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Thread: Did I melt one?

  1. #1
    Senior Member tim's Avatar
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    Did I melt one?

    My first experience with a machine going seriously wrong (as part of my pharm).

    I find it not running. Press the ON button, nothing. Turn off the power on the power supply, turn it back on, press the ON button, the p/s fan jerks a tad. I've seen that before with a fried power supply. Get a new, slightly bigger one (350w instead of 250w), install, press ON button, the p/s fan starts slowly and spins but not full speed, the "power" led is not on but is sortof blinking and not brightly, as if it's not getting enough power to go all the way on.

    So what next, swap a good cpu in to see if that's it? Or swap the cpu to another mobo to test it? Seems obvious enough, am I missing something?

    BTW, this machine sat about 6 inches from the floor. I can see lint/dust in the heatsink fins, but can still see through the fins. It was my most reliable machine, up and crunching seti for 8 months straight, until the local electric utility gave me an hour outage that my ups couldn't take.

  2. #2
    Peaches Moogie's Avatar
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    Well, it's *possible* to get two bad power supplies in a row. Not likely, but possible.

    More likely, it's either a power-switch problem, or a mobo problem.

    If it's a switch problem, replace it and you're done. (this just recently happened to me)

    As you know, most modern machines have a power switch that connects to the mobo, where the power is controlled. Remove the power cord from the back of the PC, Remove the power-supply connector on the mobo, remove the power switch connector on the mobo, clean the connectors revealed in above. Use contact cleaner, if you have it, reconnect everything and try again.

    In my experience, 90% of electronic problems are crappy connections.

    If the above doesn't work, most likely you've got a fried mobo.

    Just my thoughts. Folks here may have a bunch of other ideas.

    Good luck.





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  3. #3
    Ancient Programmer Paratima's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like the Moogster is right on.

    Try those things, in that order.

    And good luck!
    HOME: A physical construct for keeping rain off your computers.

  4. #4
    Ancient Haggis Hound Angus's Avatar
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    If all that doesn't do anything, rip out all of the plugin cards, and disconnect all of the drive power cables. and see if power will come up and stay up with just the power supply and motherboard.

    If so, then start adding things back one at a time.

  5. #5
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    You might want to check the capacitors on the board, too.
    If those are working full power all the time and the case is a little hot, it can shorten the lifespan of the capacitors pretty much.

    I have two boards with blown capacitors here, they are both slot A, and from Abit, same model, both seem to have cheap capacitors with wrong fluids which blow even faster...

    Cheap capacitors seem to be a big issue as the (pretty big in Germany) has a big article in their new issue about them...

    Greets Thor

  6. #6
    Senior Member tim's Avatar
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    Okay, here's what I found: by capacitors, do you mean those fifteen or so cylenders sticking out of the mobo, with an aluminum round top with an X etched in it? I think I saw an article about cheap ones, how they swell at the top or something. Anyway, 4 were slightly swollen up. Then I took off the heatsink and found the cpu looks different now. Instead of being a flat color, the area around the tiny square that touches the heatsink (the hot part of the cpu, I guess) has a US quarter-sized glossy look to it, like it was melted and re-solidified. Could that be what happened? I need to go buy some heat-conducting paste to start switching cpus around to see if it's the mobo or the cpu. The way the heat sink sits over the socket, I couldn't figure out how to take the heatsink/cpu out as a unit. Any recommendations as to what to use? Arctic Silver I've seen mentioned. Vaseline? jello? Or just nothing for short term use?

    I also found that the top of the heat sink was worse than it looked before I took it apart. Probably 75% of the top was covered with solid dust. I shut down its neighbor and had a close look and found it almost as bad. I'll be shutting down the pharm and doing some blowing. I've got an compressor, 120 psi should do it.

    I've never taken a heat sink off a cpu after putting it on. Should the cpu look the same as when I put it on originally?

    Also, I don't know if I should have done this, but, I put power to the mobo without the cpu in it, and the power light came on normal and steady. Maybe I just fried the cpu only and not the mobo?
    Last edited by tim; 10-10-2003 at 02:58 AM.

  7. #7
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    Yep, those are exactly what I mean....But they should be flat on the top...so they might be brocken...What kind of cpu is it? I don't think it should change the color, could it be the rest of some heat-conducting paste or pad?
    Artic silver is supposed to be the best there is....but you'll properly get as many recommondations as there are brands on the market....

    Take the dust seriuosly, I can see it on the temeratures of my cpu if there is dust in the heatsink or not...it is about a 2C difference...

    If you can, swap the board and the cpu around... if the cpu is fine, and the board is not working, try to replace those capacitors...
    Greets Thor

  8. #8
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    Just wanted to give a little update to all the people running hot Athlon cpus:

    GET THE DUST OFF YOUR HEATSINK every once in a while!

    I have an Athlon 1800XP with an Alpha Pal 8045 and a slow 12cm fan on it...
    The Heatsink was filled with dust! I cleaned it and my temperature went down from 63C to 55C!
    So if you have trouble with the temperatures , don't forget to check the Heatsink for dust!

    Just a little reminder because I was really astonished that it made such a big difference...

    Greets Thor

    (btw there is no problem to run it at 70C...did that for quite some hours last year before I had the Alpha Pal...)

  9. #9
    Senior Member tim's Avatar
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    Thor's words to live by . . .

    but in this time it was a case of the cheap Taiwanese capacitors. Someplace on these boards I read about capacitors that swell or explode on the mobo. That was the problem. Swapped the cpu, worked fine, different cpu in that mobo, no worky worky. Noticed 4 swollen capacitors. Funny thing, the other 6 boards I got at the same time haven't failed yet, no swelling. And almost came off the assembly line at the same time, mac addresses with one or two digits off for the whole lot of them. Weird.

    Next thing to do, though, is get a 5 gal propane bottle and convert to to portable air blaster.

  10. #10
    Downsized Chinasaur's Avatar
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    PROPANE????

    D00d..you don't smoke do you??
    Agent Smith was right!: "I hate this place. This zoo. This prison. This reality, whatever you want to call it, I can't stand it any longer. It's the smell! If there is such a thing. I feel saturated by it. I can taste your stink and every time I do, I fear that I've somehow been infected by it."

  11. #11
    Senior Member tim's Avatar
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    Empty propane bottle, the kind you have on an RV or a gas grill. If I take the top off and blow air in, can't I use if for compressed air instead of LPG? It's just a pressure vessel.

  12. #12
    Downsized Chinasaur's Avatar
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    Agent Smith was right!: "I hate this place. This zoo. This prison. This reality, whatever you want to call it, I can't stand it any longer. It's the smell! If there is such a thing. I feel saturated by it. I can taste your stink and every time I do, I fear that I've somehow been infected by it."

  13. #13
    has been eaten by a grue.
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    I've got a few old comps in the garage I wouldn't mind using a full propane bottle on. While smoking <g>.

    More seriously, I dust out my case with a regular vacuum cleaner, being very careful not to knock anything with the metal pipe. Whatever is left, I cuss at. As a smoker with a cat and a long haired dog in a small house, overclocking is just not an option.

  14. #14
    Senior Member tim's Avatar
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    I'm not really sure what all that stuff is on those fins. I put my mouth real close and blow hard and some goes but some stays. It's not polite dust that gladly clings to a feather duster. This stuff must have oil and resins or something. It's tough. If I'd been running them in cases it wouldn't have been as bad. I just think those little cans of air folks buy are silly. I want a steel propane bottle with a handle and a hose with a trigger fitting, and take it to the tire shop and come home with 120 psi for free. And yes, I enjoyed "Tool Time," but I'm a different tim than that one.

    When I get some free time . . .

  15. #15
    Downsized Chinasaur's Avatar
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    D00d!! I live in WA as well..

    As long as you are least 100mi from Richland....I'm ok with whatever you want to do

    JK


    Best of luck






    QIbHom - For you...that's 500mi



    Agent Smith was right!: "I hate this place. This zoo. This prison. This reality, whatever you want to call it, I can't stand it any longer. It's the smell! If there is such a thing. I feel saturated by it. I can taste your stink and every time I do, I fear that I've somehow been infected by it."

  16. #16
    Stats Developer magnav0x's Avatar
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    My ferrets are more a threat than my CPU heat issues, they think power cords are made to rip out of the wall....
    Warning this Post is Rated "M" for Mature

    -Contains Harsh Language
    -L337 HaX0r W3RD2!
    -Partial Nudity

    I haven't lost my mind; it's backed up on tape drive somewhere.

  17. #17
    Senior Member tim's Avatar
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    Whoa Ted, strange things truly ARE afoot at the Circle K . . .

    Yeah, I'm up by Moses Lake, about 80 miles. But right now I'm in ND, fighting snow and wind. When I went to bed last night, it was 15 degrees F. This morning it's 10, with a forecast high of 23, accumulations of 2-4 inches. With any luck I'll be in WA later this month. So yeah, sometime this winter we could have a pharm tour.

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