Saturday, 24 May 2008

The hacker's paperclip.

On Slashdot, I found a comment giving little, good tips on how to solve annoying hardware problems with a paperclip.

The power supply tester
Creation: Unbend a paperclip, and then bend it into a big U shape.

Usage: When you are unsure whether a PSU works (a) disconnect it from anything it is connected to (b) insert one leg of the U into the hole in the 20/24 pin motherboard power plug for the green wire (c) insert the other leg into a hole for a black wire (d) plug the PSU into power and turn it on.
If the fans spin up, then the PSU at least partially works. At this point you can use a multimeter to verify the voltages of the different rails with no load.

The CD ejector
Creation: Straighten a thick-gauge (strong) paperclip, and then put a loop in one end that is big enough to put your index finger through, at least to the first knuckle (this helps with gripping it during use).

Usage: When you need to eject a CD from a powered-down computer (laptop OR desktop), push the paperclip into the emergency eject hole. On a laptop, this requires very little force, but on a standard (5.25") Desktop CD-ROM drive, this will take quite a bit of effort.

The multipurpose grabber
Creation: Straighten a regular paperclip, and put a loop on the end, as you did for the CD Ejector. On the other end, put a 90 degree bend, 2mm from the tip.

Usage: You can use this tool to remove or move jumpers (very handy for IDE hard drives), and to remove stuck floppy disks from floppy drives (use the R/W hole or 1.44MB hole as an anchor point).
Credit must be due to beav007.

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