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WTF happend t o my pc? and then there was smoke.

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February 15, 2008 4:41:54 PM

ok here are my specs

Antec P182 w/ 120mm fans
Q6600 @ 2.4 w/ ZALMAN 970NT + AS5
8800GT 512mb
520hx corsair psu
2gigs Crucial Ballistix
750GB WD HD

ok so wtflip?? i turn on my pc and mayb 20-30 seconds later smoke starts coming my top exhaust fan and my pc turned off. now if i keep pressing the start button , 1 out of mayb 20 times i see it turn on for a splitsecond and turns right back off. what could of happend? i looked inside i see no physical damage at all.... ;[ man im pissed.

btw i did not mess with the mobo or did any OC at all.

More about : wtf happend smoke

February 15, 2008 4:59:26 PM

You probably popped a capacitor on the PSU.

Was it a white smoke?
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February 15, 2008 5:00:30 PM

my first thought was the cpu also , but how is that possible? ive had coretemp running for weeks and i've never seen my temps go over 45c.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 15, 2008 5:01:12 PM

I'm guessing psu.
February 15, 2008 5:01:22 PM

also i was moving the zalman around and i was wondering if it was normal to be able to move it from side to side? like twist it.
February 15, 2008 5:02:55 PM

ahh i cant remember what color the smoke was , i dont think it was black tho
a b B Homebuilt system
February 15, 2008 5:08:28 PM

If it came out the top fan on a P182 case then its not the PSU(unless you seen it come up the back of the case) since its at the bottom of the case. Maybe the board blew its regulators(that's BAD).....take it apart and look for physical damage(around the CPU socket and check the video card too). Yes, there is a small(side to side, still much less then old K7 heatsinks could be) amount of wiggle in the Zalman cooler when its on.

CPU's do not smoke anymore. they have built in protection.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 15, 2008 5:09:02 PM

Most CPUs have thermal controls, unless you were overvolting the chances of it frying are minimal. There's a very good chance that your PSU blew though, especially if you cant see any burn marks on your MB. Unseat your CPU and check it out first and if it looks okay, check out your PSU.
February 15, 2008 5:09:47 PM

psu fo sho !!

pull the psu out and give it a good sniffin ! Hey it works for dogs !
February 15, 2008 5:10:30 PM

You told us that it came from the top fan of your Antec p182? Well, the PSU in that case is positioned in the bottom end so that sounds odd. Also, a cord could have struck the fans of the zalman (seen before) turning it off.
But i really dunno mate, whatever it is it does not sound good :(  sorry lad
February 15, 2008 5:10:58 PM

well i can twist the cpu almost twist the heatsink to the poitn where the fan can face down. i looked at my vid card and there was no damage. but the thing is my PC wont turn back on what could be causing this? to take my heatsink off ill have to remove my whole mobo so im going to try to do that later on this weekend.
February 15, 2008 5:13:01 PM

Sniff you through the components, something must smell fried.
EDIT: The fact that you can twist your CPU cooler that much sounds unhealthy but i might be more supportive that it's something else that caused your computer crash since there would be popups and other warnings telling you that something is wrong if the CPU cooler dosn't fit.
Hmm, what a pickle
February 15, 2008 5:15:44 PM

maybe just a fan? worth ruling out. If not that then psu or mobo and the upper exhaust fan just pulled smoke up and out, or else the smoke just rose naturally as smoke does. Check PSU first. Little or no chance it was CPU. Test PSU, will the PSU fan spin by hand? Smell PSU, sniff sniff, then look at mobo for any burns or blown caps
February 15, 2008 5:18:15 PM

notherdude said:
maybe just a fan? worth ruling out. If not that then psu or mobo and the upper exhaust fan just pulled smoke up and out, or else the smoke just rose naturally as smoke does. Check PSU first.


i recall that the P182 has a airtunnel where the CPU is positioned and that it is completly cut of with the rest of the system to avoid heat from the PSU (picture). People can mingle with this settings as they want so i don't know how his computer looks.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/images/reviews/cases/Antec%...

February 15, 2008 5:18:51 PM

like others said , the psu is located all the way in the bottom of the case so , how can i check/ruleout if it was hte mobo or PSU?

and about the heatsink , ive had coretepm running for weeks and everything was fine i doubt it was that.
February 15, 2008 5:19:44 PM

Either way i think you should check the PSU for starters. .
EDIT: It could be anything, really, smell your way through, something must smell fried! smoke is pretty dramatic!
a b B Homebuilt system
February 15, 2008 5:20:08 PM

NezaH said:
well i can twist the cpu almost twist the heatsink to the poitn where the fan can face down. i looked at my vid card and there was no damage. but the thing is my PC wont turn back on what could be causing this? to take my heatsink off ill have to remove my whole mobo so im going to try to do that later on this weekend.

it should not have that much twist..... make sure the mounting bracket(little black squareish thingy) did not hit a onboard component....

it should have only a few degrees of twist at most....
February 15, 2008 5:20:59 PM

smell the PSU from the rear and attempt to spin fan by hand those would be clues
February 15, 2008 5:21:29 PM

Take your entire system apart and check each part closely by eye. Check the mobo front and back. If there was smoke, then there will be scorch marks or a burned capacitor or something. Could have been a short somewhere. Continuing to try to power on the system without finding the problem first is a bad idea. You could just make things worse.
February 15, 2008 5:22:42 PM

nukemaster said:
it should not have that much twist..... make sure the mounting bracket(little black squareish thingy) did not hit a onboard component....

it should have only a few degrees of twist at most....


Agreed. That cooler is allready pretty huge, it could interfer with other components strapped on the motherboard.
February 15, 2008 5:27:36 PM

OK, here is how youn can really check PSU;

1. Unplug it entirely from MOBO and all system devices. Leave it plugged into wall and leave the back switch on

2. Short the green and black wires together by hooking a wire from one to the other on the connector.

3. If PSU is good it will turn on

Thios will not tell you if voltages are good but it is a quick way to see if it is totally dead.
February 15, 2008 5:28:00 PM

Unplug all your drives and try powering on you may have burnta dvd or hard drive....easiest to do....
If that's not it then it's disassembly time...sorry to hear about your pc!
Hope this helps.
February 15, 2008 5:29:02 PM

ok about the heastink , i was able to move it ALOT. it would twist 360o if the antec frame wasnt there. i also smelled around adn the heastink smelled burnt. ok so.. how the hell did the heatsink get so loose? and how is this so sudden last night my temps were about 30c's all cores and like 35 on load. so if this is the area that is burned am i oging to have to replace the heatsink? or the heatsink and the cpu. because honestly i do not trust the zalman 9700 if this happend.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 15, 2008 5:39:15 PM

i should be imposable to twist the heatsink 360 since its held by a bar and there are heatpipes in the way....take it off and look at the black plastic bracket, make sure its not sitting on the voltage regulators. That would stop it from making contact.....but if there was smoke, something has been damaged...

If you have a large cap in the way the retention bracket may hit it...this will cause poor contact and you may even smash the cap or what ever is in the way...
February 15, 2008 5:42:54 PM

PSU!!!! Whoever says it not PSU because its on the bottom is not very bright. Last time I checked smoke rises. Maybe thats the reason smoke detectors are up high on the wall on not on the floor.

It is a slim to none chance of being the CPU. If was the mobo you would beable to see some damage. Your PSU probably got dirty and blew out. I have seen it 100 times. Last week my browinlaw put a empty pop bottle on his tower and the little bump from that knocked some dirt loose in his PSU and burned it out.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 15, 2008 5:47:21 PM

roadrunner197069 said:
PSU!!!! Whoever says it not PSU because its on the bottom is not very bright. Last time I checked smoke rises. Maybe thats the reason smoke detectors are up high on the wall on not on the floor.

It is a slim to none chance of being the CPU. If was the mobo you would beable to see some damage. Your PSU probably got dirty and blew out. I have seen it 100 times. Last week my browinlaw put a empty pop bottle on his tower and the little bump from that knocked some dirt loose in his PSU and burned it out.


Yeah, tons on smoke flys through that little hole on the P182 when it can leave via the rear vent? The fan between the hard drive's and the psu would force that air out the back....

Its fairly well sealed(in its own chamber)....and not too bright to think its gonna come in a small hole(against the flow of the fan that blows on the psu) when it can leave from the vents around the psu

February 15, 2008 5:54:54 PM

Even if the smoke comes out the back he aint gonna see it until it comes over the top. Besides when a machine goes poof and shuts down do you think the fans are actually spinning? Last I checked when a machine goes poof and shuts down the fans quit also.

Besides the PSU is the fastest, cheapest thing to rule out first.
February 15, 2008 6:00:45 PM

Was there a foul smell along with the smoke? Was it more of a burning smell, or a chemical smell? A burning smell might point to a blackened or charred part (MOSFET or solid capacitor). A chemical smell might point to a vented aluminum electrolytic capacitor (possibly in the PSU).

A vented AE capacitor may have a bulge, and a rip or tear on the side or top. There might be no burn marks.

You might try your system with a different PSU and see if it boots up normally.

If you decide to look inside your PSU, make sure it is unplugged and remember that the capacitors inside can store dangerous high voltages for many hours.

Good luck!

Altazi (Electronic Engineer)
a b B Homebuilt system
February 15, 2008 6:05:03 PM

Quote:
Even if the smoke comes out the back he aint gonna see it until it comes over the top. Besides when a machine goes poof and shuts down do you think the fans are actually spinning? Last I checked when a machine goes poof and shuts down the fans quit also.

Besides the PSU is the fastest, cheapest thing to rule out first.

the OP said out the top fan BEFORE it shut down(i assume fans run wile the system is on....)...not after...and after its still gonna move out the rear vent(path of less resistance). I did state if it comes up the back(first post)...... I am not ruling out the PSU, but its very unlikely for smoke from the psu to make it to the top fan in that case.

@ NezaH - What board was it? some boards did not have the power for Quad cores. maybe the voltage system wet boooom

There is still the issue of the heatsink being so loose....I have a 9500AT and its not that loose. I think you will have to take it all apart to check closer. Smell around for the burn. Post any results you find
a b B Homebuilt system
February 15, 2008 6:24:16 PM

Possibilities:

You plugged/put in in some thing wrong first time around. (Did you remember the motherboard standoffs? I have seen this happen to a friends PC where it ran fine for about a month and blew up when he installed a FDD to flash the BIOS)

Some thing caused a short circuit (ie some loose screw falling,etc)

PSU fan got stuck (causing over heating)

Cap blew out for some reason (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague)
February 15, 2008 6:28:52 PM

a had a similar problem a week ago:

An old x800GTO died in my parents's computer. The machine wouldn't post, and there was the smell of smoke, coming from the PSU (whaddayaknow - smoke does indeed rise).
Using the beep code table I eliminated RAM faults, which left the video card.
Then, (I don't know for what reason) I cleared the CMOS with the jumper.

The PC posted, started booting and then treated me to the best color mosaic I've ever seen followed by darkness. That moment the video card was officially FUBAR.
February 15, 2008 6:30:34 PM

the point being: stop arguing where it came from and test everything.
February 15, 2008 6:33:53 PM

Dissemble and check your system over. Pay attention to ALL of your power connectors and see if any have melted a bit/ a lot from too much current, that may point to the problem if it is not the PSU.

I had a DVD drive burn up on me once just like this. Once I disconnected it all was good with the rest of the system, except for that nasty burnt electronics smell that stuck around for a while.
February 15, 2008 6:36:13 PM

I should also mention that, if a capacitor vents, it does so forcefully. There would be sufficient force in the expulsion of steamed electrolyte so as to be blown out any opening regardless of the direction of the air blown by the PSU fan.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 15, 2008 6:39:46 PM

@OP: Could you post some pics so we can actually see the setup and help you better?
February 16, 2008 12:51:37 AM

ill try when i get a camera , i have a Gigabyte P35 DS3L mobo. About the heatsink/cpu being fried. how is this possible? i mean im not going agaisnt anyone but its like last night my pc was runnign fine @ normal temps , i come home turn it on and poof.. , and yes my zalman i can moive it like crazy thats odd ;[ and the burn smell was coming from the heatsink. it was more of a burning smell not so much chemical. so would hte best thing to do is take everythign apart and look for any damage?
February 16, 2008 12:57:19 AM

im hoping it was my mobo ;[ so i can only replace that for $100 , instead of cpu/heatsink. and also what can we rule out that was damaged since my PC wont even start? would the first thing be cpu/mobo/ or PSU? because if i keep pressing it or turning the PSU off from the back adn turning it back on it will turn on for a split secondi see my heatsink light up and fans start going off.

February 16, 2008 1:01:52 AM

about the motherboard standoffs , since this was my first build i kind of winged it.

one side the screw wont go all the way so the whole mobo kind of leans slightly foward becuase of hte heatsink , is it suppose to be able ot move back n forth a lil? or just be rock sold still.
February 16, 2008 1:16:50 AM

Do you have any spare parts, e.g., extra PSU, mobo, etc.?

Leave only the power switch, power LED, reset switch, etc. connected to the motherboard, but disconnect EVERYTHING from everything else, so no components are connected to each other - no power connections or data connections. Remove all add-in cards (video, RAM, etc.) from the motherboard so you have only the bare motherboard connected to the PSU via the ATX power connector and the 4-or 8-pin CPU power connector.

Will the PSU power-up normally when you press the power on switch? If not, disconnect the CPU fan connector from the motherboard and try again. If no success, try removing the CPU and HSF altogether and try again? If no success, disconnect the PSU power connections from the motherboard. Jumper the green wire on the ATX power connector to one of the black wires. Does the PSU start? If not, your PSU may be trashed. If the PSU starts when its on its own, you may have a fried motherboard.

If you can successfully power-up your PSU and motherboard w/CPU & HSF installed, begin adding components one at a time until you discover what prevents your system from running. Start with adding the RAM, then the video card, and keep going until you find the problem.

It would be helpful if you have a bunch of spare parts - PSU, mobo, etc. to swap out for testing.

February 16, 2008 1:29:12 AM

Altazi thanks man ^_^ im going to try to do that tomrrow or sunday. it sucks i dont have spare parts. btw is it hard to JUMPstart the psu? you make it sound like hot wiring a car and im scared ill dmg my psu lmao.
February 16, 2008 1:30:15 AM

i would also like to know how my heatsink is able to twist so much.... would it be the black rubber frame or hte metal thing across the heatsink affecting this?
February 16, 2008 2:05:04 AM

ok i got a digital camera , what should i be taking pic's of?
February 16, 2008 2:10:40 AM

My Tuniq Tower 120 with the tention springs 95% tight I can still twist it back and fourth, and mine are tight! I have a Silverstone TJ09 case that has a motherboard tray that slides out the back of my case and one day I didn't see that my TT 120 was pushing hard up against the case wall causing it to twist a little. Later I had to force it back into position, you said that your temps were fine so I don't see it being your CPU or Zalman cooler. I think one of your VRM fried, those square things lined up around your 775 socket.
February 16, 2008 2:11:04 AM

NezaH said:
ok i got a digital camera , what should i be taking pic's of?


Everything.
February 16, 2008 2:17:50 AM

ok ill get working on it as soon as i can , and i do hope that my MOBO fried , its the cheapest part ^_^ so i wouldnt mind replacing that. btw guys thanks alot for all of your help , if it wasnt for you guys and this forum i prob would of called an azn guy who would of charged me 500$ to look inside :{ , ill start trying everybodys ideas as soon as i get a chance and ill be back on with pictures this weekend.
February 16, 2008 2:20:33 AM

and how would the VRM thingy's around the CPU be fried? should i take more caution when i re-sit my heastink.
February 16, 2008 3:07:46 AM

NezaH said:
and how would the VRM thingy's around the CPU be fried? should i take more caution when i re-sit my heastink.


On the VRM's most have metal or plastic caps on them so they don't come into contact with anything metal. See if any are loose or burnt.
February 16, 2008 6:21:24 AM

NezaH said:
Altazi thanks man ^_^ im going to try to do that tomrrow or sunday. it sucks i dont have spare parts. btw is it hard to JUMPstart the psu? you make it sound like hot wiring a car and im scared ill dmg my psu lmao.

Hi NezaH,

No worries. Take it slow and careful. Look at the ATX power connector on your PSU - this will be either 20 or 24 pins. In either case, there should be only ONE green wire; this is the PS_ON signal. Shorting this signal to ground (any black wire) will turn on the PSU.

For the first test, you will test the bare PSU only. Make sure nothing else is connected to the PSU. Obviously, it needs to be plugged into a properly-grounded AC receptacle, and if it has its own power switch, that needs to be switched to the "on" position. Take a scrap piece of wire (or even a paperclip) and insert the ends into the ATX connector terminals for the GREEN wire and an adjacent BLACK wire. Make sure you get good contact on in the metal terminals. The PSU fan should start right away and continue to run smoothly while you short the ATX connector terminals. There should be no funny smells, smoke, sparks, or quantum discontinuities. Run the PSU for a few seconds. If the PSU doesn't stay running while you have the wire jumper inserted, your PSU is most likely fried.

If the PSU passes this first test, connect the ATX power connector and the CPU power connector to the motherboard and continue with the tests as described previously.

Good luck!
February 16, 2008 1:54:56 PM

ok so if the psu starts runnign normally for about 30 seconds how would i shut it off? removing the paper clips or the switch on the PSU.
!