Sunday, September 18, 2011

Computer Troubleshooting

On Wednesday last week, I used the desktop computer downstairs to check my email.
{This is the old workhorse computer- ancient, battered, much loved, and the one we talk about nervously, wondering just when it will finally give up the ghost. So much so  that I did a complete backup of the files I would be sad to lose only last week, just to be on the safe side.}

It worked perfectly then. A while later, I walked down to school to collect DD4 and after we had walked home and prepared tea, I decided to crank up the computer and catch up on my blog-reading. I pressed the "on" button and nothing happened. Not a beep, bleep, crank, whirr, cough or any sort of sound at all.  I checked the other electrical equipment, wondering if we had suddenly lost power in the house. Nope, everything else was working well, including the computer monitor.

I turned the power off at the wall socket, waiting a few minutes, and tried turning the computer on again. Still nothing.
How strange. In my naievete, I would have expected the computer to have at least bleeped or something even  if it was on the way out....  After a few rants and raves about the handful of new files being lost since the last backup, and the lack of money to buy a new desktop computer  in light of DH's uncertain status at work  at present, I consoled myself with the thought that DH would be travelling home this evening and would no doubt have a look at it before pronouncing it dead.

Later in the evening, my beloved arrived home. After making him supper and a cup of tea, I mentioned the apparently defunct computer.  He pressed the button, and nothing happened. We turned off the mains power etc again, and tried  again. Nothing. DH found a spare power cable and we tried plugging that into the back of the computer.

Whirr, Beep. And there was Life !

So we had now tracked the problem to the power cable, which we could replace.  The computer is on a desk in the corner of the room, and changing a cable involves some poor soul lying on his/her back on the floor, feeding cables through an inch wide gap , so it is not for the faint-hearted. DH changed into his old clothes, knowing there would be dust etc in the darkest recesses of the cabling  junctions, and set to work, pulling in the old cable from the computer through the spaghetti tangle of wires.

"Goodness", he said, "the cable is quite badly kinked. Most likely that's the problem."
 He followed the cables back  behind the children's huge craft box to the multi-socket extension power cable leading to the main socket in the wall, and there was a shout. He had indeed found the problem, and he held out a battered, much-chewed and loved bone.

The dog likes to sit/lie on the children's craft box,  and always has done, for some bizarre reason.  He had obviously dropped the bone behind the craft box and had been scrabbling/pawing at the cables to pull the bone out again, and in doing so, had partially dislodged the power cable from the electrical socket.
 No wonder the computer wouldn't work; it wasn't receiving power from the mains ! And nothing short of a miracle that the dog hadn't electrocuted himself in the process !

The dog was by now happily bouncing around the room clutching his beloved bone in his jaws, with his tail wagging as though he had just won the Lottery. DH and I were profoundly relieved that the dog was okay and that the computer lives on to fight another day.

Although we have our web-books, I find that I cannot use mine for long periods of time as the screen is only 7 inches wide, and  as the problems with my sight become worse, I am finding that I especially need the large 17 inch monitor screeen  for any detailed/complex tasks.

DH is now officially my superhero . As for Basil, he is indeed the Dog of Doom, and obviously has at least nine lives :-)
Share with friends using the share button below.


margaret said...

It is so nice when computer problems resolve themselves with a change of cable! My screen wouldn't work a while ago for a very similar reason, the cats had been able to get behind the desk and just by dint of going in and out had loosened the cable. Luckily I've learned to push in all cables before panicking so we were alright. And we're very, very glad Basil is alright too.

elizabeth said...

glad problem was solved! :) and yay for your DH!

Anonymous said...

I'm with you. I much prefer my old fashioned desk top workhorse to a book or laptop. My hands are too big for the keyboards and I find them generally just frustrating to use. I'm glad yours had an easy fix.

Rhapsody B. said...

I love computers but they can be a pain. Right now my desktop too has gone and i have to take it into the shop to have a look at. The guy keeps trying to convince me to purchasse a new one but until i know for sure i have to bury my desktop a fix will do just fine.

oooooh glad your dog is fine. love dogs from a distance, perhaps it had to do with the way we grew up, in the islands dogs had their own houses outside (that were scrubbed and cleaned daily) not inside. Understand pet lovers as pets can be loving can't get with the pets in the house, on the sofa in the bed.

Have a great week.