PC surgery

I'm not much good at DIY; I can assemble flat pack furniture (with much profanity and damage to thumbs) but that's about my limit. I'm getting pretty good at poking around inside a PC though. My desktop PC failed mysteriously in the middle of last week. I shut it down on Wednesday night and it wouldn't start on Thursday morning. It's two months out of warranty so no chance of help from the manufacturer.

When I pressed the power button absolutely nothing happened. The PC didn't even attempt to start up, which suggested that the power supply unit [PSU] had failed. Now, I've done some minor PC fixing - installed RAM chips, hard drives, DVD drives etc. - but I figured this was beyond me.

So yesterday I called one of those rapid response PC repair people. He came over, pressed the power button a few times and told me he figured the PSU had gone. Err, yes, I figured that too but could he fix it? No. He had a PSU with him but it wasn't powerful enough for my machine. A brief debate over whether I should pay his £60 callout fee followed (I didn't) and he left.

Faced with the prospect of several more days without my PC I decided to have a go myself. I bought a PSU this afternoon, lugged it back home and got to work. And you know what? Fitting a new one is not that tricky.

First, I found the cable which powers the motherboard, plugged it into the new PSU and tested the power. Success! The PC tried to start up. Obviously the old power supply was at fault. So from there I started systematically tracing each cable from the power supply to the component it powered and, one by one, I replaced them with cables to the new power unit.

With that done I tested it again. It still worked. So I unscrewed the old PSU, screwed the new one into place and here we are: one working PC.

Of course, bragging about my technical prowess on my blog all but guarantees that some technical hitch will strike the next time I power up but I'll risk it.

So now the only part of a PC I've never tampered with is the motherboard, which is the really techy bit. I'm tempted to try that soon though. Once this PC comes to the end of its life - which is at least a year away - maybe I'll build the next one myself.