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Fried motherboard... but fried power supply?


Can you handle this?
Hello experts, I could use some advice.

Two computers exist. Computer A and computer B. Computer B's power supply is 500W, 12v, Aspire model Atx-AS500W.

Computer A's power supply gave off a big stink and computer A ceased to boot.

I took computer B's power supply and put it in computer A, now power supply B gave off a small stink quickly and I immediated powered off hoping to minimize damages.

Taking a risk, I put power supply B back in computer B and it worked fine, still works fine, and hasn't smelled again. Power supply B is only 2 months old but only had a 1 month warrenty (which is why it was on sale). Given that it only made a stink for an instant and then was powered off and that it now appears to work without trouble, I'd really like to keep power supply B. I'm a college student and have no money, but I don't want to end up with more fried computer equipment which would cost me even more money. What's your opinion? What's been your experiences with this?

Thanks guys,


The Donger Need Food!!!!
Political User
sounds like something with computer a is making the smell and not the PSU...have you tried PSU a in computer b?


The Voices Talk to Me
Well sorry to say but it only takes >10th of a second to do damage. If it still works like you say, it is probley ok, but you have certainly reduced the PSU's life, and have increased the risk to the components powered by it. That is about the best I can say to ya. You might check with manufacture and see if you can RMA it for replacement. It is a long shot but you never know.

BTW, in the future you might take a bit of time in determining why a piece of equipment fails before tossing another one at it.


I would clean it out firstly, get rid of all the dust.

Then remove the battery to the motherboard for a few minutes, about 10, put the battery back, goto bios if you can and do an optimal bios, no over clocking or that.

Then try again.


The One and Only
Just think it through. There could be more reasons why it didn't boot than just the power supply. for all you know, that "big stink" could have been something else, and the PSU fan just pulled the smell out of the case. i already had myself worried with my grandmother's PC, because after i changed the PSU, the computer still didn't boot. turns out i had the mouse and keyboard plugs in the opposite places.

Maybe somehow bare wire came in contact somewhere that it shouldn't have and shorted something out. never know, but just swapping out a part without thinking of what could happen if that wasn't the problem could be worse.


Well my reasonining was that, I set the bios by accident on this new motherboard barley 2 days old yesterday and I set it to turbo by mistake and it would not boot, just boot locked. That's why i suggested, resetting bios setting by removing battery and starting again, might be a bios problem and if like my last sytems used to pen n ink of dust and creepy crawlies that got scorched.


The Voices Talk to Me
hndlthis said:
How do I do that?
Good question! With a million and one answers. LOL. With your specific problem I would first start with checking (i.e. looking physically at each and every component) that is attacted to the system to see if anything looks shorted out, followed by the "smell test" (smelling each component to see if it smells burnt). After that (obviously removing or replacing anything that fit that category) I would reduce the system to the minimum components (Mobo, Proc., Ram, video) and attempt to get POST out if it. If you can't even get power to the system, THEN I would consider throwing another PSU at it with the minimum config to attempt POST.

Personally, I would swap out the RAM, Video (if applicable) and Processor into another know good machine one at a time. If that all checked out then I would just say that the mobo died, replace it and move on and never throw a good piece of HW at it.

My intent on my posting was to instill the presence that you need to have an idea even a guess as to what could have went wrong before throwing additonal parts "in the line of fire" before doing so. Sometimes there is so real way of telling and your only option is through trial and error.
good advise Maveric169. I'd take it even further... reduce the computer to pieces... disassemble it completely, clean every piece with a damp rag and an old toothbrush in those hard to reach areas like fan blades. While you're at it inspect everything very well. I'd go as far as pulling the power supply apart and cleaning it too. It's not as intimidating as it sounds. I wouldn't do it on carpet though (the static thang u know). Find a nice kitchen table and get to work on it. Q-tips and alcohol work a treat on fan blades and other hard to reach areas too. Main point being to handle each piece and see what you see. Discharge yourself on something that's grounded (goes w/o saying) before you handle the components... other then that just 'build' in reverse and then rebuild it. Hopefully you'll find the 'fault' or short and be able to rectify it for minimal expense. If money is as tight as you imply... shop eBay... you can 'buy it now' for around $20 and shipping will bring it to around $30 tops... still cheap compared to most retail outlets (for psu's).

Good luck and let us know what you find out.

Son Goku

No lover of dogma
Just one piece of advice. Ground yourself (as you should) with every component except the PSU. Also be careful of the capacitors (as they can hold a charge even after it's powered off and unplugged). The fan you can touch and some other areas, but the capacitors I'd be careful with. Around those, either a can of air or an air compressor would probably be the better bet. You definitely don't want the capacitors in the PSU (or some components in a CRT, though your not working in one) discharging, and making a complete circuit accross your chest (through the heart)...

I would definitely suggest being grounded with everything else though...

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