Building A Computer Is Normally Easy But Not Always

Shattered Computer Monitor
October 1, 2019

Loyal readers may remember two posts I wrote back in May about building a new computer. As a refresher, they are Building a Fast Computer Starts With These Parts and More Components for Building a Fast Computer. I spent a lot of time researching the various parts I wanted for a computer. Partly it was to get the perfect parts and partly because getting the parts in my hands is a time consuming process.

I finally got all the parts in mid-August and had them assembled within a couple of hours. That is when the moment of truth happens and I got a blank screen. While this was frustrating, I figured I missed something and made some adjustments. Still a blank screen. Repeat that process a number of times and now I’m really frustrated.

Asus ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming MotherboardThe only good part of the timing is that I’d be returning to Arizona and would have access to more resources. I was told by the motherboard company that the RAM I purchased wasn’t compatible. While I disagreed, I bought different RAM anyways. I got back to Arizona, made the RAM switch and it still was dead. OK, the motherboard must be bad. I ordered a different motherboard. This time I went with the Asus ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming Motherboard.

When the motherboard arrived, I had arranged to have another computer guru with me to make sure no mistakes were made in the build. The result didn’t change. It still didn’t work. I was about to depart on an extended international vacation so I asked if the guru could take the computer while I was away and continue to work on it in hopes of finding a solution. Numerous alternate parts were tried in my absence and still absolutely nothing. It just didn’t make any sense as we had all new parts.

Intel Core i9-9900K Desktop ProcessorAfter I returned from my vacation, I took the parts to the local Fry’s Electronics as I knew they had the tools to diagnose the cause of my problems. It turned out that the Intel i9-9900K was the culprit.

I contacted Amazon about a replacement, but was outside of 30 days so they passed me to Intel. Intel wanted a lot of information to verify and then they would replace it under warranty. One thing they needed was a photo of the barcode printed on the circuit board. You’ll see it in the photo I provided and this photo is with a lot of zoom. Three times I sent it and they claimed I hadn’t sent the photo. Finally I scanned the barcode myself and told them the result. Then they approved the replacement.

Five minutes later, they replied again saying they were out of stock. So instead of a replacement, I’d have to order again and they’d mail me a refund. I did purchase another chip, got it installed and everything was finally working. I’m still waiting on that check from Intel.

A few months after the ordeal began, I have a really fast computer that is working great. There is still more software to install, but I can finally get back to work. As for the vacation, I’ll share the details in a future post as it was absolutely amazing.

unsplash-logoJulia Joppien

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Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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