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That Burning Videocard Smell

HarshLanguageHarshLanguage Registered User regular
So I've finally had a PC part actually fry. The smell of burning solder and plastic from this videocard meltdown is still pretty heavy in my room. D: I could use advice on what damage may have been done to the PC it was in, before I attempt to salvage and test the rest of the system.

I'd been trying to troubleshoot an older PC that has been experiencing hard freezes after a few minutes. Through a simple process of elimination, I'd been removing all the hardware components to see if one of them might be causing the problem. So tonight I took out the older Geforce videocard that was in there and installed my spare, also-old 6800GT. The system was booting fine before the 6800GT went in; WinXP would just mysteriously freeze after a while.

As soon as I turned on the power, I heard sizzling and smelled burning, and then saw sparks and a small fire at one spot on the videocard. Unplugged everything immediately. And turned on a room fan. The 6800GT I assume is simply toast, and I don't want to risk damaging any other PCs by testing it out in another system. But is it likely that the vidcard frying has also done damage to the motherboard, RAM, PSU, or HD?

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> turn on light

Good start to the day. Pity it's going to be the worst one of your life. The light is now on.
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    Dark ShroudDark Shroud Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I don't think it would have damaged the PSU, RAM, or HD. The Ram can be checked by running Memtest. You can check your hard drive by running Spinrite. The real question here is your motherboard. You're going to have to try a different card to see if the slot still works. Also, do you know why the card burned out?

    Dark Shroud on
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    HarshLanguageHarshLanguage Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I don't think it would have damaged the PSU, RAM, or HD. The Ram can be checked by running Memtest. You can check your hard drive by running Spinrite. The real question here is your motherboard. You're going to have to try a different card to see if the slot still works. Also, do you know why the card burned out?

    I have no idea why. It was my previous gaming video card. It hasn't been used in about 2 years, stored in an antistatic bag.

    I hate risking another video card to see if the AGP slot on the motherboard still works, but otherwise I have to just junk the mobo, and then I'd have a useless old processor, etc etc. :x

    Good news, though, the 6800GT might still be covered by the manufacturer (EVGA), which would be fantastic.

    HarshLanguage on
    QSwearing_trans_smooth_small.gif
    > turn on light

    Good start to the day. Pity it's going to be the worst one of your life. The light is now on.
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    DeicistDeicist Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    It's possible (although not likely) that you put a 1.5v card in a 3.3v slot. The slots and cards should be keyed to prevent this happening, but according to wiki some boards / cards were incorrectly keyed and allowed inserting the wrong card in the wrong slot.

    Deicist on
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    Dark ShroudDark Shroud Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I know it's not much of a consolation but Newegg & TigerDirect both have decent deals on Mobo & CPU combos.

    Dark Shroud on
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    underdonkunderdonk __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2009
    I hate risking another video card to see if the AGP slot on the motherboard still works

    FWIW, the chances of something bad happening are very very low.

    underdonk on
    Back in the day, bucko, we just had an A and a B button... and we liked it.
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    HarshLanguageHarshLanguage Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Thanks for all the advice folks. I dug up an ancient TNT vid card to test the system with. Everything works, the AGP slot is apparently undamaged and the rest of the system seems totally unaffected by the burning videocard.

    Of course, Windows still hard locks after a while, so I'm back to where I was before the 6800GT meltdown. :| But I'm now pretty sure the problem is with Windows drivers - I've run a live CD version of Ubuntu on it since last night without any trouble at all. It may be time to just designate this as a Linux box for me to play around with.

    HarshLanguage on
    QSwearing_trans_smooth_small.gif
    > turn on light

    Good start to the day. Pity it's going to be the worst one of your life. The light is now on.
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    tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Thanks for all the advice folks. I dug up an ancient TNT vid card to test the system with. Everything works, the AGP slot is apparently undamaged and the rest of the system seems totally unaffected by the burning videocard.

    Of course, Windows still hard locks after a while, so I'm back to where I was before the 6800GT meltdown. :| But I'm now pretty sure the problem is with Windows drivers - I've run a live CD version of Ubuntu on it since last night without any trouble at all. It may be time to just designate this as a Linux box for me to play around with.

    I would wipe it and reinstall windows, that might fix your driver issues.

    tsmvengy on
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