Guru's World 02/2000: A collection of seven rants Tue, Feb-01-2000
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Introduction:(4263 Reads)
Here is a collection of seven rants from the tech bench of jonnyGURU....

Page 1:

RANT ONE (It fired right up)

I had a rough day.

I work as a tech in a mail order warehouse. Part of my job is handling RMAs. An RMA is a product that is returned to us by a consumer using a Return Merchandise Authorization.

Today started with two motherboards and a CPU. All three pieces were returned because they were "dead". No boot. No life. Guess what...

First was a BCM QS750. The customer swore up and down that the board never booted. He said he had two others just like them and did not have a problem with them, so I assumed he knew what he was doing. I got the board back, and it fired right up. The first observation was how many things were changed in the BIOS. There was so many changes made, that I had to clear the CMOS just so I could boot up into Windows with my hard drive. But he told me this board was dead!?!

The next RMA was for a AMD Athlon 550. Returned for a credit. Again, the RMA reads "dead". I popped the CPU into the other customer's BCM QS750 and guess what....

It fired right up.

So I boot into Windows and run SiSoft Sandra on it. Everything is up to snuff. I decide to let a few loops of BCM Diagnostic run (a GREAT burn in program) while I move on to the next RMA.

This next board is an Asus K7M. Reason for return is "dead". Before I even looked at the board, I yelled and screamed about how he shipped it. He took the K7M box and wrapped it in brown paper (like a grocery bag) and slapped a label on it. The box was SMASHED. I thought for sure that I would open this and find EVERY CAPACITOR that was over 1/2" tall broken off. Much to my amazement, the board was in good condition. This guy is one lucky bastard.

Upon further inspection of the board, I noticed something unbelievable; every jumper and dipswitch on the board was in the complete OPPOSITE position then what it should be. That put this board at 110 MHz with a core voltage of 2.05V. It should be a default of 100 MHz and a default of 1.65V. At least when working with a board that does not even boot.

I didn't even TRY the board until I switched all of the jumpers and dipswitches back to default. I took the 550 out of the BCM and put it into the Asus. Guess what...

It fired right up.

RANT TWO (Sir, you're doing something wrong)

Now, all of this happens the day after I get off of the phone with a guy that ONLY bought a motherboard and CPU from us. He could not get it to power up. No power. No fans spinning. Nothing. We took the two pieces back and tested them....

They fired right up.

This was on a Friday, so we figured we'd let it run over the weekend. We came in Monday and it was STILL running diags. We sent it back to him. So why did he call yesterday? He said he got it back and it didn't fire up.

I said, "Sir, you're doing something wrong."

He said, "What could I be doing wrong?" I told him, just as I told him before he ever shipped it back, to bench test the board out of the case. If it doesn't boot at this point then the problem is the power supply. Of course I had him test the power supply with a jumper wire before giving him the RMA for the board and CPU the week before, but I was thinking that maybe the power supply wasn't offering enough power. Not like he got the power supply from us to begin with, but I decided to be helpful.

He called back. It fired right up! I said, "Great! Now install it in the case and see what happens!" Deep inside, I was thinking how I told this jackass to do this BEFORE he shipped it back and he SAID he did, but obviously he did not. He called back later. Now that it's in the case, it doesn't fire up.

I said, "Sir, you're doing something wrong."

I told him to check to see if any extra brass stand offs were mounted in the case that could be touching the bottom of the motherboard. He found an extra stand off, removed it and the board fired right up. But, it didn't post. He asked me why it didn't post. I told him to disconnect EVERYTHING. Keyboard, LEDs, IDE cables. EVERYTHING. Only a monitor should be plugged in. "Try it again." It doesn't post. At this point I'm a tad perturbed. He only bought the board and CPU and he didn't have the troubleshooting skills to figure out that he had an extra stand off touching the bottom of the board. I'm guessing he probably has an issue with the power supply or screwed the board up with the extra stand off.... I could only say one thing to him before finally hanging up the phone:

I said, "Sir, you're doing something wrong."

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