When I first tried to power up, blue sparks and a pop and the room filled with that pungent smell of burnt hardware. I went to sleep severely depressed thinking I had managed to pull an epic fail by blowing up my first build. I didn't even think blowing up a system was possible, esp with such specific hookups from the psu to the other components. I disconnected and reconnected the next day, I don't know why. Hooked up to a monitor and when I saw that post screen, my eyes filled with tears of joy. This elation was short-lived, however because now my computer CONSTANTLY and randomly freezes. It would freeze in bios, during os installation and, frankly, I'm surprised I managed to get Vista running (somewhat, it still freezes constantly) I've never once gotten a BSoD and my guess is that the PSU is somehow unstable. I'm assuming the sparks came from the PSU and something in there blew, because nothing started up the first time I "powered up". Second time the only difference was that I didn't hook up my fans to the motherboard's sysfan2 spot. Harddrive, memory, cpu, graphics card all show up in bios and in vista and I'm focussing on the powersupply because nothing else seems physically damaged. And that spark was like lightning in my case. I don't know exactly where it came from, but it definately came from the bottom of my case. At first i thought it was the harddrive, since i had to lower it for my hd4850 to fit, but it seems to work just fine. The only other thing there is my PSU and the lower half of my motherboard, which I can not imagine could have stored enough potential to make such a loud pop and bright spark.
I looked up similar problems online and all of them seemed to have psu issues so I'm assuming I do to. I'm going to send my PSU back to corsair to see if they find anything wrong. I'm posting here so that you can call me a total idiot for turning on my system after an explosion inside my case and turning it on several times at that. I'm also here to get your advice on the matter. I was planning on running stress tests on my cpu, memory, and hdd, but that seems quite impossible because the freezes occur so randomly and quickly; sometimes before I even get to the vista login screen. What programs should i get to test my hardware? I don't have a multimeter and in bios, my cpu runs at a constant 44*C. Didn't over clock a thing. Thought updating graphics drivers and installing the mobo drivers from the cd would help, but it didn't. It seems that the longer I keep the computer on and then it freezes, the quicker the next freeze arrives after I reset. I thought this implied an overheating issue, but bios said my cpu was still 44*c and the "system" was even lower, but the giant heatsink, which i'm assuming is the northbridge heatsink is so hot I can't even touch it. Idk if that's normal but I thought again that the psu was again to blame for sending too much juice.
This turned out into basically a giant rant and i'm sure there's not much relevant and a lot of contradictory information and guessing there. I want to know what I need to rule out each component one by one so I can find the hardware at fault. I don't think it's a driver issue, because it was freezing at bios before anything was even installed.
I don't know exactly where it came from, but it definately came from the bottom of my case. At first i thought it was the harddrive, since i had to lower it for my hd4850 to fit, but it seems to work just fine. The only other thing there is my PSU and the lower half of my motherboard, which I can not imagine could have stored enough potential to make such a loud pop and bright spark.
If you are not sure it was the PSU that fired off the sparks, you may want to disassemble the system and inspect the Mb very carefully, especially where the 24 pin connector plugs into the board. Look carefully for 'brown scorch marks' on the board. Use a magnifying glass if needed and look over both the front and back of the MB. The inside of the case behind or under the the PSU may be scorched too. Same with the MB, look for scorch marks on on the inside of the case and find where the 'sparks' came from. The smell is not a good sign everything is going to be all right. So, perhaps try a different PSU and if the problem persists, you may consider RMAing the MB.
I think you have the right idea about the PSU, often though when a PSU goes it takes out other things, so don't be supprised if you find more troubles after you get a new PSU.
I always use PCPower for my PSU,s and have had very good luck with them.
If I get a working PSU and I still experience problems, what programs can I use to look for instability in the various components. I know about prime95 and memtest and to run them for hours. Anything else I need?