So I was on my homebuilt PC, just doing what I normally do and then all of a sudden it shuts off. I thought, well okay it was a power outage, so I went to turn it back on and nothing happens, then I hear a pop and it smells like something is burning. I unplugged it, took it out and dismantled it(in the heat of the moment, I don't know why.) and I can't tell what died. So can anyone give me a clue what I can do to figure out which of the parts just died, I've been wanting to build a new system for a long time but I just don't have the money right now.
You heard a pop so it shouldnt be too hard to find what went wrong. Two likely sources of a pop, the motherboard or the PSU. Sniff the PSU if its what blew you should be able to smell it fairly clearly. Also take a look at the motherboard, if you see any bulging or burst capacitors they are the source of the problem.
Can you post the specs of your system? Also do you have any other systems that you might be able to use a PSU from to check your main one?
Cheap PSU are usually a source of failure, hopefully it didnt kill anything else. Now would be a good time to invest in a good PSU that you can use in your future build, something with a 5 year warranty you can use when you make a build later.
awww that is one of the things i always tell people not to do...
never use the stock psu that came with the case! allways get a new one... for your specs i would suggest 500+ watts at least. I would go with 650+ for upgrade capability! This is the one I have http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
although corsair and ocz have decent power supplies as well