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[Solved]New CPU, computer shut down after 4+hours, sparks.

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July 19, 2012 3:50:03 PM

Yesterday I upgraded my CPU from a Athlon II X2 to a Phenom II X4 965. The fan/heatsink it came with was an extreme pain to put in, so I decided to just use my fan that came with my old Athlon, which was only about 7 months old. To add to this, I smudged some of the thermal paste from my new fan/heatsink on my Phenom when I tried to put it in. Also, before starting any process with computer tinkering, I make sure to ground myself extremely well, so i'm sure a bad ground was not the problem.

After finishing, I turned on my computer, all was functioning right and I was able to play some of my steam sale games without a hitch. While it was running, I monitored the temps every 20 mins or so. The temps ranged between 60-65 idle, and 65-70 when gaming. After a good 4+hours of gaming/watching some videos, I was just about to play some GTA4 multiplayer with my "homeboy" when suddenly the PC shut off. Not monitoring the temps for the last 40 mins or so, I assumed that the CPU overheated. So I then took 2+ mind numbing hours to put that new fan/heatsink in. I'm not sure why it took so long, i'm relatively new to all this so that's probably why.

While putting the fan/heatsink in, I realized it would be a heck of a lot easier if I unscrewed the part that you latch the heatsink on. I was then able put the heatsink on while it was out of its case, which only took me about 5 mins. However, after trying to screw the heatsink back in, there was some weird problem with the screw slots in the motherboard, and the whole process got even longer. I'm not sure if this would change anything, but I did unplug the fans on the case so that I could remove the case to get easier access to the CPU. Also, I kept dropping screws on the motherboard because I was so shaky, and I was sort of clawing at them to pick them up, sort of like a claw machine.

Anyway, after that long process of computer shenanigans which I will never forget, I plugged my computer back in, turned it on, and was not only greeted by complete silence, but then a loud sizzle afterwards as sparks flew out of the mid-top back part of the tower. I was truly baffled. To add a few things, there was a wire stuck between the case and the metal part of the GPU, I have never tried to overclock anything, and when I try to turn my computer on now, there is absolutely no sign of life, the PSU doesn't even hum anymore.


Any help would be much appreciated. I'm new to tinkering around with computers, but I had no trouble at all when I put in my GPU. I read guides and tried to update my BIOS before hand, but from what ive heard it isn't wise to update the BIOS if you are not fimiliar yet. Also, the BIOS update program was in Japanese for some odd reason.

Specs:

OS: Windows 7 64bit
MOBO: M4N68T-M v2
BIOS: BIOS Date: 07/05/11
CPU: Phenom II X4 965 (new)
GPU: Radeon HD 6850
RAM: 8GB
PSU: 500w XFX Pro
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July 19, 2012 3:57:06 PM

Err. Most Processors come with a thermal paste pad, and it's not a good idea to mix that with some of your own goop if you have not removed the pad once it has melted.

Methinks you need to clean your processor and heatsink, then apply new goop.

Though I could be wrong. I've never applied thermal paste meself, so wait for another opinion.
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July 19, 2012 4:01:19 PM

MajinCry said:
Err. Most Processors come with a thermal paste pad, and it's not a good idea to mix that with some of your own goop if you have not removed the pad once it has melted.

Methinks you need to clean your processor and heatsink, then apply new goop.

Though I could be wrong. I've never applied thermal paste meself, so wait for another opinion.


Ah, probably would have been wise of me to of cleaned the old heatsink off first I guess, though the fan really isn't that old. Ill keep that in mind though, thanks.
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July 19, 2012 4:07:59 PM

you may have bent/broke a capacitor, if you were perspiring you may have short the board out....it sounds very bad

take it apart, spray everything with compressed air and rebuild it slowly and carefully

but i fear the mainboard and the gpu might be gone
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July 19, 2012 4:08:42 PM

I think you may have pinched or damged a wire to your PSU when you put the board back in.. That pinched damged wire shorted to the case or board causing your sparks.

Unplug every PSU wire inside the case and inspect every inch for damage.


Another thought is that a screw got dropped between the mobo and the case and is shorting the board and case. Maybe remove the board again to inspect for screws or shorts.


Its also possible that the new pos being 30watt more was the straw that broke the camels back and caused the PSU to die.
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July 19, 2012 4:11:25 PM

"Anyway, after that long process of computer shenanigans which I will never forget, I plugged my computer back in, turned it on, and was not only greeted by complete silence, but then a loud sizzle afterwards as sparks flew out of the mid-top back part of the tower. "

What is located in the case where the sparks originated?

Take the CPU out of the MB and look at it. Is it cracked or fried? Clean off everything absolutely everything from the heatsink and CPU. Look at everything else. Anything blown on the MB? Any charring?

Did you retrieve every dropped screw?

I would actually disassemble everything, clean everything and reassemble the PC from the ground up. Use a new power supply though. If it still does not power up suspect one of the components on the MB

(edit: and follow the installation instructions, don't fudge anything to get a part installed. Have some tweezers hany to retrieve screws.)
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July 19, 2012 5:15:01 PM

Traildriver said:
"Anyway, after that long process of computer shenanigans which I will never forget, I plugged my computer back in, turned it on, and was not only greeted by complete silence, but then a loud sizzle afterwards as sparks flew out of the mid-top back part of the tower. "

What is located in the case where the sparks originated?

Take the CPU out of the MB and look at it. Is it cracked or fried? Clean off everything absolutely everything from the heatsink and CPU. Look at everything else. Anything blown on the MB? Any charring?

Did you retrieve every dropped screw?

I would actually disassemble everything, clean everything and reassemble the PC from the ground up. Use a new power supply though. If it still does not power up suspect one of the components on the MB

(edit: and follow the installation instructions, don't fudge anything to get a part installed. Have some tweezers hany to retrieve screws.)


If my memory is correct, I believe it was originating from either the GPU or the fan above the GPU which is where my CPU is located.

CPU looks completely fine thankfully. Heatsink looks fine aswell, ill get to cleaning anything on them immediately. From the looks of things, I don't see any charring. However, there is some white powdery stuff on the PSU fan, above the PSU fan, and on the GPU fan, it could just be dust and me being dumb, but then again i'm just being safe. And the PSU has a firework/burning type smell, and the GPU also has a faint burning smell.

The screws I used were the 4 screws that originally held the heatsink in place, and I made sure to use all 4.

Working on it now. I actually don't mind this, seeing as how ill be able to assemble a PC of my own now. :D 

Thank you for the help!

(edit: What could I do to prevent this from happening again?)
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Best solution

July 20, 2012 9:13:05 PM

I would replace the PSU for there is a smell coming from it. Probably something fried in there depositing the white residue you see. Does the location correspond to the openings on the PSU.

You could open the thing up to look at it but that would negate any warranty you have on it. If a new PSU in the case gets the PC working then RMA the old one.
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July 20, 2012 11:05:45 PM

LoL you got what old timers used to call "blue smoke" before all the newbies took over. When something goes wrong it doesn't hurt to use your nose. Take a pic of the board and the rest of the parts for use to see, maybe everything important survived. Cheap power supplies are well known for failure.
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July 23, 2012 7:12:32 AM

Fixed the problem today, forgot to update. :p 

It turns out that not only is the psu fried, but the mobo was fried as well. After replacing both, computer is up and running back to normal. Thanks!
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July 23, 2012 7:13:43 AM

Best answer selected by Insomniam.
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