What is constantly destroying my computer?

By jhamel
Dec 30, 2007
  1. Hi All,

    So I'm in the market for a new mobo/CPU/ram right now, but before I buy+install, I wanted to check with all of you to make sure that I'm not going to instantly fry my brand new equipment. Let me give you a brief history of my system so that you know what I'm talking about.

    About a year ago - I'm sitting at my computer, surfing the net, when all of a sudden the computer shuts down and will not restart. I check the voltages on my power supply and it looks ok. I swap out mobo/cpu/ram and it starts up fine. mobo/cpu/and ram were all a few years old, so I figured it must have been their time to go.

    TWO DAYS LATER - I go to turn on the computer... nothing happens. I consult the friendly people at They tell me that even though power supply voltages look ok, my cheap PSU could still be frying my equipment. I spend some money on a Blue Storm 500 w/PFC (Decent PSU, right?) and install mobo/cpu/ram off of an old ibm netvista that I got from work. Everything runs fine.

    two months later - Same thing, hit the power, the fans go on, and board beeps a bit, but there is no video and it is clearly not starting up.

    I am now resurrecting this system. I would like to use the same case, PSU, hard drives, and optical drives. I would like to replace the mobo, cpu, ram, video card. However, I am wondering that in light of my history, if anybody suspects my case, psu, hard drives, or optical drives could be causing the damage? Do I need to buy ALL new components just to be safe? What do you guys think? Any ideas?

    Thank you!
  2. jhamel

    jhamel TS Rookie Topic Starter

    oh PS,

    no overclocking on my system, not running any crazy games or applications. Just a lot of web surfing and media playing, so the system is never stressed too much.
  3. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    Do you live in a high static electricity environment? Do you keep the Motherboard/CPU/RAM in or on static bags before you install them in the case? You might try plugging in the power supply into the AC outlet with the power supply switch off, and assemble the computer that way. It is normally not recommended to do this but it really sounds like you have bad computer building habits
  4. jhamel

    jhamel TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well I was thinking high static or power surges, but I've moved since I've starting having these problems and as you can see I am still having them. So I doubt it has to do with the environment. Especially since the system was completely assembled when it was moved to the new place. I always keep my parts in static bags, and always ground myself before handling them so I doubt I'm shocking them.
  5. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    The most static sensitive components are the motherboard/CPU and memory. Leave the power supply plugged in but off, and reassemble the computer.

    Mount the CPU Heatsink/fan and the memory in the motherboard before installing the motherboard into the case. Install the motherboard. Connect the power supply to the motherboard and plug in the power supply to the AC outlet. Install all the other cards and peripherials
  6. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    I had the momentary switch stick on me and cause problems similar to this
    it will shorten life of some PSU's
    the MB or one of the drives may be resistive grounding to somthing
    thats my story and I'm stick'n to it
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,455   +1,758

    I thought I was the only one.......

    This is actually the only way that makes sense to assemble a computer, since the hot power lead is broken, but the ground is still in force and you actually use the case to bleed off your static charge (directly to ground). Just a thought, but I think it would be at least as effective just to kill the power on the surge supressor, there is a redundancy there, and no need to worry about the PSU switch. If you're clumsy like me, use a piece of masking to hold the switch in the off position.
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