My misadventures in PC upgrades

This hasn’t really been obvious on my blog so far, but I am notorious for misadventures.

Three years ago, I bought a gaming PC from the store so I could play Minecraft. I hadn’t really been involved in PC gaming before that, so obviously, I didn’t know what to look for.

I picked mine because it reminded me of Iron Man, named it Tony, and that was that.

I’d been advised to build my own instead of buying, but to someone who just wanted to be able to place blocks, that seemed excessive and maybe just a teensy bit frustrating. So I didn’t.

For years, my computer went unaltered. I opened it once to clean it, because you know, dust and dog hair are things in a house with a Malamute. But I never changed anything.

Time for an upgrade!

Recently, Shane, who is an actual PC gamer and not just a blockhead like me, decided that he was going to replace the video card in his computer, which meant I could have the old card.

I was a little apprehensive about putting the second-hand video card into my computer, because I was nervous about messing up its innards, but I was also excited about the possibility of maybe not having those weird lines on the more detailed textures in my Minecraft pack.

I wasn’t worried about anything else, though. No, no. Priorities.

So then, this week, we got down to business. We took my tower out of the desk, took off the side, and got to work.

And that’s where the misadventure started.

Walking on a wire

I’d only opened my PC once, and I hadn’t messed around with anything inside, just in case. It became apparent, when Shane was rooting around, that the wires were set up weirdly.

It took much wiggling and rearranging, but eventually we got the old and (very) dusty card out, fitted the new card in, and closed it all up.

I thought we’d gotten the wires all organized, but a very suspicious noise when we booted it up told me that maybe that wasn’t the case. In we went.

As it turned out, the fan on top of the card had unplugged a tiny little wire that looked like it would be a royal pain to reattach. I thought about leaving it, but then Shane figured out it was for the headphone and microphone jacks.

If you’ve had a chance to play the Crash Bandicoot remake at all, you’ve likely experienced the stomach-turning sensation of not getting a sequence exactly right. That’s what putting this little wire back into its home—which, by the way, would have been accessible with the video card out—was like.

But we did it! Achievement unlocked.

Seeing clearly

The next step was to get the drivers running, and then I could have Tony back. There was only one problem with that, and we figured it out after several restart attempts and an unplayable game of League: It couldn’t actually handle the card.

We (read: Shane) figured out that the motherboard wasn’t quite powerful enough, so we put the old card back and pretended nothing had ever happened.

Ironically, after some research, it turns out that the upgrade that we were trying to install was actually supposed to be the vanilla card for that PC, so I’m not really sure what happened there. But now, my next mission is to find a new board!

And won’t that be a sight for sore eyes.

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