Personal Blog

Permanent Brain Damage From Bitcoin Mining

Never sleep in the room where you have your mining rigs, like gold mining, keep it safe. Underclock it if needed during summer, and control the temperature of the room and of your rigs.

Here’s the episode of Bitcoin mining going wrong:

“Hi, I’m the person who posted that message. I originally posted it on 4chan’s technology board (/g/), though apparently someone took a screenshot and it’s been reposted quite a lot on other sites. I don’t feel like doing an interview, but here are some more details in case you’re wondering: I started Bitcoin mining quite a while ago. I already had a decent build with 2 5850s in crossfire that I used for gaming. After mining for a while, I earned enough money to buy more mining hardware from Newegg and Amazon. In the end, I had a total of 4 PCs with 2 5850s in each of them, except for 1 of them, which had 3 5850s. I won’t bother listing all the specs, since they’re nothing special aside from the 5850s. I overclocked the core clocks of the 5850s to squeeze a little more performance out of them, and underclocked the video ram in order to reduce heat. I had them running at 100% fan speed to try and cool them off a little better, but they still got pretty hot anyway. I’m a freshman in college and unfortunately still live with my parents (living in a dorm is too expensive), so I don’t really have any other place to put my PCs except in my own room. So I kept all 4 machines in my bedroom, which is not very big. So they were pretty close to my bed.My parents’ house doesn’t have central heating/AC, but instead we have window AC units that we install in the summer, and space heaters for the winter.

However, I procrastinated and didn’t install the AC unit in my room because it wasn’t too hot yet. They are big, bulky, and heavy, so I didn’t want to do it until I absolutely had to. But, being the summer, it did eventually get hotter. Faster than I had anticipated.One day, when I was sleeping (yes, I sometimes sleep in the day due to being up very late at night/early in the morning), it got very hot. And I still didn’t have the AC unit installed in my room, and my 4 mining rigs were still mining bitcoins (I left them on 24/7), generating lots of heat. It was extremely hot. I eventually woke up due to the heat, but it was already too late. I had a terrible heat stroke, and it was quite frightening and disorienting. I not only felt physically terrible, having trouble breathing and terrible nausea, but I was also mentally and emotionally confused and saw all sorts of unpleasant hallucinations (but after doing some googling, apparently that’s normal for people who have heat strokes).

I eventually staggered out of my room, which took quite a lot of effort, and my parents saw that I wasn’t doing too well and then realized I needed medical attention. They rushed me to the ER, and at this point I was barely conscious so I don’t remember everything, but they put bags of ice on me and made me drink tons of liquids. I have no idea how long it lasted, because every second felt like an hour. It was terrible. After I was in a stable condition, they did some general check-up stuff to make sure that I didn’t have any organ damage or something, and I told them that my head felt awful, so they did either a CT scan or MRI scan (I forget which is which, but it was some scan or another of my head), and said I basically had minor brain damage (they used a fancier term for it, but I forgot exactly what it was… but it was basically just minor permanent brain damage). I don’t notice much of a difference in my ability to think… it’s not as if I’m mentally retarded or anything now, but even so, no brain damage is good.

I eventually went back home and rested up for a while. My parents installed the AC unit in my room before I went back in. I just slept and drank lots of water for a couple days. I had mostly recovered from the heat stroke, but my body was still dehydrated, so I needed to rest and drink more fluids. And during this time, I turned off all of my PCs. Only the AC was running in my room.I am aware that this was all my fault and that it could have prevented it, but it’s too late to change anything now. And after all this, I am no longer going to do any bitcoin mining. I will probably sell my mining rigs, or maybe find some other purpose for them. But they definitely won’t be on at full load 24/7 like I used to have them, even though I have a good AC unit in my room.And despite this whole situation being rather shitty, I still feel pretty damn lucky. Heat strokes can be fatal if they aren’t treated quickly enough. But fortunately for me, I was able to get treated in time. A little brain damage is still better than death, after all. It still sucks, but it also could’ve been worse.In conclusion, if you are mining bitcoins, or plan on mining bitcoins, make sure that your hardware doesn’t get too hot, and if you’re like me and have your hardware in your bedroom, definitely make sure you have AC! Don’t repeat the same mistakes I made. Even if it only feels a little more warm than usual, you never know if the weather will get worse.”

Source: 4chan