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Power Supply Fried, New One Not Working?


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16 replies to this topic

#1 Ryyan

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 04:16 PM

Hello all, this is my first post here. :busy:

Recently, I was thrust into the position of in-house tech for a non-profit organization.
(The last employee who did this went to law school and I only helped him from time to time on bigger jobs, but mostly I did videos and graphics when I worked here.)
So now I have a much larger responsibility on my hands. We have two servers, and about 80 networked devices in three different buildings.
I say all that so I can make note of the fact that I am under qualified.
I just turned 19, I'm studying Comp Sci for my second year in college, but I'm somewhat lost when it comes to certain tasks within my job.

For example:

Yesterday an employee came to my office to tell me that his computer had been acting up for a few days and that it shot sparks out of the back and stopped working not long ago. I said I would look at it.
I pulled the case open and it smelled like something was burnt. I suspected the power supply so I pulled it out and opened the casing. Sure enough, there were a few melted/blown components within it.
Obviously I needed a new one. Today I went out and got one with 520 watts (about 70 more than the last one) in case the blown one was overloaded.
I stuck it in the case, screwed it down, attached all the necessary cables and turned it on. Nothing. I doubled checked my work. Nothing. Read the troubleshooting guide in the user's manual. Nothing.
It's 110V~120V and it's receiving power, but nothing happens. No fans turn on or anything.
Is it possible something other than the PSU was blown? There is a light on the mobo, so I think that's okay. But I really don't know.

Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

Ryan

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#2 rotor123

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 04:30 PM

There is some sort of a hardware failure there.

Not a good sign when you say I suspected the power supply so I pulled it out and opened the casing. Sure enough, there were a few melted/blown components within it.

AT this point strip down the computer to the bare minimum. Make sure the only wires from the power supply go to the motherboard, Most likely a 24 pin and a 4 or 8 pin.
Unplug the power to the drives, test.
Remove any add in cards, test.
Remove memory, test.
Unplug the 24 pin and the 4 pin and the rest of the wires. Jumper the Black and green wires and the power supply should turn on. The fan should run. If that doesn't happen then bad power supply. Technical explanation, The Black is the Common lead for voltages etc. The Green is the PSON lead, Power Supply On lead. A paper clip works for that quite good.

I suspect that something got shorted when the old power supply melted down so spectacularly.
A Power supply will not turn on if it detects a short (Overload).

Slight chance of a bad power supply too, even a new one, I have seen it, Rarely.

If still no Joy we can move one further.

What make and Model is it? OR make and model of Motherboard if not a brand name.

Thanks
Roger

Edited by rotor123, 27 September 2012 - 04:49 PM.

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#3 Ryyan

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 04:48 PM

Thank you for your fast reply!

I followed your suggestions to the letter without any result.
Is it possible the processor out went with the PSU?
Or maybe the motherboard did overload, but the flashing light on it works anyways?
Any other ideas?

----

Ah, some how I missed this part:
"Unplug the 24 pin and the 4 pin and the rest of the wires. Jumper the Black and green wires and the power supply should turn on. The fan should run. If that doesn't happen then bad power supply. Technical explanation, The Black is the Common lead for voltages etc. The Green is the PSON lead, Power Supply On lead. "
Let me check that...

Edited by Ryyan, 27 September 2012 - 04:49 PM.


#4 rotor123

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 04:51 PM

Well You may have missed some of my reply as I was away and just finished adding on (editing) the reply.

Generally those lights do not flash, that sounds as if the power supply is detecting a short and cycling to protect itself.

Roger

Edited by rotor123, 27 September 2012 - 04:59 PM.

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#5 Ryyan

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 05:22 PM

Well, I jumpered it and it worked fine.

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#6 rotor123

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 05:31 PM

How deep do you want to go at this point it seems that the Motherboard or the CPU or both are fried since You Pulled all add in card, Memory, Power to the drives.

One or two things left to test, Unplug the keyboard and mouse and any USB devices.

All that should be left is Motherboard and CPU, no memory even with the 24pin and 4 pin if it doesn't turn on then and the motherboard light keeps flashing, not good. At that point you are down to deciding if you want to test the other parts separately or do data recovery on the drive.

Computer make and Model? Many Dells for example have diagnostic lights that may be helpful.

You can wait a day or so and see anybody else has any ideas. That pretty much exhausts what I would try if it were mine.

Good Luck
Roger

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#7 Textbook

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 05:33 PM

Many times when a computer experiences power issues, the motherboard goes with it. In some cases, you can see bulging, blown, or leaking capacitors on the motherboard. While your failure was spectacular, capacitor plague also happens over time (talking years). I have seen this issue before. We had a store hit by lightning and it fried the motherboard of all three computers. So much for APC battery backups power protection...

Take a look at the capacitors on the motherboard. The top of every single one should be both visually flat and flat to the touch. The bottom of each one should be flush with the printed circuit board. If you can see any that are domed or bulging, or you can see the rubber piece pushing out of the bottom of the capacitor, replace the motherboard.

#8 Ryyan

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 05:40 PM

It's a custom built rig. The only identifier I see is that the motherboard was made by Asus.

So if the computer is basically shot, how easy is it to just transfer the hard drive to another computer?
I assume that's the drive recovery you were talking about in you last post?

#9 Ryyan

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 06:15 PM

I just found out this system is at least six years old.
(It has a floppy drive. Lol.)
But apparently it was pretty expensive in its day.

Take a look at the capacitors on the motherboard. The top of every single one should be both visually flat and flat to the touch. The bottom of each one should be flush with the printed circuit board. If you can see any that are domed or bulging, or you can see the rubber piece pushing out of the bottom of the capacitor, replace the motherboard.


Well there were a few things on the motherboard that both looked and felt domed, but like I said, I don't exactly know what I'm doing...

So if the computer is basically shot, how easy is it to just transfer the hard drive to another computer?
I assume that's the drive recovery you were talking about in you last post?

I'll research this.

On another note, do you think Bestbuy would accept the return of this PSU? :P

And thanks again for the help guys!

Edited by Ryyan, 27 September 2012 - 06:16 PM.


#10 rotor123

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 06:15 PM

That would be one way, Hook it up in an identical computer, Boot off of it and copy anything of value to the server. Or put it as a second drive and do likewise. And hope the drive is not fried too.

I had a brother whose power supply blew and took out everything. That is a extreme case however, I have replaced power supplies that that shot out flames and all was well after replacement. You never know that is why we check everything.

Generally on a ASUS motherboard the model is in big print between the slots.

Do you want to repair or just salvage parts? The Motherboard model will help with that.

Cheers
Roger

Edited by rotor123, 27 September 2012 - 06:16 PM.

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#11 rotor123

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 06:18 PM

www.badcaps.net has examples of bad capacitors on the right hand side, lots of information on that subject there.

You will have to read the receipt for that return information.
Roger

Edited by rotor123, 27 September 2012 - 06:19 PM.

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#12 Ryyan

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 06:21 PM

www.badcaps.net has examples of bad capacitors on the right hand side, lots of information on that subject there.

You will have to read the receipt for that return information.
Roger


Oh, I see.
I felt all of the capacitors. Only one was bulged. The rest were still flat.

Does one bad capacitor mean replace the whole motherboard?

#13 Textbook

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 08:22 PM

The capacitors are one example of motherboard failure but really, it could have failed anywhere.

Have you tested the power supply in another computer? It really doesn't sound like a bad power supply. If the power supply works in another computer, then do the following (what rotor123 already said). Just power supply, motherboard, and cpu. No optical drives, no hard drives, no floppy drives, no memory, no video cards, no pci cards, no keyboard, no mouse, no cables at all. If just hooking up motherboard and cpu alone to the power supply still doesn't turn on, the motherboard is dead. In that configuration, it should still power on and beep an error code (usually 3 beeps) due to the no memory.

How do you want to proceed? At 6 years old, the price of an identical motherboard to repair the system may be too much for the performance you'd be getting out of it. On the other hand, if this worker is very particular about the way he had his system is set up and doesn't care about performance, then it may be worth it. We would have to know the model number of the motherboard.

If you won't be repairing, throw the drive into either an external enclosure or hook it up as a second drive in a working computer to back up all the files. To be safe, when I do this, I do a full copy of everything on the drive using RichCopy.

#14 rotor123

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 09:21 AM

Simple answer is yes one bad capacitor could stop a motherboard from working. It depends on where it is. IN you case it is just a likely that the old power supply fried the motherboard. Tat is why the further tests.

Cheers
Roger

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#15 MDTechService

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 09:42 AM

Just a thought. I someone posted "fried CPU or mobo". It is very rare that the processor itself is bad. It is more commonly the motherboard, and in a case like this if the the CPU is fried, I'd bet my next paycheck the board is to. That said, it is less expensive to replace the motherboard first. If the CPU still works, good. If it doesn't, you would have had to replace the board anyway.
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