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Old 05-30-2007, 04:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default It caught on fire.. please help!!

Thanks for reading this, and I'd appreciate any help with this problem!

Well, I just built a new computer, and when I plugged it in and turned it on to see if it would work it would make a buzzing sound for about a half second and then not turn on.

I am 99.99% positive everything was hooked up correctly, and that every piece of the computer is perfectly compatible. So to try and isolate the problem, I tried unhooking everything except the power to the motherboard and the CPU fan, but it still would do the same thing and not turn on.

Next I tried increasing the voltage of the PSU to see if the issue was not enough power reaching the motherboard - so, I moved the red switch on the back of the PSU from 115 to 230.. this was a very stupid idea since I did not know what the outcome would be if it didn't do what I thought it did. When I turned the computer on again it stayed on this time - but after about 5 seconds a flame popped up from just beneath the top of the CPU fan. I quickly cut the power to the computer and opened up my current working computer to use it to test each part of the newly built one to see what was not working.

I first tested the CPU Fan in my old PC and it worked fine. Next I tested the new PC with my old power supply, and it turned on and stayed on - though it never brought up anything but a black screen. So I went ahead and put the new PC back together with its CPU fan and power supply and booted it up - it stayed on this time, but it only brought up a black screen.

So I then took off the CPU Fan and looked underneath, and I saw one of the circuits looked like it was what caught on fire (was on fire for a split second), and might be causing the motherboard to not be able to boot?

Could one of the parts have been faulty and caused this? The front panel was 100% guaranteed hooked up correctly, and was not the problem with it not turning on. Also the CPU is in correctly, tightly, and with thermal grease. I just don't get what went wrong (before I upped the PSU). Also, do you think only the motherboard was damaged by this? Does it need to be replaced?

The PC Parts are:
-(Generic PCI-E video card that doesn't require an extra power cable)
-Motherboard: ASUS P5N-E, LGA 775 Socket
-CPU: Intel Core Duo E6600 (2.4ghz)
-Case/PSU: Antec Sonata II, 450 Watt
*The case/psu combo came highly recommended, I had no intention of going with a cheap PSU if it is one

Here are some pictures of the PC:
With the cpu fan on:


With the CPU Fan off:


Close up of the spot with it labelled where the flame leapt out:


Very close up of the spot:


Thanks again,
JFrostt
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: It caught on fire.. please help!!

from the looks of it the burnt up peice (from what i can tell, you photos are to fuzzy) is a power regulator. To be honest i think you're screwed, and the only real option you have is to RMA.
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: It caught on fire.. please help!!

Have you tried the CPU on a different board? That would be the biggest thing to find out, the board is definitly shot. Can't really tell from the photo either. Also you might want to test that power supply as well. You can do so with a multi-meter, or a power supply tester, and here's a diagram of the voltages.

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Old 05-30-2007, 04:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: It caught on fire.. please help!!

Thanks for the quick replies.

I haven't tried testing the CPU out in another board yet, since my old one can't support it. I also don't have anything to test the power supply with, as its motherboard powercable is the kind with 4 extra pins, while my old computer uses the one without those 4 extra pins.

But with this motherboard, is it actually plausible that switching the 115 switch on the PSU to 230 could actually cause it to catch fire? Or was the motherboard probably faulty to begin with? I don't know too much about power supplies, but it's surprising to me that a 450W PSU could fry my mobo.

Thanks again.
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: It caught on fire.. please help!!

I can't say for sure, i've never done that. But i have had past experiences with changing the voltage on other devices, and needless to say they weren't very good, that might have damaged the power supply however. It is also very likely the board was DOA, it isn't uncommon to get a board bad out of the box.
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: It caught on fire.. please help!!

i once booted with the voltage at 230 and it didnt do destroy my system.

i'd say do an RMA.
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Old 05-30-2007, 05:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: It caught on fire.. please help!!

Alright, I'm going to RMA my motherboard.

But should I also RMA my PSU? I'm not sure that it's faulty, though I don't have a way to currently test it. It still works with the new PC put together, though the possible reason it might work now is due to the voltage regulator spot of the mobo being fried. Also, I guess it's 230V option might be faulty if it fried the mobo?

I'm also still trying to think of what was causing the PC not to boot, and to make a half second long "buzzzz" noise every time I tried to boot, when it was on 115V, before it had caught on fire. Could this have been a CPU issue? Or do you think my CPU is fine? I have no way to test my CPU on another machine sadly.

The buzz did sound like it was coming from that area of the mobo voltage regulator / bottom of the PSU / top of the CPU area. Then it caught fire. Could it be the PSU was supplying the wrong voltage all along, and the buzz was the mobo denying it the option to turn on since it was getting bad power?

Thanks again
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Old 05-30-2007, 05:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: It caught on fire.. please help!!

wait that doens't make sense..... if its at 220 V then why would it flame, when 110 V is the output in the US, something is not right
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Old 05-30-2007, 05:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: It caught on fire.. please help!!

definitely weird. However, once I plugged up a floppy drive, turned the machine on and the splug started smoking like ****, fried the board. The "something not right" in this case is the board.
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