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Old 11-14-2009, 03:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How sensitive are motherboard capacitors?

My mom's computer is freezing occasionally and shutting off at random intervals. At least once a day she has issues. I took a look inside and there's one capacitor on her board right by the processor that looks like it's corroded at the top. It's only a very little bit, but enough to notice if you know what you're looking for.

The only other time I ran into this issue, there were a TON of capacitors on the motherboard that were busted open at the top and corroded.

Is just a little bit of a corroded cap enough to cause the issues I'm seeing? I'm willing to bet yes - but I'm poor and want some more confirmation before I drop money on ebay for a new board for the parental unit.
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Old 11-14-2009, 03:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How sensitive are motherboard capacitors?

well a single cap leaking a small amount of acid should not stop the board from working correctly. caps are pretty easy to replace.

it's most likely sometihng else. like overheating. especially if it's a prebuilt. check the temps.

also run memtest on the ram to see if that's the problem.
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Old 11-14-2009, 04:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How sensitive are motherboard capacitors?

I'll run memtest tonight on it.

This particular computer is my old desktop computer. It never overheated on me or had any temperature problems. It too is running at decent temps now that my mother is using it.

It is running on 4 sticks of RAM, so who knows if one of them is bad. Good call though, I'll run that throughout the night tonight and see what it barfs out at me tomorrow morning.
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How sensitive are motherboard capacitors?

Memtest ran for 11 hours. No errors.

It's not overheating, memory is good, fresh install of Windows XP as of 3 weeks ago...

It's a mixture of completely freezing up without being able to do anything in Windows, as well as flat out shutting off unwarranted.

There's no pattern to it. It happens very randomly.
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How sensitive are motherboard capacitors?

If it isn't a proprietary PSU you could try another one. Maybe the juice is failing a bit. Do you have a multimeter handy to test the voltages ?
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How sensitive are motherboard capacitors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldskool View Post
If it isn't a proprietary PSU you could try another one. Maybe the juice is failing a bit. Do you have a multimeter handy to test the voltages ?
Yeah, it's not a true multimeter - It's a cheaper power supply tester, but it has a series of lights corresponding to the different voltages a PSU should barf out - and each one lights up. Granted I don't know how accurate it is, but it's an indication to me things might be okay in that department. *shrug*
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Old 11-15-2009, 07:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How sensitive are motherboard capacitors?



Pic of the capacitors on the board. The bottom capacitor has the most stuff on it but it's the hardest to see. It looks JUST like dust you see building up in a computer case, but it's not.
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How sensitive are motherboard capacitors?

I have seen this problem before on computers at my work place. I believe they were Gateways or maybe Dells. The computers would just shut down at random intervals. I replaced the capacitors and all was well. If you know how to replace them, they are cheap. You can get them at your local electronics store most likely.

The top of them should be flat. If you have any more that are bulging then you should replace them while you are there because the next step is leaking.
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How sensitive are motherboard capacitors?

RSinger - I didn't notice anybody else replied to this thread. The PC shut down twice within 10 minutes, so I pulled it again and put my spare P4 rig in place to be used.

I don't know how to replace capacitors, but I'm a big hardware fanatic. If this is something I could learn how to do from a video or something that'd be pretty awesome. Has anybody else replaced caps? Is it hard to do?
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