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Hard Drive Short Circuit

Ok so first off I had a problem with my ram on an ASUS M4A89GTD PRO USB3 Mobo, got that solved quickly though. The worse problem was the one that happened after this...So I turn off my computer, unplug it, then reconnect the Molex on the lid fan and put the lid back on. I proceed to reconnect my PC and as usual I press the power button to start...only that it did not start, there was a spark, then a smell of burning. I remember me thinking "well this computer is f$%^d" lol I reopened the lid to examine what appeared to be a short, but I didn't know from where. I thought it was the lid fan. But, I also had a Maxtor 200GB HDD hooked up to the same molex with an adapter. Anyway every time I tried to start my computer with the Maxtor HDD hooked up, my power supply would cut out. So I took the HDD out and discovered that the burning smell actually came from it. Anyway, I had nothing important on that drive wheew...but I would like to know why this happened, and also why my PSU was cutting out. I would also like to know if I should worry about my other components because the spark seemed to come from the mobo, not the HDD. The burning smell came from the HDD though. Right now everything seems to be fine, I checked the hardware monitor and bios and everything works correctly. I took the bad HDD and chuked it out the window (literally).
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  1. Its a bit scary, because which came first, the chicken or the egg?

    Did the HD short out and die? Or did the psu fry it with improper voltage/current?

    Make and model of your PSU, please? And while you're at it, please tell us the rest of your configuration.
  2. Well the PSU is a 650w "Prudent Way" (that's the brand name), I bought it brand new in box at my local computer shop, seems very high quality, cables are encased in a black sleeves like most PSUs nowadays, has two PCI-e powers and a lot of SATA powers.
    These are my specs:

    Phenom II x4 965 3.4ghz
    8gb Gskill Ripjaws DDR3 1600mhz
    HD5770x2 in Crossfire mode
    Asus M4A89GTD Pro USB 3
    Western Digital 250GB(main) and Maxtor 200GB (DEAD)
  3. Twoboxer said:
    Its a bit scary, because which came first, the chicken or the egg?

    Did the HD short out and die? Or did the psu fry it with improper voltage/current?

    Make and model of your PSU, please? And while you're at it, please tell us the rest of your configuration.



    Well the PSU is a 650w "Prudent Way" (that's the brand name), I bought it brand new in box at my local computer shop, seems very high quality, cables are encased in a black sleeves like most PSUs nowadays, has two PCI-e powers and a lot of SATA powers.
    These are my specs:

    Phenom II x4 965 3.4ghz
    8gb Gskill Ripjaws DDR3 1600mhz
    HD5770x2 in Crossfire mode
    Asus M4A89GTD Pro USB 3
    Western Digital 250GB(main) and Maxtor 200GB (DEAD)
  4. Best answer
    Given the "brand name" of your PSU, the odds shift in favor of the PSU as the problem. If you google "Prudent Way 650w review", there aren't any readily available by a qualified reviewer.

    So, if the system were mine, I'd replace the psu as a first step. Your system should never draw more than 400W from the wall (meaning less than 360W from the psu itself. Therefore a quality 500W psu would provide more than enough power, even as it ages.

    Some options:

    Antec 550W $50 after MIR http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371016

    Corsair 600W $60 after MIR http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139028

    Antec Earthwatts 500W $45 after MIR http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371035
  5. Twoboxer said:
    Given the "brand name" of your PSU, the odds shift in favor of the PSU as the problem. If you google "Prudent Way 650w review", there aren't any readily available by a qualified reviewer.

    So, if the system were mine, I'd replace the psu as a first step. Your system should never draw more than 400W from the wall (meaning less than 360W from the psu itself. Therefore a quality 500W psu would provide more than enough power, even as it ages.

    Some options:

    Antec 550W $50 after MIR http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371016

    Corsair 600W $60 after MIR http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139028

    Antec Earthwatts 500W $45 after MIR http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371035


    Yes, thank you for your advice, I'll keep this in mind. I paid $115 dollars for that PSU at the local shop, but they are terribly overpriced and sell obscure brands. But I've learned my lesson now, those $115 could have bought a better PSU on Tigerdirect or Newegg or even Ebay. I'll get a nice Corsair or an Antec as the final PSU for this PC (not planning to upgrade this PC anymore ever...I'm just going to buy a new one later on for grad school). I am really glad my PC survived...as of now it is working as it always has, even with that crappy PSU.
  6. Best answer selected by cpillin425.
  7. Your HDD was probably salvageable at nil cost to you.

    I'd still suspect your PSU, though. What has most probably happened is that an overvoltage has shorted one or both of the drive's TVS diodes.

    See http://www.users.on.net/~fzabkar/HDD/TVS_diode_FAQ.html

    There are lots of photo clips of damaged diodes here:
    http://www.users.on.net/~fzabkar/HDD/
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