“But it was working just fine before, why would it break now?”

By September 26th in Blog

Faulty Capacitors (Click to Enlarge)

Computer parts wear out over time due to heat and use. All parts are prone to failure after time, particularly moving parts like hard drives or fans whose ball bearings deteriorate. Here is a picture of a video card that we replaced today (click to enlarge). Capacitors (the silver cylinders in this picture) swell and eventually may leak.

Faulty video cards can cause a number of symptoms, not always related to what you see on the screen. This client experienced a slow computer and artifacts on his screen because of these leaky capacitors. We popped in a new video card and had him back up and running within 15 minutes.

Fortunately we seem to be past Capacitor Plague, which was a spate of capacitor failures in major manufacturers’ products like motherboards and video cards. Rumor has it that this was caused by industrial espionage, where an engineer copied the formula for creating capacitors from one company and sold it to another manufacturer. However, the engineer accidentally omitted the valence of one of the numbers and the resulting faulty capacitors made their way into equipment from IBM, Dell, HP, Apple, and others. The story may or may not be true, but it’s a problem we’re very familiar with and can repair quickly so your computer is back up and running in no time.

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