It was to replace the cpu in a dead PC. They'd already tried 2 new M/Bs, a power supply that worked on the bench but didn't in the box, and changed the RAM. The cpu was The Last Hope. Sound, Video and LAN were all integrated on the M/B, so the only card in a PCI Slot was the modem, and removing that didn't make the PC start. It was dead. The tech let me install the CPU, but the computer still refused to start. No fans spun, not even the PSU fan. The system was dead.
"Do you mind if I have a poke around?" I asked. He said he didn't and rang the supplier with the bad news.
Okay, I thought, the problem was a power thing. I unplugged the HDD, FDD and CDROM in turn, but they made no difference. I wondered if it was someting stupid, like a short in the case. I looked behind the M/B but it wasn't touching anything. The LEDs on the front panel were already disconnected. I wonder, I thought, if the front panel USBs are faulty. They have a power supply, right? So I unplugged USB ports from the M/B and hit the On switch.
The Tech jumped in his seat and spun around in time to see POST finish. "What did you do?" he shouted.
"Hmm? Oh, I just unplugged the USB ports," I said as vaguely as I could. I wanted to laugh, but I didn't. It felt good to know I still had the Rubber Chicken-fu. I left the official techo to finish the job while I headed back to the shop to learn more about the stock control system.
And I didn't even need to use my Swiss Army Knife.
The temperature from noon to 6pm exceeded 40C today. At 4pm it was 41.5. It has only just now dropped to 39C