identifying which part blew

April 22, 2009 at 13:58:28
Specs: Windows XP
I put my first build together, and when I turned it on, nothing happened. then a fuse blew and the magic smoke came out, as far as I could tell it came from the top fan, but I'm not aware of how fast the smoke rises, so it might have come from an inner component if it rose very fast out of the top vent. Either way how do I identify for sure which part blew and needs to be replaced? I took a look inside and there doesn't seem to be any difference.









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April 22, 2009 at 14:28:56
There is no way to determine what you may have damaged from your description. If it blew the house fuse then you have a dead short. That would probably only come from the motherboard touching the case where it shouldn't.

Remove the motherboard and inspect for burn marks, especially on the back.

You need to install the metal standoffs ONLY under each mounting screw hole and NO where else. If there are burn marks on the motherboard then that is where to start replacing.

You should have bench tested the board BEFORE installing in the case.

What, if any external hardware did you have connected other than KBoard, mouse, monitor?

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April 22, 2009 at 15:09:10
First build?

My guess is you didn't benchtest before assembling everything in the case. If I'm correct, that was a very costly mistake. It may be too late, but I suggest you take all your hardware out of the case & start over.

- Place the motherboard on a non-conductive surface on the bench. The box the board came in will work nicely. Are you 100% sure you installed the CPU & HSF correctly? If not, remove them & check for damage. When you reinstall the HSF, use a very thin line of paste down the center of the CPU & make sure it's properly oriented. Follow these attention to the note in the lower right:

- Install ONE stick of RAM only.

- Install a video card (either standard PCI or PCI-e) & connect monitor to card.

- Connect the PSU to the motherboard (both 24-pin plug & 4-pin plug) & connect to video card (if required).

- Connect keyboard, preferrably PS/2.

- Do NOT connect anything else.

- Power up the monitor & PSU, then start the board by pressing the power button next to the RAM slots.

If you get a display on the screen, use the keyboard to enter the BIOS & immediately go to the PC Health menu to monitor your CPU temp. Wait a minute or two for the temp to stabilize. If it seems to be OK, manually configure all the BIOS settings for best performance.

The next step I would perform would be to install the rest of the RAM, then connect either a floppy drive or optical drive & run memtest86. It may take 30 min or longer to run one complete series of tests. If it completes the series with no errors, you can be reasonably sure the RAM is good.

Now install just the above hardware in the case & connect the case wiring. Power up to double check that you didn't short anything out during the installation. If everything appears to be OK, shutdown, install the rest of your hardware, then install the OS.

If the above doesn't work, you'll know what to do next time.

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April 22, 2009 at 18:42:32
Which fuse blew?

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April 23, 2009 at 09:57:58
I Don't Know
ok, here's what I have:

upon inspection, no one part shows any signs of dmg (no burn mark, etc) the motherboard and cpu both look fine.

after that I started over and plugged only these in:

12 v
power connector

The motherboard, psu, and cpu are mounted on the case.

the results:

No activity, no noise (no fan activity)
power light lights up on motherboard, and a distinct smell begins to appear. I turn it off before it gets worse.

With a tech friend on the line, he helped me through it so I didn't make any mistakes. He thinks that its either the motherboard or the psu. The motherboard seems to be getting power, ie the blue power led turns on, but doesn't seem to be supplying power to the rest. Hes on the line, and cant see himself, so he wants a second opinion before he stars advising what to send back, what do you guys think?

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April 23, 2009 at 10:38:43
You don't know which fuse blew?

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April 23, 2009 at 10:59:04
no, I don't.

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April 23, 2009 at 11:31:42
You can't possibly know that a fuse blew without knowing what fuse since you have to examine it to find out if it did, in fact, blow.

Bench test it out of the case. If your PSU has a 120/240 switch make sure it's in the correct position--DON'T GUESS. It's pretty hard to connect the electrical stuff up wrong since the molex connectors are all keyed to only go on one way. So likely either there was a short somewhere or some hardware was bad to begin with.

It should be easier to locate the source of the smell with everything laying on a tabletop and not inside the case. You may need to let it 'burn' for awhile to locate the source. I doubt you'll make things worse by doing that.

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April 23, 2009 at 14:12:41
Then how do you know a fuse blew? You said it blew the fuse.

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April 23, 2009 at 14:45:02
I don't know how much your "tech friend" knows, but you can get some the best tech help/advice on the planet right here in these forums. We can only work with the info we're provided though. Here we are at response 9 & we're still not sure which fuse blew or if a fuse even blew at all.

Take all the hardware out of the case & benchtest it. That's what you should have done right from the start & it's the only way you're going to be able to determine what YOU did wrong.

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April 23, 2009 at 15:13:17
Amen to that.

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April 23, 2009 at 20:21:47
You need to take a chill pill jam. Your way to angry and unnecessarily aggressive. Just delete this topic, I can get better help in many other sources. I won't be seeing your rebuttal either, so don't bother less you wanna show off or somethin.

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April 23, 2009 at 20:56:40
I don't see where jam got mad, he was trying to help just like everyone else here. He wrote the longest post too outlining what to do to troubleshoot.

WinSimple Software
CompTIA A+ Certified

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