Tales From a Computer Guy: “It Won’t Turn On!!!”

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I used to work for the now-defunct Totally Awesome Computers. This was a chain of local computer sales/repair shops in Northern Utah. What made us stand out from the competition were our high-quality, name-brand-component computers we sold under our own brand – oh, and the slightly nutty owner/local celebrity who went by the name of “Super Dell”.

With any sort of service-centered business, one has to be patient with customers. Thanks to the “antics” of our owner, we had to be very “diplomatic” — especially about what caused problems on systems customers brought in to be fixed.

One day a gentleman came in with his broken computer, very upset, but not necessarily at us. There had been a major power fault at his house which took out his TV, DVD Player, and his computer. He checked his computer in and left is with us for diagnosis.

The capacitors in his power supply and a few on his motherboard had popped. We replaced the power supply and the motherboard, sold him a UPS to help protect his electronic components, and all was well.

No more than half-an-hour after we sent him home, he came back even more mad: “I brought it in because it wouldn’t turn on, and when I got it home, it STILL won’t turn on!!!”

I plugged his computer in to the display system, and pushed the power button: no POST. I checked the power cable and noticed the main power switch on the PSU was in the OFF position. I flipped it, pushed the power button again, and the system came right on. He flipped out about how he’d never had to do that before, and his last power supply didn’t have one of those, but he left with a working computer.

The icing on the cake? He was my neighbor – lived one street over from me. I saw him in church every week after that and remembered the very “flowery language” he used when he got really frustrated.

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