May 10, 2006

How I Spent $500 Fixing My $60 Motherboard by Drew Johnson

Filed under: Comedic Genius,Day to Day — Drew Johnson @ 8:22 pm

I’m going to make this extremely long story as short as I can. The last two weeks have been pure poo cakes. My wife has started referring to me as Job.

After you read this please do me the honor of sparing me the “Here’s what you should have done” or “Man you got f****d” statements. I know. Trust me…I know.

Tuesday, April 25th

-My computer dies in a buzzing and sputtering fit.
-I email Rich (roving computer expert) explaining the symptoms. I think it’s the motherboard. Rich agrees.

Wednesday, April 26th

-I get a second opinion from Dino (resident computer expert) at band practice. He agrees that it’s the motherboard.

Thursday, April 27th

—A little info here. Replacing a mobo with the exact same mobo is an easy and painless process. Replacing a mobo with a different mobo requires more computer knowledge than I happen to have. When I built this PC I got the mobo in a package deal with the computer tower and power supply. The only way to insure that I get the exact same mobo is to order the same package deal. I don’t really need the case and the power supply but I figure the extra $45 or $50 is worth it knowing that I’m getting exactly what I had before. From here on out just remember that the countless bytes of data on my computer are not replaceable. My life’s work lives on my two hard drives. Data loss is not a option. Yes, some of it is backed up. No, not all of it.—

– Order a new mobo from ZipZoomFly. Pay an extra $40 to have it shipped overnight.

Friday, April 28th

– Rush home to rebuild my PC.
– Find no package.
– Hope FedEx is running late.

—Later that night—

– Receive an email message saying that my order has not been shipped. I need to call them to verify my credit card number.
– Be angry.
– Call ZipZoomFly.
– They’re closed for the day.
– Repeat step two.

Saturday, April 29th

– Call ZipZoomFly again.
– They’re closed…for the weekend.
– Leave a message asking them to call me first thing Monday morning.

Monday, May 1st

– Call ZipZoomFly. Answering machine again.
– Leave a more desperate message requesting a returned call.

Tuesday, May 2nd

– Repeat yesterday’s steps with an even more desperate message and a little begging.
– Recieve an email 12 hours later confirming that my order has been shipped.
– Minor celebration.

Wednesday, May 3rd

– Rush home and find my package on the front porch.
– Feel a great sense of relief.
– This should take me about an hour to fix.
– Disassemble the dead PC.
– This new mobo doesn’t look like the old one.
– Insert the CPU and realize that the new CPU slot is the wrong type.
– Throw things.
– Try not to cry.
– Reassemble the dead PC and reluctantly decide to take the thing to Computer Rapeissance.
– Half hour drive to Computer Rapeissance.
– “Do you have an appointment”?
– No.
– “We have an opening on Saturday. Would you like to leave it until then”?
– Whatever.

—Sub Plot—

– Arrive at home.
– Receive an email from our web host saying that our site is being shut down for lack of payment.
– What!?!? I never received any warning.
– Put in on the Visa.
– Be angry.
– Email ZipZoomFly requesting a return authorization code. Learn that shipping costs are not refundable. Learn that there’s a 15% re-stocking fee.
– Be angry.

Friday, May 5th

—Sub Plot—

– That afternoon I had a doctor appointment. My ongoing mucus problem is not getting much better. I am referred to an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor. That appointment will be Monday. The doctor also realizes that my blood pressure is very high. Imagine that. We get into a whole conversation about my family’s health history. It’s not good. My dad had multiple bypass surgery when he was way too young to have multiple bypass surgery. I will also need to have my cholesterol checked on Monday.

– Gig at Cicero’s that night. Arrive at 6:30 for load in. Learn that we can’t load in until 8:00. Learn that I didn’t know this because I didn’t check my formulakid email because my computer is down.
-Be angry.

Saturday, May 6th

– No call from Computer Rapeissance.

Sunday, May 7th

– No call from Computer Rapeissance.
– Call Computer Rapeissance.
– “Yeah man I was about to call you. We had some guys call off this weekend. They’ll probably get to it on Monday”.
– Be angry.

Monday, May 8th (About 6:00PM. Computer Rapeissance closes at 7:00)

– “Hey man. It’s Ben from Computer Rapeissance. Your motherboard is fried.”
– No Doy!?!
– “The new mobo is about $70. Labor will be about $127. I’ll need your Windows XP disc and the product code to do a repair installation. As soon as you can run that up here (half hour drive) we can get it done.”
– That’s gonna be a big, big, big problem. My Windows CD is a copy that was given to me by a friend. I am informed that Computer Rapeissance cannot legally repair my computer without a legit copy of Windows.

—Sub Plot—

– I go to the ENT doctor. He wants to do a CT Scan on my sinuses in ten days. He doesn’t know what the problem is.
– Have blood drawn for cholesterol test.

Tuesday, May 9th

– Talk to Ben and tell him that I’ll go ahead and buy a new copy of Windows XP Pro from them. It’s twice the price that I would pay online. It’s $200.
– Be angry.
– Ben says he’ll probably have it done this afternoon.
– He doesn’t.

—Sub Plot—

-I receive an extremely scathing email to my MySpace account. It’s a review of our show at Cicero’s. Here’s a small sample. (This is copied and pasted. The spelling is not mine)

” the dums were low in the mix. the bass hey boards were lost in the mush of loudness and had no good distinction.
your guitar was distorted into a sonic mush of piercing high tones.
your vocal was a sota drown out and ground under all this noise.
noise was the overarching effect of the sound in the room. a high pitched squlchy sound. all the instruments combining together in their state of being over driven into the room PA and there by distoted became an ear bleeding sonic attack. ”

Present day, May 10th

– It’s done.
– The total at Computer Rapeissance? $408.
– As I’m paying for the repairs my phone rings. It’s the doctor’s office.
– As soon as I get in the car I call them back. They have the results of my cholesterol test. The girl looks at my chart and (I am not kidding) her first word was “Wow”! My cholesterol and triglycerides and all that other stuff are off the charts. I’m put on a low cholesterol diet.
– On my way home I stop at the UPS store to ship my stuff back to ZipZoomFly. It costs $20.


  1. Yikes!

    All of the sudden, I’m pretty content . . .

    Sorry about that email to your myspace account. I was off my meds for a few days . . .

    Comment by Eric — May 10, 2006 @ 8:46 pm

  2. Man!

    “We used to get shotguns for this kind of…” crap.

    Comment by Taylor — May 11, 2006 @ 8:57 pm

  3. If you dig through your old meds and find the one called Oxycodone (Percocet), three of those should make the last week seem like one bad hour of your life. Too bad you probably have the Hyrocodone (Lortab/Vicodin). Ask your doctor what 1 litre of vodka would do to your cholesterol levels and we’ll see what we can do for you. By all accounts, it should burn away all of the fat in your blood, right?
    Seriously, congrats on 8 yrs. and have a great Mother’s Day. I think the Cicero’s show rocked…couldn’t you tell when you saw Dancy McCurtis show up?!

    Comment by Kristopher — May 12, 2006 @ 10:36 am

  4. i feel for ya man…here are the condensed events of my computer/gear problems of the past months..

    3 macintosh g4 towers….fried….3 firewire cards…fried…..7 YES SEVEN….!!!! firewire hardrives toast…plugge ’em in….nothing….2 with no power….2 have nothing on them…though 2 weeks ago…many things on them….1 just literally burnt up….

    laptop…down….wifes laptop…down…..

    3 sets of ns10’s….all blown… event monitors….blown….got new tweeters…nothing…must be the internal amp..

    protools rig #1…..down…no reason, no help from digi…just does not work..

    protools riig #2….working…barely..finally…with a new (ebay) g4 tower….now i have 4 of them…1 works..

    lost 90% of my projects i was working on….SEVEN FREAKING HARDRIVES at the same time…(yes, I still have all the formula kid stuff…luckily…

    you can NEVER have TOO MANY BACKUPS of digital information…!!!!!

    good luck with your computer probs….

    i hope all the overdubs are ok….you are backing up ….right…??




    Comment by hughes — May 12, 2006 @ 12:59 pm

  5. […] My computer is dead. This has happened before, sort of. I built this computer myself to save some money and it’s been nothing but one headache after another ever since. As of right now I’m not sure what I’m going to do. As long as that computer is dead that means no recording, no posting pictures, no posting demos, and no sleep at night. […]

    Pingback by Drew Johnson Online » Blog Archive » My PC Dies to Die Another Day — February 19, 2007 @ 9:59 pm

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