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 Post subject: Re: Is my power supply damagimg my mobo?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:12 pm 
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When I sent the board back to Gigabyte they stated on their site "bad component" and replaced it. They didn't say which one it was. I talked to the "experts" at Best Buy and they said I did all the things that they would have done. They even plugged in a different psu. They didn't test the voltages from the psu though. So no way to tell there. I will open the old psu up and see if there's damaged components.


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 Post subject: Re: Is my power supply damagimg my mobo?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:27 pm 
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chuckabt wrote:
Each time the MB failed I went through the steps of removing the cards and memory and each time it was the same result.

Unfortunately, that was bad diagnostic procedure. Better procedure is to remove and disconnect nothing. To first collect relevant facts - especially those with numbers.

First, changing things can mask or complicate a problem. Every disconnection adds a new variable. The complexity of a problem increases exponentially with each new variable.

Second, power system defects are most easily identified with a greatest load - everything connected. Long before replacing anything, first a problem must be identified.

Third, a first indication of one not professionally trained is what those techs did. First thing a professional does is collect numbers with a multimeter. Specific three digit numbers for relevant voltages should have been in his report. Unfortunately, many techs are never taught how to do this or why. Its one task often necessary with new techs. Show them how to collect facts before making any changes; before disconnecting even one wire. First indication that they did not know how to diagnose a problem - they swapped parts. Also called shotgunning.

And finally, most all failures have no visual indication. Inspecting any electronics rarely identifies a defect. Necessary is equipment to see what your eyes cannot. It might cost as much as $14 in Walmart.


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 Post subject: Re: Is my power supply damagimg my mobo?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:57 am 
Smithfield
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westom wrote:
First, changing things can mask or complicate a problem. Every disconnection adds a new variable. The complexity of a problem increases exponentially with each new variable.

OP replaced his motherboard. It still failed. If he replaces it a few more times, then it's obviously not the motherboard. Time to start digging somewhere else. And often times it's easier to just make a minimal build and add components until it breaks. Even if something's wrong with the minimal build, that's less overall variables to work with. If you're messing with a system as complicated as a computer, I'd rather isolate as many parts as I can to ensure sanity. Like back when I was doing troubleshooting for MILES equipment. If there was something that appears wrong with one part of the system, sure I'd observe the behavior first in the system as a whole, but then I'd isolate it and try to prove that it's really that part. Just because one part of the system appears to fail, doesn't mean it's that part.

Quote:
Second, power system defects are most easily identified with a greatest load - everything connected. Long before replacing anything, first a problem must be identified.

Okay, that's a valid point, but if all the hardware is connected, that still doesn't tell you anything other than there's something wrong with system, because again, you have all that hardware connected and any one of them could be at fault.

Quote:
Third, a first indication of one not professionally trained is what those techs did. First thing a professional does is collect numbers with a multimeter. Specific three digit numbers for relevant voltages should have been in his report. Unfortunately, many techs are never taught how to do this or why. Its one task often necessary with new techs. Show them how to collect facts before making any changes; before disconnecting even one wire. First indication that they did not know how to diagnose a problem - they swapped parts. Also called shotgunning.

And finally, most all failures have no visual indication. Inspecting any electronics rarely identifies a defect. Necessary is equipment to see what your eyes cannot. It might cost as much as $14 in Walmart.

Poking the power supply alone with a multimeter doesn't really work. The parts may still produce an open circuit voltage near what it's rated to produce. You have to apply a load to the power supply and then measure it. It's like batteries. You can't measure battery life from its voltage alone. Many batteries retain near open circuit voltages even just shy of dying. You have to apply a load first and then measure it.

Anyway, regarding power supplies anyway, if a power supply is broken, I'd rather just replace it than repair it. Especially if it's from a budget brand that uses cheap parts anyway. Sure, you could replace those parts, but how do I know the circuit design wasn't godawful and non-original parts would actually make it worse?


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 Post subject: Re: Is my power supply damagimg my mobo?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:58 pm 
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LatiosXT wrote:
Okay, that's a valid point, but if all the hardware is connected, that still doesn't tell you anything other than there's something wrong with system, because again, you have all that hardware connected and any one of them could be at fault.
Two ways to diagnose a problem. First means using basic electrical concepts to identify a problem before anything is disconnected. That is how the informed do it. And summarized by a sound byte "Work smarter; not harder".

Second technique is done by many who do not learn how hardware works. Also called shotgunning. Keep replacing good parts until something works.

Easy is to see a failure before removing any component or disconnecting any wire. But that means learning good diagnostic procedures. Therefore problems are solved faster and without spending money replacing good parts.

Using a multimeter on a power 'system' (which is more than a PSU) means a problem can be identified immediately. But again, that means learning techniques we were using long before the IBM PC existed. IOW "Work smarter". Many have no idea how to quickly identify power system failures with a three digit multimeter.

Identify the entire power 'system' as good or suspect. A meter does not just exonerate or acccuse a PSU. It can verify integrity of the entire power 'system'. Accomplished in a minute with a meter. And yes, the meter can clearly define the power system (including PSU) as functional or defective ... without any doubt or speculation. But that means no component is removed and no wire is disconnected. An example of how to "work smarter". As we did routinely even before an IBM PC existed.

Removing a PSU means some defects in that PSU cannot be identified (unless one has $thousands in test equipment).

BTW nobody has said anything about reparing a PSU or even opening its case. We sometimes do that to identify why that component of a power system has failed. But then we do things that require higher reliability. What is a most common reason for failures? Manufacturing defects. But analysis at that level is unnecessary for the OP.

chuckabt also noted
Quote:
When I sent the board back to Gigabyte they stated on their site "bad component" and replaced it.
That does not mean a motherboard was tested. Better manufacturers simply declared rumored moterhbard (also called a component) as defective. And automatically replace it. Some are so quality orriented as to even shred that 'rumoored defective" component. He had no reason to believe his original motherbaord was defective. Unfortun ately a majority never leanrn thow to thnk through a problem. Do not learn waht is defined in CSI: "Follow the evidence". Most randomly blame a part using speculation.

Most, without good diagnostic training, only shotgun. So we must retrain some techs to use a meter.


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 Post subject: Re: Is my power supply damagimg my mobo?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:06 pm 
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Got home, got settled with supper on the way. swapped out the PSU's, same thing, on and off. Opened up the old psu and found a 2 cm. tall cap with a bulged end and what looks like brown epoxy spewed across a big yellow resistor next to it and onto whatever the round thing is with the two different colored wires wrapped around it. The brown stuff is crumbly and nothing like the epoxy used elsewhere. The resistor looks burnt where the brown stuff touched it. Plus the circuit board under it is almost black from being fried along with burnt and melted insulation on the wires that go from the psu out to the MB and other components. So the old power supply is finished. Can we put pictures up on these posts? I would put some up if I could.

So I guess that answers the question of whether the power supply is damaging my mobo.


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 Post subject: Re: Is my power supply damagimg my mobo?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:52 pm 
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chuckabt wrote:
So I guess that answers the question of whether the power supply is damaging my mobo.

Not if a power supply constains many functions that are power supply standard. Power supply specifications will (should) also list functions that means no PSU will damage a load (motherboard).

Furthermore, no load can damage a PSU. In fact, industry standards even define thickness of a wire to short all PSU outputs together - and not cause damage. A worst case load (a short circuit) on any properly designed supply will not even damage the supply (ie cause capacitor damage).

So, which side of that PSU contains the capacitor? AC power side or DC voltage side? Power supplies are designed with clear, distinct, physical separation between those two sides. Which side is this capacitor located?

BTW, epoxy is liberally spread across components to make them resistant to vibration.


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 Post subject: Re: Is my power supply damagimg my mobo?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:22 pm 
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All right, I'll bite. How do I test a PC while running Prime95, memtest86+ and Kombustor (so as to have a nice full load) with a multimeter to find out which component is defective? Where/what do I test and how do I do it? Without removing a component or disconnecting a wire. I'm all about working smart not hard, so hook up a tutorial, it looks like we could all learn some new/better skills.


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 Post subject: Re: Is my power supply damagimg my mobo?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:03 pm 
Smithfield
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Quote:
So, which side of that PSU contains the capacitor? AC power side or DC voltage side? Power supplies are designed with clear, distinct, physical separation between those two sides. Which side is this capacitor located?

I dunno, you're the supposed "expert" on power supplies.

Spoiler: show
Actually this to me seems like a red flag for someone who doesn't know what he's talking about. Capacitors have two primary roles in a power supply: smoothing out the ripple current from the input and filtering the output of noise.

Anyway, I also want to face palm. At myself. There is a way a power supply can damage the motherboard: providing the improper voltage. This can be figured out using a multimeter. However, my guess is that PSU manufacturers create only 12V from AC directly. The rest is stepped down into 5V and 3.3V. If any of those two are buggered for some reason, which may be used in quite a few areas, then they will kill anything using those voltages.

However anything that requires those voltages will probably have some housekeeping circuitry before it delivers power to the components. So if anything, those will blow out first before the actual hardware does.

Either way, if a power supply is going bad, just replace it. Unless you're a qualified electrician, you shouldn't touch it.

Also most common ways for a power supply to fail and die:
  • Power surges
  • Poor components that fail quickly
  • Overeating. Which is caused by:
    • Short circuits, for as long as the over current or short circuit protection lasts.
    • Poor ventilation
    • Poor airflow to cool the parts


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 Post subject: Re: Is my power supply damagimg my mobo?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:41 am 
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Plus the circuit board under it is almost black from being fried along with burnt and melted insulation on the wires that go from the psu out to the MB and other components.

I would've loved to have a tutorial, even the knowledge of where to find a wiring diagram. But I have to think, how many times do I do the same exact thing expecting different results before it's insane? The burnt circuit board and melted insulation were on the side where the system wires come off the board. Plus if I turn the board over there's a whole bunch of blobbed together solder. I don't think a multimeter would help here. I do have one.


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 Post subject: Re: Is my power supply damagimg my mobo?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:55 am 
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chuckabt wrote:
Plus the circuit board under it is almost black from being fried along with burnt and melted insulation on the wires that go from the psu out to the MB and other components.

You did not say which side that capacitor is on. I assume it is a capacitor on the DC side. A meter probably would have reported that defect earlier when it was less pronounced and when the computer was still working. A meter would have also reported the failure later when the computer was also failing. And reported which DC voltage is subverted by the capacitor and other parts.

To say more would require accurate identification of those components (type and numbers); maybe detailed pictures that better identify described compinents with readable numbers. For example, one component (as described) is typ;ically on the other side of that clear, distinct separation line. Vague is if all damage is in the same place. To say why damage occurred would require such details.

However, something is clearly defective. A meter finds a defective 'system' (ie power system) faster, without doubt, and without all that inspection. You have something that is rare - physical damage. So a meter need not report the PSU has a defect.

When doors are sticking, one does not start by planing down (fixing) doors. First the foundation is inspected. A defective foundation means fixed doors will only fail again in the future. For a computer, its power 'system' is its foundation. If a power 'system' has defects (that can be identified by a meter), then other components (motherboard, disk drive, USB devices, etc) will act strange or as if defective. First part of a computer that must be verified is its foundation - its power system. Otherwise confusion abounds.

You are beyond that. You describe apparent physical damage that implies the PSU is defective. Burned PC board is not a defect. Epoxy is not a defect. But a bulging capacitor top, melted insulation, and melted solder is a defect; should not happen.


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 Post subject: Re: Is my power supply damagimg my mobo?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:26 am 
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Why do we still care about the defective PSU? Didn't OP get a new one? Did you still get problems using the new PSU? If so, then something else is causing problems.


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 Post subject: Re: Is my power supply damagimg my mobo?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:20 pm 
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As far as I am concerned or even care this thread is finished. I got a bunch of helpful replies, (thank you)! Some informational stuff for future reference. And some confusing stuff that I don't have the time or energy to get into. I have my house, My almost 18 son, my job with 12 hr. days and a business I'm working to get going. My question has been answered by people who know more about pc's than me. My PSU is fried, dead, kaput! The power spike that I had, that took out 2 computers, fried the cheap ass psu that was in my 2 yr. old pc. It is now replaced, hopefully Gigabyte will agree to RMA the board again. If not I'll get another one off ebay for $61.00 like the last time. Once again, thanks for the replies and good night!


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 Post subject: Re: Is my power supply damagimg my mobo?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:14 pm 
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chuckabt wrote:
The power spike that I had, that took out 2 computers, fried the cheap ass psu that was in my 2 yr. old pc. It is now replaced, hopefully

Did you have a spike? An important question was asked because an answer provided major information. On which side was that bulging capacitor - on the AC side or DC (motherboard power) side?

I do not see anything that even implies you had any spike. Answers to those questions (that others clearly do not recognize as relevant or important) would go a long way to avert future damage.

There is very little relationship between price and quality. A minimally acceptable PSU should be at least $60. But some crappy supplies sell for $100. Quality is not determined by price or name. Manufacturer specifications are the best indicator of quality or crap.

First step to identifying an inferior product. Their numeric specifications are few, short, vague, or not available. Numbers immediately separate crap from quality. Profit center PSUs need not provide minimal industry functions if its numeric specs do not claim those functions exist. Laws are quite clear about this. A PSU manufacturer need not meet any indistry standards (ie FCC, UL, NEMA, ATX, etc). Only a computer assembler is responsible for a supply meeting those industry standards. Most computer assemlbers do not even know what those standards require let alone know they (not the PSU manufacturer) is responsible.

This creates a market ripe for dumping inferior supplies with higher profits on computer assemblers. Price does not determine quality. Numeric specifications do.


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 Post subject: Re: Is my power supply damagimg my mobo?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:17 pm 
Smithfield
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LET'S BEAT THIS DEAD HORSE SOME MORE!

westom wrote:
Prices does not determine quality. Specifications do.

Better specs implies quality components, which implies higher price. But fuck it. Seasonic or Corsair and leave it at that.

Also good luck trying to get the parts to look up online without buying the unit, breaking it open, and finding all the markings. PSU manufacturer's don't just freely give out the schematics or BOMs to their designs.


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 Post subject: Re: Is my power supply damagimg my mobo?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:42 pm 
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Quote what is written; not what you wanted to hear. That misquote says something different - if a relevant concept had been grasped.
LatiosXT wrote:
Better specs implies quality components, which implies higher price.

If true, GM cars are world's best. Since manufacturing costs are highest (due to number of parts, hours to assemble, etc). Only naive assume quality is determined by price. Better quality also means lower manufacturing costs.

A worst watch I owned was a Rolex. Then I got a TI LED watch. TI was more reliable. Kept better time. Cost how many times less money? Little relationship exists between quality and price. But the many who are educatd by hearsay and image never learn that.

Once I started spending less money on Hondas (cars with a higher profit margin), then I no longer needed a tool box. To keep selling their products, some GM cars were selling for $200 less than it cost to build. Have so many manufacturing defects as to even dump warranty costs on its dealers. What was also more expensive was also crappier. Ballpark: higher costs (and price) may identify inferior products with inferior numeric specs.

Unforuntately, some PSU manufactures increase profit margins by removing required functions. Since that PSU's purpose is profits. Some expensive supplies were also some of the worst. Because many consumers ignore specification numbers; instead listened to hearsay from peers.

Nobody said anything about opening and inspecting a supply. Why would anyone read what was never written?

Every Monster product is promoted by high price. Provide a same or inferior product with fancier paint. Then a device, similar to one selling in Walmart for $10, can sell with a Monster label for $100. Examples are numerous.

Questions asked for details that would have said more. Such as which side that bulging capacitor on. It is how the fewer learn from and avert future failures.


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 Post subject: Re: Is my power supply damagimg my mobo?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:57 pm 
Smithfield
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Did the word "implies" escape you? Or are you here because you like to see your words plastered on the forums?

I'm just going to report this to a mod so we can kill this topic. Sorry OP.


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 Post subject: Re: Is my power supply damagimg my mobo?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:44 pm 
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LatiosXT wrote:
Or are you here because you like to see your words plastered on the forums?

OP can answer some relevant questions - to learn how to avert future failures and how computers really work. Or he can let his thread die. But only if you stop confusing others with inaccurate myths, outright lies, and disparaging accusastions. If you stop posting, then what remains will be requests and technical answers for the OP. Or he can end this thread by not replying. Then I need not redirect discussion back to relevant questions.

Useful is to identify which capacitor was defective - on the AC side or DC side. Should he not want to know, then he will not answer - discussion dies. Some expensive supplies are even missing essential functions. One such function would avert external damage to that capacitor - depending on which side it is located.


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 Post subject: Re: Is my power supply damagimg my mobo?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:11 am 
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Man, guys, calm down. Prices do reflect something and in most cases they do mean better quality. But "better" is a relative term. Anyone who does a little bit of research will learn that most PSUs are made by the "big manufacturers", like FSP, Seasonic, HEC, etc. They all have varying qualities and given how much they produce, defects may escape the plant.

Without pulling out the multimeter and "EE for Dummies", just realize that if the PSU failed, it was most likely defective. Usually, a bad PSU will damage other components, not the other way around. Go read some reviews on jonnyguru, hardwaresecrets, etc. They all do teardowns and detailed tests and their conclusions are easy to understand. That's the best way to pick a PSU. Newegg reviews are too subjective, so eh.

Here is a list of PSU manufacturers and "Re-Branders"
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pow ... ,2913.html


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 Post subject: Re: Is my power supply damagimg my mobo?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:06 pm 
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Locking this thread.


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