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Did I burn my CPU?

Last response: in CPUs
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February 7, 2012 5:44:08 AM

Hey guys,

I did a new build using a second hand motherboard and processor. Intel i7-2700K + ASUS Sabertooth P67.
Except the processor was brand new in box, with all the seals intact.
The motherboard was brought from a seller who had used it for about 6 months. I checked to see all the pins and sockets. They were fine. And the board was clean and fairly new.

I started up my PC for the first time and within a split second, I heard a slight crackling noise and got the smell of something burning. It was the smell you normally get from malfunctioning electric appliances. I quickly pulled the power off. Before pulling the plug off, I remember the red LED next to the processor being ON, indicating something wrong with the processor.
I rechecked all the wiring and powered it on again. No noise and no smell. Power was distributed to the motherboard well. Motherboard power LED and the RED LED next to the processor was ON. Video card fan was working. Case fans were working. CPU fan was working. Bay fan controller powered up. CD-Drives powered up fine. HARD DISKS fans did NOT power up < I'm guessing this is because it did not go past the 'CPU stage' when POSTing.

It was clear the problem was at the CPU.
What I need help figuring out is:
1. Did something burn my CPU? If so, is it gonna burn any new CPU I put in it? How can I test it?
2. Did I get the plastic-burning smell because I accidently applied a little too much thermal grease and this was the first time I was powering on the new build? Even if it was the thermal paste heating up and giving off the smell, will it happen as soon as one second after the first power on?
3. Maybe the old user of the motherboard had bad voltage settings for the CPU when he tried overclocking. And these settings may have remained in the BIOS or CMOS and caused the new CPU to burn. Is it possible for these OC settings to remain after the motherboard had been fully unplugged for a week or so?

IF by any chance it is not the CPU that was malfunctioning, is there anything else that could be stopping the CPU to power up & function?

Things I have tried:
-Clear CMOS by moving the jumper.
-Replace the after market cooler with the stock one. Online forums said there is a chance of the aftermarket backplate shorting the motherboard. But will it burn any components?

I'm lost here guys, please help out with any tips and suggestions.

NOTE: The pc was a working machine. I only switched out my AMD 1100T processor and Sabertooth 990fx mobo. The only extra difference is that I used a BitFenix Alchemy extension for the ATX 24-pin power cable.

Build Specs:
Intel i7-2700K
ASUS Sabertooth P67
Kingston HyperX 4GB x 2 1600Mhz
EVGA GTX 560 Ti
Thermaltake TR2 RX 750W PSU
Cooler Master v6GT Cooler. Swapped it out for the stock cooler until I figure out the problem.

More about : burn cpu

February 7, 2012 6:01:02 AM

I can't answer many of your questions, but the of the BIOS and CMOS should remain the same even after an extended period of time. I have never heard of thermal paste burning... ever. You could possibly try hitting the CMOS reset button and try booting again? Have you tried rebooting at all? Can you get into the bios?
February 7, 2012 6:23:03 AM

opalarrow said:
I can't answer many of your questions, but the of the BIOS and CMOS should remain the same even after an extended period of time. I have never heard of thermal paste burning... ever. You could possibly try hitting the CMOS reset button and try booting again? Have you tried rebooting at all? Can you get into the bios?


some online forums said that if there is excess grease, the thermal compound may give off a slight burning smell on first power up.
I did not remove the CMOS battery to reset since the thermal armor of the mobo is hiding it. I need to remove the thermal armor, any videos or articles on how to do it?
I did however do the "Clear CMOS" trick by replacing the jumper from pin 1-2 to 2-3. Is it good enough?

And no I cannot reach the BIOS since the motherboard won't go past the step by step process of checking each component to see if it works. It won't POST. They start from the CPU and go up to memory video card and boot device. But the mother board stops at verifying the processor, I think this because the red LED for the processor stays on.
In regular usage, the LEDs will turn on and off once if all components are working fine. Now, it just stays ON at the processor LED.
!