Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Burning Smell

Tags:
  • Motherboards
  • Burner
  • LED Monitor
  • Overclocking
Last response: in Overclocking
Share
January 29, 2007 10:55:33 PM

Hey guys,

A few days ago my screen turned black with white stripes and I could smell burning coming out of the back of the case...Since then whenever I turn it on, the front LED's turn on but the monitor remains black. I was wondering if this is most likely a PSU issue, a blown capacitor, and if it is worth the $25 to have somebody troubleshoot it.

More about : burning smell

January 29, 2007 11:15:52 PM

take the side off of the case and power up.

then look to see if any fans are spinning.

it could be the psu and it could be the videocard?
January 29, 2007 11:17:50 PM

Its definitely worth having somebody look at it, if you wish to continue to use your computer.

If you are brave enough, there's little reason you can't investigate it yourself. Open the case up, take a look around, and follow your nose. Smoke and no video probably indicates a fried video card. Other possibilities are the power supply, or even the motherboard itself.

Good power supplies are $50-$100, decent video cards are $100 and up. That's cheaper than an entirely new computer.

8)
Related resources
January 29, 2007 11:18:27 PM

also sniff around.

if you can smell it then open the case up and you should be able
to smell where the culprit is.

get a light and look for anything burnt.
January 30, 2007 4:59:16 AM

If you are not comfortable opening your pc... find a nearest pc shop in your area and let them find whats wrong. Other then that flash light, screwdriver, and your eyes can determine what burned.
January 30, 2007 12:30:42 PM

Yeah i opened it up and all (3) of the fans work even the one on the video card and nothing seems to be burnt black, when it first happened the smell seemed to be comign from the Power Supply, but wouldn't it not start if the power supply smelled burnt?
January 30, 2007 12:55:15 PM

Almost certainly something in the PSU has gone pop. Remove it immediately, and disconnect it from the mains!

Better to be safe than sorry!

A new PSU should bring you back to life... :) 
January 30, 2007 1:38:00 PM

It would boot just fine if it were the video card's fault. I fried a card awhile ago - which made bios beep to let me know that no vga was detected, but judging by hard drive activity - system booted just fine.
January 30, 2007 1:59:58 PM

Quote:
Almost certainly something in the PSU has gone pop. Remove it immediately, and disconnect it from the mains!

Better to be safe than sorry!

A new PSU should bring you back to life... :) 


Is there a way to check for sure myself, I had initially assumed it was the power supply, but i went to explain to some guy at a computer part store and he said to bring it to them because it could be something else...He also told me that if i bought a power supply i couldn't return it...I have a feeling he just wanted my money :( 
January 30, 2007 2:39:23 PM

When I had a PSU failure last year it took out my mobo, CPU, RAM and HDD in the process through some massive power surge. So you might be looking at a new PC....
January 30, 2007 2:48:12 PM

Quote:
When I had a PSU failure last year it took out my mobo, CPU, RAM and HDD in the process through some massive power surge. So you might be looking at a new PC....

Yes i had couple of my friend have a power surge due to rain, thunder storms conditions. It preaty much fried everything exceprt HD. New PC was needed. I had a cheap quality (turbolink) PSU fry my MB thanks god it didnt fry anything else. But never had smoke coming out of the system or any of the components.
January 30, 2007 3:03:52 PM

a simple formula i use when working with burning smells and computers"

burning smell + computer = bad news

it works every time.
January 30, 2007 3:13:08 PM

Quote:
a simple formula i use when working with burning smells and computers"

burning smell + computer = bad news

it works every time.

To add to this... be ready to spend some $ :lol: 
January 30, 2007 3:41:56 PM

If you are getting beeps when you first turn on your computer (given you have speaker connected to the mb pins), then your problem is most likely your video card. If you are getting no beeps, that could be a number of things. First thing I would point to is the Power Supply. If that went out, there is a chance that your other components went along with it. I'd say the most likely things to go out first would be Motherboard, Graphics Card, and RAM.

So answer this, do you get any beeps, and is your motherboard speaker connected?
January 30, 2007 3:56:03 PM

Quote:
Almost certainly something in the PSU has gone pop. Remove it immediately, and disconnect it from the mains!

Better to be safe than sorry!

A new PSU should bring you back to life... :) 


Is there a way to check for sure myself, I had initially assumed it was the power supply, but i went to explain to some guy at a computer part store and he said to bring it to them because it could be something else...He also told me that if i bought a power supply i couldn't return it...I have a feeling he just wanted my money :( 

A power supply tester such as this
or this one
would tell you right off if it is the PSU.

As for the guy at the store, he def just wanted your money. Find a different place if you want them to check it out or do it yourself. You can buy any part & pretty much return it right away if it isn't what you need, they might charge a restock fee if it isnt broken but youd be able to return it.
January 30, 2007 3:56:12 PM

I'd bet my last dollar and the last dollar of everyone on these forums its that crappy Antec PSU your using.
a c 133 V Motherboard
a b K Overclocking
January 30, 2007 4:11:45 PM

sure sounds like the PSU died.....Smell it....does the rear fan smell of burning....

If it does all you can do is replace it and hope it did not take any of your system with it.....

What kind of PSU is it?

@ SunAngel - There is not mention of his psu....Go troll elsewhere
a c 337 K Overclocking
January 30, 2007 4:42:09 PM

Power supply...

Your 3v/5v might be OK and running your fans and such, but your 12v or MB power might be shot. I am going to go with the 85+% chance your power supply shot craps. They are basically the 'fuse' of your system...they are designed to burn out before you set fire to the other $1200 inside the box... :) 
January 30, 2007 4:49:48 PM

if you don't have a "computer buddy" to diagnose your system it looks like you're better off paying the $25 diagnostic fee at a shop.

the most likely reason the person that you spoke to about a new power supply that wouldn't take it back is because a bad mobo can kill a new power supply, after that it's hard to tell what killed what.

without disassembling your computer and checking closely for burnt parts you can waste a lot of money buying parts you may not need and having the actual bad parts kill the new parts.

I recently had a friends computer "seem to boot" but had no video, no beeps and no smoke even. after trying another vid card and some new memory in the system it turned out that the athlonXP2400 had died, replaced the CPU and it booted like nothing had ever happened.

if you're not comfortable tearing into your computer, save yourself time and money by having a competent person fix it but be prepared to pay for new hardware.
January 30, 2007 5:35:04 PM

No... I don't hear any beeps.

If it were the pwoer supply wouldn't the entire computer not turn on though?
And on the PSU all i can see is "CasEdge" I guess it came with my case, a Minotaur

Blunc, that is what seems to be happening with mine, I will get a friend to have a look, but that wouldn't explain the initial burning smell...
January 30, 2007 5:59:38 PM

the power supply provides +3.3v, +5v, +12v and -5V during normal operation, the fans, drives and indicator lights usually run on the 5v and 12v circuits. it is possible for the power supply to not give all the proper voltages and still run the fans, drives and lights.

in your original post you mentioned lines on the screen before it totally died, there is at least four system components that could be involved in that failure; vid card (most likely), motherboard (may have been damaged if the vid card died), power supply and/or CPU.

if you smelled/saw smoke, you should be able to find a burnt component. it may require taking it apart to find but I think you will find (at least) one.
January 30, 2007 6:03:44 PM

Quote:
the power supply provides +3.3v, +5v, +12v and -5V during normal operation, the fans, drives and indicator lights usually run on the 5v and 12v circuits. it is possible for the power supply to not give all the proper voltages and still run the fans, drives and lights.

in your original post you mentioned lines on the screen before it totally died, there is at least four system components that could be involved in that failure; vid card (most likely), motherboard (may have been damaged if the vid card died), power supply and/or CPU.

if you smelled/saw smoke, you should be able to find a burnt component. it may require taking it apart to find but I think you will find (at least) one.


Yeah the first time it happenes i saw the lines but after that when i turned on the computer the monitor LED would randomly turn green, then yellow, the green again...etc. It seemed to me that the smoke was coming from inside the PSU, i will have a quick look at all of my power connectors though
January 30, 2007 6:23:42 PM

I just rechecked the whole thing and found no burnt spots, also the fan on my video card still works, could it still operate if it was the video card?
January 30, 2007 6:53:45 PM

I have had the vid card fan run even though the vid card had no output (really pissed me of because it was an ATI all-in wonder). if you can't spot any burnt components you will have to rely on your nose.

you can remove the vid card, check the socket it plugs into, sniff the card to see if that is the source of the smell, it could have burned but in a place hard to see.

you can disconnect and remove the power supply then sniff the rest of it to see if the smell is gone.

have you checked to see if the power supply fan turns freely?

remember not to remove or install any parts while the computer is powered on. (just covering the bases here)

if the smell comes from the motherboard that would be a bad and rather expensive sign.

you have not told us what and how old the computer is, please list your parts.
January 30, 2007 7:00:41 PM

There is no longer the burnt smell anywhere even when the computer is on. i'm pretty sure the entire motherboard and all of the things attached are clear of burnt stuff.
The power supply fan turns freely.
It was a homemade computer, I have a 2GHz AMD processor, nVidia 256mbg video card, 80gb hard drive, 120gb hard drive, ummm 2x256mb RAM, an ASUS motherboard.

It was assembled about 3-4 years ago.
January 30, 2007 7:22:20 PM

it looks like you are at a point where you need to electrically check the power supply and the vid card, possibly in a known good system.

a $20 investment in a power supply checker is cheaper than taking it to a shop but adds to the total cost of repairs.

there is now way to check a vid card other than putting it in another computer.

your statement that the monitor light was cycling between green and yellow indicates that it's trying to sync on on something coming out of the vid card but is not locking in.
January 30, 2007 8:52:46 PM

Ok i went to MDG and picked up their 545W PSU and put it in...now insteadof staying black the screen stays dark blue as if it weren't plugged in to anything....

EDIT: oops i didn't see your last post as it was on the second page...
that thing with the striped only showed up when it first happened then i immediatly shut down and havn't seen it since
January 31, 2007 10:51:02 AM

Quote:
Ok i went to MDG and picked up their 545W PSU and put it in...now insteadof staying black the screen stays dark blue as if it weren't plugged in to anything....

EDIT: oops i didn't see your last post as it was on the second page...
that thing with the striped only showed up when it first happened then i immediatly shut down and havn't seen it since


You could take your video card to your local comp store and they would /could be talked into testing it for you at no or little cost as they usually have one or two mobo's set up for just that sort of thing,thay are always testing user snafu's..:) 
a b V Motherboard
January 31, 2007 12:41:26 PM

Funny, as I read your post I thought you were saying that the burning, etc came from the MONITOR, not the computer case. But the whole thread concentrates on the computer and its components. Is that right - the symptoms are all from the computer case?

Assuming they are, the PSU seems most likely, with video card next. Certainly the PSU can be part working and part not, so having some things work does not prove the whole thing. If a component in the PSU burned out you are unlikley to see it until you remove the PSU from the case and open its cover so you can see inside clearly. Look not only for discolored items, but also for capacitors (the big can things) with bulged ends or sides. Be VERY CAREFUL about what you touch - those capacitors can have a substantial charge stored in them at dangerous voltages.

You say during boot-up the monitor indicator starts orange, goes green for a while, then back to orange. That shows it is getting some signal from the video card, but obviosly not everything it needs. So the video card is not completely dead, which does not help a lot.

You say your machine does not beep or anything as it boots. But did it ever do that before? Most machines will give a single beep at least once during the boot process as a confirmation that everything is OK. But if yours never did, there may be no sound output device, in which case silence now proves nothing.
January 31, 2007 2:29:49 PM

Quote:
Funny, as I read your post I thought you were saying that the burning, etc came from the MONITOR, not the computer case. But the whole thread concentrates on the computer and its components. Is that right - the symptoms are all from the computer case?

Assuming they are, the PSU seems most likely, with video card next. Certainly the PSU can be part working and part not, so having some things work does not prove the whole thing. If a component in the PSU burned out you are unlikley to see it until you remove the PSU from the case and open its cover so you can see inside clearly. Look not only for discolored items, but also for capacitors (the big can things) with bulged ends or sides. Be VERY CAREFUL about what you touch - those capacitors can have a substantial charge stored in them at dangerous voltages.

You say during boot-up the monitor indicator starts orange, goes green for a while, then back to orange. That shows it is getting some signal from the video card, but obviosly not everything it needs. So the video card is not completely dead, which does not help a lot.

You say your machine does not beep or anything as it boots. But did it ever do that before? Most machines will give a single beep at least once during the boot process as a confirmation that everything is OK. But if yours never did, there may be no sound output device, in which case silence now proves nothing.


No the monitor now only shows up black, capacitors all look good, can't remember if it used to beep...i plugged the speakers in - still no beeps, yeah i don't see how it could be the monitor, i'll see if i can borrow an old video card from a friend and try it...
January 31, 2007 2:59:16 PM

my theory is that the stripes you saw was the vid card in the process of dying, the problem with that is that sometimes when a piece of hardware dies it takes other parts along with it. that is what I was trying to warn you about. after the vid card dies there is usually nothing "displayable" out of it.

since you only got "burning smell" out of it and not enough smoke to see, it still seems to me to be a component on either the vid card, the old power supply or the mobo.

if you put in an old PCI vid card and you get readable text on the monitor (no need to boot all the way to windows at this point), it would seem to indicate that the vid card had failed.
January 31, 2007 3:28:00 PM

I advice you to try the folowing steps:
I understand you changed the power supply, keep the new one conected
Connect the case speaker to the MB
Take the video card out of its slot.
Power on.
If there is no beep after power on most likely the MB has died probably along with the PSU. If that is the case look around the power connector of the MB (the one with 20 or 24pins) there should be some components burned. Look closely for there could only be a slight melting on one of them.
If it beeps the video card is kaput.(most likely taking into acount that you saw those artefacts before the burned smell)
I used to work in a computer store and that is what we did in these cases. or you could take out the memory instead and there should be beeps too.
I doubt the horoor stories someone posted before about many components frying together (cpu mem hdd etc). In all my work in the store I never saw a dead CPU with a heatspreader on. The only ones that died were Athlon XP-s or Durons without heatspreaders when you broke the chip by incorectly mounting the heatspreder.
January 31, 2007 4:08:56 PM

you should make allowance for the fact that just because you haven't experienced something doesn't mean it can't/won't happen.

the "failed" athlon XP2400 in question had been in regular use for over a year, had no signs of damage when removed and had not been OC'd or over heated....but it did not work after being moved from an apartment to a house.

I even tried putting the failed cpu back in the mobo after booting with a new cpu to see if the problem was just dirty cpu socket pins, again...no joy.

I trust the person that told me they didn't slam it around during the move.

there was no horror story about frying cpu's memory or hdd, alothough there are some great stories in one of DaSickNinja's threads....lots of smoke and fire there.
January 31, 2007 4:52:10 PM

You're right, I didn't want to say it could never happen. I just have never seen such a case and I did see a lot of CPU-s (probably thousands). In your case maybe you didn't notice the crack in the die because sometimes it's very small and lined to the border of it so you don't notice it at a first look. And seeing that you moved it before it died is to me a clear sign that something physical happened.
Anyway I did say I saw "failed" XP-s and Durons, they seemed quite fragile. That is not to say I did not liked them (I had a XP 2400+ mobile myself and it was quite an overclocker - it did 2200mhz with only 1.6v).
But on topic I beleive he has a newer processor and these ones are much less fragile (or so they seem to me). There isn't much you can do to them besides bending or braking pins(and maybe throwing them out the Concorde window).
January 31, 2007 5:03:11 PM

Ok i did the no vid card start and got no beeps, the 20pin connector is clean, so i'll get an old vid card tomorrow and try it out, thanks for all your help guys i'll keep you updated
January 31, 2007 5:14:29 PM

Does your motherboard have onboard video? You can try hooking your monitor up to that and see if anything appears.

Just a thought,
regards,
Howard
January 31, 2007 5:34:44 PM

If you got no beeps without a vid card it's most likely the MB that died, provided you connected the speaker and it does work. I once saw a d*i mb that did about the same thing and I discovered a melted transistor on it so that explained the smoke and smell. Surprisingly nothing else was broken not even the power source. Anyway a good power source is a very good investment. I don't beleive such a power source would let pass through a current dangerous to the rest of your component. For example I had an Antec PSU that blew on me (it wasn't quite an explosion but a loud noise) but it didn't brake anything else inside the computer.
January 31, 2007 5:56:02 PM

first try to check the monitor. connect the monitor to other pc. see if the monitor is still ok.

sometimes case like this is happen.

if the monitor is ok. try to run the pc with minimum configuration. mobo+ processor + 1 piece of ram + video adapter and nothing else. if you got another piece of ram try to replace the old ram. it might be the problem. different ram from working computer is recommended.
before turning on, clear CMOS first.

before you done all that, make sure the mainboard or everything else is not short circuited.

always unplug power cord before doing anything.

contact me via email if you still got problem. i might be not able to reply to this forum for about 1 week or 2 weeks.
January 31, 2007 6:23:59 PM

Quote:
No... I don't hear any beeps.

If it were the pwoer supply wouldn't the entire computer not turn on though?
And on the PSU all i can see is "CasEdge" I guess it came with my case, a Minotaur

Blunc, that is what seems to be happening with mine, I will get a friend to have a look, but that wouldn't explain the initial burning smell...


There are several different power rails in your PSU. If a capacitor blew on one of the rails that supply your motherboard, you sure as heck would smell it (blown caps STINK) and you would not be able to boot, yet your fans could still run.
January 31, 2007 6:39:32 PM

i dunno if anyone else suggested this... i only read the first few posts... have a buddy pop open his case and use their power supply in your machine... simple test hehe :lol: 
February 6, 2007 3:14:58 AM

Quote:
Hey guys,

A few days ago my screen turned black with white stripes and I could smell burning coming out of the back of the case...Since then whenever I turn it on, the front LED's turn on but the monitor remains black. I was wondering if this is most likely a PSU issue, a blown capacitor, and if it is worth the $25 to have somebody troubleshoot it.


I had almost the same experience with my pc about the burnt smell. Problem started when I tried to install steam. I got error message that steam will install in root directory and without giving much consideration I clicked ok. My only hard disk then was set in slave instead of master. So when steam is installing, the lcd monitor flickered for a while then went black on me. I restarted the pc it was ok and then went black again and this time there was burnt smell. I restarted pc it displayed for a while then went black again. I thought it was the pc but no it was the monitor. This monitor do not work on another pc but another monitor work on this pc. So the problem is the monitor. Don't know what the problem with the monitor is, maybe the backlight burnt but if so why is there display with the dell logo before goes black. Check out if your problem is with the monitor? In the meantime anyone of your guys out there can resolve my monitor issue? Thanks in advance
February 6, 2007 5:52:58 AM

Quote:
There is no longer the burnt smell anywhere even when the computer is on. i'm pretty sure the entire motherboard and all of the things attached are clear of burnt stuff.
The power supply fan turns freely.
It was a homemade computer, I have a 2GHz AMD processor, nVidia 256mbg video card, 80gb hard drive, 120gb hard drive, ummm 2x256mb RAM, an ASUS motherboard.

It was assembled about 3-4 years ago.


A year ago my 850MHz Athlon bit the dust. It overheated and fried because I never cleaned the heatsink. I had been leaving it on 24/7 for a few weeks. So what I'm saying is I think it's your CPU that fried.
February 7, 2007 2:19:55 AM

Check the new PSU with a multimeter on the molex or get a Multimeter tester (you need to short the green and black pins on the ATX connecter to start it) (I know its new but sometimes they are DOA like anything)

if thats clear then disconnect everything form M/B except Ram ( only one stick) CPU and Vid

Make sure Monitor is okay by using a known good

If you get no beeps normally means no CPU or RAM (or broke CPU/RAM

So swap out the CPU/RAM with known goods or just get a new PC its not good to chase them after a certain point (would never have said that a year ago Before my new job)

p.s does the CPU fan work? Old athlons cook rarther than shut down)

p.p.s When you disturb components you let dust in (especially GPU cards with fans so hoover (Vacum) out all the dust (maybe you fixed prob with new PSU but then ruined it by getting dust in RAM/AGP/PCI/CPU slots
February 8, 2007 4:36:49 PM

Most people dont know this but smoke is a VERY vital component of ALL electronics components. Like the oil in your car, the smoke keeps everything lubricated and keeps the electrons flowing smoothly. If you let the smoke out a component it will quit working. Sometime a little smoke may escape and it will still work. But generally the rest of the smoke will eventually escape out and it dies. DONT EVER LET THE SMOKE OUT OF YOUR COMPUTER COMPONENTS!!!
February 11, 2007 8:36:49 PM

It was the Video Card =)
!