Idiot Move + Tragedy...Can you help me assess the damage?

P4 3.2 , 2GB 500 DDR2, 9500GT.

very low FPS on games i could normally run fin, nothing i can find malicious, and even a shutdown due to overheating once a couple months ago. After a game locks up I decide to check and see if anything could be causing the overheating. I see my heatsink is covered in a layer of grime (old house that was smoked inside).

I remove the heat sink, clean it, and go to put everything back together. At this point I realize I have no thermal paste, and the current layer is extremely dried out. I decide to go ahead anyways, nice. I piece it all back together and turn on the PC. I hear a loud pop and a orange light goes off on the motherboard near the CPU. Nice.

I turn off the power and take a look at things and not only do I realize the lack of thermal paste idea wasn't that great, but somehow the switch on my PSU got changed from 115 to 230. Very loose for a switch of that importance, I guess the way I grabbed it turned it on.

Tried restarting a couple times after this with the switch back @ 115. I get the siren beep of an overheating warning. No boot. Nothing even sent to the screen. After waiting a couple of hours I try again. This time I get the fans only, solid hard drive activity light, no warning beeps, no boot, no post.

After waiting a day I try again. Now I only get power light on front. No fans. No nothing. Just power light on front. Even if I unplug the machine the cap keeps the light on for awhile.

Any idea what could be damaged? I have already ordered parts for another rig just want to know what is salvageable. Is this just a processor issue, I have everything but a PSU and vid card on the way. Do you think they can be salvaged? )600w cooler master, but i think its a 500w mislabeled as a 600w.)

what do you think is causing the current issues? CPU dead?

Thank you very much in advance for any help with this. Sorry for the long read.
11 answers Last reply
More about idiot move tragedy assess damage
  1. I would be picking you have shot the motherboard in the heat from short range with your biggest gun .

    The cpu may also be dead but I I doubt it over heated as quickly as that .

    Anyway its all pretty old .

    The hard drive might be worth scavenging and maybe the dvd and of course the case . Even if the power supply still works replace it with a nice new unit that has active pcf ... and no voltage switch on the back .
  2. The CPU wouldn't have heated that quickly, even though a 3.2Ghz P4 would've been real hot. The motherboard is probably fired along with the PSU maybe.
  3. If there was a pop, something died the final death. To have a voltage switch, the PSU is, by definition (mine anyway) a piece of pooh, whether or not it died.
    What is your budget for a rebuild?
  4. I have a ordered the following...

    gigabyte G31m-ES2L
    2x2GB Gskill 800 DDR2
    New case ( my current is crap) I got a thermaltake(sp?) Lanbox. Wanted a microatx case that could fit my full size PSU and graphics card.

    I have the following already (never been installed)
    Intel E7300
    750GB WD

    I really cant afford a new PSU unless its really a budget PSU.
    Do you think this thing can keep me alive until i can buy a new one?
  5. Also, whats the min. watts I should be looking for to run this system if I do end up getting a new PSU?

    again, thanks for all the help
  6. I don't know if you live where you can order from newegg. The 9500GT is certainly not a high-powered GPU. This PSU would power that system just fine. It has 30A on the 12v rail.

    CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail $59.99 - $10 MIR
  7. Thanks for the quick reply. Yeah i order all of my stuff through newegg actually.

    I guess I am just over analysing my power needs because that was my first issue a couple years back when i started modding. Kept having the comp shut off due to lack of a decent PSU. I actually bought this PSU about 2-3 years back but was hoping it could muscle through this until I got enough to get a new one.

    Do you think the PSU kicked it? is there a way to test these parts?

    Anyone have any idea what got broken to cause these weird issues I am having? This same thing happened once before with me doing nothing but it came back after leaving the comp idle for a couple hours.
  8. Sure, there are PSU testers you can purchase and test, the question you have to ask is the $20-30 dollars spent for the tester going to save you any money if the PSU is toast...Either spend $50 to have your local PC shop use their PSU tester and the other tools they have diagnose your computer or just start buying the parts for a new(er) computer...Start with a QUALITY PSU and a UPS, clean power from the wall outlet will allow you run the next machine with less worries.
  9. 1st - Refer PSU, Placing the 115/240 sw in 240 pos probably created excess current in the PSU. It tried to compensate for low voltage, if not dead it is probably damaged. A $20 tester is more a go-no-go tester as it does not load the PSU. Recommend saving the the $20 and put it toward a new PSU. Not worth it to chance damaging a new setup.

    Orange pop on MB, If it was a "mini fire Ball", Your MB is probably toast. You could replace the PSU, reseat the HSF (with New Paste), disconnect all HDDs and CD/DVD drives and give it a try. Only problem is if it is reflecting a short, or very low resistance you could then damage your "New" PSU (although quality PSU should simply sut down). If you go this route you should use a cheap power meter and monitor it on power up - with hand ready to power off if drawing excess power ie more than 200 - 250 Watts.

    Real question on CPU GPU and External devices as you have NO IDEA what voltages were applied.

    Sorry for the expensive lesson in the world of electronics
  10. Thanks for the reply Chief. I assumed that was the deal...

    Now keep in mind it wasn't a orange fire ball but an actually orange LED that lit up right next to the CPU.

    I guess I will have to suck it up and get a new PSU because i def don't want to damage my new stuff. I just disassembled the old PC and got some thermal grease gonna try and run it and see what happens. Got nothing to damage on that board anymore and its all pretty much obsolete anyways....

    Am I wrong in thinking the PSU should have a fuse? or is it a product of my cheap PSU?
Ask a new question

Read More

Homebuilt Systems Product