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Will a bad CPU damage a motherboard?

Posted on 2004-08-02
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I am troubleshooting a HP laptop and think that the CPU is bad.  If I replace it with a good one can a bad motherboard wreck my good CPU?  Heat sink and fan work properly.  THanks
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Question by:jimdean12
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bobo_tech earned 1000 total points
ID: 11701033
There is a possiblity that the new cpu can be damaged by the motherboard if the motherboard is what caused the existing cpu to fail.

Just last week, I was working on a Dell D300XT laptop that just quit working on me, it would not power up or anything at all.

It turned out that the cpu module literally burned up.  On the lower left hand corner of the MMC 1 module, a surface mounted chip actually exploded.
 
So I went ahead an bought a new MMC 1 module from ebay and installed it.  It worked fine but I was taking a chance since I knew that the motherboard could have caused the initial problem

It turns out that the older dell laptops are nortious for failing because the MMC 1 and MMC 2 modules have a tendency to unseat themselves which normally causes the laptop to flicker its power leds when you try to turn it on but they turn off after about 2 seconds, but if the cpu module gets really loose, it can self destruct like the one I worked on.

So in a nutshell, yes the cpu can be damaged by the motherboard but my personal opinion is that the risk is semi low.  Its a gamble unless you have the proper resources which most people don't have.  Would I take a chance?, I probably would if the price of the replacement chip isn't too expensive.  On another note, I have seen desktop motherboards that get hit by lightening or whatever and they will burn up but leave the cpu intact and unharmed.

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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 11703749
I agree - it is a low probabilty that your cpu will be damaged.  An outright short might, but those tend to burn themselves out quickly.
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