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  • The Capacitor Plague and the Risk of Lost Memories
  • The Capacitor Plague and the Risk of Lost Memories


    Hosts: Dennis Garcia and Darren McCain
    Time: 38:00

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    Originally recorded April 2024

    Show Notes

    Capacitor Plague
    When working on old computers you often run into common issues.  Early Commodore 64’s had bad memory chips while 386 and 486 motherboards had leaking batteries that would eat the copper traces and destroy the board.  Well, there was a singular issue that plagued most every motherboard built between 1999 and 2005 and focused on the capacitors.  Many of called this the Capacitator Plague and was the result of some bad corporate espionage or a bad translation of a key formula used to create the special electrolyte used to build a capacitor.

    When this formula is incorrect is can cause the capacitor to explode and leak long before it would normally.  This discussion started when a former review motherboard made its way back to the Hardware Asylum Labs after being put into storage for almost 20 years.  While the motherboard still works the primary capacitors used on the CPU VRM have leaked.

    Risk of Lost Memory(ies) – SSDs
    This second segment is all about storage and one of the not so well-known issues with SSDs and any sort of flash memory.  You see, unlike a traditional hard drive a flash memory chip needs to have power to record data.  Under normal operation a flash card, thumb drive or SSD is connected to a device which will provide just enough power to keep the chip energized.  However, if you simply put one of these devices in a box and store it away for a while there is a good chance that the next time you boot up the drive, everything will be gone.

    The duo discuss the problem and provide some suggestions on how best to create backups that should last as long as you need them to.

    Related Links
    Capacitor Plague Wikipedia
    Capacitors: Not just for Abit Owners
    Leaking Capacitors Muck Up Motherboards
    Soltek SL-75DRV4 Purple Ray – YouTube
    SMART and SSDs - Crucial

    Episode 158 featured music:
    Little People - Start Shootin' (http://www.littlepeoplemusic.com/)