And it went "Boom"


I just upgraded the motherboard and mem & cpu in my PC from an Athlon 900 mHz
to and Athlon 2400 mHz.  Nothing extraordinary, here.  Done the same sorts of things
at home & work hundreds of times.

This time, tho, I plugged PC in AND DID NOT HAVE POWER ON and heard a capicitor
pop, smoke pour out of the PC and a whole lot of nothingness.  I did not power it up
yet because I had not plugged mouse or KB in yet.

I got new case. plopped in that new MB & mem, and got a whole lot of nothing.

I removed new board, put in the old one with the original video and nothing.

Got new video card, still nothing.

Here is the questions:

I had a 250 watt power supply.  Given that I had not turned power on, is it still possible
that it blew because of that (vs a 300 watt PS)?

What are the odds that the board\CPU had a malfunction that would cause this?

Could this have blown the MONITOR?  I expected to see the boot stuff from the old board
when I reinstalled it in the new case with the new video card, but nothing showed.

Oh, yeah, the hard drives were backed up (WHEW)

Final ? - I can kiss all of the cards goodbye, eh?

Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
>Given that I had not turned power on, is it still possible that it blew because of that
I don't think so, something must have shorted it. Note that ATX powersupplies also give current when you only got it connected to the outlet. (what voltage did you choose? 115/230V? and what is the voltage on your walloutlets?)

>What are the odds that the board\CPU had a malfunction that would cause this
Pretty big, probably the motherboard shorted some tracks with the metal case.

>Could this have blown the MONITOR?
Pretty small, check it on another computer.

>Oh, yeah, the hard drives were backed up
Wow! you're among the minor group of people who DO backup.

>Final ? - I can kiss all of the cards goodbye, eh?
If I where you, I'd start with the motherboard, the other cards might be doing just fine. Be sure to also replace the power supply as it might kill another board (or ask at some shop if they can test it for you)


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
castelloAuthor Commented:
Voltage was US - 115.  No change there from original
Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
Ok, can you please tell me, what was smoking, was it the power supply or was it something on the motherboard?

Big Business Goals? Which KPIs Will Help You

The most successful MSPs rely on metrics – known as key performance indicators (KPIs) – for making informed decisions that help their businesses thrive, rather than just survive. This eBook provides an overview of the most important KPIs used by top MSPs.

If you had AC conneted to the P/S when you were inserting add on components then chances are you blew out more than a capacitor.  You may just need to start over from scratch with all new components.  Just remember that ATX equipment has live voltages present as soon as you plug into AC source.

Good Luck
castelloAuthor Commented:
Capacitor.  Power supply. Boom. Smoke from power supply.

NOT INSERTING ANYTHING.  Not that stupid. Replaced MB with new one.

All cards, harddrive etc, plugged in.
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Yes, as a general rule once you let the smoke out of these beasties they don't work as well as they used to :)

Assuming the blackened capacitor is on the MB swap this out & put in new RAM & Videocard only.

Check the monitor on another source & if it's OK (no reason to think not) then try getting POST and a monitor signal.  But like everyone has said once the PSU is hooked up to the mains there is already current in parts of the board.  Always do the work with the powerlead out.

Chances are one or more cards could have died at the same time but if the new MB & RAM is OK you should at least get a POST & then its just trial & error to find what's still OK.
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Whoops cross-posted! New PSU 1st then.
>>>And it went "Boom"<<<   I hate it when they do that!   Yeah, the only way to tell if anything else is fried, is to swap them around on a test system.
Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
Yep, I agree, powersupply first, it's the cheapest thing to replace in this case. Try getting a second hand from a shop just in case it burns out also. If that happens, get a new powersupply and a new motherboard.

I just have to say that I get a chuckle out of the header of this question.
Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
castello, can you please give some feedback?
No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:

accept: LucF

Please leave any comments here within the next four days.


EE Cleanup Volunteer

accept: LucF
Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
I appreciate this... thanx.
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Hey Friend you have accidently connected the power or the restart button wires wrong on the mother board, replace the board
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.