the answer my friend is blowing in the hair-dryer

hair dryer

How did a hair-dryer save my computer’s life?

It’s a fairly old computer as pcs go, six years old now and very cranky. It gets so dusty inside an periodically I have to clean it out (not with a hairdryer though) to stop it making that awful loud fan noise. Anyway, after the last time cleaning it out, I tried to turn it back on again, but got nothing. “Please, man,” I said, but no response. I am not a techie and didn’t know what to do. I need a new computer, been on the list for a while, but I also wanted to get back those items which hadn’t yet been backed up (including a load of hi-res scans of work that’s now at the Pence). Mostly I wanted to turn the machine on so I could just tell it to sod off, one last time. Ok, it’s not the worst machine in the world, not that slow, every now and then it plays up but it’s still got a fair bit of life in it, and lots of memory. There haven’t been any operating system issues. So what was wrong, had I broken some important tiny part inside it?

Thankfully I have a iPod and was able to google the symptoms straight away. On the back of the machine a little green light was flashing, which would otherwise be green. I love that you can google this stuff, and that so many people have had this exact same issue. Apparently it was something to do with the power source unit, and most of the places I looked said to replace it. Yes very helpful, I thought, but kept looking. Some forums said to go inside the machine and unplug this and reconnect that and put a paper clip here and hold down a button there, and all of this seemed very confusing and unecessary. Then someone said, just get your wife’s hair dryer, aim it at the power source unit, blow on full power for two minutes, and bingo, back to life. Nah, come off it, I thought, but it was followed by about a hundred comments that all said, “oh wow it actually works! Oh wow my computer hadn’t worked in months but two minutes with a hair dryer, and it’s back to life, it’s a miracle!” And words to that effect. Even then, thought, surely not, butwell I had nothing to lose.

I tried it out on cool air at first, but that had no effect. Then I did it on warm, again no effect. I remembered that it had to be hot – this was not just about the air blowing, but about the heat. I was convinced I would cause something to blow up, but I came back, hair dryer in hand, and aimed.

Two minutes later, the green light came back on! I pressed the power button, and the computer was back, as good as before. Back from the dead, like that fellow ET. Who would have thought? It’s a Christmas miracle!

I wish it would work on my awful cold though…

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