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Small quiet pop followed by feint smell

Last response: in Systems
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December 14, 2011 4:16:50 PM

First I will start off with my computer specs.

AsRock Fatality Pro Z68 Professional Gen3 Mobo
Intel Core i7 2600k
Asus DirectCUii 580 GTX video hard
8G G.Skill RipJaw X Ram
Coolermaster 1000w SilentPro PSU 80+ Bronze
2x750G WD HD's in Raid 0
1x128G Crucial M4 SSD
Noctua D-14 CPU cooler
Coolermaster HAF 932 Case
Generic Samsung disk drive


So I was trying to figure out why my 2xWD 750 HD's were getting such low sequential write speeds. I decided to change the sata ports around on the same controller to see if it was just a faulty sata port. To do that I had to move my graphics card out of the way. This is a bit of a pain in the ass because of it's size and how it clips into the case and into the mother board.

PowerSupply is plugged in. Computer is not on.

I disconnect the 580GTX and take it out, then I switch the SATA cables to different SATA ports. As Im trying to carefully place my 580 back into it's position, the metal end that's supposed to line up just adjacent to the mobo and into the case, depresses against the end of the motherboard with just less than medium force. I heard a faint pop, and a barely noticeable smell.

I put everything back into place. Hook up my power cables to the video card. Video card is telling me it has power with it's green lights. Plug my monitor into the video card, it has signal. Hit the power button and NOTHING!

Nothing is happening. All the capacitors look fine. On the mobo and video card. Seems like the powersupply is still giving power and there is no smell from there. I don't know what it could be

Mobo:


Possible Damaged Area:
December 14, 2011 4:24:07 PM

I can't see anything in the picture, but you may want to remove the mobo and look at the back to see if there are any signs of an electrical arc on the back...

OH, also! please turn your flash off you use neutral lighting and if you can don't hold the camera, lay it on some clothes and set a timer... this will allow for a MUCH MUCH clearer picture without a bright spot right in the middle
December 14, 2011 4:27:29 PM

If your power supply was still plugged in it was still supplying some power, even if the system is off. I don't see anything obvious on the mobo either.
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December 14, 2011 4:31:04 PM

slhpss said:
I can't see anything in the picture, but you may want to remove the mobo and look at the back to see if there are any signs of an electrical arc on the back...

OH, also! please turn your flash off you use neutral lighting and if you can don't hold the camera, lay it on some clothes and set a timer... this will allow for a MUCH MUCH clearer picture without a bright spot right in the middle


Did you try click on the picture to enlarge it? You can see every little scratch.
December 14, 2011 4:32:04 PM

The sound followed by smell is a good indicator something "fried". From your description it is most likely a component on the motherboard.

You probably know all of this, but sorry if this is a surprise to you.

It is unlikely you will be able to trace the exact component(s) that have burnt out, and less likely that the average person could replace whichever miniscule component might need replaced.

Sorry about your loss. I may be mistaken, but I personally don't think it will be recoverable.
December 14, 2011 4:35:16 PM

Well, first off: Your motherboard continues to receive power from the PSU even when "shutdown". Most PSUs have a switch on the back that will completely cut power. Even then make sure your PSU is unplugged when doing anything in there, but it's clear that you know that now.

Sounds like you popped a cap or a tiny IC by creating a short with the metal end of the graphics card bracket. Your motherboard is probably toast. If your graphics card was bad you would at least get a bad video POST from the motherboard. Since you are getting zero activity from your motherboard and you know that something blew, it doesn't look good. Other components *may* also be toast but it is less likely.

If you haven't already, completely unplug the machine. Wait 30 seconds, plug it back in, make sure the PSU switch (if there is one) is on. Then try booting again. Does the motherboard have a power-indicator LED somewhere? Is it lit? If you keep getting nothing from it (listen for beeping or anything) then find another system where you can test your components. It sounds very much like you will be in the market for a new motherboard.
December 14, 2011 4:36:34 PM

Loss smoss :p . I just need to figure out what to replace. Likely motherboard is obvious. But I just want to make sure.
December 14, 2011 4:36:38 PM

Stalzy said:
Did you try click on the picture to enlarge it? You can see every little scratch.


It is a bad picture with a big white spot in the middle... unless the second image is different (I can't see tinypic pics at work) I would still say the damage may be more visible on the rear of the mobo

apparently I can see tiny pics at work... but the second link I can't see for some reason i get access denied on that one but not on the first pic
December 14, 2011 4:45:30 PM

the only thing that would "pop" is a capacitor. other things are capable but arent used on modern computers.
i bet its the power supply if you cant see any sign of a bad capacitor on something else. try another power supply if you can, or try it on another computer.

do make sure you check under the capacitors where they touch or nearly touch the mobo/video card. when they blow sometimes they push out the rubber/ceramic grommet that hold it together.
ive fixed 20+ motherboards over the years its not hard (well replacing a cpu socket is a bit hard). and two video cards. there are guides to troubleshoot and repair about anything online.
December 14, 2011 4:52:33 PM

Stalzy said:
Loss smoss :p . I just need to figure out what to replace. Likely motherboard is obvious. But I just want to make sure.


The trouble is that you won't necessarily see the damage. Sure sometimes one finds bulged caps or charred board, but you might not see any visual evidence. Like someone suggested, pull the board and look at both sides, use a magnifying glass.

Motherboards will self-test all by themselves when receiving adequate power and when told to boot. When problems are found they will indicate this through audio voice or tones. It's called the Power-On-Self-Test. Yours isn't POSTing which means it isn't functioning at even the most basic level. Just hope that your CPU, ram, HDDs, etc weren't in the path of that jolt.
December 14, 2011 9:00:31 PM

So I tested my Coolermaster 1000w PSU in another computer. Worked fine. Powered everything up.

I used my 650W Corsair PS in my computer that is having the problems. Plugged everything in and when I pressed the power button I thought it was starting. Turns out it wasn't.

If I held the power button down, it was acting like a car was trying to start but wouldn't turnover. I thought it wasnt getting adequate power, so I switched my 1000w coolermaster back in. Hooked up to the board, HD, and video card. Hit the switch and the same thing was going on.

If I held it, it trying to power up constantly and turnover. Then it would basically stop doing that if I kept doing it too many times.

What now? Still Mobo? As I'm typing.. I'm using the 650w on my mother PC.
December 14, 2011 11:53:40 PM

It sure sounds like it. One thing worth trying, though, before you buy a new motherboard. I HIGHLY doubt it will do anything whatsoever, but it's worth a try.

Take out both sticks of RAM and try it again. I've told this story all over the place, but a stick of my RAM just died on me, slowly, and didn't go down quietly. System stopped POSTing, first told me that there was a VGA error. Then went on to hang on code FF indicating a CPU failure. Next try it POSTED and told me that the hard drive SMART status was bad and about to fail. Like I said, I can almost guarentee that this won't make a difference, but it's worth trying anyway.

It sounds like you lost something on the motherboard's main power circuit. Unless you have a way to test the CPU (also highly doubt it), I'd say the next best thing is to replace the motherboard. Sorry.
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