Computer guts -- almost hated them

I'm feeling empowered today, although, some might call me cheap. Yesterday, after welcoming our first group of soldiers home (just one from our company), I disconnected and reconnected everything on the computer, cleaned the dust from the vents and grumbled...a LOT (trying to hold back the cursing)! The computer would power up, but the monitor just read, "no signal." There were a couple of times when I turned it on that I was lucky enough to get to the XP start up page before the 'no signal' message came up on the monitor.
My first instinct was that there was something wrong with the monitor cable so I connected the monitor to the laptop and it seemed to be working. My dear husband was convinced that it was the video card. He tried to calm me down last night via Yahoo Instant Messenger and it worked to a degree. At least I went to bed before midnight and didn't try to work on the computer when I was already exhausted.
The next morning I planned to take the computer in to the Geek Squad so they could wave their magic wands and everything would be okay. Well, when I woke up this morning, I did a little research on Geek Squad pricing so I wouldn't be completely shocked when it came time to pay the bill. For labor alone it looked like it was going to cost a minimum of $100 (it costs half that much -on average- for a diagnostic check on an automobile). If this computer wasn't seven years (almost 8)old, I probably would have taken it in to a professional but I really didn't want to spend more on computer repairs than what the computer is actually worth. So, my good friend, Google and I searched for instructions on replacing and installing video/graphics cards. After finding great information on the web, I decided to take the computer apart one last time to get a good look at the video card (before my research, I couldn't differentiate what was what when I opened up the computer) in our system to make sure that I bought an appropriate model. When I took the video card out of it's slot, I saw that it was Filthy--Horribly, Disgustingly Filthy! Who knew that the inside of the computer could collect so much yuck (apparantly not me). Perhaps this was the problem all along. I took my compressed air and cleaned the video card and the fan attached to it (as well as the other guts within the computer) and replaced the card to see what would happen. To my dismay, the monitor still read "no signal." However, there was a series of odd beeps that had never come on before when I powered up the system so I thought that either I ruined something or just didn't seat the video card in properly. For the last time (for real this time), I opened up the computer tower and saw that there was a small clip that wasn't fully engaged. With a little push, it clicked back into place. After I closed everything up and reconnected all of the cables I powered up the system. FINALLY--HOORAY! This poor old thing still has a little life left. :)
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  1. I think you'll always amaze me with your fix-it ways!!

  2. YOU GO GIRL!!!!! You're now part of the geek squad!!