky because I have no doubt that if I hadn't caught the problem then, it would have fallen off on its own eventually and that would have been very bad. I would have lost the board for sure and since all the other components are obsolete now, I would have had to buy a whole new computer.

So there is another little bit to this tale of computer woe. So last night I wanted to watch some TV and with my desktop out of commission, I had to use my laptop. And on my laptop, I've recently started using Linux on it. Pretty much everything works but I am having an issue with the screen shutting off when the lid is closed. Anyways, I fell asleep while watching some TV. When I went to power off my laptop, it wouldn’t respond and the screen didn't come back on when I opened the lid. So I just killed the power.

Then this morning before work when I powered it back up, KDE wouldn't start up. The cause? No available disk space. Yes, all 45GB of my root partition was suddenly full. So after modifying a command that I found online, I came home during my lunch break and was able to figure out what was taking up all the space. The log for the ACPI daemon was 42GB! So deleting that file cleared up that problem. And if anyone wants to find the top 10 biggest files and directories, this is what I did:

du -a / | sort -n -r | head -n 10

Posted on: Jul 5, 2007 at 7:01 pm - (1) comments.

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