CPU exploded

By wilbo123
Dec 18, 2008
  1. about 15 minutes ago, my cpu exploded. what has been affected? motherboard? psu? cpu cooler?
    my cpu temp was 80 degrees at the time Sad i changed the voltage from 230v to 115v hoping that the power would lower the performance and KABOOM.
    please help!
    what parts can be reused?
  2. direwolf007

    direwolf007 TS Rookie Posts: 105

    You plugged in a PSU set to 115v into a 230v wall socket ? Nuts !

    There is no way to know what is affected without checking the parts in another system - unless of course there is obvious physical damage on some components. The CPU cooler is probably alright, though.
  3. wilbo123

    wilbo123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    is it safe to power it up again to retrieve a cd?
  4. direwolf007

    direwolf007 TS Rookie Posts: 105

    I wouldn't - and most CD/DVD drives can be opened manually (They have a small pin-hole with a lever inside. You push it and it opens. You can use a straightened paper clip for that). BTW, you said the CPU exploded. You sure the CPU blew up ? Pardon me for asking that, but the most likely thing in your scenario would be the PSU failing spectacularly.
  5. wilbo123

    wilbo123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    well i saw something spark, and the house mains shut down. i think it is likely that the cpu would have blown up because of its temperature. 80-90 degrees is mega hot :/ it was a pentium d 3.6ghz dual core processor :(

    what would happen if i try to power it up?
  6. direwolf007

    direwolf007 TS Rookie Posts: 105

    I doubt the CPU blew up, but the PSU is definitely toast. If the PSU was a decent enough model, the protection in it would have stopped most, if not all, component damage. There is a good chance nothing was harmed except for the PSU itself. What could happen if you turned it on ? Here are a few examples:
    1) Nothing.
    2) House mains will go down again.
    3) PSU will catch on fire.
    4) More hardware might go splat.
    5) Something might really explode.
    6) It might work (real real longshot).

    Or plenty of other options, or a combination of the above.
  7. wilbo123

    wilbo123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    well i best not do anything as i have a geforce 7600 there. would that be damaged?
    my power supply model is psn-355pc.. thats all i can tell you.
  8. hrlow2

    hrlow2 TS Rookie Posts: 136

    direwolf007, I believe that you misread. in the first post, he says the voltage went from 230v down to 115v.
  9. direwolf007

    direwolf007 TS Rookie Posts: 105

    He quite clearly said he changed it from 230v to 115v....
  10. hrlow2

    hrlow2 TS Rookie Posts: 136

    From your first answer, it looks like you thought he went from 115v up to 230v.
  11. wilbo123

    wilbo123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    so what has actually happened then?
  12. hrlow2

    hrlow2 TS Rookie Posts: 136

    I would do as direwolf007 suggested and open the case up for a visual inspection. Look for any scorching, signs of damage, blistering of components, things like that. May be internal short in power supply or short to ground from frayed wire. Check it all out really CLOSE.
  13. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    In short- nothing can be used. You got a nice toaster. At first, when I saw the title - I was thinking- wow I haven't heard of a CPU exploding since the days of the VIC-20. (There was a primitive virus that would cause the CPU to overheat in those days.) - then I read the post and saw it was a dumb move.
  14. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    It doesn't even matter what he switched it from and to (although it says from 230 to 115). What matters is he switched the mode the PSU was expecting. In this case it looks like he had 230 coming from the wall and set the PSU to expect 115. It toasted the PSU. And as others have said there is a fair chance that is the only thing that is broke.

    If he sets the switch back to 230 and tries to turn it on, most likely nothing will happen, but I would disconnect the power cables from the hard drives first. I really wouldn't even try to turn it back on though, just get a new PSU because you know that is dead. Then hook everything back up and try again. If it still doesn't work then you probably broke the motherboard too.
  15. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    It's dangerous to be playing with electricity when you don't know what you are doing.

    Luckily for you, modern switched power supplies have a lot of built-in protection features, including a quick-acting fuse, to protect the components inside the PC from certain types of failures. You may be lucky and be able to salvage all your hardware, sans PSU. What you need to do immediately is remove the PSU completely, and don't even bother trying to use it again. Junk it and don't look back.

    Then, find someone who knows what they are doing and ask them to test your components for you. Even if the PSU did take out the motherboard, there's still another chance the rest of your components may still function. Whatever you do, do not plug that PSU in again.
  16. seanc

    seanc TS Rookie Posts: 88

    A quick Google suggests that it's a cheap and nasty PSU so we might not be so lucky.

    Just a quick note from experience:

    A customer brought in her desktop PC, she said she turned it on and it went bang. Of course the first suspect is the power supply, I looked at the back and it was set to 115v rather than 230v.
    I showed her this and said it should be repairable with another PSU. Since it was a desktop PSU and I had none in stock, I rebuilt it into a tower case with a new PSU.
    Transferred all the components over, connected them up and it booted up without a problem.

    The point is, there's a chance it may be fine, unless you've got something along the lines of an eMachines...
  17. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    He can try to get another PSU and see what happens, but based upon his really noob move at switching voltages under power even, I would recommend he have a professional install it - even though it is a simple job. Of course, there is no guarantee that the system will still work - but it's worth a shot. If he can borrow a PSU to test the system, that might be even better- but then again I recommend a pro do it as he didn't use rare sense. (It would be common sense if everyone had it.)
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,456   +1,759

    Why not just shove a paperclip into the release hole of the CD drive and pull it out that way?

    As to whether it safe to plug it in again, probably, but it wouldn't hurt to have a fire extinguisher handy.

    How did this thread morph from my CPU blew up to, your PSU blew up? If the switch was set to the 115 Volt position and then the PSU was plugged into 230 VAC for a little while at least, the 12V rail was a 24 volt rail , and the board's voltage regulators were responsible for reducing it. (Yes, this is an oversimplification, but not a complete stretch). Not exactly a conducive environment for any component survival whatsoever.

    The new Antec PSU (Earthwatt series anyway) are auto-switching with respect to input voltage, and perhaps many others, So, a supply with this feature couldn't do any damage whatsoever.
    This post actually left me speechless and ROFL, but I've recovered now and I'm fine, thanks for asking.

    I think this bespeaks the need for manufacturers to rethink end user qualifications when in the design phase. It behooves them to strive to move beyond the rather mundane and commonplace fool proof, and into the eclectic realm of ***** proof. To be quite candid, I've owned a few things over the years that would have benefited from being so engineered. Oops!
  19. wilbo123

    wilbo123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    i have took my pc to repair and it was the only psu that was toasted and nothing else thank god :)
    everything else is in working condition
    thanks for the advice people
  20. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Thanks for the update :grinthumb
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