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    Experiences using unbuffered ECC ram with a desktop motherboard/CPU

    It works fine because the extra chip that holds ECC data will simply be ignored. Really be sure that the memory is unbuffered because sellers don't always give accurate descriptions, so read the markings on the photo and verify the part number from the manufacturer's datasheet. I'm assuming...
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    My ASROCK motherboard is dead, what should I do?

    And, ironically, a cheap iron is more likely to cause heat damage, despite its lower power output, because it won't melt the solder as quickly. And then there's Chip Quik low-temperature solder, "only" $1 an inch.
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    Stability and overclocking - what do you consider stable

    I can't get 2 different RAM diagnostics to find bad bits in 24 hours of testing with each, at a computer case temperature of 40 Celcius or with the RAM heatsink or chip packages at 50-60C.
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    OEM Wraith Cooler - OEM Thermal Tape/paste seeped onto CPU pins

    Don't worry about it unless the OEM was dumb enough to use silver-bearing paste, about the only kind that can ever conduct. Paste won't hurt conduction of electrical signals because any film of paste will be pierced when the contacts touch.
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    OK for motherboard to be in direct contact with the bottom of the case?

    Even though the motherboard is perpendicular to the bottom of the case, I wouldn't want it to sit flush because some of the internal copper layers that carry power may come out all the way to the edge and could short to the case. Either keep it raised at least 1/8" from the bottom, or put some...
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    My ASROCK motherboard is dead, what should I do?

    It's either a shorted CPU, which I really, really doubt, or the voltage regulator (VRM) for the CPU is bad. I'd bet on the latter. Fortunately the MOSFETs on that particular motherboard are in packages where the pins can be reached, meaning they can be tested with a multimeter, and removal...
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    JEDEC standard timings?

    The only way to find out is by reading the numbers off the chips, but I really doubt many 2666 MHz chips found on modules are faster than CL19.
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    How stable is RAM running XMP profiles?

    I don't think that memory is made from real 1600 chips because it's PNY brand, and retail 1600 memory with heatsinks on it rarely is but instead has 1333 chips. One of those rare exceptions I've seen being 1600 Kingston HyperX Fury, and it was factory overclocked to CL9. I've never had...
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    How long have you used your power supply?

    Somebody was using my power supply in 1999. The only repair was to fix solder joints on the transformer, which may have broken during shipping. All Japanese capacitors, all original.
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    Help, which brand of RAM Sticks should I buy?

    I'm not confused. I clearly differentiated between the chip brands and the modules made by the chip makers and sold under their brands (except Micron's Crucial), even if they're supplied to Dell, HP, Apple, etc. Buy Hynix chips on a Hynix module or Samsung chips on a Samsung module, and the...
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    Help, which brand of RAM Sticks should I buy?

    Nanya, Samsung, Micron (not their Crucial or Ballistix brands), or Hynix, and I mean for the whole memory sticks, not just the chips on them. That way you'll get high quality RAM chips that aren't overclocked in the SPD or RAM chips that are factory rejects. Unfortunately those brands of...
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    What will be your go-to replacement for

    I heard about Pornhub* on a public radio weekend program, maybe RadioLab or Freakanomics, where somebody at the University of Chicago got his PhD by analyzing data provided by PornHub. Another of their programs mentioned customized porn videos, including one where a person paid $38,000 to see...
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    Removing heat spreaders

    It's fairly easy to rip chips off the circuit board and tear up the copper traces, and reviewers at OCAholics and APHnetowrks managed to do that when they wanted to show readers the chips under the heatsinks. I think the safest thing to do is apply some glue removal solvenI while the heatsink...
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    How to test psu?

    Measure all the voltages at its rated power capacity, using both a meter and an oscilloscope, the way Oklahoma Wolf did. Voltage accuracy isn't that good an indicator of quality, provided no voltage goes out of spec (+- 5%, +- 3% is better) from minimum to maximum load.
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    PSU dead?

    GIve it to someone who wants to fix it because I suspect it's the circuit that handles the +5V standby
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    UPS: Replace bateries or unit?

    Another place to buy batteries kind of cheap: fire/security alarm supplies. What brands of capacitors are inside the backup supply? Unplug the AC power and remove the batteries before checking. If they're something like Nichicon, Chemicon (UCC), or Panasonic and none are bulging on top or...
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    Kybrd Kleaning?

    Not the dishwasher because dishwasher detergent is too strong to be safe, and even plain water will drive moisture into places that should be kept 100% dry, like mechanical switches and between the 2 plies of flexible circuit boards that make up many key matrixes. Just remove the key caps and...
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    Optical vs. Mechanical Keyboards. Which do you prefer?

    In practice I think the key switch type matters only if it's the ancient type that uses aluminum foil disks glued to sponge, which feels very muchy when it bottoms out and wears out fast because the foam breaks down. It's probably more important for the moving plastic parts to be designed well...
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    Hitachi 4TB HGST 7K6000 vs WD Red 4TB for NAS

    If that 4TB 7K6000 HGST is like the 2TB version, the head seeks will be noisy.
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    HDD adapter question - Magnetism?

    Don't worry whether it touches or not, and the paint not being an electrical conductor doesn't matter because magnetism goes right through it. On the other hand, keep any valuable floppy disks away because that strength magnetism can affect them, especially the low density floppies that you...
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    Which drive to swap, high failure account or SMART failure

    What caused the failures? Bumping? Loose data cable? I had a Hitachi 7K1000.C that was getting more and more errors, apparently because the screws holding the circuit board had worked loose. No more errors after retightening. A friend of mine has a 400GB external that has always failed...
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    Sata connector broke off my drive :( Please HELP!

    Super glue will eliminate any chance of repairing the plastic, which is probably polyester, maybe a polyamide (something like nylon) and can't be glued.
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    Does your memory pass rowhammer test?

    All the Kingston DDR3 HyperX Fury 8GB 1866 MHz, Blue (seems to be made from 1.35V chips) and Black (1.5V Micron chips w/o any visible speed grade). 8 of my 16 samples of old DDR3 Samsung 4GB 1600 MHz passed at least 2 hours of row hammer testing. I didn't try the rest.
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    Most reliable memory brands

    About 5 years ago, G.Skill said they shipped DDR3 that showed up to 1 or 2 bad bits in final testing, except for their 2 fastest speed grades. Whatever DDR4 is rated 1.2V at its fastest rated speed and has a lifetime warranty that covers shipping both ways.
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    Thoughts on Refirbushed drives

    WD said their limit for refurbished drives was under 25,000 hours but wouldn't be more specific. Seagate wouldn't tell me anything.
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    Re-certified HDDs?

    One Amazon customer mentioned receiving a recertified HGST with zero hours in the SMART listing, but a check with GSmartControl showed that the SMART log had not been erased and still showed something like 25,000 hours.
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    HHD drives Mounted sideway vertical or flat

    Why is upside down bad?
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    Is it possible to power sata hard disk through PCI-e?

    Get one of those PCI-E cards with USB power-only connectors? I haven't seen any with IDE power connectors. These cards are powered by the +12V from the PCI-E bus that's fed through a switching regulator that drops it to +5V for the USB connectors.
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    External HDD Issue

    When I had USB failures like that, the culprit was the power supply's +5Vstandby failing and putting out way too much voltage because USB ports are often powered by the +5Vstandby so the computer can wake up by just moving the mouse or hitting a keyboard button. Even many good power supplies...
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    HHD drives Mounted sideway vertical or flat

    Old hard drives positioned their heads by using stepper motors that were aligned to an outer track or even an optical mark like floppy drives, and their track alignment could be affected by changes in temperature (why freezing them sometimes allowed for data recovery) or orientation. But all...
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    Buying hardware on ebay from china.

    You'd think, but when I bought a $10 combination USB 3.0/SATA 3.0 card that turned out to have only SATA, the seller kept lying to both me and eBay, and despite the product description and photo not ever changing, meaning it was easy to verify that the seller was lying, eBay kept siding with the...
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    2 Identical PSUs - differing power draw

    What's a significant difference for that hardware and software? What does a Kill-A-Watt say?
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    Building Cables - Silicone wires ok?

    The crimp tabs that hold on to the insulation probably won't grip as well, so you may need to use harder silicone or put a 1" length of heatshrink over the insulation near the end of each wire to give the connector tabs something to grip better.
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    I want to clean the dust out of my PSU but what method is the best way ?

    Unplug the AC power cord from the PSU. Be sure it's unplugged. Stick a disposable plastic straw through the fan grill to hold the fan(s) still. Do not use a paper straw or a rigid plastic stra. Hold a vacuum cleaner hose over every vent opening, even the fan grill. Remove the straw.
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    Best Memory Diagnostics Software?

    2 different diagnostics, like Gold Memory (shareware) and MemTest86. Many years ago, one person ran MemTest86 or MemTest86+ for days, but neither reported any errors. Then he tried Gold Memory, and it reported a bad bit in 76 minutes, but it had to run for 9 more hours before showing the error...
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    Beware of backing up important data on mechanical drives!!

    I hate to say it, but I don't like that setup at all. I wouldn't put a tower computer or all those cords so close to the feet. Also the setup just seems weird with the monitor to the left of the keyboard -- why?. The best desk is a traditional one, preferrably one of those 1950s rock-solid...
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    Problem: Case short

    What part of the case can do that when the motherboard is out of the case? The PSU can't be shorted to the case except through its cables, which would have to be defective to let that happen, and the rear opening for the PSU is too big to interfere with anything like the power cord. Do all...
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    So do HDD's start degrading as soon as they are manufactured or only when you start using it ?

    I don't know when head lifters/ramps for desktop hard drives became common and virtually eliminated heads sticking to platters, but the 80GB Maxtor I bought in 2002 did not have one, while this 30GB IBM DeskStar did: Hard Drive Disassembly: The IBM Deathstar. Apparently stiction was a worse...
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    newegg "WL" drives

    I thought NewEgg switched to hot dog balloons to better protect hard drives in shipping.