computer died, yikes. need help!

By windexian ยท 15 replies
Jun 30, 2007
  1. So, about a month ago an awful smell filled my room, and when I figured out it was my computer (heh), I obviously tried to shut it down; get this, the computer died while my cursor was MID-FLIGHT to the start menu! Anyways, the heatsink was ridiculously hot, like, nearly-burn-my-fingers hot. Hoping it wasn't the processor, I ordered a new heatsink/fan. Didn't fix it. Ordered a processor (old one was an Athlon XP 2700, new one is an Athlon XP 2700), made sure I was static-free, and put it in, attached the new heatsink/fan, and it still isn't turning on. It doesn't even start!

    When I hit the power switch, the CPU fan 'twitches', as if it receives some sort of power for half a second, but then doesn't go any further. My roommate tried a voltage meter with the power supply, and it reads very similarly to what the CPU fan appears to do; it gets a very small read for a fraction of a second and then stops, so it seems like there's at least electricity getting to the power supply. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance...
  2. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    That awful smell means some election device(s) fried!!

    You may need a new MoBo!
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    We still need to know the brand, model, age, and configuration. But I agree with Almcneil. The mystery is why did it fry instead of detect the heat and shut down.?
  4. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    Raybay, you can call me Andy.

    Sometimes it's not a mystery, it's just defective electronics. Even right off production, they may pass testing but fail/fry the next week/month/year/... Basically, he needs a new MoBo regardless of the cause.
  5. windexian

    windexian TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks for the quick replies! Someone asked about some details... I ordered it off of PCUSA about 2 yrs ago, but have only used it for one of those years. How can you tell what brand it is? I had them custom build it, so it isn't, like, a "Dell" or something. Hmm sorry I'm not sure what you mean by configuration.

    But it sounds like a new motherboard is in order... SUCK. Heh... but I suppose it's better (cheaper) than buying a new machine altogether. Thanks again so much for the input! Cheers --
  6. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Give us the numbers off the Motherboard... from the center of the board, and any along the edge opposite the external connectors and pci slots.
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    I agree, Andy. You almost never see a failed CPU that didn't go bad, unless it was caused by a bad motherboard... In theory, it could have been a bad cpu fan.

    Lets see what the numbers have to say.
  8. windexian

    windexian TS Rookie Topic Starter


    In the middle of the motherboard not really next to anything in white, bold: M863G

    Above PCI slot: Canada ICES-003 Class/Class B

    This was weird to me, right above the CPU it has a sticker that says "Sempron". Now, I'm sure the CPU is an Athlon, so not sure what the Sempron is about. Maybe someone can shed some light for me.

    On a black chip in the lower left side of the board: 686 AMIBIOS CR97 9591

    Hope that helps! Oh also, I'd love some tips on getting a new motherboard - tips, tricks, helpful advice you've learned over the years that a newb like me might make a mistake on. Thanks kindly!
  9. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Check on the web site of the manufacturers web site to be sure both Athlon and Sempron (the cheap AMD) will work on that board. You may have been using the incorrect board all along... but I doubt it.
  10. windexian

    windexian TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Okay, so I have an update. I bought a new motherboard, replaced the old one, bought a new PSU just in case, meaning at this point I've now replaced my motherboard, power supply, and CPU. Tonight I hooked everything up to the new motherboard, and get this, the SAME THING HAPPENED! Er, that is, the CPU fan turned on for a quarter of a second, and stopped turning, i.e. nothing powered on. It's the same thing that happened w/ the first motherboard before I replaced ANYTHING. What do I do?!?! Quite a rush of anxiety here, heh...
  11. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Just ttay calm and cool. Your brain, in a relaxed state will figger it out. Use logic about what is, not what is supposed to be, then get back here and tell us what worked.
    This is a big leap forward for you and computers, and nearly all of us have gone through it.
    You now know what the problem is. The next step is to get yourself to admit it... and laff.
  12. 0mega9401

    0mega9401 TS Rookie Posts: 58

    get rid of your mem you must have hit a big surge and in the process of sending data to your processor from your mem must have ben wayyy to bottle and fried. this has happend to me once and this really sucks because it will keep you gessing for days mabye weeks. but anyhow change the mem
  13. windexian

    windexian TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Okay, um, so here's my dilemma, I could keep spending $$ and replacing things, and I appreciate greatly everyone's help and suggestions, but my fear is that I'm going to end up replacing the entire dang computer and not ever figure out what went wrong. Now I'm supposed to spend another $100 and replace my 1GB of memory???
  14. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    First, I would reset the BIOS, and return the computer to totally normal state, then either reinstall everything, or obtain another hard drive to install everything.
    We do have th luxury of trading out memory when we have such a problem....
    But you might be able to borrow a module, or try your exisiting memory one module at a time. It won't run fast, but it should run.

    Let's Review:
    You have a PCChips Motherboard for AMD XP proceccosr with 333 FSB, and SiS741G X/964L chipset. A good, but bottom of the pile motherboard... It sells for about $37 to $40 nowadays. It is not known for reliability or long life. It uses DDR PC2700, or DDR PC3200, or DDR PC4000 memory in matched pairs with 2 GB maximum non-ECC, low density modules.
    You have given it your best shot, worked hard, and learned a lot. You can get a new and better motherboard and CPU combination for under $100 at,,,,, and

    Depending on which motherboard you get, you may have to buy new memory for it, but it should fit your case... and give you joy this one obviously is not.

    Do you want to keep fighting this cheap board, or would it be better to look outward, onward, and upward... to something that makes everybody around you happier?
  15. windexian

    windexian TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Except that we haven't determined that the motherboard is the problem :). In fact, now we KNOW the motherboard isn't the problem, i.e. buying a new mobo/cpu may still leave me with a sitting duck. Open to further diagnoses though
  16. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    I don't see evidence that anybody knows what the problem is. Yet.
    It appears that the motherboard is as good a suspect as any.
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