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Why did it blow up?

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September 6, 2006 2:30:41 AM

Hey guys, this isn't about the computer I just built, mines working fantabulously thanks to your help.

While I was building mine, I was helping my brother build one with slightly lower specs. Technically I was just helping him choose parts because he's in Sydney and I'm in Perth.

Anyhoo, he went with a Sonata II case that came with an Antec Smartpower 450W PSU. The first PSU died rather quietly after he installed the components and made a few attempts at booting it up.
We sorta figured out it may have been the stupid 4pin 12v power cable that you can pull apart from the 24pin. He didn't realise there was a separate 4pin cable on the psu.
That PSU was replaced. They took it out of the case and gave him another.

The 'new' psu seemed fine. He got everything installed including windows, then turned it off and connected his old HDD so he could transfer some data. When he switched it back on it exploded with a big spark. No smoke or anything but it was clear the PSU was deaded.

Now, he's taken the case/psu back to MSY again and they said they will return the PSU to antec and give him a replacement. He can pick it up on Saturday.

What I want to know is, could there be something else causing this? Or is it just as likely that he got a crappy PSU the first time then they replaced it with another crappy one? He's worried about turning it on again in case something else is actually at fault. He's going to buy some surge protection beforehand so that will be covered.

Also, when MSY replaces the PSU each time, they just take a new psu from another Sonata II case, put it in his case and then send that new case back to Antec instead of just giving him a new case/psu and sending his back to antec. Is that normal procedure? It makes me wonder if they havent gotten confused with all the psu swapping in cases and given him a dud PSU the first time they replaced it.

Also they scratched his case the first time they checked the psu, so surely they could send the case/psu in and replace the whole unit, since he did buy it as one unit. The guy just told him Antec wont replace the case because it's 'second hand'... but he bought it with the dodgy psu and that's obviously second hand now too. It all sounds a little odd to me.

Anyway, if you could help it'd be greatly appreciated. :) 

Irene.

Edit: Oops, his specs are as follows:
AM2 3600+ dual core CPU
Gigabyte M55SLI-S4 Mobo
2G OCZ DDR2 675 5400 ddr2 ram
Seagate 8M SATA 160G HDD
256MB 7600GT Leadtek Video card
and of course the ANTEC sonata II case with smartpower 2 450W PSU

More about : blow

September 6, 2006 2:37:12 AM

Quote:
It is possible that when the first PSu whent out it took the motherboard with it. You may need to tell him to return the motherboard and hope nothing else was damaged.


He got msy to check the other components after the second occurrence. According to them all other parts are fine. Apparently they tested it with a crappy cheap psu and it was working fine. So it seems to be the PSU. My brother is worried though, after it happening twice...

Personally, im suspicious, i think they gave him a dodgy psu the first time they replaced it.
September 6, 2006 3:12:58 AM

Well, when he took his system in the second time he asked them to check his other components.
They plugged in an old PSU and the system ran fine.

According to my brother the MSY guy said:
"its running fine on a cheapo PSU"

So I assume they booted it to windows and checked everything out.
Related resources
September 6, 2006 3:15:33 AM

I would stay far, far away from a dealer who takes out the PSU from another supposedly working case to give you the replacement. That is not the proper thing to do.

My best guess it that they had ordered some Antec cases without PSUs and are putting in and pulling out some crap PSUs they have at hand. If the prices are much lower than usual you can actually count on that being the case.
September 6, 2006 3:20:05 AM

This is off the main topic, but you mentioned that he had an AM2 3600 dual-core chip... is this a typo (ie does he have a 3800 DC, 4600 DC, or 3600 SC) or did AMD release a 3600 DC and I havent heard about it? Just curious.
September 6, 2006 3:21:45 AM

My brother said the first psu (the one that came with the case) had that special tear off tape on it and appeared genuine. He has no idea about the second one they threw in there when it stopped working though. For all he knows it could have been some generic psu.

I thought the whole swapping of psu's from other cases was dodgy. If a psu blows up in a case and you have purchased it as a case/psu combo, they should be replacing the entire unit, right? Especially if they've scratched the bloody thing.

Man, he should have had his computer up and running weeks ago. :( 
September 6, 2006 3:24:12 AM

Quote:
This is off the main topic, but you mentioned that he had an AM2 3600 dual-core chip... is this a typo (ie does he have a 3800 DC, 4600 DC, or 3600 SC) or did AMD release a 3600 DC and I havent heard about it? Just curious.


He bought the one from msy:
http://au.pricespy.biz/pno_8827.html
September 6, 2006 3:34:22 AM

Antec has been having all kinds of problems with psu blowing up lately.i asked my supplier to get one in for me and he refused saying that he has had too many come back dead and he will not recommend antec to anyone right now.so i believe the problem to be specific to the psu.nothing else.goodluck.

Dahak

EVGA VF4 SLI MB
X2 4400+@2.4
2 7800GT'S IN SLI MODE
2X1GIG DDR400 MEMORY IN DC MODE
WD300GIG HD
520WATT PSU
EXTREME 19IN.MONITOR
3DMARK05:11,582
September 6, 2006 3:36:26 AM

Cheers, so you think if he gets some decent surge protection, he should be fine with the replacement psu? Well... unless antec give him another dodgy one that is.

Shouldn't MSY offer him a refund? Or offer a replacement psu of a different brand if he wants?
September 6, 2006 3:41:51 AM

If I was your brother I would ask msy to replace the psu with another known name brand.they may or may not as the psu came with the case.in the end he may have to return the case as well.I've never personally bought a case with a psu in it as i am picky about what i use,however he may get lucky third time around and get a decent psu from antec.if however the same problems occurs again,then ask the dealer to replace with another brand.if they are unwilling to do that,(and I see no reason why they would refuse),then return the whole case and buy somethng different.goodluck.
sorry,I didn't realize they had scratched the case.that is MSY problem and they should replace it with one in the same condition as the first one came back to them.NO SCRATCHES.
Dahak

EVGA VF4 SLI MB
X2 4400+@2.4
2 7800GT'S IN SLI MODE
2X1GIG DDR400 MEMORY IN DC MODE
WD300GIG HD
520WATT PSU
EXTREME 19IN.MONITOR
3DMARK05:11,582
September 6, 2006 3:57:14 AM

Irene,

I wouldn't hold it against the dealer to take the PSU out of an identical product to replace a defective one as they did. This is actually quite common in the retail industry.

However, since they scratched your brother's case, I would expect them to replace it with a new one, a reputable (and honest!) dealer would do that.

I seriously doubt your brother has any component or combination of component that can cause a failure in the PSU. If he does - which would be due to a very unusual defect in some component - a decent PSU should have built in protection against overvoltage even in an "unusual" case.

It sounds like the PSUs your brother has gotten so far are poorly manufactured.

If I were him, I would calmly explain to the dealer that I want to exchange the whole thing (case and power supply) for another brand. I would state that after two consecutive failures my confidence level in this particular model is simply too low and that I'd appreciate the option of choosing something else.

That's the approach I'd use in my first attempt. Some might think it is a bit "too nice" but in general you attract more bees with honey than something else. He can always make his argument "harder" later if necessary.

HTH.
September 6, 2006 4:00:16 AM

Here's the problem. I suggested to him that he make MSY replace the psu with another brand. He asked them about that but the guy he spoke to said they can't replace it because it technically has no monetary value since it comes with the case and cant be purchased separately.

He also asked about getting his case and psu both returned and the guy told him Antec would have issues with replacing the case because its used and all the parts would have to be present (like the duct thingy you get with it). Which wouldnt be an issue, I mean my bro could take the duct thingy back to msy.

BUT Antec arent the ones who scratched the bloody case, it was MSY Auburn. He mentioned this, and the guy at MSY Ultimo said "yeah but I have no proof that MSY Auburn scratched your case".

*shakes her head*

By the way, he's dealing with two branches because he bought his parts at one store and the case/psu at the other. For now he's dealing with Ultimo branch because they seem better at the whole customer relations thing.
September 6, 2006 4:04:14 AM

Cheers for the reply 440bx, it popped up as I posted mine :) 

I'll tell my brother to ask the store to replace both like you said.
Only problem is he really loves the Sonata II case. But yeah, if I were in his shoes I'd have definitely gone this route and just gotten an entirely different case and psu.

My silverstone is working brilliantly :D 
September 6, 2006 4:23:22 AM

anotherthing is to see if you and your brother could go together
and ask to replace and assemble the comp and atleast fire it up
while you are at the msy shop? with them wacthing. :?:
September 6, 2006 4:27:30 AM

Quote:
anotherthing is to see if you and your brother could go together
and ask to replace and assemble the comp and atleast fire it up
while you are at the msy shop? with them wacthing. :?:


I'll tell him to get them to demonstrate it working properly when he goes to pick it up. Unfortunately im in perth and my brother is in sydney with the rest of my family, so I can't really help much in that respect.
September 6, 2006 4:34:21 AM

sorry forgot. i did read that but was thinking about your problem

also i was just wathcing the news and jayleno here in the us
about steve irwin :cry: 
September 6, 2006 4:38:10 AM

i work in automotive and when it comes to parts
remember just because its new it doesnt mean it works :D 
September 6, 2006 4:39:50 AM

Heh yeah I know, I just feel bad cause I talked him into building his new computer. :lol: 

Shame about Steve hey. What an odd way to go.
September 6, 2006 5:09:43 AM

hey on my first build <evrything new> i had a bad mobo
evrything was new and high doller at the time

it would work fine play games oc and all

as long as i didnt turn it off <had to clear cmos to get it goin>
September 6, 2006 5:38:24 AM

Did you get it from msy at auburn? That place is so full of people on saturdays you stand in a line for like an hour just waiting for service.
September 6, 2006 5:47:34 AM

oh another aussie
i would love to visit your island.
dive the great barrier reef. but that cost money


i guess i will have to wait and save :D 
September 6, 2006 5:52:47 AM

Quote:
Did you get it from msy at auburn? That place is so full of people on saturdays you stand in a line for like an hour just waiting for service.


He got the case/psu from Ultimo and the components from Auburn.

He got annoyed and wrote an email telling the Ultimo branch that he was unhappy with their service.

The reply he received:
" hi,
for no more arguement.
Please bring back your invocie with power cable, we give you the case
refund. Please go some wherelse to buy the case. You will not have PSU or
case problem. "

O_o

He's going to email them back asking for an explanation of the email. ;) 
September 6, 2006 5:56:50 AM

oh thats nothing
sounds like the us lol.
September 6, 2006 9:04:12 PM

Quote:

The reply he received:
" hi,
for no more arguement.
Please bring back your invocie with power cable, we give you the case
refund. Please go some wherelse to buy the case. You will not have PSU or
case problem. "

O_o

He's going to email them back asking for an explanation of the email. ;) 


I would take a printed copy of that email to the store too, and show it to the people around after I take money back.
September 6, 2006 10:08:56 PM

Quote:

I would take a printed copy of that email to the store too, and show it to the people around after I take money back.


Good profilactic move. I concurr.
September 7, 2006 2:32:22 AM

Quote:
oh another aussie
i would love to visit your island.
dive the great barrier reef. but that cost money


i guess i will have to wait and save :D 

Australia, best country/island/continent (yes all three :D  ) in he world!
September 7, 2006 2:35:35 AM

yes i wish i could afford to fly there on my own i mean.
and be able to stay for at leats a month or more
September 7, 2006 2:36:07 AM

Quote:
Australia, best country/island/continent (yes all three :D  ) in he world!


It has to be the best, it's the only one!! :wink:

I'd love to visit Australia too, mate!
September 7, 2006 3:14:30 AM

Thanks for the help guys. My brother has decided to take the printout to the store and get the refund. In the meantime he's going to order a mystique case and silverstone psu from another store :) 

Ill let you know if anything else blows up :lol: 
September 7, 2006 4:18:44 AM

Must just be Sydney.... Being a crapppy place an all :wink:

I buy from the Morningside MSY branch in Brisbane all the time, I put about $5000 worth of business through them each year and never have any problems. Great customer service, and when I do get a faulty component it is replaced on the spot (I had a flashdrive that melted, turned out the USB was wired up incorrectly at TAFE, and a stick of OCZ ram was faulty, which they tested there infront of me, confirmed it was faulty and replaced it with another one off the shelf, tested it infront of me again to showed me it was working fine and it was settled :)  )

It's a real shame to hear the Ultimo store screwed your brother around, the Morningside team are brilliant :p  they even race over to the Slacks Creek store for me if they don't have the parts in stock at the branch.

As for the taking a powersupply out of one case and putting it into another, i don't see that being dodge. It's easier to change the PSU from the case then it would be to remove the mobo/cpu/hdd/gfx etc etc from the case, transfer it into another case just to test if it works. It's like 5mins worth instead of an hour :lol: 

But overall, I love shopping at MSY, my friends and I do frequent "MSY Runs" where we jump on the train and tavel for 3hours to get to Brisbane just to stock up on PC parts. We've built 18 PC's from MSY parts this year alone. The MSY team in Morningside are like family :D 

Very very dissappointed that your brother hasn't had the same experience as me.
September 12, 2006 8:34:39 AM

Ok so I have an update...

My brother ended up returning the Sonata case/psu and getting a refund from MSY. He was also told by msy previously that the psu blowing up (after they replaced it) hadn't killed any of his parts.

Anyhoo, he got his new Mystique case and Silverstone psu yesterday.

He put it together, turned it on and nothing... nada...
I rang him and made sure his f_panel was set up right (i was hoping that he had the power switch cable in wrong or something). He took everything out bar the mainboard, cpu and psu and still nothing.

Does this mean his mainboard actually IS fried?

How tiresome.
September 12, 2006 10:35:27 AM

Yep... There are a lot of ... How to politely put it? shabby dealers here in Syd. Have your brother check out Golden Meridian Computers, he's right near Ultimo. I also have good relations with the group at ARC.

You, fortunately are near the Nintek mob, quite helpful.

All of the above are not as cheap as (say) MSY, but if there's an issue they'll stand by it.

Good luck to your brother...
September 12, 2006 11:58:18 AM

So, your brother took everything out and left the CPU and ram - and still no evidence of any power? I assume he had botht eh 24 pin and the 12v atx connector plugged in. Did any fans (both connected to the motherboard and the PSU fan) turn on?
September 12, 2006 12:31:11 PM

Zor: I had exactly the same deal happen to me. New build, ran great. Added my old IDE- HD to xfer data and" ZIT on boot".

That was a 600W PSU........Had to eat it, they said I overloaded one of the power circuits with that last HD.....

Went to a 700W PSU of different make and it is smooth sailing.

I STILL think that PSU was defective though.....why would it have 3 plugs in one lead if it would not support 3 devices?

Good luck to u both...Mizlplix
September 12, 2006 12:38:48 PM

He may very well be right here. It could be that the PSU just began a series of technical failures that just simply cascaded into where you are presently.
September 12, 2006 1:41:46 PM

Well here is an idea, test the PSU standalone for functionality by removing the ATX mobo header (and gpu pcie connectors) and jump-start it by shorting out the green "power_good" wire to ground

it will just simulate a good motherboard being powered on and it should power on the hdds and cdroms.

If it does not work standalone, it is possible that the input voltage from the wall socket is having some issue - and maybe check it with an RMS voltmeter or an oscilloscope. This happend to a student friend of mine, was at a dorm and the same thing happened - the psu blew up and he *eventually* ended up replacing the entire computer until I brought my scope to check it, the voltage was really low, less than 100v p-p and was riddled with harmonics. An electrician re-ran a dedicated circuit to several outlets and all was good. Was just the last thing we thought to check - we even switched power cables and outlets, but all in that room were bad since they were on the same circuit.
September 13, 2006 1:30:00 AM

Thanks for the replies guys. I spoke to my brother again, he didn't try it with the ram connected, it was just the mainboard/cpu after I made sure his f_panel was set up correctly.
He said nothing happens. No fans, nothing.

He's taking his system back to msy tonight and is going to make them plug it in to make sure the components are ok for real this time.

Is it possible the power at his house is just really crap? Surely if that was the case his lights would dim n stuff?

I've never had such annoying issues with building a computer... my bro must be going mental right about now!

Edit: You know, the more I think about it, the more I believe that MSY Ultimo were bsing when they said they checked his components. I honestly believe that the mainboard was fried from the very first time the PSU stuffed up on him, the first time he put it together.

I mean if msy are that busy, it wouldnt surprise me if they couldnt be bothered checking his parts, just assumed it was the PSU, switched it without a care in the world for his other components, told him everything was working fine just to get rid of him.

People over there go on about msy in sydney being great, but I mean really all they are commenting on is the fact that they have gone in there and bought some cheap parts and had no issues. They haven't actually had to deal with the management because of a problem. It's when you have an issue you get to see howa store really deals with a customer.

I actually bought half my parts from Nintek. Unfortunately I had some issues which were mainly to do with a lack of correspondence on their part. I waited way too long for a delayed part and was never told of the delay, they just kept changing the eta on the part on the website without informing me. In the meantime they'd taken the money out. Now I got really annoyed cause I really wanted to build my computer - im a geek what can I say. But when the issue was brought forward to them, I had one guy corresponding with me - not a million people - and he was quick to fix the issue, give me a refund on the part so I could get my other parts. I was pretty short with him, but I did thank him.
That to me is good customer service. When something screws up, someone steps up and deals with it in a manner that appeases the customer.
I feel kinda bad for being so angry with nintek, but I really really wanted to build my computer and it had been aaaaages. eheh.
September 13, 2006 3:25:54 AM

So nintek are a reputable dealer then I guess. The only thing I've bought from MSY is a cheap thermaltake 430w psu, it works fine but from all the bad things that have happened to your brother and the fact that I have to wait 30-45 mins just for service means I probably wont buy there again. I mean even their website is poor. For those who want to see it:

http://www.msy.com.au

The only good thing about it is its really fast to load, since theres nothing on it.
September 13, 2006 3:36:37 AM

Quote:
if he tries to boot it with no ram in it then it wont boot

But it will start, just do nothing and beep like crazy if you have a pc speaker.
September 13, 2006 3:49:39 AM

Yeah, the issue is its not doing anything at all.
September 13, 2006 4:23:05 AM

If, when assembling a PC, you drop a screw and tell yourself to remember to pick it up later.... and don't..... then you can blow all sorts of shit up!
September 17, 2006 12:30:02 AM

Quote:
Yeah, the issue is its not doing anything at all.


Taking the CMOS battery out and leaving it that way for about 30 minutes can fix it sometimes but more likely the board (or the CPU) are dead meat. That is if he got working PSU this time.

As I said as soon as you mentioned swapping PSU from another case -- your brother should have returned all of it and asked for a full refund and he should have gone to another store.
September 17, 2006 2:21:22 AM

Quote:
Yeah, the issue is its not doing anything at all.

As I said as soon as you mentioned swapping PSU from another case -- your brother should have returned all of it and asked for a full refund and he should have gone to another store.

He figured the PSU they swapped for him would work, I mean what are the odds? And the store told him they checked the machine and that it WAS the PSU. At that stage perhaps it was. They are an IT store, why wouldn't you take their word for it? Your computer isnt working, you take it to the store, they tell you its the PSU and they'll replace it... you are happy right? One would assume they know what they are doing.

Anyway when the second one blew up he did ask about getting a refund on the whole thing, since it was bought as a case/psu combo. The manager who speaks bad english at Ultimo said no. He kept flouting their rule about no refunds after 7 days from the 'invocie' as he so eloquently put it.
This was despite the fact that 5 of those 7 days were actually wasted by MSY themselves supposedly checking the machine for damage.

It was only after my brother got sick of everything and got really angry with them that the guy told him he could get the refund.
He then went to another store entirely and ordered the silverstone psu and different case.
I seriously doubt the silverstone bought from a different store is screwed.

Which is why im guessing that when msy were supposed to check the components for my brother, they actually didn't because they were too busy and couldn't be buggered. Or they didn't know what the hell they were doing and just assumed it was the PSU again, when it was the mainboard all along and the second PSU wouldn't have even blown up if they'd done their jobs properly. Thats my humble opinion anyway.
September 17, 2006 4:02:19 AM

I just sms'd my brother. The latest on the subject is that MSY does not know what the fault is. *facepalm*

Do the guys at MSY actually have any IT qualifications or are they just good at getting cheap computer parts? *rolls her eyes*

My bro is thinking he might go to fair trading (hes been corresponding with them throughout this) and get them to get him a refund on all the MSY parts he has left (mainboard, CPU, Vid Card).
Then he will have to go buy them from another store.

Maybe, just maybe he will have his new computer before the end of the next millennium. Poor guy.
September 18, 2006 3:14:22 AM

Ok my brother got back to me.

MSY contacted him again and told him his computer is powering up fine with an old shaw psu. They said they would show him when he comes to pick it up.

So im stumped. Is it even possible for someone to get two dodgy psu's from MSY then go to another store entirely, buy a Silverstone and for that to be broken as well? Should he be buying a lottery ticket right now?

Ok seriously, is there some feature on a silverstone that would prevent it from turning on when somethings wrong with the connections, whereas an old psu would just power up?

Is it possible the power in his apartment is stopping the computer powering up?

Im seriously stumped.
The first antec just stopped after a couple of boots.
The second antec exploded with a spark after he added an IDE HDD to the mix and moved to another room.
The third, a silverstone, just did nothing.

Now Msy reckons the old shaw in their shop is powering it fine... this is after they've told him they don't know what the fault is.

I don't get it. I feel so sorry for my brother. Argh. What a pain in the butt.
September 18, 2006 12:49:42 PM

If the utility power is the problem, a quick fix may be as simple as getting one of these:

TRIPP LITE AVR750U 750 VA 450 Watts
"Built-in Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) boosts brownouts as low as 83V and reduces overvoltages up to 147V back to usable 120V nominal levels"

The automatic voltage regulation is what is helping bring it back to normal, but if it is a low volt problem (like my friend above) it will wear out the batteries rather quickly (he had to buy a battery after about 2 to 3 weeks waiting for the electrician)
September 18, 2006 1:18:48 PM

Quote:
Then how can you be sure the motherboard is ok? What are the chances that he gets 3 or 4 bad PSU's?


Well, we are talking Antec here, right?

(I was really close to using a row of LOL smileys there)

Just yesterday, I searched for failure info for that very PS. Check it out yourself, you'll find that many of them have been DOA or had extremely short lifetimes in '06 models. Antec is at it again!!!
September 20, 2006 2:53:15 AM

Ok you guys are gonna love this.

He took the system to Auburn MSY, they put a crappy old Shaw PSU into it and it was running overnight. :lol:  So my bro bought the 550w shaw for $25 and now has a crapola psu running his system. Hahaha.

Crappy Old Shaw > Three $100+ PSU's :lol: 

This cracked me up though:
They didn't test the Silverstone (fair enough, it wasn't their product), but when my bro asked what they did, the guy said "You said the PSU was dead so I took it out and put another one in". My brother almost slapped him.

Then:
My brother asked if they could test PSU's. The guy said "Nooooooo... they are pretty dangerous"

So my question is... how the heck did they come to the conclusion that both antecs were broken if they don't test psu's? Did they just assume it was the PSU, switch it and send him on his merry way?

I told him to put his Silverstone in his old box and see what happens with that.

I seriously just want to know what the reason for all this crap is. I hate when something goes wrong with a computer and I don't know why, I like to know these things!!
September 20, 2006 3:37:03 AM

The first pc I built I also bought a case with a psu in it. Mistake, there always cheap. Tell your brother not to scrimp on the psu but buy a good one. Very important part of pc.
September 20, 2006 3:45:29 AM

Quote:
The first pc I built I also bought a case with a psu in it. Mistake, there always cheap. Tell your brother not to scrimp on the psu but buy a good one. Very important part of pc.


He did.
He ended up buying a Silverstone. Which ended up not working too.
!