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Motherboard started sparking?

Last response: in CPUs
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May 20, 2011 3:54:07 PM

A while ago my computer shut off while I was playing Mass Effect 2. I noticed the lights in my room flickered when this happen, so I have reason to believe it was a power surge. Afterwards i tried to turn the computer back on, but the lights turned on for a second then died. I thought the power supply died so i returned it to the manufacturer and got a new one (a Corsair 750HX btw). So i put the new power supply in and to my surprise the system still wouldnt turn on. I new this power supply worked so unplugged everything in the system, and just left the psu, mobo, and cpu (and cooler) plugged in. When i turned the power on, everything turned on (fans, lights) but after a few seconds, smoke and sparks started coming out of the far left of the motherboard (near the cpu fan power plug) and the far right (next to the ram slots; no ram sticks were inside though). So does anyone know what happened?
Here are my specs fyi:
AMD Phenom II x4 955
MSI 790fx GD-70
Nvidia Geforce gtx 295
Soundblaster X fi xtreme gamer
Asus 23.6" 1920x1080
Corsair 750HX 750w PSU
8GB OCZ DDR3 1600 Gold edition (2gb sticks)
OCZ vertex 2 60gb SSD
WD Caviar Black 7200RPM 1TB

I havent tried putting the compnents back in yet then testing it again, as i am worried about any sparks damaging the components.
And just for the future, i bought a new heavy duty surge protector.

So any ideas?
May 20, 2011 5:40:55 PM

This has happened to me and it turned out to be a short in some of the PSU cables. This causes sparks and sometimes thick white smoke. It took me a while to realize this but I examined the cables and found burn marks through the sleaves. I would check the sleeves of your PSU to make sure this isnt the problem. I have never heard of smoke actually coming from the motherboard itself...
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May 20, 2011 6:01:57 PM

Hmm, the only time I ever heard of this was when something shorted out the backside of the mobo, like maybe one of the standoffs came loose. I would definitely pop the mobo out and check both sides thoroughly, although chances are excellent the mobo is fried by now.
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May 20, 2011 9:20:13 PM

fazers_on_stun said:
Hmm, the only time I ever heard of this was when something shorted out the backside of the mobo, like maybe one of the standoffs came loose. I would definitely pop the mobo out and check both sides thoroughly, although chances are excellent the mobo is fried by now.


Yeah thats what i was thinking because I do remember the smoke did seem to come from the back. Ill check it out and see what the damage is.
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May 20, 2011 10:41:08 PM

any chance that you hooked the wrong PSU connector to the mobo? not the 20/24/20+4 pin main, but one of the backup secondary leads?
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May 20, 2011 11:17:37 PM

Oh, god... that's not good. I'm also a proud owner of a 790FX-GD70, and that just doesn't sound good in any account. I can't see any reason for any major PSU cables to be in the areas you described, just because of their locations. Not looking good...

The only thing you can really do is to take the motherboard out and thoroughly inspect it. Until then, we can only assume what happened.
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May 21, 2011 5:28:15 AM

Ok lets assume the worst case scenario and my mobo is fried. Does that mean the cpu is definitely fried as well?
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May 21, 2011 5:34:46 PM

You don't use any surge protection?

Having spent most of my life in the lightning capitol of the United States, I use double surge protectors on everything.
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May 21, 2011 9:28:10 PM

yannifb said:
Ok lets assume the worst case scenario and my mobo is fried. Does that mean the cpu is definitely fried as well?


More than likley your motherboard is fried. Normally when smoke appears from a electronic part, its gone.

Your CPU on the other hand, can be fried or fine. Only way to tell is by plugging it into another mobo.

geekapproved said:
You don't use any surge protection?

Having spent most of my life in the lightning capitol of the United States, I use double surge protectors on everything.


His PSU has good protection in it as well. It has built in surge protection. But even a decent surge protector can fail, especially during brown outs. Only a UPS can stop most power fluxuations.
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