SwiftOnSecurity, (edited )
@SwiftOnSecurity@infosec.exchange avatar

Periodic reminder just leaving shit unplugged for hours does fix things. Fucking capacitors/resettable fuses are everywhere and you have to defeat them with waiting it out with ALL POWER REMOVED. Even your USB devices and screens with their own power. No power in contact with anything that’s connected.

Fixed a washing machine like this. Just fixed my motherboard despite me hitting the reset to defaults button AND removing the battery.

Sometimes you got to just give things a time-out in a corner to think about what they did.

@henryk@chaos.social avatar

@SwiftOnSecurity There's this story about a Thinkpad support hotline procedure that's introduced as "You might think I'm crazy, but please bear with me" and then proceeds to instruct to first remove battery and power source and then to press the "on" button repeatedly, long and short presses.

Apparently it's the fast way to make sure that the Embedded Controller really really runs out of power and goes into reset, fixing a surprising number of sporadic issues.

@schrotthaufen@mastodon.social avatar

@henryk @SwiftOnSecurity Can confirm. They didn’t say the line, but they had me do exactly this.

On my old x200s, I had to remove the regular, and CMOS battery every now and then, press the power button for about 10 seconds, and then reassemble for the device to boot.

@samhainnight@mstdn.social avatar

@henryk @SwiftOnSecurity Have a Thinkpad, can confirm.

@RichiH@chaos.social avatar
@clive@saturation.social avatar

@henryk @SwiftOnSecurity

Yeah, I've done that lot with thinkpads in the past -- also a lot of misbehaving dells

And it's regarded as best practice when you're opening one up to do any sort of work at all

@resuna@ohai.social avatar

@henryk @SwiftOnSecurity

I just had to do something similar on my HP Elitebook to get it to charge the battery via USBC again.


@henryk @SwiftOnSecurity back at xbox customer support we often would make people "re-seat" their hard drives, not because it would actually fix the issue, but because it was the easiest way to get them to really, actually, truly turn the damn thing off and disconnect it from power for a bit. users would do everything they possibly could to not turn off a device, and lie to us claiming it was unplugged when it was not.

As soon as we told them we're disconnecting and reconnecting the hard drive, and all their stuff could be damaged if they didn't turn it off and unplug it, they would.

@resuna@ohai.social avatar

@kvuzet @henryk @SwiftOnSecurity

> users would do everything they possibly could to not turn off a device


When I was on desktop support my biggest problem was people unplugging everything and not plugging them back in again. I used to ask them to "check that all the cables were properly seated" to get them to actually go back behind the desk and plug everything back in without embarrassing them.

@miki@dragonscave.space avatar

@henryk @SwiftOnSecurity I had a similar issue with my old dell laptop once. The thing mostly worked, but the WiFi and Bluetooth adapter was suddenly gone. I tried everything, including reinstalling Windows, but no dice. Even a clean Windows install with no driver updates couldn't see it any more. I found a solution around page 3 of Google, on a forum where the posts were somehow in English but the UI was in Hebrew I think. THe solution was to turn the thing off, unplug it from power, wait around 30 seconds, turn it back on and plug it in again. Worked like a charm.

@StompyRobot@mastodon.gamedev.place avatar

@SwiftOnSecurity another thing that takes more than a second to settle after unplugging is a PTC resettable fuse -- basically a resistor that is low resistance, until it overheats and "blows," but letting it cool down will reset it.

@pejacoby@infosec.exchange avatar

@SwiftOnSecurity Once fixed bizarre Wii problems by leaving it fully unplugged for 5 DAYS. Nothing else did the trick.

Kids were happy, and I didn't have to buy a replacement…

@crumbcake@meow.social avatar

@SwiftOnSecurity Static electricity is another weird one, I worked on a solar powered research device years ago that would slowly build up static charge until the whole thing just stopped working. We ended up installing a ground connection that fixed the issue but before that we'd just have to let the thing kind of sit for a while to discharge between tests.


@SwiftOnSecurity @Selena I always just assumed this was the tech fairy. She's got a lot of things to fix so if you don't leave it unplugged long enough, she won't get to it.


@SwiftOnSecurity 💯​This is my go-to fix for weird networking problems. Network cards are notorious for saving dumb settings forever. 🔌​Unplug and count to 10.👍​

@andrewfeeney@phpc.social avatar

@SwiftOnSecurity Instructions unclear, just unplugged prod and now boss is yelling.

@Pineywoozle@masto.ai avatar

@SwiftOnSecurity @blueberry This kind of applies to life as well

@blueberry@fosstodon.org avatar

@Pineywoozle @SwiftOnSecurity haha thanks! Time to just unplug myself for a little while

@SwiftOnSecurity@infosec.exchange avatar


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  • glennf,
    @glennf@twit.social avatar

    @SwiftOnSecurity This reminds me of stiction on old hard drives.

    @BibbleCo@infosec.exchange avatar

    @SwiftOnSecurity Note for anyone in the UK - unqualified tinkering with gas appliances (I assume that's gas) is illegal, for very good reasons.

    @enobacon@urbanists.social avatar

    @BibbleCo @SwiftOnSecurity how about heat pumps? At least the R32 charge will burn out rather quickly if you get it really wrong.

    @alda@topspicy.social avatar

    @SwiftOnSecurity A stratospheric nuclear explosion can have a similar effect.

    @MsHearthWitch@wandering.shop avatar

    @SwiftOnSecurity Works for people too sometimes!

    @alcinnz@floss.social avatar

    @SwiftOnSecurity I have first-hand experience here... Thanks to a bluetooth speaker...

    @bosh@infosec.exchange avatar
    @willasaywhat@infosec.exchange avatar

    @SwiftOnSecurity don’t talk about me like that it’s rude plugs herself back in

    @tinker@infosec.exchange avatar

    @SwiftOnSecurity - A machine has a soul. And souls need rest. Just let the machine rest.

    @kkarhan@mstdn.social avatar

    @SwiftOnSecurity true, true...

    @SoupGod228@jawns.club avatar

    @SwiftOnSecurity Turns out, turning something off and on again really does wonders at times

    @RichiH@chaos.social avatar

    @SwiftOnSecurity I had this on a ThinkPad X31 many many moons ago.. It stopped booting right and then I tried to fix it, opened it, and to do so I had to remove the battery. Fast forward a few weeks of not having time, and I figured that whatever supercaps were in there must be emptied by now so why not just try..

    Booted right up.

    When friends and family have weird issues, I default to removing power cables and batteries for at least 20 minutes, over night if they have the time. It works.

    @Sempf@infosec.exchange avatar

    @SwiftOnSecurity "ChatGPT, draw me Taylor Swift defeating a capacitor in armed combat "

    @4censord@unfug.social avatar

    @SwiftOnSecurity oh, i thought that was common knowledge: unplug, press and hold the power button for ~30s to unload the capacitors

    @SwiftOnSecurity@infosec.exchange avatar

    @4censord yes try that first but didn’t work in my case today,

    @thebeehammer@infosec.exchange avatar

    @SwiftOnSecurity I had a tv that kept failing to power on successfully. Unplugged it for a month and it’s been working fine since.

    @0xabad1dea@infosec.exchange avatar

    @SwiftOnSecurity my work laptop is fine except for the thing where it will randomly BSOD and once that happens, the bios cannot even find the hard drive to boot from until I leave the device cold for a while. yeah, must be a cursed capacitor…

    @rotopenguin@mastodon.social avatar

    @0xabad1dea @SwiftOnSecurity I had an HP Envy that was like that. I ended up opening it up and found a few bits of stray metal in there, likely from HP doing a terrible job of countersinking the back case.

    I cleaned it out, handed it off to someone else. I hear it's more reliable now, probably. You could not pay me enough to ever look at another HP.

    @croyle@wandering.shop avatar

    @rotopenguin @0xabad1dea @SwiftOnSecurity I have a refurb HP laptop. Overall it's nice, but HP injects their firmware that you can't turn off that will nag you every single time you start up if you use a non-HP battery. So typical of them. I will never buy another HP pc.

    @jernej__s@infosec.exchange avatar

    @croyle @rotopenguin @0xabad1dea @SwiftOnSecurity Haven't seen that yet, and we sold a bunch of compatible batteries to clients using HP laptops.

    OTOH, I will never ever recommend any Envy or Pavillion (or any other made-for-home HP computer) – practically every single one of these we sold had some kind of problem, and the warranty service support is atrocious, completely different from the business service.

    @MHowell@kolektiva.social avatar

    @SwiftOnSecurity Tantalum, #AmIRight ?

    Best known for intermittent shorts when used as power supply bypass.

    @rivetgeek@dice.camp avatar

    @SwiftOnSecurity And if the falls, give the caps the what for by shorting a screwdriver across a few of them.

    @digitalfox@yip.vulpine.engineer avatar

    @SwiftOnSecurity This worked on a broken AM/FM/CD player combo.. at least for a few months.

    Ultimately, after looking online, others reported it being a common flaw with a power supply capacitor, and at $1 a pop (for the ultra-premium version), swapping that part out made it work just fine.

    If powering something off doesn't work, it's worth looking online in case it's easier (relative) to do.

    @ftp_alun@infosec.exchange avatar

    @digitalfox @SwiftOnSecurity "capacitor plague"

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