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Flash from computer, then restart. How to locate problem.


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#1 Jakob_KH

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 07:25 AM

Hi.

 

I have a relatively new gaming computer (bought October last year). Up until today it has worked flawlessly, but today when I was playing a game (Fallout 4) there suddenly came a flash/spark from the computer. The computer the immediately restarted and began booting up.

 

I held the start button for 5 seconds to force an emergency shutdown and then unplugged the computer. At this time there was a clear smell of burned electronics. I then opened the computer case and had a look inside to see whether I could locate the component that had caused the problem.

 

The inside of the case was rather dusty, but nothing looked visibly damaged. I removed the dust, plugged in the computer and tried restarting. It booted up without problems (only thing was that my desktop background had disappeared, but I think this was due to the crash, so the computer had not shut down correctly).

 

First thing I checked was the GPU temperature. It was around 45 degrees Celcius (so it has problably been around 55-60 degrees when the crash happened). So, well within the safe spectrum.

 

Right now the computer has been running without problems for around 30 minutes. I'm backing up my files and not doing anything graphics intensive.

 

So, of course this has me spooked. I have never had a computer flash/spark before, and I would like to locate the problem - is it the GPU, the PSU, a small spider that had crawled into the PSU or something completely different.

 

How do I go about trying to locate the problem?

 

---

 

System specs:

(Acer Predator G3-710)

Intel i7-6700 3,4 GHz

Windows 10

16 GB RAM

GPU: GeForce GTX1080 (8 GB RAM)

 

Jakob



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#2 Jakob_KH

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 11:02 AM

A small update:

 

The computer has now been running for around four hours without problems. I have been browsing, watching YouTube and playing Fallout 4 (for about ½-3/4 hour). During this I have kept an eye on the GPU temperature. The highest temperature was 65 degrees Celcius (while playing Fallout 4).

 

I'm no expert by far, but I have been thinking:

 

When the flash/spark came, the computer immediately restarted (as in: less than a second). This happened without any BSOD or other error message.

So, to me (= no expert) this points more towards the PSU than the GPU. The behaviour in a sense was what I would expect if i went and quickly switched the power for the computer off and on. I would expect that a GPU error would cause the computer to stagger, freeze or something similar, not make an immediate reboot without error message.

 

It WAS rather dusty behind the computer (it's standing on a wooden floor under a table), so perhaps too much dust had made it's way into the PSU casing?

 

I would like to hear what your thoughts are on this.

 

If dust is the culprit, how can I keep the PSU clean in the future (it's in a casing with rather small holes after all)?

 

Jakob



#3 MDD1963

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 07:25 PM

I'd be removing what side panels you can, and vigorously shaking it looking for loose screws/washers, etc, to fall out...

 

Also check that there is not an extra unwanted standoff underneath mainboard...

 

Is said system liquid cooled? (Check carefully for leaks)

 

Other than that, if it seems to work now, not much you can do but to wait for problem to recur.


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#4 Jakob_KH

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 12:45 AM

It's not liquid cooled, and there doesn't seem to be any loose components/screws etc.

 

Right now it seems to be working, so I hope it was just dust or a small spider that got grilled in the PSU. In that case, I will just need to dust off more often.






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