New PC: Beyond frustrated

Cindy Claveau

Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2018
Messages
688
Joined SLU
June 2007
SLU Posts
44402
Update and resolution: It still surprises me a bit that I am so completely and utterly dependent on my internet connection! The day I received the Cyberpower PC and failed to get it set up and working correctly, I felt strong twinges of anxiety, even some sadness. It was as if a Kansas tornado had swept through my life and left me bereft. That's not overly dramatizing how I felt. Lost sleep, high anxiety, lots of stress on top of feeling shut in with the pandemic.

But as I knee-jerked around my home office looking for solutions, things evolved. First, I dug out the old laptop I'd purchased several years ago that I had intended to use on business trips when all I wanted was email and word processing. And that's all it really should ever do. But plugging it in to the older monitor I thought had fried, the monitor came alive! I had picture! Follow by connecting mouse & keyboard, and while the CPU ran like a dog, at least I could accomplish a few things online. Including shopping. (Uh oh)

Back to my innate impatience and impulsivity. I drove over to Best Buy to return the new curved monitor and get my $400 back. While there, I looked at their desktop displays. Saw one with almost exactly the same setup as my Cyberpower and offered to buy the display model. "No, we can't sell those". Ok, fine, order me one. Rush ship for extra $$ and it'll be here by Tuesday (tomorrow as I write this). I don't care if it is $1300, gimme! :confusedcat:

Feeling like I had taken a desperate step to restore my full connectivity, I now had a new source of anxiety - what if the new one doesn't work either? How can I box up the Cyberpower and ship it when I'd rather avoid the PO and UPS? When would I ever have a working desktop work PC again?

The solution finally hit me on Saturday. It was so simple I felt like I should probably enroll in self-help classes. I found a PC repair shop 2 blocks up from my house in a small shopping center. The kind of shopping center we are all familiar with - vacant store fronts, crumbling pavement, a few hold outs trying to stay afloat. Yelp reviews were positive. Now, all I had to do was wait for them to open Monday. Me, the impatient one :fryingpan:.

Long story short: The local store had my Cyberpower video up and running in an hour on Monday and even installed my spare 4TB HD (Something I could normally do but the layout in the box was unfamiliar). The tech, who had the same name as my husband, said he had to add another HD connector cable to the motherboard just to add a drive - yes, that's how Cyberpower builds their crap. First Cyberpower had too many wires and it looked like a bird's nest inside. This one, though, is as spartan as a Japanese dining room. To save money I suppose. No more Cyberpowers, ever.

Final bill for the repair: $53. How easy can it get?

Took it home, plugged it in, gasped at the speed of this new beast and now my biggest issue is remembering which USB drive held all my backups for my applications and games and photoshop brushes.

The PC I ordered from Best Buy on impulse is due to arrive today via UPS. I won't even open the box. Best Buy is 2 miles from me, and I can drive it over immediately upon receipt and ask to return it. Yes, they will ding me for restocking fees like they did for the monitor. Probably about $75+. But for the grand total of $150 in return costs plus maybe another $40 in miscellaneous cables and connectors I'd bought, I would return to homeo stasis and have my "major upgrade" with the Cyberpower machine. I will deal with the fiscal fallout of the unnecessary additional costs later. Lesson learned.

The repair tech said "But that will avoid the warranty" if he opened the case and started replacing things.

I laughed at him.
 

Free

Antifa-tigued
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 22, 2018
Messages
18,285
Location
Moonbase Caligula
SL Rez
2008
Joined SLU
2009
SLU Posts
55565
The repair tech said "But that will avoid the warranty" if he opened the case and started replacing things.
I've learned that you should always avoid the extended warranty.

:sneaky:

But seriously, it's rarely worth the cost. (Unless it's a Mac!)
 

Eunoli

SLU Cassandra
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
1,025
SL Rez
2002
I bought a new PC from CyberPower about a year and a half ago. It was a piece of really expensive junk with issues that caused it to be impossible to turn off (I had to cut the power to do it) and BSOD randomly. I couldn't return it because I needed it for work and so just dealt with it until it got worse and worse and - I now have a PC from OriginPC which arrived beautifully built and now contains my fancy bits and pieces from the Cyberpower one. Its wonderful and I'm using the old one as a server.

I used to build my own PCs, but lately I don't feel confident enough to make my own - especially after the Cyberpower fiasco.
 
  • 1Like
Reactions: Cindy Claveau

Cindy Claveau

Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2018
Messages
688
Joined SLU
June 2007
SLU Posts
44402
I've learned that you should always avoid the extended warranty.
I usually shake my head vigorously before they even finish the "Would you like our..." offer. I don't laugh, but it's tempting ;)
 

Cindy Claveau

Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2018
Messages
688
Joined SLU
June 2007
SLU Posts
44402
I bought a new PC from CyberPower about a year and a half ago. It was a piece of really expensive junk with issues that caused it to be impossible to turn off (I had to cut the power to do it) and BSOD randomly. I couldn't return it because I needed it for work and so just dealt with it until it got worse and worse and - I now have a PC from OriginPC which arrived beautifully built and now contains my fancy bits and pieces from the Cyberpower one. Its wonderful and I'm using the old one as a server.

I used to build my own PCs, but lately I don't feel confident enough to make my own - especially after the Cyberpower fiasco.
I probably could build my own if I had a better workspace, but the house is too small and too busy to change it now. Plus my personal preference never to do something so technical again after not keeping up on the latest tech for years. So I'm perfectly happy hiring other people to do the work. "Helping the economy" I say :)

I probably won't be getting another computer for a long time. I'm hoping I got caught up on the tech enough with this one that it won't be necessary. I don't do VR due to my own inner ear things, and I SO much dislike the way Windows 10 works, but it is only modifiable to a certain point. Macs, never.

At least now I know I have some local support from people who actually know what they're doing, unlike me.
 

Argent Stonecutter

Emergency Mustelid Hologram
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
2,701
Location
Coonspiracy Central, Noonkkot
SL Rez
2005
Joined SLU
Sep 2009
SLU Posts
20780
The only time I've used an extended warranty was on a laptop for my daughter. She broke it badly enough it needed it, twice, so I got my money's worth.
 

Fionalein

an old grumpy cat
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
1,522
SL Rez
2017
I usually shake my head vigorously before they even finish the "Would you like our..." offer. I don't laugh, but it's tempting ;)
Conrad electronics keeps asking me wether I am a registered customer to get 1 year of extra warranty. Nice of them but it does not apply to the parts I buy after soldering... sometimes I ask them if it would make any sense in case of my purchase. I like watching that moment when the lightbulb goes on in their heads.
 

Beebo Brink

Climate Apocalypse Alarmist
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
3,356
SL Rez
2006
The only time I've used an extended warranty was on a laptop for my daughter. She broke it badly enough it needed it, twice, so I got my money's worth.
My wife prodded me into getting the extended warranty for my new Surface tablet. It's probably not justified, but since I carry the tablet around the house, I have to admit that it is in greater jeopardy than any of my other electronic devices. And I have a dog that's known to chew up phones, vacuum attachments and any thing else she can reach when she's anxious. The tablet is usually lying on an end table right under her nose.
 
  • 1Like
Reactions: Cindy Claveau

Eunoli

SLU Cassandra
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
1,025
SL Rez
2002
The only time I've used an extended warranty was on a laptop for my daughter. She broke it badly enough it needed it, twice, so I got my money's worth.
I always buy the warranty on laptops or tablets because fixing them usually means fixing a giant, expensive thing. I never do on regular pcs.
 

Jopsy Pendragon

Democracy was a nice experiment while it lasted.
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
1,232
Location
Hillcrest, San Diego, CA
SL Rez
2004
Joined SLU
2007
SLU Posts
11308
I used to be an IT/SysAdmin guy, but more along the lines of Sun Microsystems, not PC or Mac. Not that that stopped me from building out my own system many times.

Since I gave that up I've gotten pretty damned lazy about it. I go to NewEgg, look at their dead middle of the line desktop 'kits' (not gaming rigs, just regular desktop PC specs). Double the memory, go to the next higher in line but otherwise identical graphics card... and then put it together myself. Usually pretty trivial since their basic kits are just that.

I think it arrived less than 48 hours after ordering, even without express shipping.

I spent all of $1000 on my last system (not including monitor/keyboard/mouse), and that was nearly 9 years ago. Still handles SL and other games just fine. Only game it completely failed to keep up with was 'watch dogs' and... apparently a lot of people had problems with that one.
 
  • 1Like
Reactions: Cindy Claveau

Bartholomew Gallacher

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 26, 2018
Messages
2,999
SL Rez
2002
From all what I read here the system had most likely power issues with the GPU, meaning that it either it got not enough power from the power supply due to it being underpowered (which should be unlikely with such a machine being custom build for such a purpose) or the additional power connector on the GPU which most GPUs nowadays do require was plugged in the wrong way/simply missing.

The easiest way to check this is just to pull it off completely, and fire up the computer using on board graphics only. If that works, then you’ve found your source of error.

Also worth mentioning is that many modern main boards today still have at least some small LEDs for troubleshooting purposes, which are indicating the state of power up the main board is in right now.

Better main boards are even featuring a small LED display, which displays the BIOS state codes. Either way, when having such problems it is absolutely worth checking out what the main board is indicating.
 
Last edited:

Anya Ristow

Bernie Bro
Joined
Sep 23, 2018
Messages
785
SL Rez
2006
Joined SLU
Nov 2007
SLU Posts
2999
Have to tried plugging into the video connector for the motherboard, or just directly to the video card? If there is an HDMI near the motherboard back panel connectors, it will use the CPU graphics instead of the GPU, ion case that is where the problem is.
It sounds like Cindy has been thorough enough to not have made this mistake, but a common error is to plug the video cable into the motherboard video out rather than the video card. For that reason, some OEMs physically block the motherboard video ports.

But something else to try, if your CPU has on-board graphics, is to pull the video card out of the system and try the on-board graphics. Most AMD CPUs (except the low-end ones) don't have on-board graphics, and the F models of the Intel chips don't, either. But if you have on-board graphics and it works, then you've narrowed down your source of trouble.

Make sure you've checked the cables on the power supply end, too. In a pre-built the PSU probably isn't modular so the cables probably don't disconnect from the PSU, but PSUs are in short supply ATM so they might have used a more expensive model than they might have at another time.
 
  • 1Thanks
Reactions: Cindy Claveau

Katheryne Helendale

🐱 Kitty Queen 🐱
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
5,369
Location
Right... Behind... You...
SL Rez
2008
Joined SLU
October 2009
SLU Posts
65535
Update and resolution: It still surprises me a bit that I am so completely and utterly dependent on my internet connection! The day I received the Cyberpower PC and failed to get it set up and working correctly, I felt strong twinges of anxiety, even some sadness. It was as if a Kansas tornado had swept through my life and left me bereft. That's not overly dramatizing how I felt. Lost sleep, high anxiety, lots of stress on top of feeling shut in with the pandemic.

But as I knee-jerked around my home office looking for solutions, things evolved. First, I dug out the old laptop I'd purchased several years ago that I had intended to use on business trips when all I wanted was email and word processing. And that's all it really should ever do. But plugging it in to the older monitor I thought had fried, the monitor came alive! I had picture! Follow by connecting mouse & keyboard, and while the CPU ran like a dog, at least I could accomplish a few things online. Including shopping. (Uh oh)

Back to my innate impatience and impulsivity. I drove over to Best Buy to return the new curved monitor and get my $400 back. While there, I looked at their desktop displays. Saw one with almost exactly the same setup as my Cyberpower and offered to buy the display model. "No, we can't sell those". Ok, fine, order me one. Rush ship for extra $$ and it'll be here by Tuesday (tomorrow as I write this). I don't care if it is $1300, gimme! :confusedcat:

Feeling like I had taken a desperate step to restore my full connectivity, I now had a new source of anxiety - what if the new one doesn't work either? How can I box up the Cyberpower and ship it when I'd rather avoid the PO and UPS? When would I ever have a working desktop work PC again?

The solution finally hit me on Saturday. It was so simple I felt like I should probably enroll in self-help classes. I found a PC repair shop 2 blocks up from my house in a small shopping center. The kind of shopping center we are all familiar with - vacant store fronts, crumbling pavement, a few hold outs trying to stay afloat. Yelp reviews were positive. Now, all I had to do was wait for them to open Monday. Me, the impatient one :fryingpan:.

Long story short: The local store had my Cyberpower video up and running in an hour on Monday and even installed my spare 4TB HD (Something I could normally do but the layout in the box was unfamiliar). The tech, who had the same name as my husband, said he had to add another HD connector cable to the motherboard just to add a drive - yes, that's how Cyberpower builds their crap. First Cyberpower had too many wires and it looked like a bird's nest inside. This one, though, is as spartan as a Japanese dining room. To save money I suppose. No more Cyberpowers, ever.

Final bill for the repair: $53. How easy can it get?

Took it home, plugged it in, gasped at the speed of this new beast and now my biggest issue is remembering which USB drive held all my backups for my applications and games and photoshop brushes.

The PC I ordered from Best Buy on impulse is due to arrive today via UPS. I won't even open the box. Best Buy is 2 miles from me, and I can drive it over immediately upon receipt and ask to return it. Yes, they will ding me for restocking fees like they did for the monitor. Probably about $75+. But for the grand total of $150 in return costs plus maybe another $40 in miscellaneous cables and connectors I'd bought, I would return to homeo stasis and have my "major upgrade" with the Cyberpower machine. I will deal with the fiscal fallout of the unnecessary additional costs later. Lesson learned.

The repair tech said "But that will avoid the warranty" if he opened the case and started replacing things.

I laughed at him.
I'm glad you were finally able to get it working, but the IT helpdesk geek in me is now deeply curious to know if the repair guy told you what he did to fix it?
 

Aribeth Zelin

Faeryfox
Joined
Sep 23, 2018
Messages
2,696
SL Rez
2004
Joined SLU
03-11-2011
SLU Posts
9410
My husband has been making our desktops for years, but he's gotten sucked into the laptop/docking station and is trying to get me into it too.... really uncertain, I like my multi TB drive and extra goodies, and being able to easily replace when things die.
 

Fionalein

an old grumpy cat
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
1,522
SL Rez
2017
My husband has been making our desktops for years, but he's gotten sucked into the laptop/docking station and is trying to get me into it too.... really uncertain, I like my multi TB drive and extra goodies, and being able to easily replace when things die.
Just docking stations are a thing of yesterday - the new thing is EGPU cases via Thunderbolt and a NAS for storage. By limiting your heavy graphics to stationary use you can get way more out of your battery, but this solution only makes sense if you mobile use differs from stationary. Mine does but I went the cheaper route by getting a graphics tower and an itsy bitsy used Linux subnotebook for mobile use...
 

Veritable Quandry

Specializing in derails and train wrecks.
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
2,372
Location
Columbus, OH
SL Rez
2010
Joined SLU
20something
SLU Posts
42
My tower is about 8 years old. CPU is still pleanty strong, is now on its second graphics card. Will probably do one more generation of GPU before the CPU/RAM start to limit gaming. It is hard to keep running new games on high settings on a laptop 10-12 years out. I would need to replace everything about every other GPU generation to stay relevant.
 

Cindy Claveau

Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2018
Messages
688
Joined SLU
June 2007
SLU Posts
44402
I'm glad you were finally able to get it working, but the IT helpdesk geek in me is now deeply curious to know if the repair guy told you what he did to fix it?
I explained to him what happened (from my user's vantage point) and we both agreed it was probably loose cables or connectors after the PC shipped. He confirmed that one connector wasn't seated correctly. Presto, working video! :)
 
  • 1Yay!
Reactions: Katheryne Helendale