Please Tell Me I Didn't Destroy Everything...


MS-DOS 2.0
Political Access
13 Feb 2002

I tried installing an ATI Fire GL X2 256t into my Antec Performance Plus (430 W) case. Well, theoretically, that should be sufficient, right? Well, the PSU blew within seconds of me turning it on--an electric buzz and a puff of smoke. :( I had the foresight to have my slave drive completely disconnected before I turned it on, just in case something bad happened, but I completely expected everything to be okay...naturally!

So now I have to replace the PSU, obviously, but what about the rest of my computer? Has that destroyed everything that it was connected to? Motherboard? CPU? RAM? AGP/PCI cards? Hard drives? :(

What went wrong? I have an ASUS A7N8X Deluxe motherboard with 512 MB of RAM, a DVD-ROM, a DVD+-RW, a ZIP 250 drive, a 3.5" drive, 2 WD drives (with only one hooked up at the time, thankfully), a wireless G PCI card, a Promise PCI controller, a 56 K modem PCI card...did all that, plus the ATI card, overload it? :(

I feel like a complete idiot. I should have known better, but I have never had a PSU blow on me before. The good news is that, if I really did ruin everything, I can RMA the DVD+-RW, the video card, and the 250 GB drive I just bought.

So where do I go from here? :( What kind of system should I have to support this? Was it completely the fact that the PSU was too small? Or does the motherboard have problems? What should I do to rectify the situation in the future?

Thanks for your help...

sorry to say you will only find out when you have a replacement PSU, as a system builder i have seen a simple PSU cause no harm , and another write off the whole system.
So what kind of PSU does everyone suggest? I want the best there is with the highest voltage (500+ W) that can support the power demands of all that equipment.

on your motherboard.. have a look @ the capacitors around the cpu...

normally they are nice and slim and look normal..

if there is damage to the motherboard caused by current... capacitors change shape and become "fatter"

thats a tell-tale sign of damage... its also the only thing you can check w/o having to install or buy anything else... tbh I would be surprised if there was damage since more modern mobo's have various safety features...

btw if it makes you feel any better my antec psu died on friday :(

the psu you had should have been more than sufficient m8... though given the requirements for the coming gpu's I would suggest you try out 480W and above as your min... my new one is 500+ while I await antec's fulfilling theri warranty...
Well, luckily, they all look normal, as far as I can tell. So, if the capacitors look normal, then there is a good chance that my motherboard isn't damaged, and, thus, all my cards, drives, etc. are likely okay?

At minimum, clearly, I need a new PSU. What company makes the best? I don't know if I want to buy another Antec PSU. :rolleyes:

well its no guarantee but its better than seeing swollen caps because then you would have to change the mobo either immediately or pretty soon down the line (if it still worked)

ANTEC make good psu's though I was extremely annoyed when mine died on me :(

its the first item of hardware that has died on me other than hard-drives... ever...

/me sobs

anyways.. if you do buy antec again... consider buying only the TRUE POWER series... they have individual rails for each volt spec afaik... ie for 3.3V/5V and 12V...

makes for more stability...
What happened to you doesn't happen if you charge too much juice out of the PSU unless it's shorted. So no, it was most probably not too small.

Something happened, something shorted. Might as well be just bad luck.
So does this mean that, if I try everything again, it will short out every PSU? That some card or drive is causing it? Or is it just a PSU fluke and it is the fault of my PSU?

I'm just attempting to make sure that this doesn't happen again when I buy a new PSU. What are people's opinions on Thermaltake or Enermax PSUs?

the thermaltake seems to have nice amps @ the different volts... :)
I just ordered the Thermaltake 560W PSU. I hope that nothing else burned out. :confused:

My first Antec True Power PSU fried on me in the first week, got it replaced under warrenty and haven't had a problem since. Parts can be bad right out of the box just like anything else.
Could it have been possible that you flipped the voltage setting switch at the back of the PSU accidentally? I doubt you did, but it's a possibility.
I just thought of something that *might* have done it. Tell me if you all agree.

These newer Radeon/FireGL products require extra power, and, thus, comes with a connector. The way it is set up, it looks like you are supposed to connect one end in the middle to a hard drive, another end to the card, and the last to the regular power cables. *BUT* I didn't do that. I just connected it directly to the power cables in a separate connection. As I look back, that is probably very stupid, and I didn't think of it that way; after all, ATI's documentation is very poor and there was no warning if you didn't hook it up to the hard drive. But could that have done it? I'd feel stupid if that were it, but, at least, I'd know and can move forward from here.

Anyone? I really don't wish to sound impatient; it is just that I will be getting the new PSU soon, and I'd rather not blow it again. :p

i dont think it matters if you take a plug directly from power supply to the card or split it. i think the splitting feature is there just so you dont buy a card then relize you dont have any more plugs for it. I have my ATI 9700 pro plugged straight into the power supply no problems. If anyone disagress please respond.

and on my old mobo when my power supply fried it didnt take the mobo with it. So good luck.
1). The only way you could have screwed anything is if you managed to jam two molex connectors together backwards. Make sure they are all wired correctly and the sockets are molded (shaped) properly.

2). It was an Antec, it went up in smoke and you are worried? And paying for a new power supply? BAD PLAN.

ANETC warantees their product and will replace the power supply and anything it took with it. 430 W is plenty for that system. A buddy got a new CPU, MB and power supply (inspite of the fact I think he did something wrong) when an Antec went up in smoke on him.

If I were you I'd be worried about that ATI card having a major problem. Like the 12V shorted to the 5V or the adapter cables plugging together wrong.
*sigh* I seem to be doing everything wrong. :p I will call Antec tomorrow; if they really are that helpful, I will RMA the other PSU and eat the shipping / 15% restocking fee on the other, or sell it on eBay. :p

So you think it could be a defective video card? I wish there was a way to know, without taking all the time and shipping costs to RMA everything and try again. I wish I wasn't working on such a ****ing deadline! I'm probably now going to have to live at school now, while I wait for all the warranty processing, returns, and the time it'll take them all to reship the ****. :(

No offence but my first guess would be that you plugged a power connector in backwards. It is possible. I did it once on a quad fan controller with a loose molex conenctor on it.

My second guess would be to blame the new kid on the block. That's the video card. Look for scrapes on the metal, crooked heatsinks, bulging capacitors, cracked or discolored chips by the voltage regulator, etc.

Antec and any other good power supply should have overload protection. They shutdown if you draw too much power. Smoke is not an option to an overload.

Yeah and the wait is the draw back to warantee work. I now buy cheap end stuff and toss it. Note my MB brand.

As for checking out what you have left is there anyone who would let you try your RAM and CPU in their MB? Do not try a new RAM or CPU in that MB. It's dangerous until after you prove your CPU and RAM were not fried. I keep a pile of old stuff around for just these kinds of crisis. Actually it's in my AVATAR the pile of junk on the left is a fully operational XP2000 system.

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Also Hi EP and people. I found this place again while looking through a oooollllllldddd backup. I have filled over 10TB and was looking at my collection of antiques. Any bids on the 500Mhz Win 95 fix?
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Just did some crude math and I apparently joined almost 18yrs ago, how is that possible???
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