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What probably caused my motherboard to fry?

A long story then a question at the end:

A few days ago this happened: I was using my computer playing Team Fortress 2 when all of a sudden it powered off. I pressed the power button to turn the PC back on a couple times but nothing happened. 10 minutes later I came back and pressed the power button about 5 more times trying to power it on, and then there was a small spark that came from the top of the motherboard (between the cpu and the ram) then a weird chemical smell that lasted for a few hours (maybe it was the smell of dust on the motherboard burning up?). After that I still pressed the power button a few more times and nothing has happened since.

I bought a new power supply hoping it was the culprit and plugged everything in, but the PC would still not turn on. I surfed the web and found out about the paper clip test. I did the paper clip test on my old power supply and the fan started indicating that the old power supply might still work. So anyways it seems like the motherboard is broken.

My question is: What could have caused the problem in the first place? Faulty power supply that destroyed the motherboard, or the motherboard just died? My PC is plugged into a surge protector and the power did not go out when my PC first shut off.
3 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about caused motherboard fry
  1. It could have been just a faulty motherboard, depends how long you have had the PC for because it may have just failed because of its age, or overheated, it could be multiple things, what motherboard was it that failed?
  2. GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128344

    It was 7 years old

    I am just curious what the likely culprit is and also thinking of harvesting other parts from the build but I obviously don't want to use the power supply if it was likely the cause of the problem. I assume the problem was probably mobo or psu and couldn't be anything else?

    COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power RP-650-PCAR 650W ATX from factor 12V V2.01 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171014

    Also 7 years old
  3. Best answer
    ravenbear said:
    GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128344

    It was 7 years old

    I am just curious what the likely culprit is and also thinking of harvesting other parts from the build but I obviously don't want to use the power supply if it was likely the cause of the problem. I assume the problem was probably mobo or psu and couldn't be anything else?

    COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power RP-650-PCAR 650W ATX from factor 12V V2.01 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171014

    Also 7 years old


    7 years old would explain it, rather old for a motherboard because I would say a motherboard life expectancy is about three to four years under load that is.

    Most likely your other components will work fine, hopefully this is just motherboard failure.
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