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Old 08-03-2012, 10:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
Newb Techie
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: New Zealand
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Default Motherboard AND Hard Drive fail

Hey guys

A friend's computer stopped working and I was asked to fix it. The computer case had EXCESSIVE dust and cobwebs in it which were also all over the motherboard. They had the computer plugged into a zap catcher power board which I have not examined and so cannot comment on its effectiveness.

It turned out that the motherboard was dead. PSU, CPU and RAM all still working. Because I was unable to find a new Socket AM2 board I replaced the motherboard, CPU and RAM.

After installing Windows 7, security updates and some other software I started getting S.M.A.R.T. errors from the Seagate SATA hard drive both in Windows and BIOS during POST. The hard drive has been RMA'd (waiting for replacement to arrive).

Because the motherboard was fried and the hard drive failing I suspected the generic 350W PSU so tested it using a multimeter. All readings (including under load) are within the tolerance range.

So...
What is most likely to have killed the motherboard AND hard drive? Just a coincidence that both failed at the same time? Doesn't seem likely.

Any help is much appreciated.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
Lord Techie
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Default Re: Motherboard AND Hard Drive fail

Power surge, then heat would be the most like culprits. Heat due to dust/cobwebs. Power surge due to the lack of a quality PSU.

Also, creepy crawlies crawling on the PCB can sometimes cause shorts and eventually fry components, especially once they start webbing things up, because the web of some spiders is highly conductive.
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