Cautionary Tale About A PC And A Child’s Imagination

Let’s face it – computers can be downright aggravating at times. There is an old saying that they’re “dumb boxes” that only do what they’re told and not what you want them to  do. But some of the aggravations can be prevented.

I had a client a few years ago bring his system in because it was occasionally making strange noises. I started the computer up numerous times and it always sounded fine.

As a troubleshooting measure, I opened up the case to check inside for any obvious signs of trouble. What I found was obviously the problem. The inside of the case was  absolutely filled with CDROM disks. It was stuffed full!

I removed the 20 or so music and video game disks and returned them to the client when he picked his station up. Was he surprised!

“There are all the CDs I have been missing.”

My curiosity got the best of me and I asked him how they got in there. He had no idea at the time. When he asked his 2 year old son that was with him, “Have you been putting  disks in the computer?” the boy demonstrated how he put the disk in the little slot between the CDROM player and the case cover. This sent the CD right into the case. His father explained his old computer had a slot you would slide the disks in and the boy thought this computer worked the same way.

Although this may seem like the strangest thing that could happen with kids and computers, my favorite happened shortly after this episode. It has been said the kid’s say the  darndest things, but they can also do the strangest things.

This client brought in her station because the CD player wouldn’t open. I created the service ticket and placed it on the service bench. When the time came to repair the problem, I started the computer up and pushed the eject button on the player. The door tried to open but just wouldn’t go all the way. I tried to manually open the door and it felt like something was stuck in the player and perhaps preventing the door from properly operating.

This can commonly be caused by a disk becoming dislodged and jamming in the tray. I removed the player and shook it upside down to try and reseat the disk. Nothing that I tried  seemed to help.

I then pressed the manual release and pried the door open and the tray came out – along with a whole bunch of animal crackers. It seems her little one had a new game he was playing.

He would open the CD, lay an animal cracker in the tray and press the close button and send the animal for a ride. After having done this to the point of filling the player, his game was over, the tray was stuck. Needless to say she was not thrilled with having to buy another player, and I’m afraid her son may have gotten into some hot water.

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