UPG MY RIG – Surprise Computer Upgrade for Michael

Michael’s mom brought me his gaming computer as it was running “very slow”. It had a failing hard drive in it, but the state of the rest of the computer was very poor. Complete lack of cable management, and so much more that was just wrong. When I was done, he had a much faster and better looking computer. Michael was getting a Surprise Upgrade.

When Michael’s mom brought me the computer, Michael had already attempted to re-install windows. Unfortunately the computer was still slow after a clean OS install, so she brought it to me to determine what was wrong, and fix if possible. From what she had described, it sounded like a failing hard drive, but I would be able to give her an accurate answer after inspecting it on the bench.

She was finally able to bring it to me, and I walked out to her car to look at the poor computer sitting in the back of her trunk, and what I saw just had be bewildered. There was an 80 mm case fan mounted to the side panel.. ON THE OUT SIDE. The fan placement on the side panel was designed for a 90 mm fan, and clearly designed for the fan to be on the inside of the case. Instead, they awkwardly mounted the fan on the outside, with the wire running back into the case to plug into an adapter then wire directly to a 4 pin Molex connector on the power supply. Images are at the bottom of this page.

From there, things just go down hill with the computer. There is a card reader that was mounted too far into the case, so it was never used. Some strange chrome fan grill covers for the front center fan, that is missing one of the 3 “covers”. A complete lack of cable management with ANY of the cables inside the case. I am really amazed there were no cables stuck in fans.

There was no way I was going to give back his computer in the horrible state it was in. I have not seen a computer build this bad in a while, and there was no way I was giving it back to him looking like this.

These are the images I posted to my Instagram:



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A post shared by Ray (@audiocraz)

The Upgrade:

I was planning on a project that involved the ASRock motherboard, Intel i7 4770, and 12 GB of Ram. So, I have put that project on hold so I can put these parts too very good use. A definite upgrade from where he was, and a good solid foundation to start from.

I spoke with a friend of mine Victor to ask what he had that I could use for this project. He was nice enough to donate the Rosewill case so we can get Michael out of the “hacksaw mod” case.

With the help of Ellen, the Kingston SSD and the EVGA power supply were purchased. Even when working with used components, it is always good to use a new power supply and main OS drive, I find they will help to make the system more reliable.

I had originally purchased the 3 TB drive for another project, but decided to use it for this. As you can see in the video, the hard drive was DOA. Shortly after being formatted, you can hear the drive “clicking”. No files were written, all that was done was a partition format. After running HD Tune it was getting failure error codes and the read speeds were spiking low. I did have a Western Digital 2TB Purple drive that I had purchased for a CCTV project, so that will work for a data drive for now. Michael was coming over the next night and I didn’t have time to send the drive back and order a new one, he can always upgrade at a later time.

Side Technical Notes:

My apologies for the “Shaky Cam” shots. Much of this was a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of thing, and I don’t have a camera man. All of the build video was shot on a Wednesday night, as I was going to be giving him the computer the next night. With the limited time frame, and working on this after my normal job, my time was pressed and I didn’t get as much extra footage as I normally do.

Much of the video of the build was lost due to my streaming/recording PC stopping recording after about 7 min. Due to my rush of getting the build done, I never noticed until after I had the computer built. Luckily there was enough to make the video work. Also, during the reveal, Michael’s microphone stopped working. I tested it and had level before I hit record, but listening back to the video I could not hear his mic. My only guess is the power button on the transmitter was pressed, so I did the best I could with trying to salvage his voice from the audio from my very old Nikon 1 camera.

I guess I am not as good as being a presenter, audio engineer, camera guy, lighting guy, and computer tech at the same time… Oh, and I know my Vanna White skills need work, but I wholeheartedly refuse to shave my legs.


Parts used in this build:



(Amazon Associate Links)

Big thank you for those who supported this project:





If you would like to support me or any of the projects, please check out my Amazon Wish List. Feel like being generous, or want to help out a project, please take a look. As always, you can Support me on Patreon as well, which helps me to do more and improve upon my projects. As always, I love you guys and thank you always.

Ray “AudioCraZ” Grens Jr

Updated: February 21, 2021 — 6:38 am

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