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Strange acting PC

Posted on 2009-07-14
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Very strange PC!
I have a workstation that is an ACER Power SK30. It has been running 24/7. One day it shut down and it would not re-start. When you pushed the on/off button the CPU fan would come on for a split second and then turn off. No Blue LCD lights on the front would come on. It has all the symptoms of a bad power supply so I replaced it with a power supply from another good PC (not an ACER). I get the same symptoms. I tried with just the mother board connections installed. I still the same symptoms. Used a NEW power supply, not from Acer and still have the same problem.

Here is my question; I have heard that you have to use an ACER power supply when a replacement is necessary. Does anyone know if this is true?    
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Question by:CHFFriday
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by:rmconard
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This is typically a short somewhere on the MOBO. For 90% of all PC users it's NOT worth the time to fix, but if you have some know-how and want to take a crack at it, here's what you need to do.

1) Remove EVERYTHING from the motherboard, all connections, PCI cards, RAM, etc. Leave only the CPU and fan. Then take the motherboard out of the PC. Be sure to ground yourself first and always touch the outer metal case of the computer before any components on the inside.

2) Place the motherboard on a static free work area (I can NOT stress the importance of working in a static free area while doing this. ONE static charge and you might as well just go buy a new computer now).

3) Install 1 stick of RAM in the appropriate slot and video card (if any). If you have built-in graphics, ignore the video card.

4) Next, hook up the 24-pin and 4-pin power connectors to the motherboard. Then hook up the 6-pin power connector (optional) to the video card.

5) Plug in the power cord to the power supply and then start the MOBO. This can be done by shorting the start button.


If it won't power up after this, then there is a bigger problem and move on to the next steps. If it does power up and you see it POST, then we can assume that it was just a short caused but another 3rd party device attached to the MOBO, maybe a sound card or something else.

If it won't POST, continue with these steps:

1) Unplug the power cord.

2) Remove the quarter-sized BIOS battery from the MOBO and wait about 2 minutes to let the thing discharge. Sometimes, not often, removing the battery won't work and you'll have to follow the instructions that came with your motherboard to reset it.

*Note: Removing the BIOS battery will wipe any settings you had in your BIOS. This includes start up passwords, boot sequence, drive configuration and also the set time.


Once you do that, plug the power back in and see if it POSTS. If not, chances are it's fried.

Good luck.

-Ryan
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by:CHFFriday
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rmconard,
Thanks for the info. I will try this tonight. I was thinking about doing this also.
What do you think about the ACER power supply question?
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by:rmconard
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I honestly could not tell you.

In reality, anything is possible. If Acer did some crazy crap with their power supplies and designed them to be the only ones to fit their cases, or something like that, then sure... it could be possible.

When it comes to the motherboard, any standard power supply with a 24-pin connector will power a motherboard, regardless of manufacturer.

-Ryan
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by:CHFFriday
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rmconard,
OK! I pull the board and go from there. Will let you know.
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by:garycase
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",,, When it comes to the motherboard, any standard power supply with a 24-pin connector will power a motherboard, regardless of manufacturer. " ==> NO !!!    While that's ALMOST always true, there have been several proprietary pinouts used by both Dell and HP ... and they use the SAME ATX connector, but a different pinout.     Connecting a standard ATX power supply to one of these PC's can destroy the power supply, the motherboard, or both.    [For the most part, they've stopped doing this -- probably because of the number of damaged units caused by folks inadvertently using standard ATX power supplies as replacements.]

I don't think Acer has done this ... but you should CHECK to be sure before using a standard ATX unit.    Simply compare the pinout on the Acer power supply to a standard ATX pinout to confirm it.  

Here are the ATX pinouts:
Current 24-pin connector:    http://pinouts.ru/Power/atx_v2_pinout.shtml
Original 20-pin connector:    http://pinouts.ru/Power/atxpower_pinout.shtml
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by:CHFFriday
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garycase and rmconard
Thanks for the info. Will check this out.

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by:PCBONEZ
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A short developing in a system that's been up and running is rare.
That sort of thing usually happens when parts have been removed, replaced, or installed.

Your problem sounds typical of blown capacitors either in the PSU, on the motherboard, and to a lesser degree on the video card.
Acer is known to go cheap on caps and it's relatively easy inspect them for bloating or leakage so I would inspect them on the mobo, in the PSU and on the video card [if you have an add-in video card] before spending a lot of time chasing other possible problems.
Unfortunately not all bad caps bloat or leak so a visual inspection doesn't tell you much if you don't see obvious signs but if you do see some visually bad then a caps problem is confirmed.

Any brand -could- do it but some caps that fail without bloating fairly often are Chemicon KZG and KZJ series' and OST [any series].
.
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by:CHFFriday
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Everyone thanks for the help,

I agree with  PCBONEZ, it would not have shorted out setting there but anyway I took the motherboard out of the system and attached the power supply and a keyboard and mouse and I still have the same problem. I did not have time to check the wiring order at the plugs but will do that to night. I have some new memory coming and will try that in a few days.

There is one thing I noticed that I have never run in to, the CPU fan is attached to the motherboard buy a metal X shaped bracket that is located under the board. Could this be a cause? Maybe not shorting but stressing the board.

What do you guys think?  
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by:rmconard
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No, would have no effect.
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by:CHFFriday
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PCBONEZ,
I think I found the problem. A closer look at the Caps and I found one that is barely bloated at the top. Not very much at all.

Just for the fun of it, do you think I can buy a Cap and replace it or do you think more damage is done.


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by:garycase
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Motherboards can often be completely restored to full function by replacing the capacitors.    If the one capacitor you found is the only issue, then replacing it will likely fix the issue.

You can also have the board completely "re-capped" professionally here:  http://www.badcaps.net/pages.php?vid=2
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PCBONEZ earned 250 total points
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I recap motherboards, LCD screens, power supplies, and LCD TV's regularly.
I'm also a senior member of the badcaps.net forums.

Any bloating at all indicates the electrolyte is breaking down and gasses are forming inside the can.

The majority of the time if you have bloated caps replacing them with the RIGHT KIND fixes the problem.
Caps from Radio Shack aren't going to do it. They need to be Low ESR and 105C caps.
You should replace all of that brand that are 6mm diameter and larger.

If you can describe the bloated cap and any of the same brand please.
Numbers, logo, uF, volts, and so forth.
I will look up equivalent replacements in good brands for you.

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by:CHFFriday
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PCBONEZ,
Thanks for all the advise.

I went to the badaps web site and it is very, very good!
I have done allot of electronic soldering but none on 6 layer boards. The site gives a good explanation and how to do it. Like I said I just want to try it for the fun of it. I have a new board I can use if I mess up.

I will let you know what I need.
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by:PCBONEZ
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Acer [AOpen] likes to mix good and bad brands of caps on the same board.
Lately they seem to favor GL [aka G-Luxon] for the bad brand.
I replace G-Luxon even on brand new boards just to save the hassle later.
Most of the time G-Luxon doesn't bother to mark the series name on the caps which doesn't help much.
Since you can't look up the specs without a series name I default to Panasonic FM series which may be over-kill but you won't risk under-kill.
They are available from Digikey.com.
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