I was lured into the technical and hardware components in computers by video games. Essentially, I first developed an interest in computers in order to enjoy online gaming. However, my fun was cut short by a hardware-related crash, which persisted until I found an online solution. Before I started playing online games, I had never had any real interest in computers and how they functioned. However, I have always been a mechanical enthusiast and was always eager to probe into any device or machine in a bid to learn the mechanics behind its operations.
This is not surprising considering that I was raised in an automobile repair family. My father and uncle had setup an auto shop in town and being naturally curious, I would watch the two men hours on end and I quickly picked up useful auto skills in the process. I was quick to grasp the basics and my father soon recruited me into this line of work.
When the online gaming hype hit me, I quickly acquired a good personal computer and loaded it with many games and various peripheral gadgets to enhance the experience. However, after using the machine for about six months, the machine started crashing randomly and I had to reboot it manually. The crashes usually occurred multiple times in a day when I was gaming, which was very frustrating. I searched the internet in a bid to find a solution and implemented all my mechanical knowhow but I could not fix the glitch.
I tried all online suggestions. I updated my computer’s drivers and installed the latest operating system without success. I even installed the latest antivirus programs and conducted virus scans and memory diagnostics. I also applied my auto know-how to the problem and conducted heat tests but the problem persisted. I could not believe it. I mean, here I was, ‘auto-man the mechanical genius’ and I could not fix my own computer and enjoy an online duel. Incidentally, my technical skills were limited to automobiles in a big way.
After I posted the problem on Facebook, one of my social media buddies referred me to a website called Suggest-A-Fix. He told me that he had visited the website a while back and he might have stumbled on such a problem on the website’s discussion forums but did not pay attention to it. However, when I visited the website, there was nothing of the sort. That is when I was introduced to the Wayback Machine. The Wayback Machine archives WebPages retaining posted materials even after the material has been changed or the website has been closed.
I searched the archived materials for the period suggested by my friend and I quickly came across a lengthy discussion on the issue. Under the general computing discussion forums on hardware and multimedia problems, I came across a forum that focused on the issue that was posted several years ago. After reading through most of the suggestions, which mainly prescribed actions I had already taken, I came across a very surprising idea. Dust accumulation inside the machine. At first I almost ignored the post, since I had vacuumed the machine numerous times in the past in a bid to solve thee crashes.
However, the article recommended that I should vacuum ‘out’ instead of ‘in’, order to eliminate dust particles on the CPU. I immediately took the computer outside and using a reversed canister vacuum cleaner, I blew out all the dust from the computer. I concentrated on the CPU heat-sink and made sure that all the dust was gone. After reconnecting my computer, the problem vanished and I enjoyed a really satisfactory game session. Apparently, dust had accumulated between the CPU fins causing overheating, which resulted in the random crashes. I was really amazed at the simple solution to the seemingly behemoth problem.