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Possible major CPU damage

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July 17, 2007 5:46:37 PM

Hey I started my computer up everything was fine, then the fans kicked in to full speed and then I smelt burning. I have no idea what material it was that was burning.

If I start the computer up now the screen remains blank without a flicker, fans run at full speed but nothing burns.

Everything was fine this morning til I got a new CPU cooler, that worked fine then I took everything apart and rebuilt it again but tightened the screws to the cooler and started it up again (without plugging in the system fan - an error) that's when the burning occured.

Before I had time to react to the burning the system shut down immediatley.


How do I know which part had burnt out and basically what can I do?


E6600
DS3 965P
2GB 667 DDR2
X1900XT
2 HDDs
DVD RW
Floppy drive
Network and sound cards


Any and all help would be very much appreciated as I don't want to have to buy new parts espcially when I don't know what's broken.

I'll check on this thread later as I'm using someone else's computer for the moment.

Thank you.

More about : major cpu damage

July 17, 2007 7:08:07 PM

I highly doubt that you fried your CPU due to over heating it. I'm pretty sure that the C2D have a thermal overload protector on them. I would try to see if it has something to do with your graphics card or maybe something was/is in contact with the motherboard causing a short somewhere. If it was a short then a lot of different components could be affected.
July 17, 2007 7:18:51 PM

the only component i have ever burnt in my machines is the PSU (twice in my current rig actually), and that emits a pretty nasty smell, though i would assume the fans would not start up if the PSU was indeed burnt.
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July 17, 2007 8:26:51 PM

Its unlikely to be your psu if your fans still spin (though it still could be). I had this problem once where my fans spun but I couldn't boot and it ended up being my video card. Swap it out for another one if you have one, or try onboard video if you have that. Unfortunately, without various spare parts it can be very hard to diagnose these things.
July 17, 2007 8:43:09 PM

I still can't find the burnt component but I'll do a more exstensive search tomorrow when I'm thinking straight.

The graphics card fan and two LED's on the board all work (not a definite sign but something).

Can't find any burns and don't have many spares to swap with, though I checked another batch of RAM and that made no difference.


The only thing I can think of is that I last opened it up (right after it was still working) to readjust the new CPU cooler. I tightened the pins extra tight thinking it would hold better and also tried to fit in an additional clip that the instructions had not mentioned (I thought it was necessary, turns out not so). My thinking is that in tightening the screws they forced the backing plate of the cooler too firmly into the back of the motherboard. Could this have caused significant damage? still wouldn't explain burning.


It was mentioned that the CPU is unlikely to have been fried but I changed many settings in my BIOS when overclocking previously including certain safety settings. I followed the guide on this forum posted on the overclockers section as closely as I could and I recall it mentioned turning off some features. Could these be enough to let the CPU overheat dangerously? (I in no way blame the author of that guide before anyone questions that)


Is there anything in particular I could look for baring in mind I have limited access to spares, or should I take it to a shop and see if they can figure out the component that needs replacing?
July 17, 2007 8:59:48 PM

How long did you have it running before you turned it off? Even with the fan disconnected, the heatsink should have been enough to keep the cpu from immediately torching itself. It could still be anything really. When that video card I mentioned before died, the fan spun just fine.

If you don't have spare parts, its gonna be tough for you to narrow it down with confidence to a single component. The cpu is small and thin though, and if it burned bad enough for you to smell it I think you would be able to see some marks. Is it possible that the extra clip you mentioned made some contact with the motherboard and caused a short? That would certainly explain it.
July 17, 2007 9:14:23 PM

What power supply are you using? (make/model). Sound's like a PSU issue, even if the fans are still running. swapping out parts is not a good idea until you are sure your PSU is working fine. For all you know, that PSU just torched some of your parts and can torch some more if you put other parts in. definitely look for someone who might have spare parts. you can test the motherboard if you are sure about the PSU without any parts in it save the CPU and videocard. hell you can even take the video card out and listen to see if your PC beeps, it will give you errors about no memory, but that would mean your CPU is working, to an extent.
July 17, 2007 9:37:45 PM

I doubt it's the processor. I remember reading an article when the Core 2's first came out about an x6800 running XP for about an hour w/o a fan before shutting down...
July 18, 2007 10:16:06 AM

I didn't leave the clip on as there was nothing to attach it to. I couldn't see any scorching on the CPU but I only check the top side so I'll check again.

I have a Hiper 580W (The cheaper version, there was another that cable management of some kind).

Would it be a good idea to leave it and take it to a store/specialist who will have the equipment? I can't afford to damage more than I may have done.


Thanks again for the help so far.
July 18, 2007 12:24:44 PM

you didnt leave plastic film on the heatsink did you?

Did you apply Thermal paste if there wasnt any to begin with?

Try running the computer with the case side open and facing up towards you. Do you see smoke comming from somewhere before it dies? * i had a video card that did this once. it would start smoking hten then computer would cut itself off*
July 18, 2007 12:32:24 PM

EscCtrl said:
rebuilt it again but tightened the screws to the cooler and started it up again (without plugging in the system fan - an error) that's when the burning occured.----I tightened the pins extra tight


take the motherboard out and check the backside. You mentioned, more than once that you have tightened the HS down extra tight. The mounting hardware should just be snugg. It might be possible that the back plate gouged into the motherboard. also check the cpu socket for burn marks. Just a thought, good luck, and hope its nothing major!


July 18, 2007 1:01:00 PM

unplug all connecters from power supply. sometimes the 20+4 pinn connceter burns inside and you wont be able to tell untill you inspect the connectors. if the motherbord connecter is burnt or melted you migh be able to fix it or try to rma it because im sure its still under warranty.. call gigabyte and talk to them.
July 18, 2007 1:35:05 PM

I am willing to bet its the board . Prolly burned out a Cap.
July 18, 2007 1:44:30 PM

From what I've read here, my guess is that you somehow damaged the motherboard. The Hyper 580wt is a good psu, and your system specs don't show that you're overwhelming it. Yes, a psu can power up fans and such, but not power up the motherboard, but it shouldn't be a factor in what you did, unless you hooked the wires up wrong.

If you managed to cause a short on the motherboard, that could burn up capacitors, which give smoke and a bad smell. You might check for any that look bulged or discolored. As you said, if you can't isolate the problem with ease, it might be better to take the machine in to a specialist and have him diagnose it.
July 19, 2007 9:27:37 AM

It was asked how long did it run before shutting down and burning, it was about a 30 seconds, so not long at all, the screen was still on the BIOS.


I tested the PSU connection with a multimeter, the Voltage was as should be according to the manual.

If I remove the VGA it does not beep but I have another very old graphics card I will test soon.

I tested a different set of RAM so it's unlikely to be that.


I can't take it to a technician for other reasons so am going to have to make a bit of a guess and buy new components. Would it be a sensible choice to buy a slightly bigger PSU (Hiper 670W) and a new motherboard? (was going to upgrade to a P35 DQ6)


The old cooler backing plate has fused to the back of the motherboard and seems impossible to remove so am wondering if that was what burnt, might have melted on because I tightened the cooler on too much.


I couldn't find any bulging or discoloured capacitors either.


Again thanks for the help, I now hope I don't make a costly mistake and buy the wrong component.
July 19, 2007 9:47:51 AM

I had a problem like this and it was the motherboards chipset. I never smelled any burning, it powered on but would never post.

I would go with the motherboard has got some issues, try to find some local computer store or something you can swap out the motherboard for a min or just rma it with whatever company you bought it from, that is if its still under warranty.

Evga is the best company I have ever worked with I had 3 rma's so far, 1 8800gts that just went out one day, advanced rma, I got one first before I sent it back. And the motherboard twice, once was a voluntary rma due to some issues known and the second one I burned up taking the stock heat sink off, replaced it with another one and I was trying to attach a fan to this heatsink because it was getting too hot, while the computer was running, I guess it lost contact for too long with the northbridge chip due to the rocking motion and a quick shut off followed by never to be booted again, just a power on with nothing else. So I rma'd it and installed everything and I was up and running again.

So I would go with video card or motherboard most likely cause. Motherboard though would be my first choice. See if you have a buddy or someone who is willing to let you try your processor and video card in that is if you can find one.

Good luck.
July 19, 2007 10:59:54 AM

I tried another video card with no success - though it's a PCI video card from around '96 so no idea whether it would work anyway.

I didn't mention but it but the fans are all connected through the motherboard then power supply (not straight to the power supply). So the motherboard has at least some working ability that it can get fans to work.


The problem is finding people willing to swap components with. I don't know many and I'm not so sure about swapping potentially faulty parts with them in case it damages their property.

cranbers: did your warranty cover that kind of damage? I was planning on ordering a new board then sending the old one off to see if they can at least tell me what went wrong (if anything, if it turns out to be something else is broken).

Also note that the backing plate for the cooler is now stuck to the back off the motherboard, it looks like it might be melted on which would explain a bit, and no matter what it won't come off.

July 19, 2007 11:18:52 AM

EscCtrl said:
I can't take it to a technician for other reasons so am going to have to make a bit of a guess and buy new components. Would it be a sensible choice to buy a slightly bigger PSU (Hiper 670W) and a new motherboard? (was going to upgrade to a P35 DQ6)



I have the Gigabyte GA-P35-DQ6 and am very pleased. However, I probably should have went with the DS3P...it is pretty much configured the same without the heatpipe...and it is half the cost. Check out my

Check out my configuration http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/configuration.php?config=tomshardwareus.inc&pseudo=jeditim.

I would think you would be able to check out your components with what you have...good luck.
Tim


July 19, 2007 11:35:45 AM

take the motheboard out of hte case
and power it up on something nonconductive
July 19, 2007 12:01:12 PM

jeditim: so I should stick with a DS3 but get it with the P35 chipset?
The DQ6 is £60 extra but it has the benefit of running 45nm processors when they arrive, sounded worth it but am not so sure.

koolaidkit ten: I'll give that a go but is there anything to look out for? what is the purpose of running it outside the case? better cooling, or the ability to see what's occuring?
Also could you suggest a surface to run it open. Carpet is non-conductive but could probably short it out with a static charge (assuming that hasn't already occured).


July 19, 2007 12:48:53 PM

Quote:
The old cooler backing plate has fused to the back of the motherboard and seems impossible to remove so am wondering if that was what burnt, might have melted on because I tightened the cooler on too much.

Quote:
Also note that the backing plate for the cooler is now stuck to the back off the motherboard, it looks like it might be melted on which would explain a bit, and no matter what it won't come off

Honestly I would not bother looking any further. It seems you have soldered the backplate to the mobo :D 
Did you use the rubber rings that come with the cooler, these have a purpose you know. They prevent the backplate from shorting the mobo. What I'm wondering though is what screws you used. Often these coolers come with special screws that have only a short threaded section and a thicker smooth section to prevent you from actually overtightening them mostly using springs to apply pressure to the cooler. Anyways... prepare yourself for having to get a new mobo.
July 19, 2007 1:08:34 PM

morerevs: Yes but those rubber pads have been compressed so much I'm wondering if some of the metal on the circuit board has pushed through that and contacted with the backing plate as you implied.

That is something that I think is likely but no one else said much about it and my dad who looked at it said that was unlikely. The screws I used had a spring and a smooth section. I screwed them in so the smooth section touched the top of the board, ie. I used all the threading of the screws I could and the springs were almost compressed.

I took the RAM and VGA out and listened for beeps but there was nothing and I'm almost certain the board is dead. I am doing one more test (clearing the CMOS, properly this time) after that I will buy a new board and send this one back or listen to my dad's advice and sort this out some other way but he'll probably come to the same conclusion in a weeks time so might play along with that and order a new board in anticpiation for that revelation :p 


Thanks again everyone. I'll let you know how things go as when more happens.
July 19, 2007 1:12:37 PM

Actually could I clarify...

If there are no beeps when components are removed is this a good sign that the board is dead?

secondly if I have shorted the board is it likely other components are damaged also?

Thanks.
July 19, 2007 1:24:12 PM

koolaidkitten said:
take the motheboard out of hte case
and power it up on something nonconductive



Actually that's more of an idea then I'd thought

I've looked at the board again and noticed the heatsink is massive and it almost touches the side of the case. Could this have shorted the board?

July 19, 2007 3:13:59 PM

EscCtrl said:
Actually that's more of an idea then I'd thought

I've looked at the board again and noticed the heatsink is massive and it almost touches the side of the case. Could this have shorted the board?


I am taking a guess that the HS on the board touched either the case (doubtful) or shorted out contacts on the motherboard. I don't know if this would have caused the burning smell though. Can you get the HS off?

Tim
July 19, 2007 3:42:22 PM

jeditim: Yeah I just completley removed the entire heatsink, got the backing plate off, the squashed pad and adhesive. I looked at the back and there is no sign of melting/scorching there either.

I then ran the computer with a more simple heatsink, CPU, and mother board. Nothing else was connected (except a power supply).

The fans started up and now beeps were made. The fans went to 100% power (they don't normally do that on start up so I didn't even need a screen plugged in to know things aren't right still)

My guess is the board is broken. Do you think it would be a sensible idea to buy a new one?
July 19, 2007 5:52:08 PM

EscCtrl said:
jeditim: Yeah I just completley removed the entire heatsink, got the backing plate off, the squashed pad and adhesive. I looked at the back and there is no sign of melting/scorching there either.

I then ran the computer with a more simple heatsink, CPU, and mother board. Nothing else was connected (except a power supply).

The fans started up and now beeps were made. The fans went to 100% power (they don't normally do that on start up so I didn't even need a screen plugged in to know things aren't right still)

My guess is the board is broken. Do you think it would be a sensible idea to buy a new one?


This sounds like you have made it further than before. If you have the motherboard manual http://www.gigabyte-usa.com/Support/Motherboard/Manual_DownloadFile.aspx?FileType=Manual&FileID=17335 you should be able to determine the meaning of the beeps.

According to the manual:

AWARD BIOS Beep Codes
  • 1 short: System boots successfully
  • 2 short: CMOS setting error
  • 1 long 1 short: DRAM or M/B error
  • 1 long 2 short: Monitor or display card error
  • 1 long 3 short: Keyboard error
  • 1 long 9 short: BIOS ROM error
  • Continuous long beeps: DRAM error
  • Continuous short beeps: Power error

    Do any of these help?
    Tim
    July 20, 2007 11:39:27 AM

    That was a typing error instead of now beeps were made I was meant to say - no beeps were made sorry.

    I'm sending the motherboard and possibly the CPU back to manufactorer now, so I'll wait to see if they can tell me what's broken. Several weeks without a my own computer though.
    July 20, 2007 6:33:26 PM

    EscCtrl said:
    That was a typing error instead of now beeps were made I was meant to say - no beeps were made sorry.

    I'm sending the motherboard and possibly the CPU back to manufactorer now, so I'll wait to see if they can tell me what's broken. Several weeks without a my own computer though.

    Yeah, from what I've read, it just sounds like the fusing of the plate to the motherboard is your problem. It probably shorted something and in the processed melded it to the motherboard (hence the plastic burning smell).

    Since its a short, its really hard to say what parts work and what are broken. You'll have to do a component by component test on everything. (PSU sounds like its ok if you tested it). Hopefully you'll get lucky and its just the motherboard that fried. Hope the voltage regulators kept the CPU safe. Let us know how it comes out. Good luck!
    July 20, 2007 6:58:39 PM

    have you removed the heatsink on the north bridge for your ds3? those run really hot and from what you have described thats where i would start. if the north bridge is damaged or burned out you will definately be able to tell right when you remove the heatsink. also does it still smell like electrical components burning? if you could isolate the smell then your lucky.

    other than that i would venture to say it could be your power supply, but im leaning more towards the NB.

    good luck.
    July 20, 2007 8:04:27 PM

    You should just take it to a computer repair shop and have them figure it out. When I built my first computer, it wasn't working and I had no idea why and didn't have any spare parts to test with. A friend recommended a computer repair shop, and they checked it and found out my graphics card was faulty. It cost me $40, but it's worth it for the time and stress you save yourself. I returned my graphics card and had it replaced and my computer has been running fine for 3 or 4 years now. Some places might even do free diagnostics on certain components.
    !