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Smoking wires

By silverwingz ยท 4 replies
Jan 13, 2009
  1. title says it all. i was messing around with electric sheep the screen saver application and i had been hearing my second hdd shutting off and turning back on which used to happen to me like 8 months ago but I hadnt seen it since then. So the hard drive shut off and the front led's started to flicker and my temp gauge went blank. my current window said (not responding) and I started to smell the worst smell ever. burning electronics :(

    I looked to the open side of my computer the left side and saw smoke barreling out so i immediately pulled the power cord out. after the smoke cleared I panic'd and when through everything i thought could be wrong.

    I unplugged the hard drive and thought it might be that since I had trouble with it before. I unplugged the dvd drives just to be on the safe side and causiously turned it back on 5 hours later and again, it began to load windows xp but a few seconds later I smelt the smoke again and pulled it back out.

    I did notice that one of the issues was the flickering led on the front of my computer so i opened the panel and examined the exposed cables on the front which were hot to the touch which isnt normal. upon taking the back panel of my case off I noticed the wire leading to the front led was all bubbly and fried. the cord had soldered itself to 3 other wires (one being the temp gauge).

    so now I know the effect but where is the cause? is this a problem with my power supply or was it a faulty cord? i mean its worked ok for 2 years w/any problems. should I risk blowing up a hard drive or my mobo and use the same power supply or is it failing? I mean it still starts up and was still running when the cords were getting smoked.
  2. adweston

    adweston Banned Posts: 242

    It sounds like your power supply is faulty. Chances are really good with that much voltage/current going through the board, enough to melt a wire coming off the LED header, that your board is toast as well. You might get lucky, though. I've seen a power supply melt it's wires (well, they actually caught fire) and the motherboard survived.
  3. gbalkam

    gbalkam TS Rookie Posts: 21

    SMOKING is bad.. Mkayyyy?

    replace the power supply. Or try another power supply, do nothing else until you have done this!!!!
    If you are lucky, you haven't cooked your hard drives, cd/dvd drives, ram, nic, video, modem... and popped the fuses on the mobo.
    Don't even bother trying to repair the power supply, just get another one for testing, (any will do even an old one) and if the issue does not repeat, replace the power supply.
    AFTER checking the power supply, check the cpu fan and video card fan to be sure they are spinning.
    There are only 3 components that have wires that could smoke.. the power supply, the cpu fan and the video card fan (also a case fan) and make sure also that the wires to your power button are in properly. Polarity counts. (red is + black is -)
  4. silverwingz

    silverwingz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    the wire was actually directly connected to the power supply. it was the light that lit up the logo on the front of my box. so I know it didnt fry the mobo its still good. I just wonder why it cooked that cord. another thing that might have been an issue is that right before the burned area of the cord is an area that looks like it was pinched with wire showing. im not sure how this could have happend because I had'nt moved my box around at all. could that have been the issue and my psu be ok? i really dont have the cash to replace a psu atm

    Edit: forgot to mention also that it still will load up with the windows screen and everything. I mean it was still running fine while it was on fire rofl so I think everything on the mobo side is fine.
  5. gbalkam

    gbalkam TS Rookie Posts: 21

    Re new info

    Sounds about right. The PSU should be ok in this case, since it is a simple short in a non-component part. Disconnect the light and replace it. You could try a repair by removing the burnt area, splicing it and wrapping it well with vinyl electrical tape. Not sure what caused the issue, but usually that would happen if you opened the case to install a cd/dvd rom, (or hard drive in some cases) or pinched the wire between 2 seams (like the case and the front case cover) for example.

    I am concerned about the effect it had on your computer (not responding, etc) Try to borrow a PSU from a friend and test it. If worse came to worse, you can use a lower voltage and remove some frills, like extra cdrom, A-drive (if you dont use it) things that use power, until you can get a new PSU. They run $40 to about $110 (mine was $100 but I got a GOOD one with dual fans)
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