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Computer restarts. Funky burn on bottom of MoBo

I have a problem with my computer. It restarts shortly after it has been turned on. Upon restart, the video card fan spins up to maximum speed and the system stays there with a blank screen. I went out a bought  a new video card, same thing. Also I noticed this new video card gets REALLY hot.

Since both cards did the same thing, I am left to blieve that my problem is either with the MoBo or the power supply.

What would be the most logical next step to fix my system?

The system has been running solid until now.
I reset the BIOS, Pulled the motherboard out of the case, started it with minimum devices attached. Removed one module of ram.

Has anyone ever seen this happen to a motherboard?

Images of motherboard below

Proc : Intel Core2 Duo
Motherboard : Intel DX38BT
Video card : ATI Radeon 3870x2
New Video Card : ATI Radeon 4870
Power Supply : Antec 850 watt TruePower Quattro

Andrew Maurer
Andrew Maurer
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4 Solutions
Look on the other side of the MB for this.

Andrew MaurerAuthor Commented:
All of the capacitors look good... no bulging, blistering or leaking found..
Check the power supply?
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it looks like a part is overheating
what is located on the component side there?
unfortunately, the only test i know is another motherboard
Looks like a fluid spill.  Which I don't think it is.

Or perhaps the sealing coat on the motherboard distorting.  Looks like fingerprints on the board in one picture.

nobus suggests heat.  Quite possible.  

I'd be looking at another power supply.

There are experts on this forum who don't like Antech power supplies.

If this PSU is going wonky and supplying too much and the capacitors are having to do serious regulating then that could explain the heat problem.  This is a pure speculation.

If it's under warranty - the motherboard - consider using it.
does it smell - or taste ?  can help in determining the cause.  but be careful...
Andrew MaurerAuthor Commented:
I'm not sure about the power supply, I have a older testing for PSUs but it doesn't have slots for the PCIE rails and sata connectors. Though I was able to check the main power connected and it tested good. I dont have a multi-meter.

On the other side I dont see anything specific that would match the outlines of the burns. It seems to be more of a blistering in the circuit board.

Yeah, not a fluid spill. The finger print is from me feeling the burnt area.

Doesn't have a strong smell from what I can tell.. same for taste.

I am contacting Intel because the board does say it has a three year limited warranty.
The Antec says it has a Antec "Quality" five year warranty.. I'll have to see the details about that...

But... I am going to the store to pickup another PSU and MoBo.. Getting both because the nearest "real" computer store is 20 miles away.

Suggestions on PSU brands? Leaving in an hour.

if you have  one in mind, google it tos ee if it posts with known problems
I believe what you are seeing is a reaction called "White Residue Formation on
Printed Circuit Board Assemblies"
This can be caused by many things but is usually attributed to soldering fluxes and cleaning methods used on the PCB.
Some info on this.
Andrew MaurerAuthor Commented:
Well... reporting in a day later... I went and bought a new mobo and PSU... and currently I am running with my same components... (new mobo and psu still in the box)

Before I went through the whole job of a new mobo.. (windows drivers or reinstall) I tried the new psu... system seemed fine and my new video card (ati 4870) still got really hot.. that said, I tried my old video card... everything seemed to be ok... (after reset of bios and changed voltage of ram to manufacture specs and one other bios setting)

So... i got my old PSU and tried it again... all seems ok again... played a game for about 2 hours and no restarts.. solid..

I put all my old parts back in the case and still solid... the only thing I actually did was dust the inside (and it wasn't very dusty to begin with), buy a REAL surge protector with joules, and then reset the bios...

Now I'll return the almost $1000 worth of hardware.. (two stores so it doesn't look as bad)

Though... thoughts on either...
      Can the bios be changed from the OS level?
      Can power strips with no surge protection cause any issues I have been seeing?

Last and most basic thought is that maybe a small piece of dust was grounding some hot circuit to the case...
      Any filters out there that can protect the insides of the cast from large pieces of dust? My case is on the floor and I would like to keep it there. But I know on top of a desk is way better... I just dont want to take more desk real estate.
>>    Can the bios be changed from the OS level?<<< sure it can; you can even flash it
  >>  Can power strips with no surge protection cause any issues I have been seeing?   <<   power spikes and problems can cause almost anything
you may have have trouble with capacitors in mobo or PS, and after a while they loose the load, and get functional.   PS'es can go into protect by spikes
dust - normally - is not conductive, and does not harm, unless it blocks the cooling

Andrew MaurerAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the input. I'll hold on to my replacement hardware for awhile just in cause it is a capacitor issue.
seems your hot card put the PS in protection

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