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Thread: Help, my PC went up in flames

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    Help, my PC went up in flames

    I've recently built a new system using these parts:

    Antec quattro 850w PSU
    MSI diamond mobo
    BFG 8800gtx 768mb
    3ghz core 2 duo
    2gb corsair XMS ram
    500gb Caviar sata hdd

    I've had this system built for a couple of weeks now, and it has been great. I've kept an eye on the heat levels using speedfan and was happy to see that my cpu ran at 19 degrees idle, going up to around 25 under load. My gfx card however always ran at around 60-70 degrees, even idle but a quick google told me that is fairly normal for the 8800 range.

    Tonight I loaded up the lord of the rings online and while I was still in the menu my computer made a loud pop and shut down.

    Thinking this was maybe a power surge or I'd accidentally hit a button or something I turned it back on. At first I heard a grinding noise, then white smoke came out of the back in large amounts, and I could see what looked like fire through my side grilling.

    I've turned it off since, and have looked around with a torch but I dont see anything burnt or anything, nor smoking. I grounded myself and put my finger on the cpu mount and its not even warm, nor is the cpu cooler, but the gfx card was still warm. All the fans seemed to be running but I dare not leave it on for more than a few seconds now for fear of a fire.

    Any observations or suggestions as to where I should go from here would be greatly appreciated.

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    Re: Help, my PC went up in flames

    No great experience, but sounds like maybe a capacitor blew? Personally I'd not consider turning it on until I'd found the damage & more than likely swapped that component out. Certainly don't run it unless you're willing to risk further damage to other components or yourself.

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    Re: Help, my PC went up in flames

    Try a different power supply. jkust hope that if the PSU did go thats all that went - it may have taken something else with it....
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    Re: Help, my PC went up in flames

    Certainly don't turn it on until you can find the cause. You will find it. If there was fire you should easily spot the source of it, unless it came from inside the PSU.

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    Re: Help, my PC went up in flames

    Sounds like the PSU if it went "pop" as suggested try a different PSU if you have one hopefully it has not damaged your full system
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    Re: Help, my PC went up in flames

    When a computer makes a loud "pop" and then switches off, that is never a good sign.

    Try to locate the origin of the burn smell, but like most people have said, it sounds like the PSU.
    Keep your fingers crossed that it’s just the PSU.
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    Re: Help, my PC went up in flames

    Hmmm, sounds like a component has blown on the mobo to me - especially if you really saw flames through the side grilling! You've obviously got a very new system, so you shouldn't have a problem getting a replacement for whatever has gone tits-up.

    A simple test to rule out if it is the PSU that has gone pop would be to try to "jump start" it with just a few fans (or something) attached to give it some kind of load (don't do this with zero load!). You can do this by shorting the green wire with any black one like this:



    Quote Originally Posted by ACiDuS View Post
    I've kept an eye on the heat levels using speedfan and was happy to see that my cpu ran at 19 degrees idle, going up to around 25 under load.
    Not relevant to your problem in any way I'm sure, but I wouldn't believe those CPU temp measurements. They're too close to room temp to be true.

    Quote Originally Posted by MilkMan View Post
    When a computer makes a loud "pop" and then switches off, that is never a good sign.
    lol
    Last edited by Fraz; 11-10-2007 at 11:40 AM.

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    Re: Help, my PC went up in flames

    I took your advice and tried it with a few fans and it does power the fans. I'm guessing that means its not the psu?

    Not relevant to your problem in any way I'm sure, but I wouldn't believe those CPU temp measurements. They're too close to room temp to be true
    I originally thought the same so I tried a few different programs out to check the cpu temp, as well as the bios. Every program has said each core runs/ran at 19c, actually about 10c lower than my room temp. I've always run my cpus at about 30, as I'm pretty good at mounting the heatsinks and I use artic silver.

    -----------

    Having checked the mobo and components I can't find any evidence of damage. Could you tell me any tell-tale signs of a blown capacitor and so on? I've noticed none of the capacitors appear to have a convex top, but I dont know if that applies to the solid state ones that the diamond uses.
    Last edited by ACiDuS; 11-10-2007 at 12:25 PM.

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    Re: Help, my PC went up in flames

    I took your advice and tried it with a few fans and it does power the fans. I'm guessing that means its not the psu?
    Correction - Last night it would run the fans, today it wont run a thing, the fans attached just kind of wobble and then all I hear is a low buzzing.

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    Get in the van. Fraz's Avatar
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    Re: Help, my PC went up in flames

    Well, I'd certainly start by sending back your PSU and getting replacement under guarantee.

    Regarding your temps... it's thermodynamically impossible to cool a CPU below room temp if you are using either a heatsink + fan or watercooling.

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    Re: Help, my PC went up in flames

    A friend of mine who works in computer repair has suggested I RMA every component since they're all currently under guarantee. Is this advisable?

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    Get in the van. Fraz's Avatar
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    Re: Help, my PC went up in flames

    It's not a bad idea, but in terms of effort dismantling an entire PC -> repackaging -> returning -> getting replacements -> rebuilding is a lot more work than replacing a PSU.

    But if the PSU isn't definitely at fault, then maybe its the way forward. Personally, I'd try and borrow a mate's PSU and see if that fixes the problem. Then you'll know exactly where you stand.
    Last edited by Fraz; 11-10-2007 at 12:56 PM.

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    Re: Help, my PC went up in flames

    I just phoned the support line of the company I bought the psu from and as soon as I mentioned grey smoke he said 'power supply' and sent me an RMA code. He also said that I shouldnt worry about the other parts since PSUs are made to protect them on failure these days.

    Sound about right?

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    Get in the van. Fraz's Avatar
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    Re: Help, my PC went up in flames

    Yup

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    Re: Help, my PC went up in flames

    I plugged it in one last time to see, and it wont start up, fans just kind of rock once and stop, leds flash once then stop.

    However the green power indicator on the back of the mobo is lit. Could the psu be 'half broken' or something?

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    Get in the van. Fraz's Avatar
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      • CPU:
      • Watercooled i7-980X @ 4.2 GHz
      • Memory:
      • 24GB Crucial DDR3-1333
      • Storage:
      • 240 GB Vertex2E + 2 TB of Disk
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Water-cooled Sapphire 7970 @ 1175/1625
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      • Enermax Modu87+
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      • Operating System:
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      • Dell 30" 3008WFP and two Dell 24" 2412M
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    Re: Help, my PC went up in flames

    Quote Originally Posted by ACiDuS View Post
    Could the psu be 'half broken' or something?
    Yes I think so... one of the voltage rails could have died, leaving the other ones working.

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