How to tell if motherboard or CPU is fried?

March 17, 2011 at 08:10:55
Specs: Windows XP

Hello all,

I've just attempted, and failed, to upgrade the RAM in my desktop PC, with unpleasant side effects.

I was hoping to upgrade from 512MB to 2.5 GB by adding a new 2GB DIMM into the spare slot on my motherboard. I will say up front that I have had considerable difficulty physically fitting the RAM into the slot and have an impressive groove down the middle of each of my thumbs.

The first time, the PC booted up as normal, but only recognised the 512MB RAM as I hadn't plugged the new RAM in properly. Switched off, started again. Managed to get the 2GB in properly, fine, but when I switched on, nothing happened. No beeps, no display on screen, nothing at all. The drives (DVD R and HDD) both did their spin up, but nothing else. I suspected some sort of conflict between the two RAM chips, so I took the 512 MB chip out and replaced with the 2GB in the first slot.

Again, had a fight to get it in the slot, and I'm not sure I got it in properly - as, during the next boot up attempt, nothing happened. Except I noticed a bright (and I mean BRIGHT) orange light appear from one of the pins of one of the components on the motherboard. I switched off as soon as I could, but not before I started to catch that worrying electrical type smell that says that something's going (or should I say 'gone') wrong.

I've taken the 2GB DIMM out and put the 512MB DIMM back in - seated properly. Now, when I switch on, the CPU fan starts, the DVD R spins up (brief light) and the HDD spins up (quick rattle). The HDD and power lights at the front of the case both show on (the HDD one briefly). There is no display on screen, and the reset and power on/off buttons on the front of the case don't work - they don't switch the PC off. I have to use the switch on the PSU to turn the PC back off.

Help? Have I mangled my motherboard, processor or somesuch? I'm not massively technical, but I'll do my best to answer any follow-up questions.

Thanks very much

Dave "Tregowan"

See More: How to tell if motherboard or CPU is fried?

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March 17, 2011 at 08:21:09

Post the hardware information for your current hardware. Or if you have a pre-assembled PC post the brand and the FULL model.

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March 17, 2011 at 08:29:20

Motherboard: ASRock K8Upgrade VM800
Processor: AMD Sempron
Windows XP
RAM: elixir 512 MB DIMM
PCI graphics card, 128MB
Soundblaster Audigy sound card



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March 17, 2011 at 08:32:51

Are you sure that you were putting the correct memory in? Not using DDR3 memory in a DDR2 slot or anything like that? I only ask because you remark upon the extreme difficulty you had in inserting the RAM. It shouldn't be that difficult.

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Related Solutions

March 17, 2011 at 09:05:45

Did you have the computer unplugged at the time?

There is a notch in the bottom of the module that is off center. You can only install one way. If you have it turned end for end it will not go in and lock.

I suggest you try clearing the CMOS. Remove the CMOS battery from the motherboard momentarily and replace. Do this while the computer is unplugged.

If you still have the same problems I suggest you not attempt parts replacement on that computer. It is too old and not worth the expense.

Below is a link to the specs on that board.

One thing to try is to remove the add in video card and try the on board video.

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March 17, 2011 at 09:09:26

that board support up to 2gb(1gb per slot) ddr 400/333/266 non-ecc 2.5v. Buy new board or new system.

i think he tried to force wrong memory in(2gb stick) and in the process damage the board.

We can not fight new wars with old weapons, let he who desires peace prepare for war - PROPHET.

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March 17, 2011 at 09:11:16

Oh dear.

That's exactly what I've done. On the one hand, I've found the solution, but on the other, I feel very stupid.

What am I likely to have damaged, and how do I fix it??



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March 17, 2011 at 09:15:39

u can't fix dead board.
Your board specs

We can not fight new wars with old weapons, let he who desires peace prepare for war - PROPHET.

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March 17, 2011 at 09:15:50

If you want a cheap way to get going again look at the link below. I have bought from this vendor and they are OK. The second board is a better choice.

Examine the RAM and the memory slots on your existing board carefully. If there are ANY burn marks on the RAM modules do not reuse them.

It is doubtful that you damaged the CPU but could have damaged the board and possibly the power supply. I would think the board, if anything. Try the above suggestions first.

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March 17, 2011 at 10:13:29

Thanks for your suggestions. I'm based in the UK, but I'll certainly look into a replacement motherboard. I think the PSU is fine as the drives both spin up fine and my USB card interface also powers up.

Am I likely to be able to retrieve the data off my HDD?

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March 17, 2011 at 10:44:16

hdd is fine, u can connect it to another working system as a slave and continue using it. If u bought same or similar board u don't have to repair or start from the scratch.

We can not fight new wars with old weapons, let he who desires peace prepare for war - PROPHET.

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