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Foozle 06-19-2011 10:24 AM

Motherboard fire!

I recently built a new computer and because the original memory I had purchased was too tall for my cooling fan, I ordered new memory and swapped it out yesterday. After I booted, smelled something burning and looked through case window and saw small flames coming from behind motherboard. Shut down, removed motherboard and saw that it had shorted out just behind where the memory sticks were installed. I'm posting a pic link below and also posting a link to the other thread showing my components. Link to thread showing specs:

Has anyone seen this before? Could the memory have caused it? I suspect that my horrible cable management might be partly to blame since the case cover behind the motherboard seemed to fit a bit tightly and I'm wondering if the pressure might have moved the motherboard back plate close enough to the back of the motherboard to create an arcing situation.

Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks

The new memory that I swapped in for the corsair memory: - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

Pic of the back of the motherboard showing where it shorted out:

One similar incident I found so far on the internet.

Slaymate 06-19-2011 10:59 AM

Re: Motherboard fire!
your photo link and the gametrailers link don't work. Did you have wires running behind the mobo? When you pushed the memory into their slots you may have pinched a wire behind the mobo?

Hopefully your other parts are still good, but there's not telling. I'd say take a lot of pictures but with the disorder your cables were in it will be hard to prove it wasn't caused by negligence.

Foozle 06-19-2011 11:11 AM

Re: Motherboard fire!
There were no wires between the motherboard and the backing, but there were probably wires behind the motherboard between the backing and the outer case panel. And yes I'm not ruling out that it was entirely my fault - my first build and all. It doesn't seem like the pressure would have been enough to push the metal backing all the way to the motherboard leads, but is it possible that it could have arced if it was pushed even a little closer?

I think I fixed the links. I explained the situation to Newegg and they agreed to replace the motherboard and memory. I'll have to wait to see if the CPU and other components are damaged when I get the replacement.


Slaymate 06-19-2011 12:55 PM

Re: Motherboard fire!
It's burnt right below the main 24-pin power connector. My P8P67 Deluxe mobo is oriented more or less exactly the same. I think I'll buy a bicycle inner tube and glue a piece of it right below that spot just for good measures. It's also a good idea to remove power from the computer whenever your working on it.

I looked a little closer and it's burnt right below the memory power circuitry. If some of the contacts in one or more of the slots were spaced or stretched a little to far apart, or if a stick was seated good enough to work but still not fully seated it could cause the power circuitry to run hot trying to supply voltages through a weak connection.

I have to say I'm not a fan of the Asus memory clip system, only one clip locking the module down. But I haven't actually had a problem with it, so I can't say it's the problem or that it's even a problem. But I am going to glue some rubber to my case behind that area.

Foozle 06-19-2011 01:26 PM

Re: Motherboard fire!
I was wondering whether insulating with rubber might be a good precaution. I have a scorch mark on my back plate to mark the exact spot, so at least placing the insulator will be easy. :) I'd worry a little bit about the adhesive coming loose over time and not having an easy way to inspect, but still might be worth it. Would be a nice feature if Coolermaster would make that back plate area non-conductive.

Trotter 06-19-2011 01:37 PM

Re: Motherboard fire!
I would RMA that puppy as fast as I could.

Slaymate 06-19-2011 01:46 PM

Re: Motherboard fire!
The rubber would just be a precaution because I really don't believe anything "arced". To be honest I think the memory power circuitry got to hot. How I don't know but I think one of my guesses above would be within reason. Did Newegg approve the exchange or did a Asus Representative contact you through Newegg?

Foozle 06-19-2011 01:55 PM

Re: Motherboard fire!
Newegg approved the exchange for both the motherboard and the memory (just in case on the memory). On the memory, I changed it from what I previously ordered to the one you (Slaymate) recommended in one of your posts. - G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM

It looks nearly identical to the one I had previously, but figured it might be wise to change it anyway in case there was some sort of weird incompatibility the previous version. I'm hoping the CPU, GPU and other stuff wasn't affected, but won't know until I get the new motherboard and try everything.

I agree with your assessment that it probably didn't arc, but I'll be more careful with my cable management in the future, just in case that was the cause.

Slaymate 06-19-2011 02:10 PM

Re: Motherboard fire!
keep us updated :thumbsup:

Foozle 06-24-2011 09:34 PM

Re: Motherboard fire!
I received the new motherboard and memory today and installed both, plus the NH-D14 cooling fan. I noticed that when I tried seating the memory, the non-clipped side of the memory was not fully seated initially even though the clipped side was locked down fine. I suspect that when the short happened that was the case also and I just didn't seat the memory properly. I seated properly this time and everything worked fine. The CPU is running at 27c idle and 45c or so when gaming. Improved by about 5c using the NH-D14 versus the stock cooling fan. I also did a bit better on cable management also, but probably still needs some work. Thanks for all the advice - hope my luck holds out this time around.

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