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Help! Smoke coming out my computer!

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Last response: in Systems
June 26, 2010 7:11:24 PM

Hi, I'm having serious problems with my computer. I pressed power on and there was a flash then smoke came out - nothing started up. I couldn't tell where the smoke came from.

Before the smoke issue, the computer had problems booting so I sent most of its components back including PSU, CPU and motherboard, and I was told these items are fine (the graphics card was at fault and has been replaced).

Since receiving the components back it booted up okay a few times before the smoke. The PSU and motherboard power lights come on fine. Please help, I don't know what to do!


My system is not overclocked and its components are:

Asus M4A79T Deluxe motherboard running 6 fans through 3 2-way splitter cables (BIOS version 3004)
AMD Phenom 2 X4 955 Black Edition CPU (cooled with a Zalman water block, 99% certain it doesn't leak/overheat)
850W Coolermaster M850 PSU
8 x 2 Gb Corsair 1333 MHz DHX DDR3 RAM
Radeon 2350 graphics card (temporary pending replacement with a better card)
Creative Titanium Fatal1ty soundcard
Internal wireless networking card
2 x 500 GB HDDs, 128 GB SSD, DVD-RW drive (all run off same molex cable)
Blu Ray drive
3.5 inch floppy disk drive

More about : smoke coming computer

a b B Homebuilt system
June 26, 2010 8:11:59 PM

Well when that happened to me it was the PSU. You can see the damage from smoke coming out on anything else, and whatever is doing it is beyond saving, so open it up and turn it on and look at whatever it's coming from.

If it's done stuff on multiple power supplies I'd suspect your house's power, or at least the socket. Should either have it checked out or buy a good UPS.
June 26, 2010 8:16:57 PM

Thanks, I'll set up an RMA for the PSU and yes it's the 2nd time. I hope my motherboard and CPU are okay.

I'm running it off a Belkin 8-way extension socket though I don't know how to tell if it has surge protection. But I haven't noticed any issues from the other devices connected through the socket - the TV was on the whole time and didn't so much as stutter.

What is a UPS?
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 26, 2010 10:32:11 PM

Thanks, I'll set up an RMA for the PSU and yes it's the 2nd time.

That is a problem. Check your house wiring.

Asus M4A79T Deluxe motherboard running 6 fans through 3 2-way splitter cables (BIOS version 3004)

Explain. Are you splitting the fan headers on the motherboard or using a molex splitter?

What is a UPS?

An uninterpretable power supply. Basically, it's suppose to "clean" the AC power going to the PSU and provide a few minutes of power to safely shutdown the PC when power goes out.

If you are having home electrical system problems I HIGHLY recommend you check that out BEFORE getting a UPS,etc.
June 27, 2010 10:48:41 AM

Ok I've emailed my landlord to ask that she send an engineer to check the wiring. I did have problems when I first moved in with the PC and washing machine shutting down, triggering the fuse box circuit breaker. It's a terraced house in Leeds though so I hadn't expected there to be wiring problems?

The fan hearders are split to the motherboard.

As you say I'll get the wiring checked before getting a UPS. Is there any UPS you could recommend to run an 850W PSU (plus monitor, printer, speakers, modem, router)?

Much appreciated all the help!
June 27, 2010 10:51:13 AM

Oh and I should add that the TV is plugged to the same socket extension but when the PSU blew the TV didn't so much as stutter - does that indicate it's not the socket wiring?
June 27, 2010 4:19:36 PM

Ya, there is diffently something up with your wiring. And while that is a good guess death it's not 100% accurate either. Or you're simply have really s****y luck. Since you said at first your psu was fine, and it was your vid card. *Which could be caused by the psu*.

Best bet is to use a different outlet (one that's on a seperate from power sucking applainces: microwave, washer, dyer, etc..) just for your computer, and use what the other guy mentioned.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2010 8:47:53 PM

As far as getting a UPS, I'd say to visit the UPS fourms and read the stickys so you know what to look for. Really really good ones can be quite expensive.

You don't want to split motherboard fan headers like that. Use the adapters that let you plug it directly into the PSU
a b B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2010 11:25:04 PM


The fan hearders are split to the motherboard.

Beware that the fans may be drawing more power than the motherboard header can provide. That could kill the board some times. This happen to a guy over at Bit tech about a year or so ago.