PC died....again

Posted on 2006-03-21
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
My wife is currently on her 3rd motherboard in a bit over a year and a half. I recently replaced her fried 2nd motherboard just over a month ago and everything was working fine until tonight. At first her front 2 USB ports wouldn't recognize any devices ( the back ports worked fine ), then the computer just blinked out completely. If I turn off the power switch in the back and then turn it on, I can power up the PC for a split second before it crashes again. I thought maybe the PSU was the culprit ( much as I thought the same thing when her last motherboard died ), but after trying it with my PSU tester, everything spun right up so I'm ruiling out the PSU...again. My best guess is there's something about her case which is causing these mobos to short out, we've had 3 different brand mobos ( Epoch, Giga-Byte and Asus ) and all have died. I can't believe it's just bad luck...any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Question by:logan510
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    PSU or static problems.
    Front USB went first?
    Is this system located in a room with carpet?

    Author Comment

    Front USB went first, then the PC just died. The room does have carpeting, but the computer is not on it. It's placed on top of her large computer desk. Could a "bad" PSU that passes muster on my PSU tester really cause 3 seperate motherboards to die?

    Also, I have 3 PC's of my own located in the same room and I haven't had any of the problems she's been encountering.

    LVL 91

    Assisted Solution

    are the other pc's on the same AC rail? if not, that can be a cause.
    Other than bad luck, it can be due to :
    -static discharges
    -unstable AC power
    -poor grounding
    -poor shielding.
    -bad power supply
    if the cause is coming from AC, i would suggest a good power supply.
    check first the power you need here for that PC  :
    to be sure it is not under powered.
    LVL 26

    Accepted Solution

    The computer doesn't have to be ON the carpet.
    I once killed a PS/2 port by sitting in a chair on a carpet wearing only socks. (On my feet okay....)
    I felt a shock when I touched the mouse then no more PS/2.

    USB went first. Get shocked plugging something in?

    The I see things in common across your 3 motherboards.
    PSU (Testers won't show you problems like random voltage spikes or an overload condition when connected to the system.)
    AC power socket. (Anything on that circuit that might cause surges?)
    Location (On carpet. (Static?), Does it get hot or moist there? AC blow on it? (Condensation?), Sun hit it there?)
    Case (Only a problem if the boards were mounted incorrectly and grounded somehow.)

    What else was in common with your builds?

    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    I have to ask - did the other mobo's die in a similar manner (eg front usb ports first)?

    Try disconnecting these first - could be your case is shorting them out! Also check all the usb devices you have been using - one of them may be susceptible to spikes, or even draw a high current which is killing the regulators on the mobo.

    Hope this helps

    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    You have only replaced the motherboard and none of the periphereals?
    Maybe one is defective and causes these blowups. Check for any odd markings or colorations on the cards and mainboard.

    also check how the mainboard is mounted,
    are all cables thorougly connected, is there a ground-connection, no loose cables. Is there enough space underneath the mainboard in the casing.

    If the pc is on a different power-outlet, you might consider an adapter with a small surge-protector. They're generally cheaper than (a) new computer(s). To know the current and if everything is in right sync you'd need a logging on power for longer time. This however cannot be done very cheap, I don't know exactlt to how many motherboards the costs can be compared.
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    >>everything spun right up so I'm ruiling out the PSU
    Just because it spins up doesn't mean it isn't faulty. A bad supply can fry a motherboard and it's components, as well. That's the first thing I would replace if three motherboards in a row died.

    Expert Comment

    Is your motherboard grounding out against the case? Are screwing it directly to the case? Are you using the proper mounts (brass or plastic)?

    During the 2 seconds that it does turn on, check to make sure that your CPU heatsink fan is spinning. Nearly all motherboards will cut the power if the fan isn't spinning to prevent damage to the CPU.

    See if you can check your CPU and motherboard temperatures.


    Author Comment

    She's on a pretty decent UPS so I don't think it's power spikes coming from the AC. I'm coming around to the realization that it is more than likely the PSU shorting out these boards. Tho I still think we might get a new case for her as well, the current one is very cramped and difficult to work with and with only 2 system fans it runs on the hot side of warm. I'll update later tonight as we plan on going to get the new parts after work. I'll split the points up appropiately.

    Thanks for all the suggestions and info
    LVL 4

    Assisted Solution

    I once had to test a power supply over a 24 hour period. it looked fine on the tester until one cap overloaded and spiked at 27V on the 5V connector. Best bet is for you to test the suply longer or replace it. It is possible that a perhiperal or a ground could have caused this but if you have replaced 3 mobos you must be good to ground all of them the same way...... ( take that as a complement please. )
    Have you checked the case for a short to the reset or power switch, either could effect the life of your mobo.
    As silly as this sounds are you plugging everything to the mobo in the correct position. that could cause a short if for instance USB was 1/2 on speaker or reset.. ( Yes once I did that- wrong mobo book and asian characters on mobo....I know it was stupid)

    Good Luck
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    If you are familiar with the bad cap issue commonly found in motherboad discussions....

    Those bad caps ended up in everything else too, tv's, radios, video cards, sound cards, POWER SUPPLIES...

    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    Suggest this in agreement with case/power supply issues:
    Select a new case with large volume and 120mm fan ports. (quieter and easier to cool). The structure must be rigid to stabilize the mainboard...flexing is bad, rigid is goooood.
    Special attention to a good quality power supply that has the specifications to meet your needs now and some additional reserve for future expansion.
    Evaluate your power supply needs at above.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    There have been some good suggestions here! I agree with PlatinumStylz, the fans might be sticking or spinning slow due to dust, Making certain components overheat and therefor forcing your system to shutdown to prevent further damage!

    When buying a new case, be sure to get one designed for ultimate cooling like an Aluminium Case>>>

    Aimed at the high-end section of the case market, Aluminium cases are designed for the ultimate cooling as they help dissipate heat much better than SECC. These cases come in a variety of sizes, shapes and designs and are ideal for people who want the best cooling system and also a lightweight system without Compromising on looks and features.
    The Overview I found here>>>

    Are you using a new hdd or are you still using the old one?
    If your still using the old hdd then maybe some of it's components are starting to burnout, if you have the same problem with the new MB, check how hot the hdd is. If you could fry an egg on it then the hdd overheating could possibly force the shutdown!

    Are you sure that your motherboard's are dead? Maybe you can revive them! Please read my last comment posted here>>>

    When you've opened the above link, to save time while searching for my last post, Press Control-F keys together and search for "Thanks Mark" without the quotes!

    Hope this helps!
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    PS: I've just tried the Control-F search but could'nt find the words Thanks Mark!
    If you have the same problem then Highlight some other text before searching again!

    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    How your wiki can always stay up-to-date

    Quip doubles as a “living” wiki and a project management tool that evolves with your organization. As you finish projects in Quip, the work remains, easily accessible to all team members, new and old.
    - Increase transparency
    - Onboard new hires faster
    - Access from mobile/offline

    Stuck in voice control mode on your Amazon Firestick?  Here is how to turn it off!!!
    Sending a Secure fax is easy with eFax Corporate ( First, Just open a new email message.  In the To field, type your recipient's fax number You can even send a secure international fax — just include t…
    Polish reports in Access so they look terrific. Take yourself to another level. Equations, Back Color, Alternate Back Color. Write easy VBA Code. Tighten space to use less pages. Launch report from a menu, considering criteria only when it is filled…

    737 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    19 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now