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Old 10-18-2010, 02:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ever seen a USB cable burn up?

I have a friend whos PC I work on frequently, due to user error, and virus infestation, etc. etc. Well, this time I was told it wouldn't power up. I was under the assumption that the PSU failed, given the symptoms.
  • Smelled like burning after turning PC on
  • PC turned off after a few moments
  • Would not power back on
So, I took the PC, took the PSU out, rigged up one of mine, and same results as before. PSU obviously not the issue, as this was a BRAND NEW unit. Took the PSU, tested it on my PC just to be sure it was good, and worked without issue.
Next, I started thinking that perhaps the CPU burned up, so I started taking all the components off of the motherboard. This computer was built by a different friend of hers a few years back, and has 2x 36 Gig SCSI drives in it. The SCSI card was in a lower PCI slot, and the SCSI cable was a mess down at the bottom of the case. After getting the cable out, I immediatly saw the problem..... USB header for the front ports BURNED UP!! After looking at the front ports, hidden behind a liftable cover on the front of the case, the lowest port had the piece in the middle broken off, and the pins were all jammed up into the metal housing of the case, shorting the pins out. This caused the cable to heat up to such a magnatude that it turned black, and the copper inside turned green and crispy, and the plastic sheathing was all bubbly and nasty. So I disconnected the whole front connector assembly, 2x USB, headphone & mic ports, and wrote it off as a total loss. After getting that out, I hooked up her PSU, tried to fire up the PC, and STILL NOTHING. Then I hooked up my PSU, and it worked without issue.
I am pretty amazed. Has anyone ever seen anything like this? My biggest shock, aside from the cable being in how it is now, is that the motherboard had NO DAMAGE that I could find, yet the issue was severe enough to burn out the PSU also.
Pictures..... (sorry, if the quality is bad, phone pics....)

Here are 2 shots of the cable inside the case.




Here are 2 shots of the bent USB pins on the front of the case. You can see that the metal is all discolored near the pin farthest to the right.


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Old 10-18-2010, 02:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ever seen a USB cable burn up?

Dust that beast!!

I guess it could be possible. An over vault?
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ever seen a USB cable burn up?

Yeah, it was VERRRRRY dusty in there. I spent about 3 hours cleaning EVERYTHING in the case with isopropyl alcohol and Q-tips. There were 2 CLEAR case fans that at first glance looked like black plastic fans.... turned out they were just dusty as... well, REALLY dirty. (pics below).

Not sure what you meant by the 2nd part, but I am thinking you were wondering if anything was modded, and no, everything is completly bone stock, no mods to PSU, no mods to anything, just the fact that the pins grounded out on the chassis.




BEFORE:



AFTER:
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ever seen a USB cable burn up?

Nicely done.

Could have gotten too hot, and burned?
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Old 10-18-2010, 05:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ever seen a USB cable burn up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethereal_Dragon View Post
Yeah, it was VERRRRRY dusty in there. I spent about 3 hours cleaning EVERYTHING in the case with isopropyl alcohol and Q-tips. There were 2 CLEAR case fans that at first glance looked like black plastic fans.... turned out they were just dusty as... well, REALLY dirty. (pics below).

Not sure what you meant by the 2nd part, but I am thinking you were wondering if anything was modded, and no, everything is completly bone stock, no mods to PSU, no mods to anything, just the fact that the pins grounded out on the chassis.




BEFORE:



AFTER:
Woah. Smoker?
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ever seen a USB cable burn up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MindoverMaster View Post
I guess it could be possible. An Overvolt?
fixed

And woah, that's some seriously awesome stuff right there
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ever seen a USB cable burn up?

Meh, I was tired yesterday. But you know, did he put it in a vault over his head?
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Old 10-19-2010, 02:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ever seen a USB cable burn up?

I haven't even seen a smokers PC like that... Black "dust" is usualy damp dust that started to permit the growth of mold... That, I have seen, a lot.
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ever seen a USB cable burn up?

I'd know right away if it was mold. I'm allergic to it :P
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Old 10-19-2010, 08:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ever seen a USB cable burn up?



I never seen that before, nice job cleaning the beast.
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