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I think my motherboard is blown. Help

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September 9, 2010 1:40:14 PM

Hi

Yesterday while I was in work my brother was on my pc. He said he knocked over a glass of water but none got into the pc. He said he knocked off the power straight away.

When I came home I opened up the pc and couldn't see any water. There was a strange smell coming from it though. I turned it on and it worked and I was able to log in. But the Internet wasn't working.

I thought this might be because I had unplugged everything and put them back so I restarted the pc.The pc just kept restarting and nothing was coming up on the monitor. It didn't even show the bios screen.

I opened it up again to have a proper look and I unplugged the 12v connection. There was a tiny amount of water on it. Then I noticed something on my motherboard had blown. It's one of those small black squares.Some brown fluid seems to have leaked from it too.

The case is an Antec 300 so obviously the water got through the top fan.

Is my motherboard ruined or can it be fixed?

Could I RMA it? How would they know if it's water damage or not? I'm not even 100% sure it's water damage? How do I tell?

Thanks.

More about : motherboard blown

September 9, 2010 1:53:43 PM

you know its water because you said yourself there was water in the connection. sounds like you blew some capacitors. sounds abotu right to. water followed the trail of the cable to the termination of the cable and made a home at the lowest gravitational point. you could try to RMA it but more than likely you'll just end up having paid shipping charges to get a no but if you're willing to try knowing it isn't really the mobo maker's fault then thats your morality issue
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September 9, 2010 2:00:14 PM

Would water have blown the capacitor like that?

Should be any other signs that it was water?

Can the motherboard be fixed or will I need a new one? How do I know that it's only the motherboard that has been damaged? Could my CPU be damaged too?
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 9, 2010 2:09:23 PM

^ Yes, it shorted. Yes, the blown capacitor can be replaced. The "smell" could also come from a blown PSU. The real damage was to turn-on the PC before it fully dried out. Regarding the CPU ~ might be damaged, the black square capacitors control CPU power.

If there's a local electronic repair shop they can probably do the repairs, but call around verses driving.

However, get a Guestimate and compare the repair cost to the replacement cost. BTW - those capacitors cost ~ <$10/ea, and it is possible to do it yourself - also assuming there's no other components that are ruined.

Good Luck!
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September 9, 2010 2:20:55 PM

I could get the smell when I went into my room so I don't think he turned it off quck enough or else there was still power going through the components.

Just having a look on Google. The blown part seems to be a small mosfet rather than a capacitor. Can these still be changed?

Sorry for all the questions, but despite having built the system myself, I haven't a clue about motherboards in this much detail.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 9, 2010 2:34:00 PM

Yes, the MOSFET {metal oxide semiconductor a/k/a IGFET} can be replaced, they are soldered to the MOBO.

Odd as it is, but smell your PSU and "sniff" if it has been shorted.
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September 9, 2010 2:40:20 PM

I'll check the PSU when I get home. I'm posting these from work.

Would any electronics place be able to replace the MOSFET or would it have to be a computer specialist? I'm not sure I could do that myself as it's tiny. I'd give it a go with the bigger cylinder capacitor though.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 9, 2010 3:00:16 PM

Not knowing your area, yeah sure a Computer Specialist "should" be able to perform the replacement and diagnose the PSU/MOBO/etc. I'd also contact Radio Shack to see if they can recommend someone.

My experience knowing "Computer Specialist" is that they are great at replacing and configuring, but not so much in the electronics...but they to can refer you to someone.
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September 9, 2010 3:04:43 PM

I'm in Ireland, so there's no Radio Shack over here :) 

There is a PC World near where I work so I might ask them before bringing it in.

Thanks.
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September 9, 2010 3:16:46 PM

ireland... sure the brown liquid wasn't beer ;)  ( i'm irish myself)

and yea its possible to replace but the smell as pointed out might be the psu blown. call pc world see if they can do it or reccommend somebody to get the mosfet replaced and compare vs cost of new mobo also note sometimes if it did blwo your psu it is very possible it blew other components so you may wanna test the cpu in another computer as well as the ram, and video card along with all the perifrials
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 9, 2010 4:08:53 PM

Rex Banner said:
I'm in Ireland, so there's no Radio Shack over here :) 

There is a PC World near where I work so I might ask them before bringing it in.

Thanks.


I Love Ireland - totally beautiful Country!

Yeah, PC World is a good starting point, and as I mentioned the parts are cheap ~ in an hour they should be able to fully diagnose and replace some parts...Good Luck.

BTW - Be nice to your brother! :love: 
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September 10, 2010 1:49:43 PM

The guy in PC World said that I'd be hard pressed to find anyone to fix it as it's such a small component and it's such delicate job. He also said water damage is very bad for the motherboard and there could be other parts of it blown.

Even if I could find someone, he said it'd be expensive. A new motherboard is €100. Looks like I'll be replacing it so :-(
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 10, 2010 2:12:04 PM

Sorry to hear about that, and good luck!
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September 16, 2010 2:06:35 PM

My new motherboard should be arriving today or tomorrow. I have one more question.

I will be using the same CPU and heatsink so do I need to change the thermal paste or will it be ok with the old paste on it?
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September 16, 2010 8:50:47 PM

replace the paste
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September 17, 2010 10:52:04 AM

Best answer selected by Rex Banner.
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September 20, 2010 9:34:48 AM

I put my new motherboard in yesterday and connected everything back up. It worked!

I just needed to reactivate my copy of Windows but didn't lose any data.

It shut down once, a while after I started it up. I then had it on for around 6 hours and it didn't happen again so hopefully it's ok now.
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!