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Zap noise and the computer no longer does anything.

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March 29, 2012 2:01:31 AM

Hello, I built a computer for my girlfriend just before Christmas, and last night, she said there was a zap noise, and now it doesn't do anything. I'm going over to look at it later, but I'm just wondering, what should I go about checking.

1. The motherboard is probably dead, correct?
2. The psu may also be dead.
3. If the psu isn't dead, I know I should be careful with it (Like, not putting it in my system).
4. Would checking if her motherboard is fine by putting my psu in fine? Or could I kill more things?
5. How would I know if the cpu is alright? She is running AMD and I have intel?

If you need specs, just ask, but I didn't see the point to going and searching for them for such general questions.

Thanks :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
March 29, 2012 2:12:34 AM

That zap was electrostatic discharge. Your case should have been grounded. But first check your components if anything is fried. Check the power cable too, should've been grounded, and before poking your hand in your case, touch your PSU to ground.

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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
March 29, 2012 2:41:57 AM
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masman said:
Hello, I built a computer for my girlfriend just before Christmas, and last night, she said there was a zap noise, and now it doesn't do anything. I'm going over to look at it later, but I'm just wondering, what should I go about checking.

1. The motherboard is probably dead, correct?
2. The psu may also be dead.
3. If the psu isn't dead, I know I should be careful with it (Like, not putting it in my system).
4. Would checking if her motherboard is fine by putting my psu in fine? Or could I kill more things?
5. How would I know if the cpu is alright? She is running AMD and I have intel?

If you need specs, just ask, but I didn't see the point to going and searching for them for such general questions.

Thanks :) 


That zap was not necessarily electro-static discharge, if your girlfriend wasn't tinkering around inside the computer when it happened. Its more likely the sound of a power supply committing murder/suicide.

You CAN put your PSU into her case as a means of diagnostics. However under no circumstances would I put her PSU (the one that went zap) into a good computer. The power supply is no longer trustworthy in my opinion.

It is very possible that the zap killed both the motherboard and the CPU. The best way to find out is to put a known-good PSU (yours) into the computer and see if it will fire up. You may or may not be able to use your PSU in her computer, it depends, are we talking a home-built or a proprietary plagued pre-built? What kinds of systems are we dealing with?

WARNING There are some older Dells that have Power supplies that the main connecter of a standardized power supply will indeed plug into the motherboard, however the pin-out and voltages is completely different and will destroy an otherwise good motherboard. In short, more information is needed to determine cross-compatibility of your PSU.
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March 29, 2012 9:08:44 AM

She was simply using the computer, not playing around inside the case, so I doubt it was electro static discharge.

They are both home built, and the power supplies are virtually the same, with hers being the 650w and mine the 750w (NZXT Hale82), so no issue with the power supplies, however, as I stated before, shes running amd whereas I have intel, so I can't purely test the cpu.
a b V Motherboard
March 29, 2012 9:15:00 AM

It's either the PSU or the MB. Anything else and it would probably post at least. I suppose you could take a video card with you just in case.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
March 29, 2012 11:22:08 PM

masman said:
She was simply using the computer, not playing around inside the case, so I doubt it was electro static discharge.

They are both home built, and the power supplies are virtually the same, with hers being the 650w and mine the 750w (NZXT Hale82), so no issue with the power supplies, however, as I stated before, shes running amd whereas I have intel, so I can't purely test the cpu.



No you really can't test the CPU without a good motherboard to put it in. That the shame of it. Once upon a time Intel and AMD processors were cross compatible, but those days are dead and long gone.

You can put your PSU in her computer, if it still doesnt boot.. at the very least, assume the mobo is gone, but the CPU is most likely dead as well if the mobo is fried from a power surge. RAM and video card are other things. Years ago when I was 12 or 13 (Pentium II- if you're trying to gauge my age) we had a computer no surge protector (brilliant idea right?) thunderstorm fried it and the whole computer was completely useless.
March 30, 2012 5:36:23 AM

I had a Zap Noise on a build many years ago.. It was a defective OCZ power supply. (OCZ was the first to offer a good Modular PSU, and I fell for it. I'll stay away from their PSU's now) I did NOT have any other component damage.
April 1, 2012 7:18:34 AM

Checked it all out, tried my psu in it, and got it to post, I currently love NZXT for only breaking the psu and not the rest of the build!
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
April 1, 2012 7:27:48 AM

Thank yourself for being smart enough to put a properly designed PSU into the build in the first place :) 

Oh, and check the standoffs for proper placement and the rest of the case and wires for shorts.
April 17, 2012 3:49:18 AM

Best answer selected by Masman.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
April 17, 2012 6:24:37 AM

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