There was a boom and my computer was dead. No power to the motherboard at all. Strong burning stench.

And I have no spare parts to test if the motherboard or the PSU is broken... My money is on the PSU. No visible marks anywhere. But could be both.

It has been roughly ten years... GPU was updated. But besides that, same computer.

Let's see, best I order a new PSU and see if it works and if it doesn't I salvage the GPU and build a new computer around it. But hey, that sucks.

  • 3
    If you turn it on and the PSU doesn't turn on, it's the PSU.

    If the PSU turns on and nothing happened, yank the mobo out completely and look for burn marks, could be even on the underside.

    Either way, somethings dead.
  • 5
    I think a boom suggests a capacitor explosion. If that's the case - it should be visible somewhere
  • 2
    @C0D4 PSU doesn't turn on. But I was under the impression that the PSU needs something to pull power to show something. Without anything that pulls power, I don't think the fan would be spinning, would it?

    Anyway, new PSU is ordered. Will arrive between Wednesday and Thursday. Then I'll know more.
  • 0
    @netikras It really isn't. So best guess, it was within the PSU. I haven't opened the PSU and I am not planning to ^^
  • 1
    @TheCommoner282 just the fan kicking in would be enough.

    If you can unplug it and turn it on seperate to the mobo (plenty of guides to trip it on) you can isolate it to just the PSU.
  • 1

    Nah, you misunderstood me. I thought that the fan wouldn't run if there wasn't something connected to it.

    But I got what you mean. Hmm... Let me look up those guides.
  • 2

    Okay, I found a guide. I bridged the green and black cable on the 24 pin socket and gave it power. No reaction. Nothing spinning, no noise. Pretty sure that's dead... Good, PSU is gone. New one is on the way. But... I don't know if I should hope that more is broken. It would be a convenient excuse to upgrade a few things
  • 1
    @TheCommoner282 safe to say it's dead.

    I'd still confirm the motherboard wasn't damaged by removing it and checking for burn marks on both sides of the board, hopefully the PSU took all the damage,

    Otherwise you'll be back here next week when the PSU shows up 😅
  • 3

    > It really isn't. So best guess, it was within the PSU

    PSU also has capacitors, you know... And those are quite serious ones - of sizes that could cause an audible boom.

    PSUs don't usually have sophisticated wiring inside. If it's a dead capacitor -- just replacing it with a healthy one might be all you need.
  • 1

    Possible. But it would be illegal for me to do so. At least running it afterwards would be illegal. Because it's a device above 50 V. That needs to be certified around here and you need to be a master electrician to do so, if I remember correctly.

    But be that as it may, if I doubt that would stop me if I had the equipment and experience in it. And the time. As it is, it's being put on the pile of devices I want to take a crack at repairing as soon as I learned something about it and have some time.
  • 3
    @TheCommoner282 oh, I didn't know it might be illegal in some countries to repair stuff you own by yourself...

  • 2

    It's not the repairing, it's the need for certification. My job training is years back and this part was just from the explanation that I am not allowed to repair the PSU.

    So, they told me, I am allowed to repair everything in a computer except the PSU. The reason is that I am allowed to touch anything that is 50 V or above AC and something about twice as much in DC.

    If I remember correctly, the reasoning was about electromagnetic noise. We heard a few stories how in worst case scenarios badly repaired devices interfered with radio signals and that could lead to fines.

    Well, I can repair it and bring it to a professional electrician with the license to certify and he could check my work and recertify it. Then it would be legal. But as you can guess, that's not cheap either.

    On the other hand, the real reason is, I have no idea about electronics and I don't start messing with that part. I got an Arduino kit. I'll start with that when I have some time :D
  • 2
    If it smells, you should be able to identify the source. That said, dying PSUs are the most likely cause. When you buy another, add the power of CPU and two times the GPU, then buy a PSU that can deliver 10% or 50W more than that, whichever is higher.
  • 2
    @TheCommoner282 IANAL but the regulations probably only matter when you're working for someone, not when you're messing with your own gear. But I wouldn't do much more with PSUs than replacing a fan unless you really know what you're doing, and you can test protection circuits etc. The worst that can happen if you mess up is that your house burns down.
  • 1
    You can mess with a PSU.

    Just make sure it isn't plugged into an electrical outlet and if it smells dead, don't try to turn it on or reconnecting it with an outlet.

    Most times when something fries it's a better idea to replace it than to try and salvage.

    PSU is really one of the things where I think spending big is better. Get one with a good rating and look for tests online.

    After all, the PSU is the thing that can literally fry your hardware.

    ... Especially when it's a cheap one with a more than overestimated power budget and cheap condensators which have low heat tolerance and a more than strange air cooler which seems to do nothing at all except being noisy.
  • 1
    @IntrusionCM Even disconnected PSUs can still hold dangerous voltage in the rectification capacitors. On a 230V outlet, we're talking about up to 320V capacitor voltage at low resistance.
  • 2
    @Fast-Nop Ok, but the hold up time shouldn't be that long.

    Though I admit that messing with the PSU was highly unspecific.

    I usually open the case, take a sniff and if my nose says it smells, sayonara.

    Not a fan of experiments with voltage.

    Thus I don't stick a screw driver in the case, poke the resistors or stuff like that xD
  • 1
    If there were a boom then it must be visible if u visually check the motherboard. Even smell parts of it to see if the boom was near. Maybe it's a capacitor that exploded. It happened with my TV. This heat wave is a perfect deal for electronics retailors.
  • 1
    @Fast-Nop @devapsarl

    I couldn't identify anything visually. Hence why I believe that the boom came from the PSU. Smelling-wise, I can't smell anything at the moment. My nose is completely blocked.
  • 3
    Alright, update.

    My new PSU arrived today and I am writing from my not broken anymore computer again.
  • 2
    It was a good idea to remove and check the mobo, btw. There might have been some debree or parts of some components that flew out of the PSU the moment it failed. Especially if there were sparks.
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