Static touch killed computer, which component?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Scott L, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    So I was plugging in a digicam via the front USB port, sat down & forgot to turn the camera on. Got back up touched the camera and SHOCK! A very big jolt ran through my body. The camera still works just fine but the computer hung at the first jolt.

    I disconnected the camera and a reboot would go into POST and even boot Windows but it would say "New hardware found" and then hang from there. Did same thing about 2 more times after unplugging the rest of the USB devices. Waited a bit, opened it up to see if anything was burned or smoking. Looked good so I tried to boot up again but now the dern thing won't even go into POST. No BIOS, no nothing. [​IMG]

    I followed the instructions to reset the CMOS but no luck. The PSU, case fans, and main HD seem to be working ok. Nothing on the monitor though. Think I fried the motherboard? And if so would this be considered my fault or is the jolt supposed to be routed to the PSU's ground somehow?
     
  2. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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    If everything powers up but you get nothing to the monitor, more likely it's the CPU that's fried.

    Bruce
     
  3. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    What did you do to reset the CMOS? Best is to pull the battery and let it set overnight.

    Glenn
     
  4. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Bruce- lol f*ck! oh well let's see how Newegg's warranty works out if that's the case.

    Glenn- thanks for the advice, will do it now.
     
  5. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    ...and cross your fingers.

    When you put it back in, remove any extra cards and drives, if any. Find out where to get a BIOS update if it does work.

    Glenn
     
  6. Mike_J_Potter

    Mike_J_Potter Second Unit

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    Newegg is very good with warranty stuff, though the CPU warranty is only 30 days so you'll have to call the manufacture to make a claim. Everything else I believe is one year you can call newegg and get it replaced.
     
  7. Jordan_Brulotte

    Jordan_Brulotte Stunt Coordinator

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    I highly doubt it's your cpu thats fried. The only way to find out what the problem is too pull all non essential cards from the motherboard and try to power it up. If it does boot then you turn it off and add a card (ex sound card). Keep doing this untill the problem occurs, then you know what component is damged.

    If however it does not boot with all the cards pulled, I'd check the ram. Ram is much more susceptible to static damage than most other components in a PC. Pull the ram and try another stick if you have a compatible one handy.
     
  8. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Based on what you've said I would guess that you screwed up the USB subsystem with the original accident. This may have been a hardware or software problem. That's why you were getting past the POST but hanging at the USB detection stage in Windows. Your best bet at that point would probably have been to restart Windows in Safe Mode, disable the USB controller(s) and then reboot in normal mode. If normal mode worked without USB the next step would have been enable and test again, and uninstall and then reinstall USB if the restart didn't work. That probably would have eitehr corrected a software problem or revealed a hardware problem. At the point you could have looked at disabling all or some of the on-board USB ports and adding a USB card to restor the functionality.

    I suspect that when you opened the case to try to troubleshoot the original problem you caused a new and wholly unrelated one. This happens all the time when people work inside the cramped spaces inside a PC. You reach for the component you're trying to fix, and brush against two others while doing so without even realizing it. So when the PC fails to boot the next time you don't check the power connectors or the memory chips, because as far as you know you didn't touch either of them.

    I'd check all such things for loose connections one at at time, starting with the main power connector from the power supply, followed by them memory chips. If you do get to the point where you can boot into Windows and it goes back to failing at USB detection you'll be past the second problem and back to where you started - at which point you can try the steps I suggested above.

    Good luck,

    Joe
     
  9. Jeffrey_S

    Jeffrey_S Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with Jordan_Brulotte's advice. I've never seen a fried CPU (atleast not one that could have fried the way you described). Follow his advice to eliminate your boards as the source of the problem. If things trace back to the motherboard or RAM, get some RAM testing software which usually works from a floppy. If the RAM is bad, which is my best guess, get some new RAM. If it's the motherboard, replace it. Don't drive yourself crazy with this. Just fix the problem and move on. Things have come down in price to the point that all things PC are disposable.

    Jeff
     
  10. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Just an update for people that may run into the same problem. Both the motherboard and ram sticks were damaged. Everything else from the PSU to the CPU works fine.
     

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