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Have I fried my whole computer?

Last response: in Components
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May 5, 2013 8:14:12 AM

Hi, I bought a new case for my computer in order to get sound levels down. It turns out that when I installed the new cpu fan about half a year ago I applied way too much thermal paste (I might have applied the whole tube), but I never had any problems. Now when I moved all components to the new case I got paste on my fingers and some must have spilled on the area right beside the pins. I didn't notice it and mounted the cooler and everything else. Initially I also had trouble getting the GPU to go down completely into the socket and that was because I hadn't mounted the distances (I don't know the correct wording in English), the screws under the mobo that distances it from the case.

The weird thing is that I had none in my old case and it has run fine since late 2008! I had tried to start the computer, and the GPU maybe wasn't fully inserted, could it have been damaged? After I mounted everything correctly the GPU fans work, case fans work, Hard drives work, DVD player works, CPU fan spins, ethernet cable lights up, but I get no power to USB and no signal to screen. My friend comes over and has a case speaker but we get no beeps att all. We discover that thermal paste has leaked out to the mobo on multiple places and also that some along the way have got on the side of some CPU pins and apparently also in the socket (AM2+). Also one CPU pin is bent. I manage to bend it back and clean everything I can see off the mobo and the best I can from the socket and at least the power LED on the case starts to work but nothing else. I also remember some strange smell at one point. Could the CPU be fine or is it fried? Is there any risk my GPU also is fried from what I have told you? Do I have to change also the motherboard or does working CPU and GPU fans and functioning internet-cable light signalize it is working?

It is a K9A2 CF motherboard from MSI and the processor is a Phenom 2 9850 if it helps. GPU is an ATI Radeon 4850. Thanks in advance.

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May 5, 2013 8:43:25 AM

It depends really on how lucky you were. But most likely, yes you probably did. Your case before probably didn't need any, it might have had them "built in" (Thats not the right terminology but its the best way I can think to describe it) Do you have the standoffs in now? If not, put them in. Also what thermal paste was it? If it wasn't conductive then you can most likely just somehow get that paste out of the socket and it might work fine. But I have no techniques for this nor can I say its not without risk, its very risky, if you bend any of those pins and can't get them straight again or the break off, you are screwed essentially.

Before doing any of that try booting it up once you get those standoffs in and make sure you are using the proper video output. If that still doesn't work I would also try with the bare minimums installed, one ram stick, onboard GPU, one hdd, you get the idea.
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May 5, 2013 8:54:15 AM

mouse24 said:
It depends really on how lucky you were. But most likely, yes you probably did. Your case before probably didn't need any, it might have had them "built in" (Thats not the right terminology but its the best way I can think to describe it) Do you have the standoffs in now? If not, put them in. Also what thermal paste was it? If it wasn't conductive then you can most likely just somehow get that paste out of the socket and it might work fine. But I have no techniques for this nor can I say its not without risk, its very risky, if you bend any of those pins and can't get them straight again or the break off, you are screwed essentially.

Before doing any of that try booting it up once you get those standoffs in and make sure you are using the proper video output. If that still doesn't work I would also try with the bare minimums installed, one ram stick, onboard GPU, one hdd, you get the idea.

Thanks for replying. Yes I mounted the standoffs. I don't know what paste it was unfortunately. I also tried the minumums already but to no avail. So you think the video card is a goner also?

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a b à CPUs
May 5, 2013 9:10:49 AM

Its possible but I wouldn't replace it until you were certain. For right now assuming you don't want to upgrade to a new platform I would just replace the motherboard.

Though I might think about upgrading as those parts are old and hard to find/get cheaply.

But again its completely up to you, price it out and see whats available for your options. At worst just grab some cheap AM2+ board off ebay
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May 8, 2013 2:07:21 PM

Hi again, I know marked this issue as solved but I have an update on the issue and I feel it would be better to reply here than to make a new thread when the same problem is adressed. So, I bought clean alcohol and cleaned the areas where the thermal paste had been on the motherboard with it and also bought a cheap processor to see if it really is the mobo that is at fault. Here's what happens: the USB unit seems to get power for a short while because the light on the keyboard flickers on start. Is this a sign the mobo might still be functioning and just needs even more cleaning?
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a b à CPUs
May 8, 2013 6:14:29 PM

Well it can definately still be dead, but more cleaning certainly won't hurt it, assuming your careful :) 

I'd take another shot at it.
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