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Thread: Motherboard / PSu problem...




  1. #1
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    A friend came to me with this problem today...

    After working fine for 2 months, his computer started pumping out a very strong burnt smell... Nothing software related was having problems, the computer was running fine, but we shut it off none the less and opened it up... We discovered all 4 of the red wires had began to burn causing the red wire insulation to bubble near (and inside the large molex connection) that connects the power supply to the motherboard. It has seemed to fuse the two together making it impossible to disconnect the power supply from the mobo. Just the red wires were affected...

    We built his computer about 2 months ago (early december), and it had worked fine ever since. The motherboard is an Epox 8KHA, with a 1.4 T-Bird, 256 Megs of Micron DDR.... Matrox G450 (dual video out) Netgear NIC, and a Generic Modem. None of the parts seem to be harmed, like I said everything was working fine, even as these wires were being burnt.

    I have been using google in an attempt to find a schematic of the motherboard connection, to find out what the red wires do, but I have had no luck.

    Everything in the computer appears perfectly normal, except for the burnt insulation on the 4 red wires (burning only occured within 1 centimeter of the translucent connection) and clearly burned a dark line down to the motherboard through both halves of the translucent connector....

    On the back of the motherboard very faint burn marks can be seen near where the wires come though the mobo and stick slightly out the back.

    Anyone know what went wrong? My buddy is ready to buy a new powersupply and mobo, but wouldn't mind a replacement from MWave if it can be determined that it was faulty. The power supply was new, as was everything in the computer, 300 watt, AMD approved.

    *shrug*

    No lightning strikes, no other wierd stuff, i dunno... We got the stuff from MWave, any suggestions on how to treat a return situation with them would be appreciated...

    pretty wierd ehh? Any Ideas?

  2. #2
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    hehe, maybe you need another fan for the atx connector ?!

    This is unlikely to be the problem but if the connector on the supply was a bit dodgy it could have been arcing and getting hot etc. Otherwise the only other thing I can think of it that too much current was being drawn from the supply. That doesn't seem right because the psu should detect this and shut down. Maybe the ATX connector had the pin out wrong ??? That just sounds too stupid to be the cause but once again the psu should detect this and shut down. maybe the case or something was shorting but as I said before shorely the psu would detect this !

    I dunno ! Red to my mind generally means a positive voltage rail. If it was and it was having problems the psu should detect too much current and turn off so maybe it isn't. What pin number on the connector is it ?

    Anyway there you have it, a useless answer with lots of words !

    I'm thinking someone should try answering this !
    WooHoo !! I at long last have a job ! Yay for me !


    ----------------- Proof I think FAR too much ----------------

    How does the headless horseman see where he's going ???

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your thoughts Frodge...

    connector on the supply was a bit dodgy
    Nope, it was solidly connected, firmly in place, so snug in fact that with a little bit of heat now i can't get it apart.

    Otherwise the only other thing I can think of it that too much current was being drawn from the supply
    I really doubt that, It had been running for 2 months with out a problem what so ever, and there really wasn't anything drawing alot of power... just the cards i mentioned, 1 7200 drive, a cd-rom and cd-r, and some fans, but they weren't plugged into the mobo for power...

    Maybe the ATX connector had the pin out wrong ???
    Like I said it had been running fine for 2 months...

    maybe the case or something was shorting
    I looked for marks and whatnot and found none, nothing had been added to the computer in the recent past... no changes made recently...

    maybe the case or something was shorting
    EVERY red wire connecting to the motherboard from the PSu... total of 4... I could look up pin #'s but i'm assuming the color choices are a standard...

  4. #4
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    Is it possible that perhaps your friend was the victim of a power surge/fluctuation on the outlet the PSU is plugged into?
    The reason a diamond shines so brightly is because it has many facets which reflect light.

  5. #5
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    I thought of that too, but we are in the same building, our circuit breakers are in the same box, and nothing happened to his laptop, or any of my computers...

    And everything was working fine !!! which really gets me... I'm convinced that if we put it back together and turned it on, everything would work..... well maybe not everything now, heh, something is definatly wrong, but I bet it would boot into windows...

  6. #6
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    The read wires are all +5V DC. I agree with Mr. C that its probably a power fluctuation/spike or maybe a short in the PSu due to a critter crawling in there.

  7. #7
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    No chance of any critter walking around in it.. hehe

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    yeah I know, dodgy thoughts ! The main reason i didn't suggest a surge is that something like that would surely fry something (other than the wires). Regarding the dodgy connector, I wasn't refering to the plastic casing but to the the metal contact inside the plastic. They're often not as good as they should be.

    Not that it matters 'cas I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be it. Hmmm, 2nd reply in this post and I still haven't got a clue... why am I bothering !
    WooHoo !! I at long last have a job ! Yay for me !


    ----------------- Proof I think FAR too much ----------------

    How does the headless horseman see where he's going ???

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrodgE
    Regarding the dodgy connector, I wasn't refering to the plastic casing but to the the metal contact inside the plastic. They're often not as good as they should be.

    !
    This would be my guess. slightly defective, gets warm, resistance goes up, gets warmer.
    other choice would be a motherboard defect, just took a while to fail, but Epox has pretty good QC.
    Try another power supply, keep the case open and check the temp. for a while

  10. #10
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    also, check for dust , moisture, etc. Unless the power supply had way undersized wiring, melting the insulation implies a serious short. (more than a brief arc "should" do)

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