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CPU Starting Smoking, comp won't start

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January 7, 2013 2:18:30 AM

I've had this home build for probably 2-3 years now. I was playing Black Ops 2 and it randomly shut off mid game, I looked over and smoke was coming out of the case, after smelling around, I believe the smoke came from the CPU.

Specs:
I5 750 OCed to 3700 but using a tuniq 120 tower extreme fan to cool
p55a ud3 mobo
750 corsair thx psu
Radeon 5850 gpu

My CPU has been OCed for ages and I've been playing Black Ops 2 plenty, why in the world would my computer fry now? And is there anything I can do or am I just screwed?
a c 146 à CPUs
January 7, 2013 5:18:51 AM

whoisme555 said:
I've had this home build for probably 2-3 years now. I was playing Black Ops 2 and it randomly shut off mid game, I looked over and smoke was coming out of the case, after smelling around, I believe the smoke came from the CPU.

Specs:
I5 750 OCed to 3700 but using a tuniq 120 tower extreme fan to cool
p55a ud3 mobo
750 corsair thx psu
Radeon 5850 gpu

My CPU has been OCed for ages and I've been playing Black Ops 2 plenty, why in the world would my computer fry now? And is there anything I can do or am I just screwed?


Did you hear any popping noise? It could be the CPU but from what you said my first guess would be a blown power supply. The first thing I would do is switch out the PSU and see if that does anything.
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January 7, 2013 5:28:43 AM

rds1220 said:
Did you hear any popping noise? It could be the CPU but from what you said my first guess would be a blown power supply. The first thing I would do is switch out the PSU and see if that does anything.


No, but I did have headphones on. A pop should have been audible if it happened, but it's possible I missed it.

When smelling for smoke, the PSU was definitely not where it was coming from, though. Are you sure about that? Is there a way to tell if it was the PSU without buying a new PSU?
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January 7, 2013 8:22:16 AM

Can you not borrow a PSU from another system?

If you've used too much voltage then a CPU could fry at any time. Could have been a power surge or anything.
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January 7, 2013 8:27:12 AM

darth pravus said:
Can you not borrow a PSU from another system?

If you've used too much voltage then a CPU could fry at any time. Could have been a power surge or anything.


Yeah I could do that.

I bought a UPS so that power surges wouldn't happen, that would suck. I suppose I'll have to go about rebuilding my computer tomorrow and get back to you about it.
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January 7, 2013 8:33:50 AM

Fans working well? Probably PSU or something else got fried. Better look inside.
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January 7, 2013 8:37:29 AM

chocostain said:
Fans working well? Probably PSU or something else got fried. Better look inside.


Not sure, they were working fine last I checked, but then it fried and won't start randomly. Can't tell if the fans gave out or what happened :/ 
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January 7, 2013 8:47:45 AM

Have you removed your heatsink to see if there is any damage to the chip?
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January 7, 2013 7:46:33 PM

whoisme555 said:
No, but I did have headphones on. A pop should have been audible if it happened, but it's possible I missed it.

When smelling for smoke, the PSU was definitely not where it was coming from, though. Are you sure about that? Is there a way to tell if it was the PSU without buying a new PSU?


If you stick your nose near the back of the PSU where it exaust you would be able to smell a really strong acrid odor. It is unmistakable and not a smell you will forget. If you don't have a spare PSU try to borrow one from another computer or ask a friend if you can do a quick test. You need to start trouble shooting and the first place I would start is the powersupply since everything right now seems to point to that. Also

Also another thing you can check is the motherboard capacitors. Sometimes they blow and they are pretty easy to spot. It would look something like this:

This is a partially blown capacitor you can see the capacitor is leaning to the side and leaking brown gunk.



Blown capacitor

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January 7, 2013 8:46:56 PM

Overclocking isn't just magic, doing it for an extended period of time could result in problems like these. It isn't random at all. Capacitors get old too, and overheating could result in all sorts of problems, not just the CPU.

I know not everyone has the ability to do this, but you could test an old 1156 CPU to see if your system powers up (i.e. Pentium G6950). Take all components out (Graphic Card, Audio Card). Also test the PSU like mentioned above.
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January 10, 2013 4:56:46 AM

Update here: After finally getting some time to take apart the computer, there is no visual damage to the processor. However, there is a black spot on the motherboard, I'll post several pictures. I'm assuming this means that the motherboard is trashed, if there is no charring on the processor, would the processor still be okay? And does this rule out the PSU as the issue or could that still be what caused it?



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January 10, 2013 5:31:20 AM

Looks like your board might have blown a capacitor (can't tell, the second to last pic is a little fuzzy). A bad PSU might have caused it, or it could have just been a board failure--capacitors do fail now and then. I've only had a power supply fail once, and my processor was okay. Also, look closely around your ram slots and pci e slot(s) for charring.
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January 10, 2013 6:12:42 AM

Does look like a blown cap. could be caused by both a faulty board or PSU though.

The proc could be ok but theres really no way to tell. I would say the board couldn't handle the extra voltage for all that time.
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January 10, 2013 7:52:53 AM

brode09 said:
Looks like your board might have blown a capacitor (can't tell, the second to last pic is a little fuzzy). A bad PSU might have caused it, or it could have just been a board failure--capacitors do fail now and then. I've only had a power supply fail once, and my processor was okay. Also, look closely around your ram slots and pci e slot(s) for charring.


After inspected the board a bit more, I couldn't find a blown capacitor. They all seemed to be in fine shape. It could be as Darth said - the board couldn't handle the extra voltage for such a prolonged time, but how could I go about testing to be sure what parts are failing on me. Specifically the power supply. I don't want to get a new board, and potentially a new processor, and have that blow because the power supply was failing on me.

Thanks for all your help, I'll see if I can get some good pics up tomorrow. My camera is terrible.
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January 10, 2013 8:24:52 AM

Most electronic stores should do to be honest. I'm not great with the electrical side of testing these things. Maybe someone else can advise you exactly what you need. I would suggest a multimeter
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January 10, 2013 3:55:11 PM

It looks like somthing fried/shorted out. From this point I would start trouble shooting by replacing the motherboard first and see what happens. If everything works after you replace it than you know it was just the motherboard and everything else is fine. If it still doesn't work after you replace the motherboard than something else fried too and you will have to do more trouble shooting.
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January 10, 2013 5:19:06 PM

whoisme555 said:
After inspected the board a bit more, I couldn't find a blown capacitor. They all seemed to be in fine shape. It could be as Darth said - the board couldn't handle the extra voltage for such a prolonged time, but how could I go about testing to be sure what parts are failing on me. Specifically the power supply. I don't want to get a new board, and potentially a new processor, and have that blow because the power supply was failing on me.

Thanks for all your help, I'll see if I can get some good pics up tomorrow. My camera is terrible.


This at your own risk (of course), but if you have a multimeter, you can test your power supply voltages. You should be able to jump the green wire with a black wire when the power supply is plugged into the wall, and everything else disconnected. It should turn on, and then you can test voltages in each of the 24 pins with your multimeter.

ATX Version 2.2 - 24 wire motherboard connector
Pin 1: 3.3v
Pin 2: 3.3v
Pin 3: Ground
Pin 4: 5v
Pin 5: Ground
Pin 6: 5V
Pin 7: Ground
Pin 8: PowerOK (motherboard tells PSU it's ready for power)
Pin 9: 5V (should be always on if PSU is plugged into wall outlet)
Pin 10: 12v
Pin 11:12v
Pin 12: 3.3v
Pin 13: 3.3v
Pin 14: -12v
Pin 15: Ground
Pin 16: Power On
Pin 17: Ground
Pin 18: Ground
Pin 19: Ground
Pin 20: -5v
Pin 21: 5v
Pin 22: 5v
Pin 23: 5v
Pin 24: Ground
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January 10, 2013 8:49:19 PM

rds1220 said:
It looks like somthing fried/shorted out. From this point I would start trouble shooting by replacing the motherboard first and see what happens. If everything works after you replace it than you know it was just the motherboard and everything else is fine. If it still doesn't work after you replace the motherboard than something else fried too and you will have to do more trouble shooting.


But if I replace the motherboard, couldn't the PSU put the new motherboard in danger again if it is failing?
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January 10, 2013 9:01:37 PM

What PSU are you using? I just skimmed the thread.
Also, just for your info, your motherboard is dusty. You NEVER EVER let a computer component get dusty - dust can allow a board to short out, which may have happened.
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January 11, 2013 12:44:09 AM

whoisme555 said:
But if I replace the motherboard, couldn't the PSU put the new motherboard in danger again if it is failing?


Yes you now see the whole picture. If you have a cheap POS power supply than you are going to want to get a new PSU. Using the old PSU could put your new motherboard in danger of frying.
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January 11, 2013 2:43:49 AM

The PSU was definitely not cheap. This is the power suppy: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hopefully it was just the dust that caused the problem, payturr. If I test the PSU with the multimeter to make sure the voltages are all correct, would that rule out the PSU or could it still cause an issue not too far down the road?
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January 11, 2013 3:02:58 AM

No it isn't a cheap PSU but a blown PSU can happen even to a good quality PSU. It is less likely to happen with a good quality PSU but even a good quality PSU can blow.
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January 12, 2013 5:07:57 AM

whoisme555 said:
The PSU was definitely not cheap. This is the power suppy: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hopefully it was just the dust that caused the problem, payturr. If I test the PSU with the multimeter to make sure the voltages are all correct, would that rule out the PSU or could it still cause an issue not too far down the road?


If the multimeter test shows all correct voltages, it might work, but you don't have any way to test the load the PSU is capable of putting out. But if the multimeter tests no voltage, or voltages that differ than the correct amount, then it is time for a new one for sure.
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