The fan on our main PC has been misbehaving for the past couple of months (buzzing intermittently), which is a fairly good indication that the bearing has been going. The bearing seized completely within the past few days, but I’m not exactly sure when it happened.

So, time to replace things. The last time this happened (over a decade ago, on my machine of that time), I replaced the fan, which seemed to do the trick. This time around it looked a little more tricky; I’d have to unsolder the old fan from a very crowded circuitboard in the PSU. Discretion being the better part of valour, I decided that the easiest option would be to just buy a new power supply, and get one that was a bit quieter than that on the old machine.

So, hippety-hop to Maplins, and back again with a new PSU. Removed the old one and fitted the new one, being careful to ground myself before doing so. New PSU is indeed quiet, and pulls air through in a way that the old PSU no longer did…and the machine as a whole is dead. Doesn’t boot, doesn’t even get as far as the BIOS prompt. Looks very much as though, despite my precautions, I’ve just killed it.

And this is why I’m a computer scientist, and not a computer engineer.

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