Re: Totaly toasted :(
- From: Paul <nospam@xxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 01 Aug 2009 03:13:34 -0400
I turned on my 5 y/o computer and actually smelled smoke. The $%$$^%(^% thing toasted itself. So I went out and bought a ready made one. Not bad. But now I want to get a new monitor. My old eyes can't zero in on the small fonts on a 36" LCD TV that was my monitor. Anyone hear of a brand called 'Acer'? They got a nice on sale w/speakers for $170. That's cheap (like me :)
Also the new one has SLI and won't read my old HD, that is IDE. It also can't be read on another computer that's IDE. Think I toasted that too?
If you smelled smoke, then the power supply was definitely under stress.
Many power supplies can die, without damaging the motherboard, hard drives
and so on. But some brands are really bad for collateral damage. For
example, Bestec 250W, used in some pre-built computers, are known to
have elevated output voltage when they fail, which kills stuff.
The power supply has a label on it, with a brand name and model number.
Firing up your search engine, you may be able to find whether that
PSU has a habit of toasting other stuff.
If you don't actually have an IDE connector inside your new computer, you
can try an adapter. The reason I like this style, is the way the connectors
are arranged, tells you the conversion type. This one is an IDE drive
to SATA host adapter. The SATA connector is designed, so you can run a
SATA cable over to the motherboard. The adapter draws power from a floppy
disk connector, so you may need a "Y" power cable to help power it.
Some adapters don't include the necessary power cable, which sucks.
Features: Quickly converts older IDE/Ultra DMA devices for use with
newer Serial ATA controllers Compact L-shaped design reduces
interference with other devices Connects directly to an
IDE drive - no expansion slot required Connects most large
Ultra ATA 133/100/66/ hard disk drives to the latest Serial
ATA controllers. Works with many ATAPI optical storage devices
This is an example of one, where the power cable is included. The
two Molex connectors, allow "daisy chaining" the power connector,
into the existing collection of power supply wiring. This style of
power cable is useful, when the power supply has no spare connectors.
Since the cable has a male and a female, it can be put "in-line" with
an existing connector.
Always read the reviews when selecting units like that - some don't
support optical drives all that well, while others handle everything
Once the drive is "converted" to SATA, you can drop down to the BIOS
on the next power up, and see if the drive name is reported. If you
see the drive name ("Maxtor YARG1234") and the details look correct,
you may be able to get some data back. If the BIOS can't see the
drive, that is your first warning of trouble.
If you know the brand of drive, the manufacturer of the drive may have
a diagnostic program for download. For example, I have a floppy with
Seagate software on it, and I downloaded that from seagate.com .
The floppy has FreeDOS, as well as the Seagate test program.
It boots and gives a cute graphical screen. I can run tests on
my Seagate drives, using that utility. There are also versions for
running from within Windows. There are some manufacturers which provide
next to nothing, so not all are so generous. There may also be
versions suitable for burning a CD with.
With regard to your existing monitor, you can adjust the font size in Windows.
Display control panel: Settings: Advanced: General: DPI setting.
Mine is set to "120DPI (125% normal size)". This screws up how
text fits in some Windows dialog boxes, but it does make the text
a bit larger.
You can also enable ClearType.
Display control panel: Appearance: Effects:
(tick) "Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts"
ClearType feathers the edges of text, and sort of makes
the text a bit bolder. This helps the legibility. In some
cases, you see color fringing, and you may need to fiddle
around with it a bit. I have ClearType turned on right now,
because otherwise the text would not be bold enough.
So you don't have to buy a new monitor - some adjustments
may make a "keeper" from the existing one.
One other thing - make sure you're running the screen at
native resolution. Say the unit has "1366 x 768" as native.
Then the set would prefer to be run at that resolution, so
the pixels are not re-sampled before being displayed.
Some LCD TVs are weird, in that the "PC" computer input on
the set, doesn't actually support native resolution operation.
All the supported resolutions are re-sampled ones. That is
an unfortunate design choice. With more modern sets, there
seem to be more of them which offer to run the thing "native"
via the VGA/DVI/HDMI connector.
In my example of "1366 x 768", that is actually a nasty
choice for PC usage. A PC may be able to manage 1360 x 768
or 1368 x 768, using a tool such as PowerStrip. LCD TVs are
a bit more clever now, when a PC is connected, and they
have workarounds so you don't have to feed them exactly
1366 horizontal. So while the native may be 1366 x 768,
the set may apply small black bands when 1360 x 768 is
fed to it by a PC. Some older sets attempted to
re-sample to 1366, with ugly results.
Native resolution may make icons and text tiny, but with
enough persistence on your part, you can adjust so they're
visible. Native resolution gives the sharpest image.
In terms of new LCD devices, when you say "I'm paying $170.00",
then I know you're getting a TN panel. There are about five
panel types, with TN dominating the market and virtually
wiping out the others. TN has some color shift, as you
move your head from side to side. If that doesn't bother
you, then a TN panel should suit you well.
I like to shop in person for this stuff, at least to see
what passes for a monitor. The last time I was inside a
Best Buy, nothing in there was worth looking at. Doing that
little exercise, is a great way to make you happy with your
current monitor :-)
This $170 Acer seemed to get some good reviews, so maybe
it'll be OK. Check to see if anyone reports dead pixels,
before you buy. They don't bust up all the panels with
dead pixels, so someone ends up buying them.
- Totaly toasted :(
- From: Bob
- Totaly toasted :(
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