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Thread: Smokin' ... NO Literally

  1. #1
    Master Browser PeteSmith's Avatar
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    Smokin' ... NO Literally

    You know that awful smell we all dread, the kinda melted plastic - burnt hair mix that usually means disaster and follows by that sharp pain in your wallet. Well unfortunately i encountered it this bank holiday weekend, which kinda started things off badly.

    I'm not really sure how this happened, as i have not been inside my case for a good long time, but it turns out that the case speaker wire had somehow sheared off and made contact between the case and the live wire, which in turn completely melted the wire, and subsequently many of the other wires within close proximity. In fact the only one left intact was the power switch lead and the H.D.D led wire. Not only had it melted the wires but also completely melted the mobo contacts.

    I was initially concerned the mobo would have been damaged, which in turn could have taken out other components, which was only heightened when i attempted to power up and the machine continually reset itself in quick succession and was accompanied by a HDD clicking noise.

    After an hours worth of open case surgery, removing melted wires, replacing the ones i had spares for and strategically unit testing each component to check they were still working without risking further damage (and generously applying electrical tape to existing wires which were slightly damaged from contact- just to be sure) i finally managed to to restore life to the old dog.

    I learnt 2 things from this exercise:

    1. Fires are best left outside of PC cases, because they tend to melt things and smell terrible.
    2. PC's and components these days are much more resilient than i had previously thought.

    I really did expect the worse this time, and imagined i would need to purchase my new rig a little earlier than i had planned, luckily i got a 2nd chance which means i can buy that new mountain bike i have been drooling over first.





    Last edited by PeteSmith; 27-08-2007 at 04:10 PM.
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  2. #2
    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: Smokin' ... NO Literally

    I had that rebuilding mother-in-law's PC once. The little wire going to the speaker cone came off and shorted to the frame, which of course is jammed into the case and so earthed.

    One side of the speaker is +5v, the other is usually grounded by a transistor to make it beep. Result can be +5v directly to ground via that little wire, and my god what a lot of smoke!

    I was lucky and caught mine fast, a new speaker and the system was fine.

  3. #3
    Pedandic mo-fo IAmATeaf's Avatar
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    Re: Smokin' ... NO Literally

    I'd replace the entire length of wire that melted and caused the problem, no point in taking any further risks.

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