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Can an AGP slot Short-Circuit?

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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
October 25, 2004 12:37:33 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

I had been having a problem with my PC... Here´s the specs...

MB: Asus A7v8x
CPU: Athlon 2100
VIDEO: 3DLabs AGP WildcatVP760
RAM: 3 sticks 256MB
CD Burner
DVD drive
WD 40GB drive


The problem was that my computer (after two years of stability) one
day started to not boot unless i removed the CPU and re-inserted it.
The CPU fan would come on but nothing came up on the screen and it
didnt beep. I thought it was possibly a bad contact or condensation in
the socket or something (its not overclocked) because the problem
began when i took the computer to another house one night. So i
figured something during the trip hurt it. Anyway, I didnt like
having to take out the cpu all the time but I had no idea how to fix
this problem and this solution seemed to work rather reliably. The
times it didnt fix the problem, turning off the power strip off then
on while the computer ¨hung¨ seemed to do the trick.

OK, so on to the real problem... a few days ago it just didnt boot at
all. I must have spent hours taking out and reinserting the CPU and
cutting the power on the strip trying to get it to boot. Eventually,
i heard what sounded like a short circuit accompanied with the smell
of something burning. I still dont know what got fried. When I tried
to turn it on again however, the only thing that I noticed was
different was that the fan on my video card would not come on. I
thought I had fried my card! Luckily I have another computer with the
same CPU and Motherboard and when I installed it there i was relieved
to find that the video card is ok! I went ahead and tried the CPU on
the other computer and it´s fine too... AND, when I install the
second computer´s PCI videocard into my motherboard it works
perfectly, which means that the only APPARENT problem is the AGP
slot...

I tried looking for burn evidence and never found anything
anywhere...even checked inside the power supply.

My question is: Can an AGP slot short circuit and emit a burning
smell? or is the whole motherboard ruined. Yes, it seems to work fine
with a PCI video card but can I trust it after the unpleasant smell?
If I switch the Motherboards on my two systems (so I can run the AGP
video card on my first system and the PCI card on the second) can I
expect the ¨fried¨ one to give me some unexpected problem in the
future?

Dont know much about circuits or electronics so any input would be
appreciated...

Oh and while I was checking my first MB for burnt components (I
actually removed the whole motherboard to check it on both sides) I
found a loose chip which was probably the culprit of my original
boot/voltage problem. I assume this cuz i pressed it firmly into
place and now the computer boots every single time.

JMC

More about : agp slot short circuit

October 25, 2004 6:39:20 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

Cordobot wrote:
> I had been having a problem with my PC... Here´s the specs...
>
> MB: Asus A7v8x
> CPU: Athlon 2100
> VIDEO: 3DLabs AGP WildcatVP760
> RAM: 3 sticks 256MB
> CD Burner
> DVD drive
> WD 40GB drive
>
>
> The problem was that my computer (after two years of stability) one
> day started to not boot unless i removed the CPU and re-inserted it.
> The CPU fan would come on but nothing came up on the screen and it
> didnt beep. I thought it was possibly a bad contact or condensation in
> the socket or something (its not overclocked) because the problem
> began when i took the computer to another house one night. So i
> figured something during the trip hurt it. Anyway, I didnt like
> having to take out the cpu all the time but I had no idea how to fix
> this problem and this solution seemed to work rather reliably. The
> times it didnt fix the problem, turning off the power strip off then
> on while the computer ¨hung¨ seemed to do the trick.
>
> OK, so on to the real problem... a few days ago it just didnt boot at
> all. I must have spent hours taking out and reinserting the CPU and
> cutting the power on the strip trying to get it to boot. Eventually,
> i heard what sounded like a short circuit accompanied with the smell
> of something burning. I still dont know what got fried. When I tried
> to turn it on again however, the only thing that I noticed was
> different was that the fan on my video card would not come on. I
> thought I had fried my card! Luckily I have another computer with the
> same CPU and Motherboard and when I installed it there i was relieved
> to find that the video card is ok! I went ahead and tried the CPU on
> the other computer and it´s fine too... AND, when I install the
> second computer´s PCI videocard into my motherboard it works
> perfectly, which means that the only APPARENT problem is the AGP
> slot...
>
> I tried looking for burn evidence and never found anything
> anywhere...even checked inside the power supply.
>
> My question is: Can an AGP slot short circuit and emit a burning
> smell? or is the whole motherboard ruined. Yes, it seems to work fine
> with a PCI video card but can I trust it after the unpleasant smell?
> If I switch the Motherboards on my two systems (so I can run the AGP
> video card on my first system and the PCI card on the second) can I
> expect the ¨fried¨ one to give me some unexpected problem in the
> future?
>
> Dont know much about circuits or electronics so any input would be
> appreciated...
>
> Oh and while I was checking my first MB for burnt components (I
> actually removed the whole motherboard to check it on both sides) I
> found a loose chip which was probably the culprit of my original
> boot/voltage problem. I assume this cuz i pressed it firmly into
> place and now the computer boots every single time.
>
> JMC

Maybe it will be enough to solder the loose chip back in place.

I would continue to use your nose, and sniff around the board, to
see if you can figure out what got hot. If the smell is coming
from the area of the loose chip, it may be enough just to solder
it back into place, and all will be forgiven.

If the smell is coming from an associated component, then the loose
chip could have caused another component to get damaged. Some
components can take a lot of heat without dying, and others
cannot.

Another source of smell, can be the motherboard fiberglass itself.
If a copper conductor inside the motherboard carries a lot of
current, such as if there is a Vcore short, the fiberglass above
the copper, can change color from green to a burnt brown. So, some
power faults in a motherboard do cause significant and visible
damage.

You should also sniff around the power supply, because power supply
failures are very common, and are at the top of the list when it
comes to computers that don't behave properly.

Another example, is if the ATX 20 pin connector was not firmly
plugged into place. If that connector is loose, sometimes the
pins will heat up and burn, melting the plastic around the
pins.

As to what I would do in your situation, really depends on the
cost of the components plugged into the motherboard. If I had
a high end video card, that cost $800 on that motherboard, I
would immediately replace the motherboard. If there is nothing
too expensive on the motherboard, and funds are tight, then
soldering the component back is the thing to do. You can strip
the system to minimum components, and test it for a while,
after you have repaired it, to see if it is relatively safe to
plug the rest of the gear into it.

When you go to do the soldering, you should also look for damage
to the copper areas that the chip sits on. If the copper foil
is lifted off the board, it will be difficult to repair it
properly. There are places that can repair foil on printed
circuit boards, but the repair cost would probably be higher
than the cost of a new motherboard.

If you haven't soldered before, then perhaps a TV repair shop
can do the soldering for you. It might be the cheapest
and nearest thing in the way of a repair shop. Your average
computer store might not be the best place to get it done.
There are a couple of guys on the Internet who repair boards,
but get a quote for what it would cost to solder a chip on first.

http://motherboardrepair.com

How difficult it is to do it yourself, can depend on whether
any of the pins on the IC are sitting on a large piece of copper.
If they are, it can take a lot of heat to melt the solder. To
solder a pin to a track that is 1/16" wide, could be done with
a 35W soldering iron. If there is a ground plane or power plane,
I'd be reaching for a soldering iron with a lot more power.
Someone who repairs electronics for a living, will probably
own more than one soldering device, and can select the right one
for the job.

HTH,
Paul
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
October 27, 2004 12:41:39 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

Thanks for the advice Paul...

The video card is relatively high end so I think my safest bet is
switching motherboards. I just wanted to know if the other system
will run fine with a fried agp slot. It doesnt really need the slot
cuz the other system runs on a PCI video card but I didnt want the
non-working AGP slot to possibly cause other shorts or something...

I dont think Ill bother replacing the slot cuz im not too technical
and probably ruin the rest of the board somehow or have it be ruined
by someone else. My only true doubt is whether the problem can remain
contained to the AGP slot without affecting anything else. Ive always
associated short circuits with total devastation so I still havent
totally convinced myself that the short happened only within that
slot...

JMC
!