Why I never throw things out

I have a habit of holding on to old hardware and spare computer parts with the belief they’ll come handy one of these days. This habit has given birth to my “Techie Box”, which has grown over the years to include a bunch of cables and extension leads and various adapters, couplers and gender changers as well as HDD’s, RAMs, a spare mouse and keyboard and much more.

I will admit the box is a bit untidy, but junk it is definitely not. These are much valued items, even more so lately since I revived two computers using contents from this box – my cousin’s Packard Bell with faulty onboard video and my Aunt’s HP with a dead PSU.

With a spare nVidia GForce graphics card from an old PC, my cousin’s Packard Bell was easy enough to fix. My cousin, I should add, has kindly let me have it since it’s been sitting in his loft for some time.

With no multimeter or PSU tester to hand however, my tech buddy Google came up with the following YouTube video to work out if my Aunt’s PSU was indeed dead.

You basically bend a paper clip into a ‘U’ shape, find the green wire on the P1 connector and insert one end of the paper clip into the green pin and the other end into the black pin next to it. You then plug the PSU to a power socket and connect something up to one of the molex connectors – I connected a spare hard drive. If it powers up you got a working PSU. If not, its a dead one . Simple!

I found my spare PSU to be a live one using this same little trick, but it had a 20-pin ATX connector as compared to 24-pin on my Aunt’s PSU. Fortunately I had a spare 20-pin to 24-pin PSU adapter, along with an IDE to SATA adapter to power up the Sata hard drive.

I gave the PSU a thorough clean, opening it up to get to all the dust that had settled on it for years.

Cleaning PSU

Often referred to as junk by others, this post is a reminder why I should never throw these out – they really do come handy!


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