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Is my CPU dead? Pictures!

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July 4, 2009 8:04:31 PM

I posted this on the Shuttle forums but they are pretty slow moving and I need an answer dammit!

Long story short, my Shuttle died a couple weeks ago, and I'm starting to suspect that it is the CPU that did it. It stopped posting and started up very oddly, turning on normally, then seeming to power off, and then turning back on after a couple seconds (fans spinning, RAM light on and all, but no display). That's all with one press of the front power button. I suspected it was the power supply and bought a replacement but no dice.

Thing is, when it died, I could very clearly smell something burning. Like an office full of copy machines working overtime. Yesterday I decided to look closer for any burn damage and I decided to take a look at the CPU and this is what I saw.




It seems a little browned to me. Does this look like it could cause my computer to not boot? Or is AS5 supposed to look like this after a couple years?

I admit, it was running at around 50-60c most of the time. I couldn't do much to lower the temp, and after I read that it was still within tolerances I just left it. How likely is it that replacing this could fix my computer?

It is (was) an Intel Core 2 E6700. Thanks so much!


tl;dr does my CPU look fried

More about : cpu dead pictures

July 4, 2009 8:10:08 PM

i have never has AS5 do that..
what does it look like on the other side of the CPU? any discoloration?
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July 4, 2009 8:26:18 PM

From the looks of it.. I'd diffently say it's that. I never seen a cpu look like that.

As far as replacing it fix your computer or not.. That's a whole nother story. I would wonder what caused it to get like that. Did the powersupply surge and somehow blow it? Simply bad cpu?..etc.. And did it take out the motherboard with it?

Normally I'd just replace and find out, but something that looks like that.. Might make me decide to grab another ps to. Or simply build a new one.

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a c 159 à CPUs
July 4, 2009 8:27:10 PM

As long as the cpu heatsink was attached at the time of the incident, I would suspect the motherboard first, unless you had a lightening strike which could take out both.
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July 4, 2009 8:48:11 PM

Did you overclock and if so what what the voltage you were using?
Also what is the last thing that happened when the computer was operational? Did it suddenly die on you when you were using it or did the problem only begin when you tried to boot up?

Also I want you to get some Qtips and some alcohol and clean your CPU. See if any of that comes off as it may actually be thermal paste and not burnt marks. (hard to see in the picture) If you do find that it comes off then clean it off and reapply thermal paste and see if it will boot.

If the CPU is fried then I find it odd that it didn't throttle down or even just turn off your PC to avoid damage. I suppose the motherboard could have been the actual cause of all of this and advise you not to reuse it if your CPU is dead.

Of course overvolting the CPU to much could have caused this as well.
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July 4, 2009 10:56:27 PM

Looking at the picture I have a question about the caps on the left side of the CPU. At the bottom of the row of caps the there is something odd about the last cap. It's hard to tell in the picture but the cap looks blown.

Well you already bought a new PS. So if it was mine I would replace all the caps and get a new CPU. If you go to www.badcaps.net you can learn about replacing your capacitors. Also when you go there there is some pictures on the right side that show bad caps. Take a close look at the bottom picture. The CPU looks a little bit like yours.

So replace the caps and drop in a new CPU, might as well upgrade it at the same time, and you should be good to go. Oh by the way make sure you replace the old caps with good quality ones. Read the forum to find out the kind you need.

And don't be afraid to change the caps. Look at it this way. The thing is fried already all you can do is bring it back from the dead or it will still be dead. All you can do is win or be out a couple of bucks for the caps. You will need a new MB and CPU anyhow so you might as well try to fix this MB. Go for it you'll feel like a real man after it's up and running and you have a hot iron in your hand.



The last MB I bought said on the box that it had "Solid State Capacitors." The problem of bad caps is so wide spread that having good caps is a selling point.

And don't be cheap, change them all.
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July 4, 2009 11:22:38 PM

I took some cotton swabs and went to town. It cleaned up pretty good and looks fine besides a few small scuffs.



I also took it out and looked at the underside of it. Everything looks perfect, both on the chip and on the mobo.

Maybe the thermal grease was applied wrong or something. I wasn't overclocking it.


The computer shut off out of nowhere when it happened, and I guess I forgot to mention that I (foolishly, it would seem) kept using it for a few days after the first time it shut off, and that happened maybe once or twice more before it decided to not post at all.

I'm excited to reapply arctic silver and give it another shot but I don't have any on me at the moment so I'll have to wait until tomorrow. The CPU looks so good though that I'm suspecting that it might be as I feared--a bad mobo.
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a c 125 à CPUs
July 4, 2009 11:30:36 PM

Maybe they thermal paste somehow broke down(it can happen and yours looks like it was no longer working and burned it self in the process) and those shut offs where the cpu saving it self. My fingers are crossed for you :p 
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Best solution

July 4, 2009 11:31:19 PM

About the capacitors others area referring to... the green and silver top caps appear to be the newer solid capacitors. The older electrolytic capacitors are the dark blue/purple and gold with indented x on the top.

They all actually look ok.... from the quality of the pictures anyway. As for the brown stuff everywhere and on that one lower cap, Strangemoore, are you a smoker??? I usually see the brown gunky dust in computers used in a smokers environment.

I'd pull the CPU and clean with alcohol and q-tip. Clean the HSF as well.

Use a can of compressed air and clean the dust from everything on the MB, especially around the CPU socket. Blow the dust out of the PSU as well.

After the CPU is cleaned, verify and maybe post any suspicious "burn" marks if they exist.

Disconnect the hard drive for now and reassemble CPU/HSF with new TIM and see if it will at least post. It should obviously not load Windows with the HDD disconnected but maybe should make it to the load OS error screen.

Let us know what happens.
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July 4, 2009 11:31:53 PM

argon99 said:
Looking at the picture I have a question about the caps on the left side of the CPU. At the bottom of the row of caps the there is something odd about the last cap. It's hard to tell in the picture but the cap looks blown.

Well you already bought a new PS. So if it was mine I would replace all the caps and get a new CPU. If you go to www.badcaps.net you can learn about replacing your capacitors. Also when you go there there is some pictures on the right side that show bad caps. Take a close look at the bottom picture. The CPU looks a little bit like yours.

So replace the caps and drop in a new CPU, might as well upgrade it at the same time, and you should be good to go. Oh by the way make sure you replace the old caps with good quality ones. Read the forum to find out the kind you need.

And don't be afraid to change the caps. Look at it this way. The thing is fried already all you can do is bring it back from the dead or it will still be dead. All you can do is win or be out a couple of bucks for the caps. You will need a new MB and CPU anyhow so you might as well try to fix this MB. Go for it you'll feel like a real man after it's up and running and you have a hot iron in your hand.



The last MB I bought said on the box that it had "Solid State Capacitors." The problem of bad caps is so wide spread that having good caps is a selling point.

And don't be cheap, change them all.



I believe what you were seeing was just a gross bit of dust. I cleaned it more thoroughly before the second picture.

What you said got me thinking, though, and I started looking and there are indeed some bulges on a few of these capacitors. The bottoms of many of them are sort of flared, and I'm not sure if they were designed that way or not. Also some of them are sort of tilted, which I've just read is another symptom, but I sort of remember them being that way when I got this barebone unit. Nothing extreme like the pictures on that site, though.






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July 4, 2009 11:32:58 PM

Looks like you managed to post a reply while I was typing my own.
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July 4, 2009 11:38:00 PM

Ah hah.... Now I can see the bloated tops on a couple of the taller caps. In your first pic and third pic as well.

I have changed caps on a couple of MB... purchased from badcaps as another has mentioned.

The bad caps WILL cause intermittent system weirdness. I experienced this first hand. Finally I had trouble getting the system to post.

If/ when you wanna go the cap replacement route, I can help ya if you want.
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July 4, 2009 11:39:44 PM

TheDraac said:
Looks like you managed to post a reply while I was typing my own.


Yeah, and no I'm not a smoker. I just haven't cleaned out my computer in about a year and a half. :D 

I'm continuing to detail the inside of it though and I'm keeping my eyes open for any burn marks.
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July 4, 2009 11:41:33 PM

TheDraac said:
Ah hah.... Now I can see the bloated tops on a couple of the taller caps. In your first pic and third pic as well.

I have changed caps on a couple of MB... purchased from badcaps as another has mentioned.

The bad caps WILL cause intermittent system weirdness. I experienced this first hand. Finally I had trouble getting the system to post.

If/ when you wanna go the cap replacement route, I can help ya if you want.


We are not in sync. :lol: 

I just might. I'm hoping I can reapply thermal grease tomorrow afternoon and find it POSTing, and then replace some caps to ensure its stability. I guess we'll see!
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July 4, 2009 11:46:03 PM

The bad caps will cause intermittent lockups, reboots and other symptoms. Eventually it'll just hang while posting.

I fortunately never had any data corruption on my HDD's but maybe I was just lucky.... the crashes could eventually cause data corruption. Kinda like cutting the power to your computer all the time instead of using Windows shutdown.
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July 5, 2009 12:03:20 AM

Here's a picture of one of the MB's I worked on. You can see the one cap (#1) that I changed on a previous repair before the other caps started to crap out as well.

You can see how #2 is bloated on the top as well as tipped to the side, the bottom is blowing out on that one.

And #3 and #4 have bloated tops. Also the cap to the left of my previous repair looks top bloated as well.



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a c 125 à CPUs
July 5, 2009 12:31:10 AM

it just brings me to imageshack. strange....i want to see bad caps. See if they are worse then the dell i leave on 24/7 :p 
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July 5, 2009 12:41:55 AM

That's weird.... the link has the whole address.... let me try to fix....
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July 5, 2009 12:43:22 AM

try this.....

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July 5, 2009 12:49:04 AM

The caps in my picture aren't really that bad looking.... I've had other boards with much worse caps... leaking brown goo and all. No exploded caps, except in a PSU and that went pop, sizzle and smoke.....

And my computers are on 24/7 as well......
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July 5, 2009 6:32:31 AM

TheDraac said:
The caps in my picture aren't really that bad looking.... I've had other boards with much worse caps... leaking brown goo and all. No exploded caps, except in a PSU and that went pop, sizzle and smoke.....

And my computers are on 24/7 as well......

How long do you reckon the lifespan of normal electrolytic capacitors would be? You've got me worried now as my rig sometimes has no POST and requires rebooting. Replacing the PSU did nothing. The HDD light goes steady on when the computer is powered on and after about 10 secs the light turns off and when a do a hard reboot it boots succesfully into Windows. My mobo was cheapass but I'm gonna replace it in the next few months. I have't had any random crashes though in the whole 8 months that I've had the system. Sorry to intrude on this thread but it's just interesting and I'd like to know what the hell's going on!! :kaola: 
And OP, I wouldn't trust your existing board with another chip. Have a look at this board:
http://www.austin.net.au/ProductList/ProductDetail/tabi...
I'm thinking of buying it due to it's good features. I reckon it'd be good for you as a last hoorah for your LGA 775 rig. Good luck, I hope it works out for ya!! :) 
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July 5, 2009 3:35:25 PM

You shouldn't have to worry about the caps UNLESS you look at them very closely and actually find them starting to fail. The tops will start to bulge or the seal at the bottom of the cap will start to get pushed out usually tilting the capacitor to the side or raising the whole cap up so it is taller then the rest.

My experience has been that as soon as you start experiencing random weirdness, check out the capacitors very carefully for the signs of failure. Only the caps in the area of the CPU are affected as those are part of the power regulation circuitry on the MB. They are usually the largest on the MB.

The computer I'm using right now had bad cap issues. I started getting random memory errors, lockups, trouble accessing the HDD. I started changing memory and other tests to find the issue, when, tada... I decided to look at the caps. And sure enough this MB had one or two bulging top caps.

Prior to this I repaired 2 other MB that had this issue and thought this "newer" board was ok. All were Soyo Athon MBs. All manufactured around 2002-03 when this issue originally was becoming a problem.

You can read what happened here:
http://badcaps.net/pages.php?vid=4

I guess this problem is still affecting some newer boards from the past few years but I don't know how prevalent it currently is. Most MB manufacturers have gone to the solid capacitor type in recent years.
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July 6, 2009 5:20:50 PM

Xenonvector927 said:
How long do you reckon the lifespan of normal electrolytic capacitors would be? You've got me worried now as my rig sometimes has no POST and requires rebooting. Replacing the PSU did nothing. The HDD light goes steady on when the computer is powered on and after about 10 secs the light turns off and when a do a hard reboot it boots succesfully into Windows. My mobo was cheapass but I'm gonna replace it in the next few months. I have't had any random crashes though in the whole 8 months that I've had the system. Sorry to intrude on this thread but it's just interesting and I'd like to know what the hell's going on!! :kaola: 
And OP, I wouldn't trust your existing board with another chip. Have a look at this board:
http://www.austin.net.au/ProductList/ProductDetail/tabi...
I'm thinking of buying it due to it's good features. I reckon it'd be good for you as a last hoorah for your LGA 775 rig. Good luck, I hope it works out for ya!! :) 


XenonVector9.... If you are using an ASUS P5N-MX.... the electrolytic capacitors used on your MB are not part of the CPUs voltage regulator circuit so they shouldn't be a problem for you anyway. The caps used in the VRM circuit are in fact Conductive Polymer Aluminum Solid Capacitors.

So I would suspect your issues are from another cause.
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a b à CPUs
July 7, 2009 6:11:51 AM

nukemaster said:
Maybe they thermal paste somehow broke down(it can happen and yours looks like it was no longer working and burned it self in the process) and those shut offs where the cpu saving it self. My fingers are crossed for you :p 


Well... after 5 years...
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a c 125 à CPUs
July 7, 2009 8:37:18 PM

amdfangirl said:
Well... after 5 years...

I have cpus and video cards far older, but i guess it depends on the thermal paste.

Speaking of bad caps




It just will not die
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July 8, 2009 4:00:52 PM

Wow! Lol. That computer's still up and running? Nuke it :p .
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a c 125 à CPUs
July 9, 2009 8:44:31 PM

It just will not die....I AM trying. Makes a good router.
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a c 125 à CPUs
July 10, 2009 11:17:35 AM

Foxconn. Its a Dell after all.
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July 10, 2009 12:09:14 PM

Goddamn it. I'll cross my fingers that it dies for you :p !
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a b à CPUs
July 30, 2009 1:23:10 PM

*fears dell*
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July 30, 2009 8:20:35 PM

You could also flip over the little red switch with input voltage, gives quite a nice fireshow.

Tested it on a few Pentium 1's since I had to throw them away.

+ I fried my Celeron 900 today somehow, no Idea what went wrong but I got my fingers burned on it, probaly the dumbass laptop chose the wrong voltage.
Damn stuck with my old 466Mhz Celeron again... socket melted partly as well xD
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a c 125 à CPUs
July 30, 2009 9:45:07 PM

Its autorange :( 

With my power being 120, flipping to 240 always just stopped it from working.
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a b à CPUs
July 31, 2009 10:04:05 AM

You should see what happens if it's 240V and you change it to 110V ;) 
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a c 125 à CPUs
July 31, 2009 12:09:24 PM

fun happens.
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