Computer Help forum


Fried 2.5$K PC Static or running w/o case fans for 5 mins!?

i7-4790K (never overclocked)
Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z97-HD3
RAM: 16GB corsair

PSU: ANTEC BP550 plus

OK I have to admit, I vape an e cig in front of this computer for a couple years. I never thought
anything of it, but a few months ago stumbled on a thread about it but there were no damages mentioned, someone was basically just questioning and warning.

I've air duster cleaned inside the PC and the case fans about 5 times since building it. 4 days ago I cleaned everything very well. There was a good amount of dust and cat hair on the dust guard and fans.

I used tissues and made everything as clean as possible. There was a noticeable gel on the fans from the e cig (vegetable glycerin vapor), and some of the dust was gel. I cleaned everything and it has been running perfectly fine for the last 4 days but the 3 case fans were still quite loud. I'm not sure if they were always this loud because they came stock with a low budget Rosewill case. I have quite a bit of dust/cat hair so I figured the fans needed to be replaced because I couldn't clean inside the actual motors (would rather purchase new fans than dissect and possibly need to crack the case fans open).

So tonight, I decided to run the PC for a few minutes with all the case fans disconnected to hear if the CPU heat sink fan was also loud and needing replacement (stock cheap intel cooling fan and heat sink). It's winter and quite cold in the home. I turned the PC on after disconnecting the fans and went on youtube for about 3 mins and the PC was quiet so I concluded I'll just buy case fans and not also a new CPU fan for now.

Then I reconnected the 3 case fans.
PC won't turn on.

I'm thinking maybe the PSU fried. I'm pretty sure that usually even when the PC is Off, the prong for the internet cable is light up in back of the PC but it's not now. I though it also has a light on the
motherboard that's always on but I don't see a bulb. So anyway, I was thinking it's no big deal at this point. I open the case and think maybe something came loose. Snugged all the connections but it won't turn on again.

Then I disconnected every single component (there's no PCI cards, I'm using the intel's integrated GPU). The only thing I forgot to disconnect was the RAM. I disconnected RAMs and reconnected them at the end after disconnecting and reconnecting every single wire and component (except I didn't remove the CPU from the socket of course [or should I?].

The bezel on this case is quite rough to open but the power button seems undisturbed (it's sealed, not going to crack it open as a slim chance that it broke when opening the bezel - I think the internet cable end should be light up regardless if power is being supplied.
There's no clicky power button on the motherboard and I'm not about to use a paperclip to try and jump start it.

Then I checked the PSU in case it had a safety trip/switch but I found nothing. I was going to open the PSU to see if it had an internal one but then googled on my phone that it had a 3 year warranty that I'm still under and I didn't want to remove the "warranty-voided" sticker over the screw to open the PSU. I doubt they'd put a trip switch inside the PSU anyway.

I checked power from multiple outlets. Nothing.

I have to admit I did the first half of all of this while wearing fleece pants which are quite staticy. Like, they make my leg hairs stick out I randomly noticed earlier today. But I mean, how easy is it to really fry a computer with static granted that I'm not like rubbing a balloon and touching the CPU?

I'm hoping it's just the PSU for some reason. If so, can you recommend me a new one to buy on ebay that also has 550W? Then I will sell the Antec if they send me a warranty replacement instead of a refund.

Thank you so much if you can solve this!

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Fried 2.5$K PC Static or running w/o case fans for 5 mins!?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Fried 2.5$K PC Static or running w/o case fans for 5 mins!?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
Light on the mobo

In reply to: Fried 2.5$K PC Static or running w/o case fans for 5 mins!?

That light is a very small led, difficult to find if it's not lit.
It should glow as soon as AC is applied to the psu.
If it does not you have a power problem.
Verify you have a working wall socket and the AC power cord is good.

Unplug or turn off the psu.
Unplug ALL external devices.
Apply power to the psu.
If the light still does not glow repeat with internal stuff.

When you get down to the psu and the mobo are the only things connected your down to 2 parts.

Collapse -

In reply to: Light on the mobo

I just did the paper clip test for the PSU and the PSU worked. Ok so maybe it's the mobo. I will google how to diagnose that. Given the chain of events, what/how mobo is related? Also I need ASAP a replacement mobo if that's what's bad. please suggestions. I am looking to possibly upgrade this whole system but not RIGHT NOW, so I just need anything as good as the mobo I already have. I'm hesitant to buy the exact one even though I'll probably get another one free under warranty but I'l sell it.

Collapse -

In reply to: reply

If you get the exact same mobo it should be a no fuss swap.

If you change mobo make or model then you will have to do your homework to verify compatibility with your cpu/ram/ports.

Your call.

Collapse -

In reply to: Mobo

In short, everything was working just fine. I unplugged all three case fans to see if CPU fan was being loud. CPU fan was quit, so I shut down, and reconnected all 3 case fans and it never turned back on, no beep, nada.

bobbo , I agree. I was going to say the same about getting the same one for now (need asap) as stated with copy pasted below (I posted on 3 forums and copy pasting but didn't get any replies yes besides yours.

unless this is fixable

SECOND UPDATE; I tried turning it on having only these connected to see if the CPU fan goes on: the cpu fan wire, the large 20/24 cable from the PSU and the smaller cable like the 24/20 from the PSU that goes near the CPU, and the stupid little mess of tiny individual wires from the front case buttons (yes they are all in the right spots). I didn't get a beep or anything, CPU doesn't turn on, so thankfully I think it's the $100 mobo and not the $375 CPU. I think the MOBO fried. Nice. I have done a lot of messing around with POS computers before I bought this one. I handled them much worse and never had anything fry from static or anything. I'm confused. I'll wait for some replies but I'm thinking I need to buy a new mobo. I'm going to just get the same exact one for now because I really can't run into difficulties having only the PC I'm typing this from in case anything goes wrong (Running XP on sketchy POS PC), or to research a new socket/better mobo on thsi PC, and I know exactly where all the stupid little front panel wires go on the current mobo so I'm just gonna get that, and then get the warranty replacement and then sell both of those. Unless someone has a fix.

I'm definitely getting a half decent back up laptop for times like these.

Collapse -

In reply to: Mobo

just bought a replacement same exact mobo be here in 2 days. Any ideas though besides replacement?

Collapse -

In reply to: reply

a copypaste from my tomshardware thread. Someone said the antec BP550plus isn't so great and could have power surged and caused the short.

thanks for the PSU suggestions. I'm probably going to run the replacement motherboard on the same Antec BP550 plus but only for about 5 days. Because my motherboard should be here tomorrow or the next day and I didn't get a chance to rush order a PSU also. And I want my computer up and running asap. Is this a big gamble? I'm not going to mess with any case fans etc for the time being (and I do have an anti static wrist band that I'm going to try and always use for now on just to be safe). I could drive to the store and buy a PSU but I'd rather get a better deal online and risk the antec one for a few days. Should be ok right? Or is the existing antec going to potentially short the new mobo out immediately also?

Another thing, I think I made the right decision to get the exact same mobo model because I forgot about how if I used a different model then I might run into problems with windows 8 product key, but same exact model mobo I read it'll boot right up no BS

Collapse -

In reply to: reply

Your psu being a dual rail is not the best but since you don't have a gpu it should work.

Green wire test.
Did you disconnect the psu from the pc before running this test?
Did you measure the voltages when the psu was on?

Collapse -

In reply to: Psu

When I paper clip tested the PSU, it wasn't connected to anything on the motherboard. I heard the fan and did the test twice and it passed. I have multimeters.

I'm wondering though because someone on tomshrdware said the antec BP550plus isn't so great and could have power surged and caused the short.

I'm probably going to run the replacement motherboard with the same Antec BP550 plus I have already but only for about 5 days. Because my motherboard should be here tomorrow or the next day and I didn't get a chance to rush order a PSU also. And I want my computer up and running asap. Is this a big gamble? I'm not going to mess with any case fans etc for the time being (and I do have an anti static wrist band that I'm going to try and always use for now on just to be safe). I could drive to the store and buy a PSU but I'd rather get a better deal online and risk the antec one for a few days. Should be ok right? Or is the existing antec going to potentially short the new mobo out immediately?

Also, suppose this whole thing was caused by the antec PSU shorting the mobo, how can I prove that to get warranty claim for the motherboard AND the PSU if the PSU is still working? I guess maybe if I try your suggestion for the multimeter test of the PSU it should tell me if something's wrong and thus can be confirmed by antec for warranty claim.

Collapse -

In reply to: reply

Disconnect that psu from 'everything' in the pc.
Use the green wire test and with a meter verify all voltages are within spec.
If something is out of spec you don't want to connect it to the new mobo.

Collapse -

In reply to: Psu

the multimeter test I read said I need to involve plugging into the mobo at some step. I'm not going to risk it. I will try your suggestion but only when I get around to it.

I'm going to go ahead and order the EVGA supernova 650 G2 gold from B&H in NYC. It will arrive in 1 day to NJ. Saves me about $25 than driving over to best buy. I can wait a day or two. B&H happened to also be the best price I found online ), and not getting into price match etc and digging deep with the POS PC I'm on right now, just not worth the hassle). I'm not going to risk running the new mobo on the same antec PSU.

thanks for your help.

Collapse -

In reply to: thanks

To diagnose the psu being broke, when I get the new PSU, I can plug it to the existing possibly broken mobo. If it works, then only the PSU was broke. If it doesn't work, then possibly both the PSU and MOBO are broke. Besides tests which I'm not too comfortable with like jumping pins with paper clips etc, I could determine if both are broke by plugging the old psu to the new mobo but that's also a big risk. I might just sell the PSU as-is for someone who can test it. I'll loose only about $60 and not have to deal with the headache of a warranty claim.

I really don't want to fry my ssd or cpu. I mean, the psu tests probably aren't that difficult but if I have to use the POS computer I'm on, it will be... I might do the psu tests after I get my PC up and running.

Also, side note but this PC didn't cost 2.5$K to being, maybe with every peripheral but the PC cost about 1.5$K.

And I know this sounds stupid but I have a ton of very important data on my SSD and it's not backed up. It was literally on my to-do list for this week but this happened. I've been doing these trail and error tests without the ssd plugged in so I'm praying it'll be ok.

Collapse -

In reply to: Psu

In Short: It was the case power button.

Well after all that (buying new PSU, then buying new mobo rush delivered, and dealing with this from the POS PC I'm on), it was the stupid power button on the case. I should have checked that earlier but I was afraid it's risky (fry something) but it's apparently safe to short out the pins that the power button goes to.

I sort of hated this case since I got it because of the A) the bezel feels like it's going to crack to remove and B) the side panels don't snap in well. It's a Rosewill Line glow. Got a good price and included 5 led fans but will be shopping for something new.

I don't understand the chances because all I did was
-cleaned the case and took the bezel off as gently as possible
-pc ran fine for ~4 days (and turned on with power button maybe 10 times in those 4 days).
-Disconnected the 3 case fans (without doing anything to the bezel or Start Button),
-and then it never turned back on.

The start button, I'm not sure if it's the wires or the actual clicky button. Both seem fine but the wires are so tiny and like shrink wrapped to the clicky button's pins so I'm not even going to bother messing with trying to repair it and figuring out which aftermarket clicky button would perfectly fit and be suitable for this purpose.

Along this process I have grown a great dis appreciation for the stock (cheap) heatsink/fan my i7-4790K came with, the cooler with the stupid plastic pins that snap in and then twist them to lock it - I only ever took it apart once when I disassembled the fan from the aluminum heatsink the other day to fully clean it, and also had to reinstall it a few times with the new mobo etc, but the last few times, the 4th and final pin wouldn't snap in. I had to shave a bit of plastic off of 2 of the pins. Really stupid design. A nut and bolt would have been better.

Also grew a great dis appreciation for motherboards in general, just to remove or plug in the 24 pin, RAM etc, it feels like a F#$gn matzo cracker about to crack.

Thanks for the help, even though I don't think anyone suggested to jump start the power pins, I probably wouldn't have figured it out regardless. I'm going to keep this Gold single rail PSU EVGA SuperNOVA G2 it only cost about $100 (I think I paid $90 for the antec dual rail bronze). The mobo is being returned to newegg and will buy a new case

Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


This one tip will help you sleep better tonight

A few seconds are all you need to get a better night's rest.