John Fairley

The personal journal of a UX Designer, Gamer, and Serial Hobbyist.

Graphics Card on Fire

02 December 2022

Be careful what you wish for

Okay so you know how sometimes it feels slightly less-than-random when you put certain thoughts out in to the universe and then things happen?

Well, that heppend to me last week when I vocalized to someone my then current situation with these two LEDs on my graphics card that were bugging me at bedtime, and how I was looking for a more permanent solution to the following problem: Having recently moved, my PC is now situated in my bedroom/office in an orientation where these two little white LEDs, which are always on even if the computer is not, are right where I can see them when trying to fall asleep. My go-to solution for this has been to drape some piece of clothing on my office chair in such a way each night that it blocks the view. Still this means light is spilling out in to the room and this is also worth complaining about.

Another note on my PC setup that will become important in a moment is my new bedroom/office comes with an outlet for an Air Conditioner that is on it’s own ciruit breaker. For many stupid reasons I plugged the Power Supply (PSU) of my computer directly in to this outlet. Never ever do that.

As the electrically inclined may already guess, last Tuesday morning while working I heard a slight crackle/pop and my PC immedialtey shutdown without warning. What I soon realized is that my PC would not even turn on with the graphics card still plugged-in.

Now, one of the problems with PC diagnostics is pinning-down just what’s broken, because it can be anything in a chain of things:

  • Power Supply
  • Graphics Card
  • Motherboard
  • RAM
  • CPU
  • Physical Issue (cable/connection)

I was pretty sure it wasn’t anything as mundane as a Hard Drive/Solid-State Drive because that wouldn’t stop the computer from turning on. After some consultation with Reddit and some PC Builder friends/brother I narrowed it down to either the power supply or the graphics card. This narrowing-down included ripping the graphics card out of my daughters PC to test if mine would turn on with it installed.

Once I was confident enough I had fried the graphics card through my own foolishness, the solution was clear. I ended up racing after work to the local PC parts supplier and purchased brand-new card, and a powercord with surge protection, which are both now thankfully working and also a slight-upgrade.

I should mention this all occured during a pretty busy work day where I had no breaks longer than 30 minutes between meetings. Needless to say my mind was very preoccupied that day as every spare second was spent troubleshooting.

Be careful what you wish for indeed.