Power Failure.. what a surprise?

By majikalkatt ·
Sorry bout the long post, figured I should add in as much information as I could..

Prior to my problems, we have had a problem with the power supply which had burnt up my old video card and caused ram not to work. After replacing it the computer wouldn't boot up with a usb device in it.. but the usb device worked after it was booted up.

Last week I smelt something burning while using my pc. It took me a minute to realize that my computer was actually on fire, because I thought that it was something melting in the dishwasher, same type of smell. My tower has a window so I could easily spot the flame once I stood up to inspect the burning smell. I turned it off and it immediately turned back on by itself, flame still lit. I didn't know what to do so I ripped the plug out from the back. This was at three in the morning so I was quite tired and decided to tackle what it was that went into flames the next day.

When we pulled the pc apart, we saw that it was the mother board that had caught fire, right above the usb connector a little about 3mm black piece that said "P 15". What was there now, was a burnt hole that made it's way all the way through the mother board.

I unplugged the front usb connector, thinking that was what caused the problem, and tried to boot it up. I plugged everything in and IMMEDIATELY after I plugged in the power supply and flipped the switch on it, it turned on by itself.. no power button on front. The problem with that is there was no power to the monitor, there's no beeping, and I couldn't turn it off using the front switch. Other than the fact that there's no video, it sounds like it should be working.

I figured it would be the motherboard, since it did have a hole in it, so we spent the money to buy as brand new one, installed it today, and we still have the same problem.

Thinking it might be the case, we unplugged everything from the case, and tried that. It worked just the same, and as I was typing this it turned itself off, turned itself back on, all the interior lighting started flicking, and everything is now at half power.

Also, we tried unplugging everything from the power supply, and it still turned on when we flipped the switch.

What is the problem? We think that the fire might have also caused the power supply to short, but it's only a 2 month old power supply, and everything else in the computer is basically new too.. Any ideas?

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All Answers

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by ozi Eagle In reply to Power Failure.. what a su ...


Try a different power supply, before you damage your computer further.

Invest in a UPS and decent surge suppression (less than $100) so that future mains hiccups don't destroy your computer.


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Trying now..

by majikalkatt In reply to New PSU

It had a 500 in it, but now we're going to try the one from my old pc - it's the only p4 we've got, all the rest are p3. It's only 300w, so we're hoping it works

Edit >> Motherboard manual says 300 is the minimum, so I guess we're good, trying now

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by majikalkatt In reply to Trying now..

We plugged in the other power supply, and the fan rotated once, but nothing happened. We though it was finally a good sign, but when we went to hit the front power button - nothing.

He tried telling me my old power supply was faulty, so I cursed at him a bit, so he hooked it back into the old pc and it booted up just fine - so it's not the power supply.. at least not that one.

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Does sound like a video or memory fault now

by mjd420nova In reply to Power Failure.. what a su ...

By the description, it sounds like you may have taken out some more memory. There is the possiblity that the video card maybe shot now too. The attempted rotation of the fan on the p/s does indicate that something is shorted and not allowing the p/s to start. Try a low end video card to trouble shoot, no sense flaming a new one.

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by majikalkatt In reply to Does sound like a video o ...

We have completely taken out he video card and it's still not booting up..

it's a 7200 - as short end as we got anyway.. lol.

A friend said it might be the processor, so we're taking it out now and going to try booting it up to see if it beeps.

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I think we just blew up the new motherboard >.<

by majikalkatt In reply to Power Failure.. what a su ...

Okay, he took out the processor, no beep, and he tried again and this one started burning in the same spot/chip as the last motherboard..

What the ****?

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Which chip is burning?

by NickNielsen In reply to I think we just blew up t ...

Can you identify it from the manufacturer's documentation? If it's the processor voltage regulator, you definitely need a new CPU (and another motherboard).

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It's not the processor.

by majikalkatt In reply to Which chip is burning?

We think it might be a usb controller chip, but we haven't found anything on it yet. It's directly above the usb connector.

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