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Strange issue should i be concerned

helldenhellden Member UncommonPosts: 21

I put this system together around Christmas last year

Asrock 970 extreme4 mb

fx6350

Corsair 600m

8gb ram

had an Asus GTX 660 Direct CU Which died a horrible death about 2 months ago am currently using an old card I had from a previous machine a gtx550ti.

 

The issue I had with the card a couple of months ago is I was just sitting here playing some Borderlands 2 when my video card simply caught on fire, while this was quite a surprise and quite the scary moment  until it went out it did not seem to do any damage to anything else in the machine.

I have been running with my old card fine for a couple of months now without issue until today when I get home I hit the power switch the pc boots to the windows screen then throws an error stating there is a problem and windows needs to restart.

So it tries to restart only this time i hear a fan running but never get a display and the pc fails to boot and powers down within a few seconds. So at this point i decide to have a look inside the case to see what is what. Upon opening the case i see right away that my cpu fan is hanging at an odd angle. Upon further inspection i discover that the plastic tip where the latch on the fan connects to the cpu fan mounting  bracket base on the motherboard is melted at the very tip and i am unable to attach the cooler to the cpu.

I have since went and purchased a new cooler to replace the stock cooler that i wanted to replace anyway and all seems to be well. But i have to wonder how there was enough heat generated to melt the tip of the fan base mounting bracket its not like anything touches it other than the clip attached to the fan that snaps it into place.I also keep my pc free of dust by blowing it out rather it needs it or not every few weeks.

Have any of you had a similar experience and could there be an issue happening here that im not aware of. Between the video card catching on fire and now this im kind of uneasy about the whole situation.

 

 

Comments

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,059

    Common, unfortunately.

    YOu had one component die. Quite spectacularly.

    Stuff almost never dies alone in a computer. One thing frying loves to bring friends along - and not always immediately.

    It's a very good chance that your power supply was the initial culprit. Eventually it fried your video card, and now your seeing your motherboard/RAM are on the fritz. Problem is, that's very hard to prove or test for (apart from just throwing hardware at it and watching it continue to catch on fire after a bit).

    It's also possible your power supply is fine (although they are typical culprits), your video card bit the dust, and now your motherboard?RAM/something else is just going because it's time.

    Either way - I do not recommend putting any more money into this PC. Start saving for the next build.

    *edit*

    after reading it a bit more carefully - you may get lucky and broken CPU heatsink was just an odd coincidence. I still wouldn't throw any more money at it, but you may have lucked out

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,094
    There's something seriously wrong, and I'd suspect that both of those problems have the same underlying cause.  Melting plastic when there shouldn't even be major electronics there is very strange.  I'd suspect some sort of power weirdness, whether it's caused by the motherboard, the power supply, or the electricity supply from the wall.
  • Peer_GyntPeer_Gynt Member UncommonPosts: 79
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    There's something seriously wrong, and I'd suspect that both of those problems have the same underlying cause.  Melting plastic when there shouldn't even be major electronics there is very strange.  I'd suspect some sort of power weirdness, whether it's caused by the motherboard, the power supply, or the electricity supply from the wall.

    It sounds like some component is grounding out on the computer case. This is a very dangerous situation as you could potentially electrocute yourself trying to tech this issue. In this instance I would recommend professional help.

    image

  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 6,422

    A GPU can short-circuit, and produce a lot of smoke or even a bit of fire as result. While it's rare, it's often just the GPU and one shouldn't be too concerned about it.

    But what melted plastic and how did that happen?

    Two incidents like that with a single computer is one incident too much. I'd recommend replacing your motherboard + PSU just to be careful, and using a surge protector wouldn't hurt either. It's not just about whether the computer works correctly, but also a safety issue if there's something that melted plastic and started a small fire. Better to err on the side of caution instead of waiting and seeing if it happens third time.

     
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,094
    Actually, if you want to try to diagnose it yourself, first physically unplug the computer from the wall.  Then open up the case and look for anything that could cause a short circuit.  If you dropped a screw and lost it while assembling the computer, that can do weird things if it touches parts and completes circuits that shouldn't be there.  Assuming you mean a Corsair CX600M as your power supply, that's modular, so any power cables that aren't needed to attach to anything should be pulled out of the case entirely so they can't touch things and complete circuits that shouldn't be there.
  • helldenhellden Member UncommonPosts: 21

    Thanks for the feedback you worded it much better than I did, the part that melted simply screws on to the motherboard and is not connected to anything that should have power connected to it hence why I thought it was quite strange.

    I don't doubt that I may have failing power supply or other components but it doesn't make sense that they caused the melting issue more likely that if they are failing it is due to some sort of short due to a hot wire making contact to something it shouldn't, or the wall outlet itself.

    I did pull everything apart today and did discover that the way I had the main power cable from the power supply routed could  be an issue, I don't see any damage to it but it was ran in a compromising position behind the motherboard and close enough to one of the screws that connect the mb to the case that I could see that it would be possible that that cable could be pinched between the case and the screw creating a major issue, not sure how I missed this initially.

    I rerouted that cable and a few others while it doesn't look as clean as before I am  positive there is no chance of them being compromised also replaced my old surge protector that has been around for years. Hopefully I haven't ruined everything but if so I guess it could have been much worse.

     

  • HulluckHulluck Member UncommonPosts: 830
    Don't see how the cable was the culprit pinched or not. If its casing is intact not cracked freyed split whatever it wasnt the cause of a short. Unless you are 100% sure you got the culprit I wouldn't trust any of those components. Might end up loosing more than PC parts next time.  Take the above advice toss everything and build new.   I leave my system on 24/7 just would trust any of that stuff.  
  • ReizlaReizla Member RarePosts: 4,083
    Originally posted by Ridelynn

    Common, unfortunately.

    YOu had one component die. Quite spectacularly.

    Stuff almost never dies alone in a computer. One thing frying loves to bring friends along - and not always immediately.

    It's a very good chance that your power supply was the initial culprit. Eventually it fried your video card, and now your seeing your motherboard/RAM are on the fritz. Problem is, that's very hard to prove or test for (apart from just throwing hardware at it and watching it continue to catch on fire after a bit).

    It's also possible your power supply is fine (although they are typical culprits), your video card bit the dust, and now your motherboard?RAM/something else is just going because it's time.

    Either way - I do not recommend putting any more money into this PC. Start saving for the next build.

    *edit*

    after reading it a bit more carefully - you may get lucky and broken CPU heatsink was just an odd coincidence. I still wouldn't throw any more money at it, but you may have lucked out

    Can agree with it completely. On my previous motherboard (ASUS M4N72-E) one of 2 GPUs burned through and ever since I've had problems with the board and more specifically the northbridge getting too hot. I was lucky that that was the only problem and that the board lasted an other 3 years till the northbridge started to act up more and more. Early this year I had to replace it.

    @OP - I have an Asrock board now as well in my PC, and though it's said they are good now, I won't recommend it to anyone. Compared to the ASUS boards I used to have, the Asrock feels very cheap in production (both GPU safety pins have already broken form the slot) and the temperature in general comes out around 15-20% higher than with the ASUS board.

    My guess is that as Ridelynn mentioned, if one thing goes, more will go, and with a board as cheap in production as Asrock makes them, it's pretty sure that the bridges are dead and (I hope not) the CPU has had it's fair share of damage as well.

  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 6,422
    Originally posted by hellden

    I don't doubt that I may have failing power supply or other components but it doesn't make sense that they caused the melting issue more likely that if they are failing it is due to some sort of short due to a hot wire making contact to something it shouldn't, or the wall outlet itself.

    I did pull everything apart today and did discover that the way I had the main power cable from the power supply routed could  be an issue, I don't see any damage to it but it was ran in a compromising position behind the motherboard and close enough to one of the screws that connect the mb to the case that I could see that it would be possible that that cable could be pinched between the case and the screw creating a major issue, not sure how I missed this initially.

    I rerouted that cable and a few others while it doesn't look as clean as before I am  positive there is no chance of them being compromised also replaced my old surge protector that has been around for years. Hopefully I haven't ruined everything but if so I guess it could have been much worse.

    1. Wires are insulated, they won't cause any trouble due to "compromising position". If a wire is causing trouble, then it has to be damaged.

    You can repair a wire that has broken insulation with electrical tape or other tape that insulates electricity. If the metal part is damaged then you'd better to change the whole wire.

    2. Wires don't get hot. If a wire gets hot then there's something seriously wrong

     
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,059


    Originally posted by Vrika
    2. Wires don't get hot. If a wire gets hot then there's something seriously wrong

    Actually, they do get hot. You are right, it's usually an indication that something is wrong, but it's normal for a cable carrying current to heat up.

    It's called I-squared-R losses (or sometimes more simply line loss). A wire, no matter how big or how short or what material, has some internal resistance. The higher the resistance of the line (which has to do with it's construction, the gauge/thickness of the wire, and to a very small degree the orientation of the wire), and proportional to the square of the current you put through the line, the more voltage you will "lose", and that loss is seen as an increase in the temperature of the wire.

    This is why superconductors (which have no line loss), and fiber optics to a lesser extent, are such a big deal.

    It's normal for wires to get warm, if they are carrying a good amount of current. They shouldn't get hot though - that means they are carrying too much current (a sign of a short or overloaded circuit), or are inadequately sized.

    As for damaged wires - yes, if the insulation has been nicked, you can just repair it with some electrical tape and be ok. If a wire has severely overheated, it can melt or burn the insulation entirely (this has a fairly distinct and noticeable odor to it), and that has to be replaced. If the copper/aluminum of the cable has been damaged significantly, you can repair it by cutting that part out and re-splicing, but it's better to replace it if you can.

    If a wire got hot enough to melt the plastic heat sink assembly, it probably got hot enough to melt the vinyl insulation around the wire, and you'd see a pretty cooked wire in there somewhere. Traces on PCB cards (motherboards, etc) act just like wires as well, and they are subject to the same overheating - you would see the varnish on the PCB bubbled up, and possibly the board itself look torched.

  • HulluckHulluck Member UncommonPosts: 830
    Originally posted by Ridelynn

     


    Originally posted by Vrika
    2. Wires don't get hot. If a wire gets hot then there's something seriously wrong

     

    Actually, they do get hot. You are right, it's usually an indication that something is wrong, but it's normal for a cable carrying current to heat up.

    It's called I-squared-R losses (or sometimes more simply line loss). A wire, no matter how big or how short or what material, has some internal resistance. The higher the resistance of the line (which has to do with it's construction, the gauge/thickness of the wire, and to a very small degree the orientation of the wire), and proportional to the square of the current you put through the line, the more voltage you will "lose", and that loss is seen as an increase in the temperature of the wire.

    This is why superconductors (which have no line loss), and fiber optics to a lesser extent, are such a big deal.

    It's normal for wires to get warm, if they are carrying a good amount of current. They shouldn't get hot though - that means they are carrying too much current (a sign of a short or overloaded circuit), or are inadequately sized.

    As for damaged wires - yes, if the insulation has been nicked, you can just repair it with some electrical tape and be ok. If a wire has severely overheated, it can melt or burn the insulation entirely (this has a fairly distinct and noticeable odor to it), and that has to be replaced. If the copper/aluminum of the cable has been damaged significantly, you can repair it by cutting that part out and re-splicing, but it's better to replace it if you can.

    If a wire got hot enough to melt the plastic heat sink assembly, it probably got hot enough to melt the vinyl insulation around the wire, and you'd see a pretty cooked wire in there somewhere. Traces on PCB cards (motherboards, etc) act just like wires as well, and they are subject to the same overheating - you would see the varnish on the PCB bubbled up, and possibly the board itself look torched.

    Sounded more like the op was guessing in that last post. I could be wrong. But it rang alarm bells.. Shouldnt be to hard to narrow down the cause of a short like the op describes. Whatever, just saw it and was bored waiting for others to get back from Daytona Biketoberfest.

  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 6,422
    Originally posted by Ridelynn

     


    Originally posted by Vrika
    2. Wires don't get hot. If a wire gets hot then there's something seriously wrong

     

    Actually, they do get hot. You are right, it's usually an indication that something is wrong, but it's normal for a cable carrying current to heat up.

    It's called I-squared-R losses (or sometimes more simply line loss). A wire, no matter how big or how short or what material, has some internal resistance. The higher the resistance of the line (which has to do with it's construction, the gauge/thickness of the wire, and to a very small degree the orientation of the wire), and proportional to the square of the current you put through the line, the more voltage you will "lose", and that loss is seen as an increase in the temperature of the wire.

    Yes, you're right. They do heat up.

    My point is, normally the heat generated is so little you don't even notice. If a cable gets hot then there's something wrong.

     
  • helldenhellden Member UncommonPosts: 21

    Ok so here we are two months later and  all seems to be normal no more fires or component failure , even bumped the fx6350 to  a stable 4.5 ghz since i got a new cooler, figured it would either finish the sytem off or not.

    I would love to upgrade my gtx 550ti that i have been using since the original card failed, however  i  am still leery of spending money on a card because i still don't fully understand what caused the original issue. was the card that failed just a bad card? that still does not explain the melting of the cpu cooler mounting bracket , unless when the capacitor popped on the card it  got some hot stuff on it that i didnt notice? .

    i did replace my aging surge protector could the old one have played a role?  Should i still wait and build something new or is two months of trouble free use worth chancing a new card.

     

     

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,059

    Sometimes shit just happens. It's always possible it was aliens, or gravitational pull of the moon, or an errant rodent, or the tsunami in asia.

    Regardless, it's nothing obvious that you did wrong, or obviously wrong with your computer. I'd say try it, get something with a nice warranty, and you always have the warranty to fall back on if Atlantians do come and sabotoge it again.

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