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 Post subject: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:18 pm 
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A little while ago, I turned this PC on for the first time in quite a while. I heard a popping sound. After that, I smelled a burning smell. I soon turned off the PC. I opened up the case, but I couldn't smell the burning smell anymore. I'm afraid to turn it back on. In fact, I'm afraid of troubleshooting the system myself. I feel like having professionals find out what's wrong with the PC.


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:45 pm 
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Most likely the power supply has failed. In some cases when they do they can take other components with them, including motherboards. I would try installing a known-good spare power supply and see if the system is still functional. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:48 pm 
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I doubt you want to take it to a "professional" to diagnose as they would most likely charge you as much as it would cost to build a new box that is 3-4 times as fast as that one is.


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:21 pm 
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Neither me nor my old man could find any blown or leaking motherboard caps. I have a known-not-so-good PSU that used to be part of the system. What kind of PSU would you recommend as a replacement? The current (and apparently bad) one is a 430-watt deal.


Last edited by Maxirad on Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:50 pm 
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You can see my Power Supply recommendation criteria here. As an example, the Corsair HX Series meets those requirements. Of course you should also make sure that whatever you choose has a form factor that is compatible with the existing chassis. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:30 am 
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For the record, the power supply that apparently failed is an Antec TP3-430.


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:58 pm 
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Bear with me, Scott. I bought a new power supply for the PC in question. At first, things seemed to be more or less OK shortly after I put in the new PSU. Then a fan associated with the system gradually blew harder and harder. I got scared, and I thought there was an airflow issue going on. After one power-supply cable was removed, I powered on the PC and got a message that the CPU fan had failed. After the system shut itself off, I thought that cable stuff was interfering with the CPU fan. Despite efforts to rectify the situation (including putting a certain power-supply cable back in and installing a different PSU), the same message kept coming up shortly after powering the system on. Frustrated (the case for the system is so freaking cramped!), I took the PC to a local computer-repair business. A guy who worked there tested three power supplies that had been in the system and decided they were all good. Then he discovered that the CPU fan was spinning properly despite the message popping up. It was basically determined that the motherboard was bad. Another guy who worked at the computer-repair place basically said that it wasn't worth replacing the motherboard in this case. (After all, we're talking about an HP product here.) My dad thinks that an unscrewed screw that's apparently in the case might have shorted stuff out. Do you have anything to add, Scott?


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:43 pm 
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Sounds like it's time to retire the guts in there and get a new motherboard, cpu and memory and you'll be good to go! Sometimes you have to "throw in the towel" on systems that aren't worth the time and effort to repair.


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:50 pm 
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You should be able to get an inexpensive motherboard, processor and RAM for well under $200, which you could then install into the HP case. I like recycling store bought system cases as many of them are more attractive and better designed than the stand-alone cases you can buy. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:23 pm 
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Should I bother keeping the system's two hard drives? One of them has Windows Vista installed on it. Keep in mind that the PC in question has recovery-disc stuff associated with it. I believe System Locked Preinstallation is involved in this case.


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:55 pm 
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If the drives still work, then I'd repartition, reformat and reuse them. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:32 pm 
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No offense, Scott, but I don't care for the system's case. (Click here to see what it looks like.) I find the interior quite cramped.

BTW, Scott, would that loophole involving OEM versions of Windows operating systems apply if I were to use the hard drive with the Windows Vista installation in another system? After all, the motherboard is apparently defective.


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:54 pm 
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That loophole would indeed apply. You could reinstall Vista from scratch and activate using the key on the COA on the HP system. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:28 pm 
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Scott, please tell me if the case for the HP Pavilion Media Center m8300f PC looks good to you.


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:50 pm 
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I kind of like it, the built-in media reader is nice. I'd recycle it (make a new PC out of it) if it were mine. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:51 am 
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Those are tough well made and heavy cases (I hate dragging them around!) they have a USB *internal* drive connection with an adaptor that converts a motherboard header to USB B-type for the drive which pushes in on the left door

IIRC the original Motherboards suffer bad caps


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:01 am 
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Scott, what should I do with the CPU and its fan?


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:52 am 
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Resell, recycle, or in my case start a vintage CPU collection. <g>


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:07 pm 
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Scott wrote:
If the drives still work, then I'd repartition, reformat and reuse them. Scott.


Scott, the drives are not of the RAID- or Enterprise-class variety.


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:15 pm 
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Quote:
...the drives are not of the RAID- or Enterprise-class variety.

OK, but they are both "free" (as in already paid for) and "known-good". I wouldn't put them in a new system I was building, but they might be perfect for rebuilding or repairing an older system, or possibly for use in a rotating backup (i.e. one of several backup drives used on a rotating basis). Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Thu May 23, 2013 5:26 pm 
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I have gotten rid of the case, the motherboard, the CPU, and the fan. I couldn't remove the motherboard from the case since a certain thing prevented me from doing so. At least I wrote down the Windows Vista Product Key.


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Fri May 24, 2013 5:27 pm 
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Maxirad wrote:
I have gotten rid of the case,.... At least I wrote down the Windows Vista Product Key.

Yes but the COA on the case is the license. Whomever has the case holds the license . . . assuming you actually want to install Vista on anything.


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Fri May 24, 2013 9:01 pm 
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FascistNation wrote:
Maxirad wrote:
I have gotten rid of the case,.... At least I wrote down the Windows Vista Product Key.

Yes but the COA on the case is the license. Whomever has the case holds the license . . . assuming you actually want to install Vista on anything.


FascistNation, keep in mind that I took the stuff to Best Buy so the stuff could get recycled. I don't think there was a particularly good way of getting the COA off of the case.


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Fri May 24, 2013 9:18 pm 
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Quote:
I don't think there was a particularly good way of getting the COA off of the case.

I've used a razor blade and a hair dryer with excellent results. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Fri May 24, 2013 10:31 pm 
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Scott, should I shred the piece of paper where I wrote down the Product Key? Keep in mind I own a copy of the Retail version of Windows Vista Home Premium, the OS that was installed on the PC in question.


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Fri May 24, 2013 10:52 pm 
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If you no longer have the COA, then you no longer have the license. Since you have another license, I wouldn't use the key you no longer have the license for. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Fri May 24, 2013 11:29 pm 
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I've shredded the aforementioned piece of paper containing the Product Key. Scott, what would have been your advice had I not had the Retail version of Windows Vista Home Premium?


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Sat May 25, 2013 7:32 am 
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Microsoft claims that OEM licenses are non-transferrable except in the case of a repair. I would have considered this a repair situation and continued to use the OEM license on the system. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Popping sound and subsequent burning smell
 Post Posted: Sun May 26, 2013 9:17 pm 
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Unfortunately, TPTB apparently just had to insist on the use of a certain "thing" (not a screw) that effectively prevented me from taking the motherboard out of the system. I basically decided that removing that "thing" just to get the motherboard out was more hassle than it was worth.


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