User wants to upgrade his gaming PC, makes a mistake unnoticed and has a nasty surprise

When upgrading hardware, a player acts too hastily. He forgets a small but important step before removing the old graphics card. Now he also has to replace the motherboard.

Replacing the graphics card in a gaming PC is actually quick. Disconnect the power cable for the additional power supply and loosen one or more screws that secure the graphics card to the housing.

With such an upgrade, a user forgot the quick release on the PCIe slot in the last step out of ignorance and did not unlock it. He then removed the pixel accelerator from the computer despite the great resistance and in doing so damaged his motherboard.

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Hasty hardware upgrade with consequences

What happened during the upgrade? A gamer wanted to replace the graphics card in his gaming PC. However, he forgot to unlock the PCIe slot. This small plastic lever usually ensures that a graphics card is securely inserted into the slot after installation.

In addition, graphics cards are fixed to the PC case with one or more screws at the level of the slot covers. When installing and removing the pixel accelerator, the screws are immediately noticeable. The unlocking is different, as it is often difficult to access and easily overlooked.

While the lever closes itself when installed, it must be released by hand when removed. If you forget to do this, you will notice some resistance when removing the hardware. The lever must be unlocked at this moment at the latest to avoid damage.

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A picture of the defective motherboard on Reddit

Why didn’t he realize his mistake? In a Reddit post, user Chem2calWaste reports on a friend who experienced this mishap. Why he continued to pull on the graphics card is not explained. It also remains unclear what model the card is.

He says about his friend in the comments on Reddit that he hardly cares about his PC. He probably made the mistake out of ignorance and thought nothing of it when the graphics card could only be removed with great effort.

Since the hardware was already a few years old, the friend decided to buy a cheap replacement board for 50 euros. The damaged motherboard is an MSI B150M PRO-VDH with socket 1151 for 6th generation Intel processors, such as the i7-6700(K). Amazon has been listing the motherboard since September 2015.

Reactions from the community

What do others say? The community feels for the unlucky person. Some users reported similar experiences and their problems solving the unlocking in the comments under the post.

TRIPMIN_Guy says:

  • “When I replaced the GPU, the slot almost ripped out. I didn’t know there was a release mechanism and moved on.” (via Reddit)
  • Paavikana is always afraid of damaging the components on his motherboard:

  • “I feel for you. I have to use a long screwdriver to loosen my unlocking mechanism and I’m so afraid of scratching the motherboard every time.” (via Reddit)
  • facw00 sees some of the blame for such accidents on newer graphics cards:

  • “To be fair, these levers really suck. Especially now that we have three-slot graphics cards with backplates.” (via Reddit)
  • How are the manufacturers reacting? Some motherboard manufacturers are aware of the problem and are now offering motherboards that have a simpler and safer quick-release mechanism. Asus, for example, calls this function PCIe Q-Release.

    If you are unsure how to unlock your mainboard, a quick look at the relevant manual is sometimes enough. The appropriate manual can often be found in the mainboard’s download area on the manufacturer’s website.

    If you can’t find what you’re looking for there, technology forums or YouTube instructions are another place to go to make sure you know how to remove your graphics card from your gaming PC without causing damage.

    Installing and removing hardware in a gaming PC can sometimes cause some problems if certain things are not taken into account. The individual components should always be screwed and securely fixed as intended by the manufacturer. One user decided not to do this when installing his M.2 SSD: the user is too lazy to buy a screw and prefers to attach his SSD to the mainboard with adhesive tape

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