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Burned Motherboard Crystal, an Epic tale by me.

Last response: in Systems
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May 26, 2010 1:09:05 AM

Evening all.

Skip to the bottom, I've already answered most of this myself.

After installing a new PSU my computer refuses to post but will try to power on; I see the fan spin and LED lights turn on for a brief moment before shutting off and trying again, and testing it with the old PSU gives me the same thing (no POST, attempted power-on).

I RMAed an 8800 and got a new power supply because I suspected undervoltage on the 12V rail killing my GPU. A voltmeter test didn't show anything unusual but I used the new power supply anyway, as it was modular and had a huge fan and all that cool stuff hardware nerds go crazy over. After installing the new PSU, I go to boot the system and I think I heard a distinct pop inside the case, and then the problem occured. LED lights came on, fans spun up for a few seconds, but with no beep(s) to indicate a(n) (un)successful POST.

Right now my motherboard is sitting on an impromptu breadboard with just the CPU, and is giving me the same results.

My hardware:

Intel E6750 (Core 2 Duo, 2.66GHz), stock cooler, arctic silver thermal paste
Gigabyte P35C-DS3R mobo
8800GTS EVGA (640MB vRAM) GPU
Corsair HX 850W PSU; if it's important the old PSU was an Apevia ATX-AS 680W-BK (iceberg)
Crucial RAM (800MHz, 2x 2GB DDR2)
2x WD 250GB harddrives, 3x 1TB HDDs, all @ 7200RPM
3x Lite-on LH-20A1L-05 DVD burners
Windows XP SP3
Case is an NZXT LEXA

1) Attempted to switch out PSUs to see if it was the issue
2) Checked for any shorts caused by wires or hardware in the case
3) Removed parts from the motherboard/case
4) Breadboarded my motherboard and attempted a POST with only the PSU/CPU
5) Cried a lot and came here for help

An interesting note that the CPU fan will spin up when the 4-pin aux power cable isn't connected but will not POST; with it plugged in the power turns off and on as I described. I'm pretty sure it's the motherboard at this point, but now I'm wondering how I could find the short, what it is and if I can just solder on a new part. I may end up having to buy a new motherboard, but if it's only something as simple as a popped capacitor I'd just as soon replace that instead of buying a new mobo.

Edit: After looking a bit closer at the underside of the board, I've noticed some brown ooze that suspiciously looks like electrolyte leaking out of a metal part on the motherboard. The manual doesn't list it but if you look here:

http://www.3dnews.ru/_imgdata/img/2007/08/02/55316.jpg

you'll see it as a kind of metal bridge between the CMOS battery and the 1st PCIx1 slot (it's not the IC chip but the solid oblong object). Anyone know what this part is or if this is the problem?

Edit 2: After a bit of digging around apparently the part I'm referring to is some type of quartz oscillator crystal manufactured by TXC that Gigabyte puts on their motherboards. This seems to have blown out and if I fix this I might have a working motherboard again. Does anyone know anything about crystals and what kind I would need? I have no education on quartz crystals, if this is one, much less if they come in a variety of capacitance, frequencies or tolerances needed.

More about : burned motherboard crystal epic tale

May 27, 2010 3:52:46 PM

Putting a bump on this and updating that it was indeed the crystal oscillator as putting in a new one has given me some life in my mobo again. I don't think I have the correct frequency of crystal and have emailed both Gigabyte and TXC (manufacturer) about the crystal and its frequencies in hopes of getting a correct replacement one. In the mean time I learned a heck of a lot about crystals.
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November 3, 2013 9:11:56 PM

Hi,

I have the same problem and after lots of searching came across ur post.. I too have a Gigabyte GA MA78Gm s2H noard thats dead and after looking thru have found a TXC crystal near the southbridge thats oozing... I have the same symptoms as ur board.

U think replacing this crystal may help?

I can salvage a crystal from another MB but im not sure frequencis may match.. Did u have any operational issues after u replaced ur crystal?
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November 3, 2013 10:54:55 PM

rohandsequeira said:
Hi,

I have the same problem and after lots of searching came across ur post.. I too have a Gigabyte GA MA78Gm s2H noard thats dead and after looking thru have found a TXC crystal near the southbridge thats oozing... I have the same symptoms as ur board.

U think replacing this crystal may help?

I can salvage a crystal from another MB but im not sure frequencis may match.. Did u have any operational issues after u replaced ur crystal?


Wow this has been years. Yes the motherboard was fixed and I'm typing this on it. Good that you have a crystal that can be replaced as I tried finding one at an electronics shop and had no luck, so it may be a proprietary one used by Gigabyte. I either emailed one of the department representatives or checked their website, to find the specs, but if it's in the same location and the same motherboard that you're salvaging from it should work fine. My motherboard was still under warranty so I sent it in to Gigabyte to have it fixed.
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