My computer died today. Well it is over ten years old. So is the spare one (this one) but the spare has been rarely used, other than for video editing and the like. So I swapped the hard disks and I’m back in business.

If I can’t fix the other one I can at least fit both hard disks in this one and maybe pinch the memory chips.

Any Techs out there? What in the name of Satan’s skidmarked underpants does this mean?

‘Chipset heatsink not detected’.

What am I supposed to do about that? A heatsink cannot fail. It is a lump of metal moulded to look like some futuristic techno-angel. No moving parts and no electronics. How can it not be detected and why is a computer even trying to detect it?

Where did it go? Did a specialist heatsink burglar sneak in while I was sleeping, dismantle the computer, steal the heatsink then put everything back as it was before? Including the dust?

As far as I can see, the insides have not been disturbed. They are very, very dusty so I’ll suck that all out with the hoover and retry it. Might just be a loose wire. There are an awful lot of wires.

For now, I do not have a spare computer because I’m using the spare. It is therefore emergency backup night since the spare is just as old as the original and I do not want to have to a) use one of the laptops all the time or b) dust off that PC1512 in the attic.

Tonight then, it’s shut up and back up for me. I haven’t yet filled in my tax refund – er, tax form yet and I do not want to lose all the evidence of skintiness I have amassed.

On another note, I have again been randomly selected for jury service. This helped to flatten my business five years ago because people who want microbiological analysis want it done today. Tell them you can’t do it for two weeks because you might end up on a jury and they go elsewhere. They don’t come back.

Just as I was about to try to revive that business, they have slapped me down again. I think I’ll just give up. They obviously don’t want any tax from me.



34 thoughts on “Electrowoes.

  1. “Just as I was about to try to revive that business”

    I thought you’d given up on the science-y bit at least until we had some UKIP MPs after the next election to curb the worst excesses of the small-business-hating Big Three parties?


    • I still have the lab. Food testing could have been a useful and straightforward way to go for a while. I have many options though, I’ll just have to start with one that is unaffected by wasting time in the ridiculous legal system.


  2. Are we talking Dell here?
    There’s a Z wire that holds the heat-sink in contact with the CPU, that hooks into the main board and the bios will flag up if it’s not detected.
    If there’s a fan on top of the heat-sink and its power take off wires from the board have been dislodged or the fan has failed, that can produce the error described.


  3. Leg, after ten years y’oughta just get a new one. LOL! Check what’s out there, and skip the ones that have just come out in the last year or so and the prices should be reasonable. The newest models are mainly needed by heavy duty video-gamers and suchlike. Get something that’s two years old and it’ll be cheap and will last you for three to five years and then do the cycle again.

    And get a secondhand backup drive while you’re at it: there should be TONS of multi-gigabyte backup drives out there being sold VERY cheaply as people are upgrading to terabyte drives. Dunno what things are running across the pond, but over here a brand new terabyte drive is now often less than $100. Heh, I can remember when a five MEGAbyte drive over here cost $5,000 back in the Commodore 64 days! LOL! At $1000/meg a terabyte drive would cost a BILLION dollars instead of the price of a few good bottles of whisky!



    • My current PC cost about £200 incl. VAT. (I’ve seen them for £150.) No monitor, obviously, but my six year-old Hanns-G screen has been built to last in the Czech Republic. There’s no o/s because I wanted to try Linux to avoid giving the eugenicist Gates duo any more money. It’s worked out fine, mostly, until my printer ran out of ink last week and I couldn’t get drivers to work for the other printers at my disposal.

      Because my old PC had picked up a nasty from downloading software from Sourceforge, I bought a Linux Mint DVD off Ebay for under £2 incl. postage.

      I used to have to buy Windows as I had loads of software, but it doesn’t work on the latest versions and there are “Windows emulators” for Linux, although I failed in my attempt to get one to work, but there’s plenty of open source programmes incl. one that seems just as good as MS Office.


    • I have two external hard drives, DVD-writer and USB sticks for backups. I once lost a hell of a lot of work to a hard disk crash and won’t be risking that again!


  4. “Might just be a loose wire.”
    That’s the standard self-diagnosis. I hear it a lot.
    Usually with an added “or something.”
    It’s the word “just” that bugs me.

    The diagnosis is usually backed up with “It can’t be much, it was working before.”
    (Everything that fails, was working before!)

    Sorry about that, it’s an automatic response to “Might just be a loose wire.”


  5. A P.S. to my computer replacement advice: Look at the package deals that include similar two-year out of date monitors and printers: they tend to bundle them in pretty cheaply with the main puter sometimes. In particular, check out the flat screen 25″ and 27″ monitors. The visual quality for most people is leaps and bounds above and beyond the old CRT monitors and, combined with the extra size, makes advanced web browsing with lots of tabs and windows ENORMOUSLY more pleasant. Plus: your investment will be rapidly paid back: they tend to use about 30 to 40 watts, as opposed to the 150 or so of the old CRTs. If you’re running your puter for ten hours a day, that’s a kilowatt hour per day you’ll be saving. If you guys are paying about 50 cents per kwh (Is that about right? We pay about 25 cents, and for some reason I think you pay about double what we do? Is that correct?) …. well, at 50 cents per kwh, you’ll have saved close to $200 over the course of a year at 10h/day.

    Of course if you’re trying to heat your computer room with your monitor, it won’t work quite as well.

    – MJM


    • XX If you’re running your puter for ten hours a day,XX


      Mine is on 24/7/365.25!

      The last time I switched it off was because I needed a new one. (The previous one being around 9 years old)


      • 24/7/365? Don’t you use sleep mode when you’re away from it?

        If you’re running a full desktop and a large CRT monitor you’re probably burning up about 5 kilowatt hours per day. Heh, that’d be about half of my TOTAL electric bill!



        • XX Don’t you use sleep mode when you’re away from it? XX

          No. I do not know when I may sleep, or may wake up and need it instantly.

          In German; “Na, und?”

          (Aye. So what?)

          Always happy to destroy the green meanies.


        • Just consider it a 200W fan heater – it takes the edge off a cold room. And I bet you boil only just enough water in your kettle!


    • I have a 19-inch flatscreen monitor that does not turn off any more. It can only be turned off at the mains now. Still works though.

      With aged eyes, a bigger screen would be a definite improvement.


  6. If it’s covered in layers of dust you want to strip, clean and rebuild it to prolong the life.

    If you like, I can build you a brand new one, dead cheap and to whatever specs you want.


    • ‘Cigarettes and a parachute’.

      ‘I’m just nipping outside for a smoke…’

      Wait a minute. If they took the false leg off her and she started kicking them with her good leg, how did she stay upright?

      ”Tis but a scratch’

      Liked by 1 person

      • ‘It is always darkest just before the Day dawneth’, A Pisgah-Sight Of Palestine And The Confines Thereof, 1650

        Legs, I’m getting a Nanageddon vibe 😉 Here’s how it starts:

        Nanageddon (I adore the Benny Hill look-a-like, dancing in shadow):


  7. Giving the heatsink a really good clean out may fix this, it’s amazing just how much crud can get stuck in there.. If you need to remove it then you should probably get a new sachet of the contact paste, clean off the old stuff and re-apply before replacing. Beware it’s very easy to put too much on, you only need a little drop..

    You might be able to use a can of air but chances are some will be well stuck in there and you’ll basically need to poke it out with a fine pointy thing


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