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Did I kill my mobo? (apologies if thi...

Trish's Escape from Hardware Hell Help Board » Hardware » Dead, Dying or Booting Problems » Did I kill my mobo? (apologies if this is a double post) « Previous Next »

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Caevert Emptus
Posted on Tuesday, November 26, 2002 - 12:56 pm:   

This is pretty long, but I think most of it is necessary, although the last couple paragraphs might be enough to make a diagnosis. Here's what happened:

Firstly, my old system specs:
Athlon Thunderbird 1.4GHz
Copper HSF
GeForce DDR 64MB
Creative SoundBlaster Live! Value
3Com Network Card

My system had started to give me random blue screens early on this year. I couldn't figure out what was wrong until I tried running my processor at 1050MHz, when suddenly everything worked fine. I forgot all about the problem for a few months, when suddenly, I started having the same problem very infrequently at the lower clock speed. Since it didn't happen more than maybe once a week, I thought nothing of it, until my system hung and wouldn't POST on restart. All my devices started up fine, but the monitor never got a signal and I never heard any system beeps. It had been running pretty hot all this time (60 degrees C), but I had heard my mobo reports rather high temperatures, plus the dorm rooms are usually pretty warm and dusty, so had I figured it was no problem if I kept my case relatively dust-free.

At that point, I figured my processor had died. The heatsink was almost clogged with dust in places, and I kicked myself briefly for not taking the fan off and blowing out the heatsink. I checked out prices for Athlon XPs and bought a 2000+. Although I read that my motherboard was compatible, I didn't find out until later that that was only true when running the latest beta BIOS version, which I didn't have. However, that was a moot point.

I wanted to make sure that it was in fact the processor that was causing the problem. I removed the old processor and HSF, figuring that if my mobo gave the same results without a processor as with this one, I could be sure. I think I might have made my mistake when I locked the CPU slot...

Anyway, I turned on the machine, it started to power up, and then I heard a loud pop and saw a flash of light somewhere between the parallel port and the CPU slot. Then came the tangy smell of ozone. I turned off the power and checked that area of the motherboard for any discolored capacitors or burn marks, but I couldn't find any.

Finally, my question: did I completely kill my mobo, or is it somehow salvageable? If so, who would I need to take it to? Am I completely off track on the nature of the problem?

Again, apologies for the lengthy description, but I try to be as complete as possible when I'm describing something like this. Thanks for bearing with the reading.
Posted on Wednesday, November 27, 2002 - 11:00 pm:   

The loud POP you heard was probably a capacitor in the Power supply blowing up, You can unplug the Power supply from with in the case all drives and disconnect from the mainboard and remove the 4 screws holding it in. Most shops will be able to check the power supply for free for you.
Caevert Emptus
Posted on Thursday, November 28, 2002 - 8:35 am:   

The power supply tests out OK. One thing I did neglect to mention--before whatever it was got zapped, everything was powering up. Now, the case fans begin to spin up, but then quit, at which point I have to turn the computer off and back on from the power supply to get any response.
Posted on Sunday, December 1, 2002 - 9:09 pm:   

Check the Capacitors around the CPU Socket.

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