The Mating Ritual of Connectors

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I recently had to ride out two hurricanes, and went without power for over two weeks. Although my computers suffered no direct damage, when I booted them back up, neither worked properly: My office computer had weird mouse freezes and crashes, while my music computer refused to recognize its Creamware sound card.

I tried the usual dumb things — substituting a different mouse, plugging it in and out a few times, and so on. Nothing helped. Then I realize that these machines had been in a high-temperature, high-humidity environment for quite a while. So I unplugged the office computer, grounded myself, and carefully removed and reinserted anything even remotely like a connector — including the CPU and RAM.

About 20 minutes later, on boot-up everything worked like a charm. Even some annoying mystery problems I’d had before the hurricane went away too — my office machine has been crash-free since reseating the connectors.

When I talked to Ali at Creamware tech support about my sound card problem with the music computer, he suggested removing the card and cleaning the contacts. Bingo again — it worked, and has ever since.

Moral of the story: Hurricane or not, it probably doesn’t hurt to reseat your connectors at least once a year.