Debugging a "fried" computer

Posted on 2008-11-11
Last Modified: 2013-12-10
A computer of ours had been "fried" with static electricity and stopped working.  The static was from a cradle hooked to the front USB ports.  I just simply touched the cradle and a zap caused the computer to turn off.  Since then it will not do anything.

Looking inside the computer there is a small green light on the motherboard when it is plugged in.  I have tried to remove everything from the motherboard except the CPU and turn it on, but nothing will start.  I have tried another power supply which I know works and also the chord from the motherboard to the on/off switch on the front of the computer but nothing is happening.

Does this mean the motherboard and/or the CPU must be the culprits?  I would like to debug it further to determine what the problem is but am not sure of the process.  Thanks!
Question by:4county
    LVL 32

    Expert Comment

    You need at least the CPU and ram plugged into the board to make it work.
    The green light is showing a 5v standby power from the power supply.
    Did you remove the front USB cabling from the motherboard to see if this helps.

    If these things do not help then the motherboard has been compromised by the static. The CPU may be involved but not likely.

    Author Comment

    I have tried it with only the RAM and CPU attached to the motherboard (as well as the power cable, obviously) and still no dice.  I guess it must be a motherboard issue then.

    Other than plugging everything into a motherboard that we know works, is there any other way to be sure?
    LVL 32

    Accepted Solution

    Not really. If you are testing with known good parts then the common denominator in the process would be the motherboard.
    The motherboard is too complicated with electrical traces and IC components to be able to pinpoint a problem without using a testbed made specifically for that motherboard that would allow components on the motherboard to be tested individually. Imagine all the contact points for each IC or resister, capacitor, etc, that would be on a motherboard. Much easier to replace the motherboard.

    Author Comment

    Ok, thank you for your help!

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