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Using cardboard as an insulator

  • Homebuilt
  • Cooler Master
  • Motherboards
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
March 22, 2009 1:06:18 PM

The metal back plate on my new coolermaster V8 heat sync touches the back of my case causing my motherboard to short and I was thinking of putting some insulating material in between the back plate and the motherboard. I don't really know any good non conductive materials to put in a computer and was thinking of using some cardboard but am not sure if that would be something you would want a couple millimeters away from a chip that can get 70*C +. If I didn't use cardboard could I use electrical tape or duct tape instead?

More about : cardboard insulator

a c 90 B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
March 22, 2009 1:42:20 PM

If the motherboard shorted out you might have other problems to worry about. Have you run the system with back side panel off yet?
Since you already have a clearance issue I can't see cardboard helping that out any. So I'm thinking electrical tape.
March 22, 2009 1:57:41 PM

OK so if I shorted my motherboard are there any chances that it still works because I have seen other people on the internet that have shorted their motherboard and they got it working again.
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
March 22, 2009 2:28:17 PM

Can you take the back side panel off your case?

You'll only know by testing.
March 22, 2009 2:53:32 PM

What would that do?

EDIT: I just finished putting electrical tape on the motherboard tray where the metal parts were contacting and still the same thing... so is there anyway I could still get this to work or is my computer done?
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
March 22, 2009 3:37:33 PM

I was thinking you could cut out the area of the motherboard tray under the back plate. A rather extreme mod, but the only other options I see are a different CPU cooler or different case.

You might be able to find (if you're lucky) some longer motherboard standoffs that would fit your case. But I think you'd have other problems, like the IO panel and card slots not lining up with the case.
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
a c 102 V Motherboard
March 22, 2009 5:37:30 PM

The only way the back plate can be shorting out on the case is if its shorting on the back of the mb !

Case mods are not needed .

what you have to do is insatll the backplate on the mb properly
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
March 22, 2009 5:44:31 PM

The backing plate had insulating tape which should have faced the motherboard.
March 22, 2009 6:45:27 PM

Yeah the backplate did have insulating tape right near the parts where you screw it which was facing the motherboard but I think I screwed it on too tight and made it contact the rest of the plate which was uncovered metal.

Even if it was installed correctly it should have worked when I covered the motherboard tray with electrical tape.

Is there anyway that the electrical tape I used wasn't enough to insulate the motherboard?
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
a c 102 V Motherboard
March 22, 2009 6:53:19 PM

ehanger said:

Even if it was installed correctly it should have worked when I covered the motherboard tray with electrical tape.


the short is across circuits on the motherboard
March 22, 2009 6:54:50 PM bad
March 22, 2009 6:56:37 PM

OK so if I cover the ENTIRE backplate with electrical tape will it not short no matter what, even if I screw it on too tight?
March 22, 2009 7:35:32 PM

I would say it would. Try it?
March 22, 2009 8:12:14 PM

It didn't work, so the last thing I am going to do is just replace the V8 with the stock cooler and see what happens. If it still doesn't work after that, then I give up and ill have to make $1500 doing odd-jobs around the house :cry: 

This is probably my first and last time using an aftermarket cooler with a backplate. I guess ill just stick to using the intel stock cooler and doing very small overclocks for my future builds. big deal its not like there's a huge difference between 3 and 4GHz in games anyway.
March 23, 2009 1:01:13 AM

1500$! what mobo do you have bro?! Im fairly certain that if it shorted, the rest of your rig is ok, just that your mobo is dead :) .

As a last ditch attempt you might wanna clear your cmos, i have no idea if that could fix a short but its worth a try :) .
March 23, 2009 1:17:08 AM

Well I don't REALLY need to get a new system but I kind of want to start from scratch after this "incident". Is there anyway to get a sort of reimbursement from cooler master because I don't think this is totally my fault as I carefully followed the directions that came with it and screwed the backplate on until nothing wobbled anymore. I don't understand why so few people have had this exact incident before...maybe my case is designed differently???

I haven't tested it without the V8 on using the stock intel cooler and am going to tomorrow morning but I doubt it will change anything. :(  Also about clearing the CMOS I have the ASUS P6T and on the motherboard there is a reset and a power button does the reset button clear the CMOS or this there some sort of jumper pin I have to connect? If the reset button does clear the CMOS I already tried that and it still doesn't work...
March 23, 2009 3:33:01 AM

OK so your saying that my CPU is probably fine???? I hope your right because I was getting ready to poke a hole through it to make a core i7 necklace :D 
March 23, 2009 3:57:38 AM

Why dont you use a metal hole saw or just use a jigsaw. Cut a hole at that location so that that CPU backplate has nothing to touch.
March 23, 2009 2:53:18 PM

I would take the MB out of the case,
and run it on a piece of cardboard.
If there is still a problem, put the stock cooler on and try it.

Maybe one of the mounting screws is in the wrong place
and is shorting out the bottom of the mb.
March 23, 2009 3:29:47 PM

Could I run it caseless on the anti-static bag that came with the motherboard?
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
March 23, 2009 4:01:59 PM

You could. I would turn the "bag" inside out or leave stanoffs inplace. Many individuals do this with NO problems. The way antistatic bags are constructed is the outside is a high resitance conductive layer to disipate a static charge (generaly megohms) while the inside of the "bag" is insulative so that the charge on the outside is not transfered to the circuit card.
March 23, 2009 4:10:53 PM

There were punctures in the bag from having the motherboard being placed on it before so I decided to run it directly on the box that it came with. I tried clearing the CMOS with the jumper and ran it without any hardrives or optical drives and I still got the blank screen. The North and South bridge heatsinks felt warm to the touch after I manually shut it down, does that mean anything or can it still be fried? Also I felt the nickel plated block that was directly touching the CPU and it felt slightly warmer than room temperature. I haven't yet tried it with the stock intel heatsink and am going to see if that works or not.
March 23, 2009 5:46:08 PM

Clear cmos, use 1 stick of ram.
Try stock cooler, maybe try another video card, and/or monitor.
Try it with no mouse, keyboard, drives.
Do you get any beeps, error codes?
Good luck.
March 23, 2009 7:37:59 PM

FINALLY I got something displayed on the screen, I booted with 1 stick of RAM and it worked!!!!

Why would removing ram modules do anything though?
March 23, 2009 7:46:51 PM

OK now my motherboard will POST with 1 stick of RAM but not with more... I swapped RAM modules and none appear faulty its just that if I use more than one stick it doesn't work!
March 23, 2009 8:24:23 PM

dead mobo .. or faulty bios
March 23, 2009 8:48:09 PM

OK is there anyway I can RMA it? I got it off Newegg in early January. If the BIOS is faulty is there anything I can do about it?
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
March 23, 2009 8:54:44 PM

you can contact manufacturer to rma the MB

March 23, 2009 9:14:00 PM

manually increase ram voltage to max and try with both DIMMs in before you go RMAing it
March 23, 2009 10:27:25 PM

manually increase ram voltage to max and try with both DIMMs in before you go RMAing it

:o  what?! Im fairly certain that if he maxes out the voltage his ram will FRY.

if i were you i would just RMA the mobo , if you got it in jan then its certainly still in warranty. No sense in starting from scratch, since there is really no where to go from and i7 ;)  .

P.S. glad to see that the rest of your rig is still alive :) 
March 23, 2009 10:33:54 PM

Not MAX max voltage, the maximum safe voltage.

It could be that your ram is just not getting enough juice, in which case increasing the ram voltage could fix the issue entirely

...or it could be that your mobo is fried. However it would be better to check the ram voltages to be sure before you go off RMAing a potentially fine mobo.
March 23, 2009 10:44:49 PM

I tried to increase the reset the CMOS again and increased the RAM voltage to 1.55v but still no go. I did manage to boot into windows with 1GB of RAM though.Im probably going to try to return the Cooler Master V8 and RMA the motherboard. Ive never RMA'd anything before, how easy is it? Do I need some sort of proof of purchase or receipt?
March 23, 2009 11:07:27 PM

On the ram it should say what the voltage is.
Some boards need it bumped up a notch with 2 or more sticks.
What ram is it, and what is the rated voltage?

Give us some detailed specs on this rig please.
Make, model# of, memory, motherboard, PSU, CPU, video card.
Can you try 2 sticks at once in another computer?

Did you put the stock cooler on?
That maybe the short, not showing up out of the case.
Maybe shorting stick to stick, then to case when installed?
Worth a try at this point.

And yes you will need a receipt to RMA it.
March 23, 2009 11:20:11 PM

Before I did all this I put the stock cooler on, cleared the CMOS, and swapped memory modules. All sticks work if put in the first Orange slot on the board which I think is A2 but will not work anywhere else.

I have 3GB (3 x 1GB) of Corsair XMS DDR3-1333 RAM rated for 1.5V, a Core i7 920, ASUS P6T (non deluxe) which is on BIOS revision 0112, an XFX 8800GT alpha dog edition, and a Corsair TX 750W PSU. My OS is windows XP 32bit