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Author Topic: PC has died  (Read 1553 times)
nigelb
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« on: March 08, 2008, 08:48:26 PM »

Evening all
My wife's PC shut down earlier in the week for no apparent reason. There is power to it - I checked the fuse and the lead in another appliance.
The machine is home-built (by me) and uses XP. It is only a few months old.

When you press the power switch nothing happens - no fan, nothing, so I guessed the PSU was fried. (There also seemed to be a slight odour of burning from it.)
I bought a new one today but the result is the same. I tested both the old PSU and the new one - the new one's fan works, while the old one does not.
Tried unplugging the drives and all the obvious troubleshooting stuff, but still nothing.

My question is: has the dying PSU damaged something else? Could it be the mobo or the CPU? Any guesses which one to replace first?

I am sure someone else has had a smilar experience

Thanks for the help

Nigel
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redaxe
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2008, 12:13:03 AM »

The faulty PSU could have fried any component on your system. I'd start checking the motherboard connector, the big plug that the PSU connects to for motherboard main power. See if there are any burn marks around it or on the backside of it. If everything is OK on that front, have a look at the CPU and see if there are any burnmarks there.

When a PSU fries completely, the biggest risk would be the motherboard. Then next biggest risk would be any peripheral that takes power directly from the PSU. Third would be expansion slots, be it RAM slots, PCI, AGP, PCI-E or any such. Go over each and every one very thoroughly, testing them in another system, if you have it available. That way you should be able to find the faulty component. I'd say that there's about 80% chance that the motherboard is fried, so it should be the easiest to eliminate the 20% first.

Good luck
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nigelb
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2008, 08:50:04 AM »

Thankyou for your quick reply.

I couldn't see anything on the sufrace of the mobo such as burn marks when I looked yesterday, so I'll take it out and have a look on the other side.

From what you say it sounds as if the CPU may have survived?

Nigel
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redaxe
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« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2008, 12:40:10 PM »

The most likely survivor of this electrocution is the CPU and the rest of the peripherals. The mobo is the most vulnerable item, especially if any of the capacitors has blown without you noticing anything out of the ordinary.

You may need to have the transistors and capacitors measured at an electronics lab, to make sure everything is OK, but it might be expensive. If the things I pointed out fail to reveal anything, your next option is to take it into a professional repair shop and recite all that you've done to troubleshoot the problem. That will help them and maybe they can spot a flaw in the things we've gone through here.

Good luck
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nigelb
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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2008, 06:13:17 PM »

I popped out to Maplin and got a new mobo and all is now ok. (The wife is lost without her computer!!)
In the end - and much to my surprise - the CPU survived and has been re-used.

I verfiied that it was the mobo by putting the CPU into my other PC - fortunately they were both the same socket.

I now realise cheap power supplies are a false economy and have ordered a better one for my other PC as the one in it came with the case.

Cheers for the help

Nigel
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redaxe
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« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2008, 11:33:37 AM »

Glad to hear you got things sorted.

Saving on vital components is really the worst thing you can do, because that can give you numerous problems.
So you might get lucky, but you might not and if you don't get lucky, you might end up with a high cost in replaced components.

Good luck with your computer works Smiley
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nigelb
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« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2008, 10:34:44 AM »

Yes, it's a lesson well-learned.

It's not just the cost of the replacement components but the hassle of re-installing your OS, all your software, restoring files from your back-up (if you have one) and so on.

In my case it took many hours to get the machine back to where it was
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