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[Help] Win 7 Fatal Error, Flashing vertical lights, Burning smell

Last response: in Windows 7
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February 7, 2013 3:49:44 PM

Hi, I have a computer which is pretty old except for the video card which is 2 years old and the psu which is literally 1 month old. Today morning my girlfriend turned the computer on and it started displaying striped flashing multi-colored lights. I turned it off immediately. When I turned it on after 3 hours, It went to start up repair then it displayed a Fatal Error BSOD. Then it proceeded to switch to flashing multi-colored lights which resulted in burning smell from the computer.

What do I do?
a b $ Windows 7
February 7, 2013 3:55:43 PM

Could be several things but I'd look at the PSU first, especially if it's one of the cheap nonames. If it is the PSU then it could have taken out the motherboard and anything else plugged into it. No way to tell though until it gets replaced.
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a b $ Windows 7
February 7, 2013 4:00:49 PM

Unplug the computer from the mains socket and examine the motherboard without actually touching anything. if anything on the motherboard looks burned or scorched, I'm afraid the PC needs a new motherboard.

However, if it's only a removable component that's burned out, replacing that component should be sufficient.

If you are not used to dealing with things like this, have someone take a look at it who knows what to look for.
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February 7, 2013 4:09:32 PM

The psu is a new corsair cx600... And what signs should I look for? darkened areas?
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a b $ Windows 7
February 7, 2013 4:12:47 PM

First have a sniff at the power supply if that doesn't smell burnt then next is the video card.
If you have a spare card around put that in and boot..see if that gets the job done...

Edit: How old is the mobo? Does it have the aluminum capacitors on it or the old plastic wrapped ones...
Look at them and see if any are split open on top or buldging..they are bad for bursting when old...
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a b $ Windows 7
February 7, 2013 4:14:19 PM

redxagon said:
The psu is a new corsair cx600... And what signs should I look for? darkened areas?

A very simple test. Open the case and use your nose. Where the smell of burned electronics is strongest is the area that "smoked". Then you can visually inspect that area to locate the exact spot.
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February 7, 2013 4:15:27 PM

well that would be the psu... but its new though!!!
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a b $ Windows 7
February 7, 2013 4:17:33 PM

redxagon said:
well that would be the psu... but its new though!!!

Newness has absolutely nothing to do with it. Electronics can fail at any time. You may have gotten lucky and only the PSU is blown.
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a b $ Windows 7
February 7, 2013 4:21:15 PM

Hello... 30 days is the most common time electronics will fail, due to parts/manufacture... and I agree with the above Posters... "Follow your NOSE"
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February 7, 2013 4:21:34 PM

Well It cant be a coincidence that 2 PSU's blow up without months of time in between. If I do get another PSU, how do I know that I wont have to get another one again? Because they are not cheap at all!
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a b $ Windows 7
February 7, 2013 4:29:04 PM

In that case it may be that something in the system is overloading one or more rails, although that will typically cause the PSU (the better ones, anyway) to simply crowbar and shutdown rather than smoke. You say that this is the second one in a month (you left out that important bit of information in the OP), so I'd say that you should seriously consider replacing the PC.
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a b $ Windows 7
February 7, 2013 4:29:07 PM

Hello... inspect your OLD motherboard for ruptured/buldging capacitors... Heat is the most common failure of electronics parts... is your system/Case, allowed to breath and Cool? with outside AIR? are you blocking the PSU fans, from exiting Hot air, with your Case design?
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