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WARNING: Be careful mixing Xigmatek Dark Knight with LGA 1366 boards!

Last response: in Overclocking
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November 19, 2009 3:33:11 AM

Recently had a motherboard failure, RMA'd, got the new board, hooked it up outside the case and it worked fine...

Hooked it up inside the case--CoolerMaster 690--and it lit up for about 3 seconds, then poof! A small puff of smoke goes into the air and it shuts off!

Fearing I just fried another ASRock X58 board because I'm a stupid newbie and this is my first computer build, I look around for the source of the puff of smoke and found it...!

Around the back of the motherboard tray I see where a bolt housing (the housing would be used for LGA 775 but not for my LGA 1366 because it's flipped over) protruding from the bottom of the Dark Knight's back plate was in direct contact with the motherboard tray and singed the metal on the motherboard tray!

I haven't inspected the motherboard yet or even taken it out to see if it's toast, that's for tomorrow...

There are four of these protrusions on bottom of this backplate that could come in contact with the case metal... I'm no expert on electronics, but I'm guessing that they should be filed down or at least covered with electrical tape if I want to continue using the Dark Knight (which I do).

And since I'm using universal M3/M3 spacers, my guess is that this is a potential problem with ANY motherboard and ANY case... no?

Can anyone shed light on why the bottom of the HSF backplate touching the case metal would cause a short anways? Or what the likely consequences are that I'll find when I take the board out and fire it up on the table?
a b V Motherboard
November 19, 2009 3:50:34 AM

Don't the standoffs hold the bracket off the back of the motherboard tray?

Are you using the version of DarkNight specifically for the LGA 1366 - model S1283V and the related brackets?
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November 19, 2009 4:02:27 AM

Yes, I'm using all 10 standoffs that have matching holes with my ASRock X58 Extreme, and I've double-checked that I'm using the S1283V with the backplate flipped appropriately (won't work if it's flipped wrong anyways).
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November 19, 2009 6:53:29 AM

I'm not using the Dark Knight, although I do have the Xigmatek HDT-S1283 with the retention bracket for socket 1366. I haven't had a problem yet. You stated you are a newbie, with all due respect, I'm going to take a chance and say this may be linked to user error.
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a b V Motherboard
November 19, 2009 7:30:57 AM

Im also going to say user error - if any HSF is bad you should have noticed *before* using the system wether it was going to short etc.
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November 19, 2009 12:36:39 PM

Guys, there's no ego here, I humbly kneel under the scepter of your collective wisdom as a greener-than-grinch newbie, so if I did screw up I'm totally willing to point out where, so other noobs don't make the same mistake...

But how can I possibly have installed it incorrectly? Please enlighten me...

1. All 10 spacers are properly in place
2. The backplate is seated firmly against the bottom of the motherboard
3. The backplate is properly oriented/flipped for LGA 1366, according to Xigmatek's very clear instructions (the only way it fits)
4. All 4 HSF bracket screws are nice and snug (the springs are completely compressed)
5. It still touches the motherboard tray on my CM 690, maybe other cases would be different?

This isn't rocket science, it's one of the most straight-forward parts of the build...

What else could I possibly check for to see where it's improperly installed???

RE: apache_lives: granted I'm a noob, but you'd really expect me--or anyone--to notice that this was touching, or going to touch, the motherboard tray when installed? Is that something you routinely check for? That's kinda hard to believe, but okay...
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a b V Motherboard
a b K Overclocking
November 19, 2009 2:30:05 PM

Quote:
The bottom of the hsf brackets will not touch the mobo tray if installed properly.

+1.

@OP: Could be defective product.

Quote:
to notice that this was touching, or going to touch, the motherboard tray when installed

Yes. I'd expect you to.

I'v used the S1283 + brackets on a P6T/UD3R + HAF932/Antec900 fine.
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a b V Motherboard
November 19, 2009 3:26:10 PM

Is there any anomaly in the Cooler Master 690 mobo tray that explains this - a rise or bump or something?
What size standoffs are you using?
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November 19, 2009 9:01:26 PM

HAPPY ENDING...

I disassembled the computer and tested the motherboard on the table, worked A-OK. Checked for defects on the Dark Knight bracket (again), it looks perfect, save for the burned mark on one of the screw housings...

Applied electrical tape underneath each of the housings, put it all back together and she's running happier than ever, and 11C cooler than before... (AS5 and 3 more fans helped)

Take this with a grain of salt--I'm an admitted noob--but my warning still stands... If you're going to use the Dark Knight with LGA1366, check to see if any part of the the backplate touches your motherboard, especially if you're using a CM 690 case... if it even comes close, either file down the offending parts or do what I did: apply a small piece of electrical tape.

I still contend that my Dark Knight is installed correctly according to the detailed instructions, with standard M3/M3 standoffs (the inputs line up perfectly on the back of the case, so it's not too high or too low), and no visible defects on the motherboard tray--it looks perfectly flat. Must have something to do with the unique combination of my parts, but my bet is that this bracket will be VERY close to touching on ANY LGA 1366 board.

Of course... if I'd thought to check for contact ahead of time, as apache and shadow suggest, this would have never come up...
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Best solution

November 20, 2009 1:42:21 AM

I checked the user manual from the Xigmatek website, and part of the installation includes using a mylar spacer between the back plate and the motherboard.

Four little tabs go between the feet that touch the MB.

Did you in fact use these insulating spacers??? Just a thought as to why that back plate is "LIVE". Unless the retention clips on the other side are touching something "LIVE" and sending current through the retention screws to the back plate.
Share
November 20, 2009 9:29:16 AM

I'm Glad to see your found out the problem and your board still works.
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November 20, 2009 1:55:52 PM

TheDraac said:
I checked the user manual from the Xigmatek website, and part of the installation includes using a mylar spacer between the back plate and the motherboard.

Four little tabs go between the feet that touch the MB.

Did you in fact use these insulating spacers??? Just a thought as to why that back plate is "LIVE". Unless the retention clips on the other side are touching something "LIVE" and sending current through the retention screws to the back plate.


***TheDraac, as one lesbian says to the other, YOU DA MAN! You have just received my **BEST ANSWER** vote...

That may very well be the exact problem!

It's interesting Xigmatek call them "spacers" because it's the thickness of scotch tape... no wonder it was mylar. DUH!!!

Problem is, when I RMA'd the first board and removed the Dark Knight's backplate from it, the two-sided mylar stuff fell apart. I kept the pieces and thought about re-applying them with the replacement board, but they had lost their stickiness so I left them off... DOH!

We'll never know why the first board died, and that one had the mylar backing applied correctly... it's still interesting that such current would be going through the backplate in the first place... it also makes me think that my electrical tape solution is insufficient, because it's just between the backplate and the mobo tray... there's still no insulation between the backplate and the motherboard... but on second thought, what good would that do when the entire center of the backplate is firmly set against the metal underside of the CPU? There's metal-on-metal big-time there, and the instructions do not say anything about mylar on that part... not sure what to think of that.

Anyways, things are running smoothly now and I've used the EZ OC to get to 3.8 GHz, 34C idle and 68C load (Prime95). Not going to stick with the EZ settings, but it's nice to know that things are working well.

One of these Saturdays I'll pull it all apart and put some mylar on the feet anyways, just to be safe... THANKS EVERYONE!
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a b V Motherboard
November 20, 2009 2:32:27 PM

Hmmm.... you thought about re-applying the mylar on the second board and decided against it, clearly going out of spec on the install. Then you repeatedly "contend that my Dark Knight is installed correctly according to the detailed instructions".
Hmmm... Interesting.
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November 20, 2009 3:59:56 PM

rockyjohn said:
Hmmm.... you thought about re-applying the mylar on the second board and decided against it, clearly going out of spec on the install. Then you repeatedly "contend that my Dark Knight is installed correctly according to the detailed instructions".
Hmmm... Interesting.


Several others including myself have never ran into issues when installing the back plate and I'm not even sure if I followed the exact instructions. I just made sure there was no contact because I don't want to replace my board.

PS. Nice sig
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November 20, 2009 4:20:17 PM

rockyjohn said:
Hmmm.... you thought about re-applying the mylar on the second board and decided against it, clearly going out of spec on the install. Then you repeatedly "contend that my Dark Knight is installed correctly according to the detailed instructions".
Hmmm... Interesting.


rockyjohn, you are 100% correct, I did contend that I had installed it correctly, and in fact I had not.

Until the mylar had been brought up, I had checked over and over again that I followed the instructions, completely glossing over that part as unimportant--I thought those were just to help the backplate stick to the underside of the board for easier installation, it never occurred to me that it could be for electrical protection as well.

However, this annoying fact still remains: the mylar pieces ARE NOT in place right now, with a large area of full metal-on-metal contact between the backplate and the underside of the CPU socket, and the system is running just fine with some simple electrical tape preventing contact between the backplate and the mobo tray, so I have my doubts as to whether the mylar has anything to do with the shorting problem I experienced, but I could certainly be 100% wrong about that as well...
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November 20, 2009 5:40:10 PM

Another note about the Mylar tabs....

All MB's and any electronic boards for that matter, have a final lacquer coating applied to both sides of the board. This is actually applied to insulate all the visible traces that you can see on the board.

One that works on such items knows that if your are necessitating a repair that requires you to solder to one of these traces, you need to scrape away the lacquer to get to bare copper.

Now the Mylar could be used for one or both of the following, initial electrical insulation between two conductive parts AND/OR to help prevent scraping of the said coating by the bare metal helping prevent an electrical short at assembly or later via movement of that metal part via mechanical shock or vibration.

Another note about the coating, the MB or circuit board is masked off during the application of the coating to allow components to be soldered and attached where needed.

I think it could be possible the HS attachment clips are shorting on some nearby component or uncoated solder point. You can see silk screened on the MB (around the CPU socket) the outline of where the clips are supposed to be confined within. If the clips are too large or slightly mislocated, it could potentially short on something.

After all that has happened, I would put a little tape between the MB and retention clips on the top side AND tape between the back plate and MB on the bottom side.

Better safe that sorry after this.

PS... how did you know I was a lesbian?? Did you see my lick er license??? LOLOL.... ok, so shoot me.
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a b V Motherboard
November 18, 2011 3:42:19 AM

Thanks for the thread. My new Xigmatek Dark Knight has the same issues.

The instructions are in like 8 languages, so to have enough space, they only say 1/2 a sentence for each step. It doesn't show or say which mylar to apply and it's already applied when you take it out of the box so I assumed I had to do something. Had I done nothing at all on that step, I wouldn't have had an issue.

I know you guys wanted to blame a noob, but the instructions are excessively detailed while not actually providing any useful information (like 18 useless steps). I imagine this thread will get closed now...

EDIT: N/m: The "mylar" referred to in the instructions was not the sticky covers included. No mylar was included in the box, so I had to electrical tape under the cpu plate to fix my grounding issue.
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