TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
From: Jan Cohen [mailto:najnehoc -at- yahoo -dot- com]
Sent: Monday, November 19, 2007 9:57 PM
To: John Hedtke; Cardimon, Craig
Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Loose cable?
I'd say you did a pretty fair job of describing the process, John.
Craig might want to take the chassis outside before trying to blow any
dust out it, especially if the dust collection looks like a lot of
large, gray hairballs (meaning dust has been collecting inside for some
time). Blowing that sort of dust collection out of your computer while
inside a room will only displace the fine particles that make up the
hairballs to other points in the room. In-turn, your computer will have
a fresh supply of fine particles to suck in again, from which it will be
able to recreate a new set of hairballs.
For the curious, a few examples of hair-balled computers:
----- Original Message ----
From: John Hedtke <john -at- hedtke -dot- com>
To: "Cardimon, Craig" <ccardimon -at- M-S-G -dot- com>
Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Sent: Monday, November 19, 2007 3:46:40 PM
Subject: RE: Loose cable?
1. Power down the computer.
2. Unplug the power cable from the back of the computer. (Failure
to do so can result in you never completing the remainder of this
3. Carefully unplug the other cables from the back of the
computer. If you're not familiar with this, make a note of where
everything goes. Labels on the cables are not a bad idea,
honestly. You can write on the computer chassis with a pencil or
4. Open the computer case. There are a number of different case
designs, but chances are good that you'll undo 6 screws in the back
and then gently lift an inverted U hood of metal off the computer (if
it's a tower) or a lifting a large cover of metal (if it's a desktop
style). In both cases, you usually pull up and to the back.
5. If there are large gobs of dust--and there may be--lift them out
and throw them away. You can blow out really bad blobs of dust
(expect to sneeze).
*Note* if you pause in this at any time, be sure to ground
yourself when you resume by touching something metal and grounded
that's not the computer such as the metal on a power strip or the
center screw in an electrical socket; anything that you cna reach
from the computer and will take any static you've got.
6. Start by reseating the DVD data cable. This is a large flat
ribbon cable about 2 inches wide connected to the back of the
DVD. Put two fingers on the back of the black cable end and gently
but firmly rock back and forth with your fingers to press it further
into the DVD. Repeat this process with the other end of the cable,
which will probably be connected to the motherboard.
*Caution* -- do not press hard enough to bend the motherboard as
you may crack it, which will require you to get a new motherboard, an
7. With the same two-finger, gently-but-firmly technique, press down
on the tops of each of the cards you see sticking out of sockets on
the motherboard. You'll probably feel them "seat" slightly. This is
normal: cards will usually creep out of the sockets a bit over time
due to thermal expansion/contraction.
8. With everything reseated, carefully replace the cover. Be alert
for stray cables that are sticking out and may get caught when you
slide the cover back on.
9. Screw the cover back on.
10. Reattach all the cables, with the power cable being last.
11. Reboot the computer.
If this doesn't work, then there's more to the problem than a loose
cable and it's time to go to the mfr's website and check out DVD
Okay, everyone, this is off the top of my head. What steps did I leave
www.hedtke.com <-- website
Region 7 Director, STC
541-685-5000 (office landline)
john -at- hedtke -dot- com (primary email)
johnhedtke -at- aol -dot- com (secondary email)
At 12:26 PM 11/19/2007, Cardimon, Craig wrote:
>Thanks for the reply.
>How does one reseat a cable?
>Is it easy enough for your average mere mortal to do?
>Should I download instructions from somewhere?
>From: John Hedtke [mailto:john -at- hedtke -dot- com]
>Sent: Monday, November 19, 2007 3:13 PM
>To: Cardimon, Craig; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>Subject: Re: Loose cable?
>Yes, I'd crack the box and check the connections at the drive. I'd
>also reseat the cable at the motherboard or card end >AND< I'd reseat
>all the cards while you're there, too.
>On the offchance you're having thermal problems, download a free
>utility called "SpeedFan" and run it to make sure you're not having
>If worse comes to worst, Fry's Online (www.outpost.com) has 20X
>DVD-R/+R/RW/RAM burners for $30.
>At 12:06 PM 11/19/2007, you wrote:
> >The DVD/CD drive on my second-hand computer sometimes functions. I
> >tracked the error down to a message that basically means I need a new
> >cable connection between the drive and the rest of the machine.
> >trust this message? Is there anything else I can do before I crack
>www.hedtke.com <-- website
>Region 7 Director, STC
>541-685-5000 (office landline)
>john -at- hedtke -dot- com (primary email)
>johnhedtke -at- aol -dot- com (secondary email)
Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more. http://www.DocToHelp.com/TechwrlList
True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity! http://www.helpandmanual.com
You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-