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What's the jankiest PC fix you've ever made?

You'd think I'd be too embarrassed to show off this cable management and airflow nightmare, but I have no shame.

You'd think I'd be too embarrassed to show off this cable management and airflow nightmare, but I have no shame.

The fan on my closed-loop liquid cooler failed the other day. The pump still worked, so coolant was circulating from the CPU to the radiator, but without air blowing across the radiator, it eventually heated up too much to be effective. I discovered the fan failure when my PC shut down while I was playing Rocket League one night, which is how I seem to discover most of my PC problems.

Of course, I wasn't about to stop playing Rocket League just because my CPU was overheating. So, the night the fan failed, I found a plastic desk fan and set it next to the radiator, blowing into my PC with the side panel off. This is a horrible thing to do. You're right to shame me for it—but my CPU temps returned to normal, and the Rocket League continued. You do what you gotta do.

I love quick and dirty fixes. When my car's battery started draining at night, for example, I just started popping the hood and unhooking it every time I parked. I even considered installing a switch on the hood to save me some of the trouble, but decided that was going too far. The obviously correct thing to do was just to have someone look at the wiring and probably fix it in 10 minutes, but if a problem can be 'fixed' without spending money, I'm inclined to go with my method.

It's a terrible policy (and yes, I have now replaced my CPU cooler with one that works). Shoddy fixes usually take more effort and cause more problems than doing things the right way. But I can't help it—maybe I just like the cyberpunk look, where everything is fixed by adding more wires, some tubes, and a few switches, and everything is held together with electrical tape and barely works. 

Curious, I asked the PC Gamer Club (opens in new tab) members what their worst fixes have been. Ambassad0r wins with this one: "I had to cut the power button connector to separate the pins because their layout didn't fit with the new mobo and now my PC can't turn off (it just restarts) so the only way is to turn off the PSU. And I've been living with this for 5 years maybe." 

Yikes. For this PCG Q&A, tell us about your own unconventional, probably-a-bad-idea PC fixes and workarounds in the comments. Given that I spent days with air blowing dust into my PC as cables spilled out the side, you really shouldn't worry about being judged.

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley alongside Apple and Microsoft, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early personal computers his parents brought home. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, Bushido Blade (yeah, he had Bleem!), and all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now. In 2006, Tyler wrote his first professional review of a videogame: Super Dragon Ball Z for the PS2. He thought it was OK. In 2011, he joined PC Gamer, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. After work, he practices boxing and adds to his 1,200 hours in Rocket League.