My office uses decade old refurbished optiplexs. One of them even runs win7 32bit (ALL the rest or 64 bit) last night I stayed late to finalize some setup for moving the shared folder from a network shared external drive plugged into one person's computer. Over to a system that'll act as a NAS as well as run some simple automation (nightly backups mostly)

While doing that I remembered one person complaining their computer not always booting right. So I turned it on. Made sure it worked didn't notice any obvious issues. Turned it off. Unplugged it. Opened it up. didn't see any obvious issues so I closed it back up. Tried to turn it back on and it refused. Then I smelled burning electronics. Quickly turned it off unplugged and opened.

I think something shorted and the hard drive finally failed or something. I don't know what exactly it could've been but I threw a fit and left for the day
I'm currently in my way in early to swap that computer out and do some more investigating. Wish me luck talking to my boss less than a month in and something breaks while I'm in the office alone

  • 9
    Hardware breaks, it's a rule of life. If your boss doesn't get that, Fuck him.
  • 3
    I used to work fixing laptops and one model had a problem in that when you reassembled it it could short out due to one soldered pin being very long and any miss alignment would put it in contact with another circuit.

    You always had to remember to check those and cut them or you got to replace one of the embedded conduits with a new cable you soldered on.

    Luckily it was always the same one that burned and it was only about 20 min work, but then you preferably would like to have it on ventilation a day or to before returning to the customer or they would ask about the smell :/
  • 2
    Some years ago a university team I worked in had a small design error in the DIY high voltage battery box and one day when closing the box it caused a short circuit and after a small (big) spark 25k € worth of batteries were on fire. Of course the room was destroyed as well, however fortunately not the whole building.
  • 2
    So yeah, hardware breaks and you're lucky if it's just that particular piece of hardware that is ruined.
  • 1
    @Voxera which year was this, 1984?
  • 1
    @saucyatom sounds like a big design error to me
  • 2
    @electrineer no ;). 1993-94.
  • 1
    @electrineer I don't remember the specifics (and I haven't worked on the battery at all), it may as well have been a slipup when building the thing. Huge impact though: Trying to get the insurance to cover the damages to the building (iirc 6 figures), squeezing sponsors for another 20k for new batteries and then building the damn thing the right way within a few weeks instead of months and of course finally using it without really any time to test the whole system.
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