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Thread: My computer is dead... :(

  1. #1
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    My computer is dead... :(

    Guess what! My computer just died!

    After some extensive testing I think the motherboard somehow got fried. When I hit the power button the fans spin up and stuff but the screen never comes up. It never even gets to the bios. I've tried different monitors, etc but with no luck. The motherboard in question doesn't have any onboard graphics so I can't tell if it's just a problem with the gfx card or what. But, the last time I tried turning on the computer a puff of smoke came up from the processor. Anyone ever experience anything like this? Any known fixes? Or is it just really dead?

    As a side note, I'm now accepting donations! So if you want to help me buy a new computer, I'd love you forever! Decent computers seem to run around $500-ish from what I can tell. I don't even have $10! Ha!

    Thanks for any help!

  2. #2
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    Do you have a second box to test things on?

    I assume it's a MoBo problem, but my friend(who does tech support for a living) says it sounds like a PSU problem, I can't remember the full explanation, but apparently when some PSU's get old they start giving a bit of an unpredictable output, which can cause damage.

    Honestly I wouldn't want to assume anyone knows the right solution without seeing the box in question, but I wouldn't risk turning it on again, If smoke is coming from your CPU it's a clear sign of overheating, which is ALWAYS a bad thing.

    PS: Link bad XML
    Code:
    XML Parsing Error: no element found
    Location: http://www.jamesdimick.com/donate/
    Line Number 61, Column 1:
    ^

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by scragar View Post
    Do you have a second box to test things on?
    Not really... However, I did test the gfx card on my brothers computer and it worked just fine. Don't really want to do too much more testing on his computer though because his computer still works and he uses it. Don't want to break it too. Then I'd have NO way to get on here. My brothers computer is what I've been using to get on the Internet while mine is dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by scragar View Post
    I assume it's a MoBo problem, but my friend(who does tech support for a living) says it sounds like a PSU problem, I can't remember the full explanation, but apparently when some PSU's get old they start giving a bit of an unpredictable output, which can cause damage.
    I guess it could be the PSU. Now that I think about it I forgot to mention in my original post that my PSU had a puff of smoke before the CPU did. So, maybe it is the PSU? But then again, I tried an old PSU I had floating around and it didn't work either. But, I'm not gonna assume that means anything. The older PSU I tried could be bad or something...

    I also tried an old mobo I also had and that didn't work either. But, again, it could be a bad mobo or the bad PSU or some other combination like that...

    Quote Originally Posted by scragar View Post
    PS: Link bad XML
    Code:
    XML Parsing Error: no element found
    Location: http://www.jamesdimick.com/donate/
    Line Number 61, Column 1:
    ^
    Doh! How did that happen!? Sigh... It should be fixed now though... hopefully!

  4. #4
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    Your prognosis does not sound good. Anytime a processor smokes, its a bad sign for sure.
    The first test you can do on the PSU is the smell test, if it smoked, it would smell bad. with the power off, smell the exhaust part of the PSU if you can smell a foul smell, chances are the PSU has gone kaput. Also if you have a volt meter you can test the output on any plug coming out of the PSU.
    Set the meter to the DC setting.
    Plug the Power supply in. (if its not already)
    Select a plug like the kind that goes into the hard drive (non sata type)Put the common lead in/on a Black and the red lead in/on the red or yellow.
    Turn the system on
    See if the PSU cooling fan is spinning, if not, the PSU most likely overheated and failed.
    Depending on red or yellow you should get a reading of 5v or 12v.
    If you don't get anything or, if your readings are +/- 2 or more volts, your PSU is bad.

    If your processor smoked, I don't think you would be able to recover it, if the cooling fan for the processor FAN smoked (not common, processor fans don't usually smoke) that can be replaced.

    PSU failures can cause all kinds of problems depending on the failure. Most of the time they just go out and replacing them corrects the problem, however, if the PSU voltage regulator failed and sent over voltages to the MoBo, well anything can happen then, including frying your processor which would be very sensitive to over voltages. If this is the case, you would have to replace the MoBo, and Processor (which might be a good thing.. Upgrade time! or bad if you don’t have the bucks right now )

    If you inspect your MoBo Capacitors, they should look flat on top, if you find one bulging and it looks like something spewed out of it, the cap has blown. Another indicator of a voltage failure.

    sorry if this was too much info.

    Did your Hard Drive have info you need to save?

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the response! Actually, the more info the better!

    I smelled the PSU and I'm not really smelling anything. Although, it did smell when it happened...

    I wish I had a volt meter!

    Also, I checked the capacitors and I don't see any bulging. Although, I may have missed something...

    As for the drive, yeah, I have all my current projects I've been working on in that drive. But, I have a 160GB external drive so I can backup all the data if the drive hasn't been corrupted. I sure hope not! Will have to plug it in my new computer (if I ever get one) to figure out the state of the drive.

    Thanks again!

  6. #6
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    Your Hard Drive should be fine. I asked, because if you end up replacing your MoBo, you would not be able to put in your old Hard Drive with your new setup without a little work first. Windows stores hardware profiles deep within its program, if the profiles dont match up then there are all kinds of issues. You could Image you Hard Drive with software to get around this. One such software is.
    http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing...cts/trueimage/

    Or just restore from your back up your important files which is the easiest.

    But back to Troubleshooting your PSU issue.

    I know this may be a little work, but if you have the time and expertise, I would do the following for troubleshooting.

    You mentioned you had an old MoBo and Old PSU, did you try them together, bypassing your system all together? If you can get that old system to boot at least to a bios screen, then we can have a point to work from.

    To ease confusion I will call your smoked system and components smokie, and your old system you had around “OLD”.

    Next step to try is to unplug all power plugs from the smokie PSU and smokie MoBo and components like hard drive, CD Drive etc. You can do this without having to take it out of the chassis. Take the OLD PSU and Plug it up to the Smokie MoBo only no CD drives or Hard drives etc..

    Turn on the PC.

    If the board boots, then the smokie processor may be ok and you know for sure the Smokie PSU is bad.

    If it still does not boot, and the OLD PSU booted before. Then we can TS the Processor, (maybe).

    Will your smokie processor fit in the OLD board? Let me know, and I will go from there if Smokie processor is compatible with the OLD board.

  7. #7
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    sorry for the double post if it shows up.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by YourDaddy View Post
    sorry for the double post if it shows up.
    I took care of the double post.

    Back to the computer...

    Thanks for the tip on files. I actually have been using Ubuntu lately. I guess I should have specified that. Sorry. I also have a seperate partition called Backup that has a pretty current backup of all my files.

    I tried the old mobo and the old PSU together and it didn't work. Oddly enough it doesn't seem to get to the bios either...

    I also tried unplugging everything and that didn't help. All I have plugged in right now is the mobo power connector, the extra power connector for the gfx card (have tried without this too), and the connector to the power button. No go.

    And, yes, the mobos are from the same company. They are also pretty close to the same version. So, I have tried changing the processors between them. No go either.

    I can get more specific info if you need it. Like the mobo model numbers, etc. Just let me know...

    Thanks again for your help!

  9. #9
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    I downloaded Ubuntu and made a CD a couple weeks ago. I installed it on a system to try it out, I have found a new love! I would be all over Ubuntu if I could run all my software that I use on it, like USB devices, drivers, camera, mouse etc. QuickBooks and other software. Anyway..

    Ok if you are sure that the OLD PSU is dead, I won’t go down that road any more.

    Running out of options here.

    What is the processor you are using anyway?

    When the PSU is plugged into the MoBo and hard drive, do you hear the hard drive spin up?

    I’m pretty certain your PSU is toast as you most likely are too, but I really wanted to find out if your MoBo and processor can be saved.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by YourDaddy View Post
    I downloaded Ubuntu and made a CD a couple weeks ago. I installed it on a system to try it out, I have found a new love! I would be all over Ubuntu if I could run all my software that I use on it, like USB devices, drivers, camera, mouse etc. QuickBooks and other software.
    I actually just posted about this sort of here. Figure I'd just link you so I don't have to repeat myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by YourDaddy View Post
    What is the processor you are using anyway?
    I'm not 100% sure about the processor in smokie because there is a sticker covering all the important numbers. I can't seem to get the sticker off either. One number I can see though is "27493" in the lower left-hand corner of the processor. I did a quick search on Google and this image looks like it:http://www.cpu-world.com/info/AMD//images/L_27493.jpg

    Also, the smokie mobo is the M848A from PCChips.

    Quote Originally Posted by YourDaddy View Post
    When the PSU is plugged into the MoBo and hard drive, do you hear the hard drive spin up?
    Yes. I do here it spin up.

    Thanks again for your help! I really appreciate it!

  11. #11
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    before you panic and go to extremes check the memory sticks sounds like u have a bad one. not the motherbaod not the videocard not the processor THE RAM aka memory best to replace them all so it does not happen again for a long time. a power surge of any type can screw up a memory stick. your welcome from star computer repairs

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the reply!

    I do actually want to replace the whole stupid thing but unfortunately I don't have the money...

  13. #13
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    i can help u free of charge send me a private message for details

  14. #14
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    Smile

    With over voltage issues anything can happen. I would say though if you had a memory issue, you could remove your memory and turn on your system. You should get beep codes from your MoBo (indicating a problem with memory or missing memory). If this happens it could very well be your memory. If you get no beep codes, well we are back to square one.

    I am feeling the spirit of the season however. I went through my surplus stuff (wife calls it junk lol) and I came across an AMD socket A, 462 processor, (which is what you showed in the picture), MoBo and Power Supply, It was actually a whole system. I will part it out for you. It’s yours if you want it. I could pack it up and send it off to you. All you would have to do is pay for actual shipping.

    What would I ask in return… I came to this forum site because I am looking to get into web design. I may ask for some help some day with some sort of design issue or question.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by YourDaddy View Post
    With over voltage issues anything can happen. I would say though if you had a memory issue, you could remove your memory and turn on your system. You should get beep codes from your MoBo (indicating a problem with memory or missing memory). If this happens it could very well be your memory. If you get no beep codes, well we are back to square one.
    I just tried it with no memory, one stick of memory, etc. and I got absolutely NO error beeps whatsoever. I also tried messing with the PC speaker to make sure it wasn't an issue with the speaker itself and I could find nothing wrong with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by YourDaddy View Post
    I am feeling the spirit of the season however. I went through my surplus stuff (wife calls it junk lol) and I came across an AMD socket A, 462 processor, (which is what you showed in the picture), MoBo and Power Supply, It was actually a whole system. I will part it out for you. It’s yours if you want it. I could pack it up and send it off to you. All you would have to do is pay for actual shipping.
    Really? That would be great! But, do you know how much the shipping would be? I may be able to pay for it if it's not too much. But yeah, that would be awesome!

    Quote Originally Posted by YourDaddy View Post
    What would I ask in return… I came to this forum site because I am looking to get into web design. I may ask for some help some day with some sort of design issue or question.
    You got it. I'll help whenever I can. Maybe even some direct help over IM or something if you ever needed/wanted it.

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