What's the most catastrophic system build you've suffered from?

So, it turns out that Russian Proton-M rocket which crashed a couple of weeks back did so because some of its parts were installed upside down . Anyone out there who has played the awesome Kerbal Space Program ( Update 0.21 has finished Q&A and is so close I can taste it!) will be able to sympathise with the poor technician responsible.

When checking out the wreckage of the doomed rocket investigators discovered some angular velocity sensors had been installed upside down. That lead to the vehicle receiving contradictory information as to its orientation and the subsequent efforts to correct it meant it thrashed around violently before smashing into the ground in a mass of pretty 'splodes. That got me thinking back wistfully on all the simple errors I'd made putting together machines with catastrophic consequences. Whether it was spending a year debugging the first PC I ever built some twenty years ago, mashing the pins on a modern Intel CPU socket or literally blowing up an expensive new solid state drive (the image below is exhibit A, m'lud) they've all been pretty catastrophic to some extent.

Though obviously not as expensive as blowing up a whole space rocket.

As PC gamers we will all, at some point, feel the need to take the side off our machine and dig around inside. That could be because something has gone wrong or we just fancy taking advantage of the upgradability of our chosen gaming platform.

But lets use this as a cathartic experience; think of this as a safe place. This is somewhere you can exorcise those moments things haven't quite gone to plan when taking to your PC with screwdriver in hand, knowing you're surrounded by like-minded folk.

So let's share; what's the worst damage you've ever done to your PC when you've been messing with it? Have you ever tried installing anything the wrong way around?

Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.