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Old April 20, 2010, 11:08 AM
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Default 20 pin in 24 pin question

So my gf's brother's computer stopped working during a thunderstorm we had 2 weeks ago. He brought it to Future Shop and they said it fried at least the mobo and possibly more and that it would be cheaper to buy a new computer.

After that I asked them to take a look at it, opened, unplugged the 4 pin for the CPU, plugged it back in, noticed the 24 pin for the mobo only had the 20 pin connected, unplugged all, replugged all and it booted no problem. Was left on for 5 hours, no problem, nothing smelled weird, burned or fried.

So are Future Shop people dumb? Are they evil and trying to take advantage of people who don't know much? Surely even the most basic of tech guys knows to try and see if everything is plugged correctly no? Could it be a mistake on their part or a real attempt to get more money out of the guy?

Also, I noticed the 4 pin of the 24 pin is broken and it will come out if the computer is slightly tipped on it's side. So I presume that it had been unplugged for awhile. Could this be a cause for the computer to shut down during a thunderstorm where the power can vary a little due to lightning striking really close to their house (and probably hit a line or two) since only the 20 pin was plugged in? The computer is very basic, using stock Q6600, on-board graphics, 1 HDD and 1 DVD.

Thx
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Old April 20, 2010, 11:19 AM
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Often they don't even open it and put forth a worst case scenario to the customer. If the customer bites, they've sold a new system without ever doing any analysis of the problem

It's most likely the surge or a brownout cause it to shut down. A surge protector at a minimum or a UPS should be used to prevent this from happening, failing that unplug all wires to the PC during a thunderstorm. I've found after a brownout occurs the PC may need to sit without power for several minutes before it can be booted again.
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Old April 20, 2010, 11:27 AM
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They have a surge protector.

The PSU is some cheap OEM one. I'm going to get them a decent one in my next order.

They did mention that the computer wouldn't turn on after it shut down, so it seems it's like you said.

But man shame on Future Shop. She wants to make a complaint and all now. Can't blame her, trying to sell her a brand new system when it was still in perfect working order.
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Old April 20, 2010, 07:55 PM
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Using a 20-pin connector in a 24-pin socket will not make a difference to the average system. Only higher-end machines or overclocked rigs might be more stable with the extra 4-pin part. However, that would not have been the cause of any issues during a storm.
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Old April 20, 2010, 08:18 PM
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At this point, FS has a well-established tradition of bogus computer diagnoses, so it would hardly be surprising. Although it's worth noting that not all surge protectors are created equal, and they're not a 100% guarantee against things like lightning damage - you buy a $5 surge protector, you get $5 of protection.
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Old April 20, 2010, 08:37 PM
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Considering they wouldnt give me a job (as a tech) cause i dont have a huge smile and flair for selling anything to anyone, i wouldnt doubt that their technicians could leave alot to be desired. At the very least, that was a major diagnosis error, that could have resulted in hundreds of dollars of her wasted money for nothing. Definitely complaint worthy.
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Old April 20, 2010, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADay2Long View Post
But man shame on Future Shop.
A friend of mine (whom I normally do computer repairs for) took their machine into Future shop for repair as I was unavailable at the time... The dial up modem was making funny noises and was having trouble getting online... I told her I could fix it for about $30. Anyway, she couldn't wait till I got back and took it in to FS. They charged her $180. to replace the modem... they put in a cheap generic winmodem... (worth about $15. at the time)

Last edited by boggtrotter59; April 20, 2010 at 09:01 PM.
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Old April 23, 2010, 10:17 AM
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There are multiple news stories from various tv stations all over north america about the shady practices of big box retailer's tech centers. Even dedicated IT solution providers that will give bogus diagnoses just to make a sale.
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Old April 25, 2010, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Takkyu View Post
There are multiple news stories from various tv stations all over north america about the shady practices of big box retailer's tech centers. Even dedicated IT solution providers that will give bogus diagnoses just to make a sale.
The fact of the matter though is that they make more money in repairs and diags than they do selling a computer. If you think about it, the tech guys are already getting paid to stand there, so the money going towards repairs and such (or installing that modem for $180) is pure profit. Big box stores usually have no profit margins on selling just computers, or a very little profit margin at least. This is why they offer all these service plans as well. Another cash grab for the company (if the computer works as it should), but they lose money if they have to send the computer out after the 1 year manufacturer warranty.

Yes, the prices are insane for repair work at these places, but there is a market to have these prices, because the majority of people don't have a clue about computers.

EDIT: I guess I should add my point to this. I'm utterly confused as to why they wanted that person to get a new computer. They could have made way more money. But to each their own. I'm all for giving cheap prices for tech work and computers, but coming from the company's point of view, they lost a lot of money.

Last edited by bojangles; April 25, 2010 at 10:11 AM.
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Old April 25, 2010, 12:40 PM
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I do understand your point, but it's one thing to charge stupid prices for something that is broken, compared to charging for something that is perfectly working.
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