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Which bad components can damage others?

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March 17, 2010 9:51:10 PM

So my current desktop is on the fritz, and while I'm getting ready to build a new one, I'd rather hold off a while longer if I can. My thinking is that if I can identify the bad component, I can swap it out with a new one, then replace everything else 3-6 months down the line when my budget will be a little bit better.

To that end, though, I need to know which components can be damaged by existing bad hardware.

For example, I'm pretty sure that a bad (in this case, dying) powersupply could potentially fry just about anything, but could a bad motherboard potentially damage a new PSU? What about other components?

Basically, I just really want to avoid damaging a new component as I swap things out, looking for the current troublemaker. In short, which components (if they're defective, damaged, or dying) can potentially damage other components?

Thanks for any insight you might have.

For the curious, the problem I experienced...
Spoiler
...was a hard lock (screen freeze accompanied by that soul-shredding, 1 second long, infinite sound loop). I rebooted, went back to what I was doing and about 30 seconds in got a BSOD after which the machine would not power on. Lights and fans turned on, but no HD spin-up and no video output, not even the BIOS screen. Both crashes occurred while playing a 3D game. Nothing has changed in terms of hardware, software, or drivers in 3 months.

Unplugging the machine completely for 30 minutes fixed that, and it works perfectly for the time being (3 days, error free) but I haven't played any games since then for fear of it dying for good and me losing the functionality I have. I'm thinking it's a PSU related issue (There was about a 30 minute period a month or so ago where the PSU was making a weird noise) but honestly I've never experienced anything quite like it and my trouble shooting experience is rather limited.


Current hardware for the curious:
Spoiler
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz
ASUS P5Q Deluxe LGA 775 Intel P45 Intel Motherboard
ASUS EN9600GT TOP/HTDI/512M GeForce 9600 GT 512MB
2x CORSAIR DOMINATOR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)
Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300GB 10000 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive
Thermaltake W0116RU 750W Complies with ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V version 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC PSU

More about : bad components damage

March 22, 2010 3:20:23 AM

I would say the PSU and the motherboard. Fortunately however, I've never had a faulty component knock out anything else.
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
March 22, 2010 7:05:03 AM

Your Asus board will reset itself when you completely remove the power. You probably noticed it doing this when you started it back up... it started, then shut down for a few seconds, then started up again.

I would be curious about your BIOS settings, especially as relates to DRAM voltage and frequency.
I would also like to know what BIOS version you are using. Often early Asus BIOSes are fairly messy and need to be updated.

I'm not a big fan of TT PSUs, but that one is considered decent. I think it's a CWT design similar to the Corsair 750TX.
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March 22, 2010 7:09:35 AM

Fossa said:
So my current desktop is on the fritz, and while I'm getting ready to build a new one, I'd rather hold off a while longer if I can. My thinking is that if I can identify the bad component, I can swap it out with a new one, then replace everything else 3-6 months down the line when my budget will be a little bit better.

To that end, though, I need to know which components can be damaged by existing bad hardware.

For example, I'm pretty sure that a bad (in this case, dying) powersupply could potentially fry just about anything, but could a bad motherboard potentially damage a new PSU? What about other components?

Basically, I just really want to avoid damaging a new component as I swap things out, looking for the current troublemaker. In short, which components (if they're defective, damaged, or dying) can potentially damage other components?

Thanks for any insight you might have.

For the curious, the problem I experienced...
Spoiler
...was a hard lock (screen freeze accompanied by that soul-shredding, 1 second long, infinite sound loop). I rebooted, went back to what I was doing and about 30 seconds in got a BSOD after which the machine would not power on. Lights and fans turned on, but no HD spin-up and no video output, not even the BIOS screen. Both crashes occurred while playing a 3D game. Nothing has changed in terms of hardware, software, or drivers in 3 months.

Unplugging the machine completely for 30 minutes fixed that, and it works perfectly for the time being (3 days, error free) but I haven't played any games since then for fear of it dying for good and me losing the functionality I have. I'm thinking it's a PSU related issue (There was about a 30 minute period a month or so ago where the PSU was making a weird noise) but honestly I've never experienced anything quite like it and my trouble shooting experience is rather limited.


Current hardware for the curious:
Spoiler
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz
ASUS P5Q Deluxe LGA 775 Intel P45 Intel Motherboard
ASUS EN9600GT TOP/HTDI/512M GeForce 9600 GT 512MB
2x CORSAIR DOMINATOR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)
Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300GB 10000 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive
Thermaltake W0116RU 750W Complies with ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V version 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC PSU


I just had a PSU a week ago kill my MOBO, my GFX CARD, and 1 stick of RAM. CrAzY huh!

I'm pretty sure anything can happen, but I have never heard of a mobo hurting any other hardware. The only way the mobo could hurt the psu is it grounding out on something metal but thats why you have mounts under the mobo. Make sure non of your capacitors are cracked or broke open.
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