Motherboard or power supply fried from overnight computer run

By Bdoom ยท 15 replies
May 30, 2011
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  1. Here is what happened, I left my computer on overnight as I always do and when I woke up in the morning the computer was turned off. I tried running it in different outlets. When I try to turn it on the fans twitch and try to spin then it completely stops. Does anyone know what the problem could be? Could my power supply or motherboard overheated? What is the most likely problem?
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Replace the power supply. You could have had a nocturnal power surge
  3. Bdoom

    Bdoom TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm going to wait for more replies so I get decent info
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Power supplies are cheaper than motherboards to replace. I would start by replacing the power supply. Is that clear enough?
  5. Bdoom

    Bdoom TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes sir, thanks for the info
  6. westom

    westom TS Rookie Posts: 18

    Could be the supply. Could be the power controller. Could be some other failure detected by that controller to power off the supply.

    To answer your question means numbers from a multimeter. A tool so cheap and easy as to be sold even in Kmart and in most stores that sell hammers. One minute of labor. Then numbers say exactly what has failed OR provide information so that the few who actually know computers can reply.

    Based upon what was posted, every reply can only be 'try this' or 'replace that and see what happens'. Shotgunning.

    To replace a failed component the first time means numbers. A meter means a failure is identified. Sometimes says why a failure existed. Shotgunning means learning nothing about how a computer works or why you had a failure.

    A supply selling for less than $60 is probably defective when purchased. Is probably missing essential functions that must exist inside every supply. Cheaper is to buy or borrow a multimeter (ie $18 in Walmart; $5 in Harbor Freight) to learn what is defective before replacing anything.

    Why is a power controller ordering the supply to power on? Then stopping that power on? You symptoms suggest that.
  7. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    what exactly is a "power controller"? Using a Multimeter to test a power supply should be done while the power supply is connected to the motherboard and turned on. There are several voltages to check, if one of these voltages is bad, the computer won't start. How is Bdoom going to know which voltage is missing? He is not a tech
  8. westom

    westom TS Rookie Posts: 18

    Who said anyone need be more than 13 years old to do this? Who said anything about disconnecting wires?

    A power supply is controlled by that controller. A fundamental function defined by ATX standards and required inside every PC. Does not let the CPU even execute until it completes a long list of decisions. One touches each of six wires as instructed. Reads each three digit number. Posts them. A complete answer is provided without any more speculation.

    Why are multimeters sold even in Kmart, Walmart, or stores that sell hammers? Designed for consumers with zero technical knowledge. Even used by 13 years old science students. And the OP's fastest and least expensive solution.
  9. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Computer power supplies can be swapped out in 5 minutes. There are cheap power supply testers that you plug the suspect power supply into. It has the start jumper installed so the computers fans and CD drives should show signs of life if the power supply is good... Heres an example of an ATX power supply tester:
    Power Supply Tester

    you must not repair computers. Those cheap multimeters come with clumbsy dull, fat leads. There is no way you can insert them into the connectors while they are seated. I use a Fluke True RMS multimeter with needle sharp wire piercing leads. From Bdoom post, he knows nothing about power supplies or multimeters
  10. westom

    westom TS Rookie Posts: 18

    That post explains even why knowledge of a power controller is missing.

    A PSU tester will often report as good a supply that is defective. Does not test all components of a power system. Is most often recommended by those who do not even want to know how electricity works or how that power system works. Can create confusion. Make it impossible for the better informed to provide assistance (no numbers). And takes many times longer in labor. A PSU tester is often recommended when one does not know how its power system works.

    Could be a supply. Could be a power controller. Could be some other failure, detected by the controller, to quickly power off a supply. Could even be other components of the power system.

    To answer the OP's question immediately means numbers from a multimeter. A tool so cheap and easy as to be sold even in Kmart and in most stores that sell hammers. One minute of labor. Then numbers say exactly what has failed. Can even identify intermittents that can cause failures months later. Numbers are necessary so that the few who actually know computers can reply.

    For an immediate answer, the OP must ask for instructions for a minute of labor. Other alternative is to keep replacing good parts until something works - also called shotgunning. Shotgunning explains, for example, why a consumer magazine created tiny failures. And most computer shops could not find or fix the problem. But they did get many perfectly good supplies replaced by new power supplies. Shotgunning.
  11. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Power supply testers like the one I linked to, are a cheap quick way to weed out "bad" or "good" power supplies. Of course you are right about saying a tester will show "good" even if the supply can't supply enough current, even if all the voltages are present. I leave the CDROMs, fans and hard drives connected while I use the tester, that way I know quickly if the supply can handle current. Time is money, and quick swaps are the way to go these days. I have saved a few switchers to troubleshoot when I have time, others are trashed. This multimeter thing is getting old. If Bdoom wants to go that way fine. I believe he will try a new power supply
  12. westom

    westom TS Rookie Posts: 18

    The intent of having CDRoms, fans, etc connected is a good idea. But falls apart once numbers are applied to the concept. All those devices are near zero loads. Insufficient to expose many typical 'failure modes'.

    A tester is maybe $10. A multimeter sells in Walmart for $18 or in Harbor Freight for $5. Meter has many other uses in the home and with autos. A tester has no other purpose.
  13. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    The old IDE hard drives can and motherboards can supply a pretty good load. I have had no returns for power supply issues at all. As I said, I have a $400 Fluke True RMS multimeter and I know how to use it. 95% of all the 1 time posters here I'm sure, have no use for a multimeter or no desire to learn about how to repair a computer power supply to the component level
  14. westom

    westom TS Rookie Posts: 18

    If it can, then post numbers that say so. Subjective posting is a source of wild speculation. How many amps does that drive consume? Answer demonstrates why a hard drive is a near zero load. Insufficient.

    Nobody here needs a Fluke. Anyone doing simplest computer repair should have a tool that often costs less than a hammer. A tool for layman and 13 year olds is even sold in Kmart. Without numbers, the simplest repairs become complex and time consuming. Without numbers, the better informed cannot post assistance.

    Another finally used a meter on three power supplies after so much (unnecessary two months of) prodding. Very next reply defined what was good, what failed, and why. "Custom Built Computer Problems..." starting 13 Oct 2010 in Tech Support Guy:

    One supply was perfectly fine. One was probably undersized on its 12 Volts. A third had a 3.3 volt problem. Take numbers with a meter. Have a complete answer in a next reply.

    Now read his first post. Subjective. Therefore he was blaming everything but the actual problem:

    Hardest part is to get a layman to do a simplest solution. Most will entertain their fears and make assumptions rather than do a simplest task. As soon as that poster used a multimeter, than all three supplies were identified without doubts or speculation. So much information only from one minute labor and from numbers for six wires.

    OP got a complete answer by also doing as described in:

    Hardest part is to overcome fear based in technical ignorance and popular myths. Solving a failure is dumb easy once numbers are provided.
  15. Bdoom

    Bdoom TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hello guys, I found out the problem, the motherboard was fried so im getting a new pc
  16. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Thanks Bdoom for the update. I was hoping it wasn't the motherboard but it is what it is. Now all this non-sense about multimeter's can be put to rest :)

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