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Dead PC--Motherboard, PSU, or CPU?

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June 13, 2008 8:41:40 PM

I just finished building a new system (see specs below), and I had everything up and running after installing Vista. Then I did a stupid thing--I had the system running with the case open and I was curious if the heatsink was warm, so I put my hand in to touch it. When I did, the system powered off. Man, I can't describe the sinking feeling I had at that moment. Now I can't power up again--when I hit the Power button, absolutely nothing happens. My first assumption is that I've fried the motherboard, but I'm wondering if could be the PSU or the CPU.

Any advice on how to determine the likely problem before I start ordering new parts and rebuild the system?
Thanks to anyone who can help!

Specs
Case: Antec P180
MB: Gigabyte EP35-DS3R
CPU: Intel E8400
CPU Cooler: Arctic Freezer 7 Pro
RAM: 4x1Gb OCZ Platinum PC2-6400 800 MHz
PSU: Antec Neopower 650
HD: WD64000AAKS 640 Gb; WD7500AAKS 750 Gb
Optical: Samsung SH-S203N DVD burner
OS: Vista Home Premium
System running at stock settings
June 13, 2008 9:22:14 PM

is it possable for you to take out the parts and try them in a different system? you know like take the psu out and try it on a junk computer. when you stuck your hand in there did you hit anything other than the heatsink? did you feel a slight shock when you touched any thing?
June 13, 2008 9:34:23 PM

Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, I don't have another system in which I can try the PSU or from which I could borrow another PSU or CPU to try in the new one. I did find PSU testing devices on NewEgg and might go ahead and order one because they're cheap, but it will take a few days to get here. I'm not sure where I might be able to buy one locally, but I'll look around.
I didn't touch anything else when I touched the heatsink, and I didn't feel a shock. The heatsink did move slightly, which is why I'm guessing I fried the MB by shorting it out.
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June 13, 2008 9:43:02 PM

I'm a computer tech, here's an old trick. Don't know if it will work or not, but worth a try at this point. Unplug your PSU from the wall. Press the power button a few times, maybe even hold it down a few seconds, then plug it back in and try to fire her back up. Sometimes it makes a dead system come to life. Sometimes I guess a little static or something gets built up, and that seems to help flush a little of that out. Try it, you have nothing to lose. I know I've seen it work on laptops before. My wife's laptop actually died and couldn't get it to work for a while, did that, and it started working, had a couple of other issues but fixed that and recently sold it for over 200 bucks, not bad for an old celly 2.2 with 256 mb of ram.
June 13, 2008 9:50:51 PM

^ ya try that.

mmm well i tell ya i dont really sound like its the mobo to me. it sounds like your psu is defective and it just so happend that it crashed when you stuck your hand in. have you takin the computer apart to see if there is any sign of were it could be shorting?
June 13, 2008 9:54:48 PM

Antec should be good. Recheck all your connections too. Does anything smell burnt? Did you possibly move something and jerk some wires loose?
June 13, 2008 9:57:34 PM

Do you have a voltmeter, DMM?
June 13, 2008 10:18:11 PM

ohiou_grad_06 said:
I'm a computer tech, here's an old trick. Don't know if it will work or not, but worth a try at this point. Unplug your PSU from the wall. Press the power button a few times, maybe even hold it down a few seconds, then plug it back in and try to fire her back up. Sometimes it makes a dead system come to life. Sometimes I guess a little static or something gets built up, and that seems to help flush a little of that out. Try it, you have nothing to lose. I know I've seen it work on laptops before. My wife's laptop actually died and couldn't get it to work for a while, did that, and it started working, had a couple of other issues but fixed that and recently sold it for over 200 bucks, not bad for an old celly 2.2 with 256 mb of ram.


Thanks for the suggestion. I gave it a try, but unfortunately, no joy. I disconnected the power cord, pressed the power switch numerous times and held it in for a while (all the while promising all sorts of things to God if it worked), but still got the same result when I plugged it back in and tried to fire it up--zero signs of life.
June 13, 2008 10:20:37 PM

ilovebarny said:
^ ya try that.

mmm well i tell ya i dont really sound like its the mobo to me. it sounds like your psu is defective and it just so happend that it crashed when you stuck your hand in. have you takin the computer apart to see if there is any sign of were it could be shorting?


No, I haven't started disassembling things yet. I guess that will be my sad task for tomorrow. I'l let you know if I discover anything noteworthy when I take things apart.
June 13, 2008 10:23:23 PM

chuckm said:
Do you have a voltmeter, DMM?


No, I don't. I'm going to look around tomorrow to see if I can find a power supply tester like I saw on NewEgg (maybe Radio Shack will have this?); otherwise I'll order one and wait till it arrives.
June 13, 2008 10:24:27 PM

SAD!!!!!!!! man i love taking computers apart and putting them back together. thats like the best thing to do.
June 13, 2008 10:26:26 PM

ohiou_grad_06 said:
Antec should be good. Recheck all your connections too. Does anything smell burnt? Did you possibly move something and jerk some wires loose?


I sniffed around inside and outside the case when it happened and didn't smell anything. I checked for any disconnected wires too. also, and didn't find anything (and believe me brother, I was praying I would).
June 13, 2008 10:26:41 PM

Plug a table lamp into the same plug as you have the PS pluged into to see if the plug has power.

Is there a reset button on the PS?
June 13, 2008 10:31:41 PM

Quote:
Only thing I can think of is you when you put your hand in there you were on carpet/or walked across carpet prior and you shocked the system with the static discharge possibly blowing a capacitor or something on your mobo or power supply. First and easiest thing to try is a new power supply, if it's not the solution then return it.

Always discharge yourself by touching the power supply before touching anyting else in the pc. Its not a good idea to really touch anyting in there while its powered up for sure although I've touched my heatsink while the pc was runing and didnt have any problems from it.


Yeah, this is something I know but allowed myself to forget in a moment of carelessness. I'm seriously kicking myself now. I think I need a beer or 2 to drown my sorrows.
a b à CPUs
June 13, 2008 10:32:33 PM

1. Did you clear CMOS?

2. Did you use the motherboard standoffs?

3. Is the wall outlet getting power?
June 13, 2008 10:32:50 PM

(and believe me brother, I was praying I would).

well its good to hear your a religious man :lol:  :lol: 
June 14, 2008 4:32:12 PM

Shadow703793 said:
1. Did you clear CMOS?

2. Did you use the motherboard standoffs?

3. Is the wall outlet getting power?



1) Not yet, but will try.

2) Yes, of course.

3) Yes.

Thanks for all the replies, everyone. I guess I'm going to start with investigating the PSU as the trouble spot. To answer one question from above, I can't find any indication of a reset mechanism on the power supply. I'm hoping to be able to find a power supply tester somewhere today, otherwise I'll order one from NewEgg and wait. I'm crossing my fingers and toes that it will be a dead PSU, as that will be the cheapest and easiest thing to replace. If the PSU is good, then I'll strip the system down to barebones (mobo, cpu, cooler, one stick of RAM, graphics card) and try tot power that up. If that's no go, then I'll order a replacement mobo and rebuild the system. At that point, if it still doesn't work, I'll try a new CPU. That seems to be a logical series of steps. At least NewEgg's return policy will help keep me from throwing away $$$ unnecessarily.

Any comments or suggestions about that plan?
June 14, 2008 4:36:50 PM

ilovebarny said:
(and believe me brother, I was praying I would).

well its good to hear your a religious man :lol:  :lol: 


It's been said that everyone is religious under the right circumstances.
:wahoo: 
June 14, 2008 7:17:39 PM

UPDATE:
I was able to get a power supply tester, and the PSU is working, so that's one possibility eliminated. I guess now I'll move on to disassembling everything and setting up a bare minimum system on an insulated pad outside the case and see what happens when I connect power and try to power up.
!