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Computer is burning


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#1
hospitaldoctor

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Since yesterday I have noticed that a burning odor is coming from my Dell Desktop. After realizing this, I turned off my computer and the smell has gone away. What could be the reason for this burning smell? Is the computer overheating? How can I fix this? I do not have warranty anymore and the computer is about 1 year old. Any tips? Thanks.
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#2
rshaffer61

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Most likely the power supply is the culprit.
Is the system still under warranty?
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#3
hospitaldoctor

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No not under warrantly anymore. It expired a few months ago... Ive had the computer for about over a year now...
How can I check the problem exactly? What should I do please?
What do you mean the power supply exactly? How can it be fixed? Is it expensive?
Thanks!
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#4
rshaffer61

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The power supply is where you plug your electric cord to the back of the system.
You will have to open the system up to visually inspect the unit.
Expensive will depend on what wattage, what brand and more important what your budget will allow for.
Go HERE and the 4th picture down is the PSU.
Yours may not be black but more of a silver color.
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#5
hospitaldoctor

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What am i looking for when i inspect the unit? How does something like this happen?
how do i fix it?
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#6
rshaffer61

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Easiest way is to just smell the inside of the PSU. If it was the culprit burning you will know right away.
Failure of the unit is the most common cause. No matter how well a PSU is put together it is still a mechanical part which you can have a failure with even with a new part.
If it is indeed the PSU then the only way to fix it is to replace the power supply.
If you can't tell if it is the problem then you will have to remove it which means disconnecting all the power connections and then there should 4 screws holding it in place.
You might want to inspect the motherboard and the video card if it is a add on card and not built on the motherboard.
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#7
hospitaldoctor

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Yes, the power supply smells. I dont know which one is the video card. What am I looking for exactly when I inspect the video card and motherboard?
So what is my next step? If the power supply smells like its burning then I should replace it immediately?
Where is the best place to buy a new one? Can I replace it myself?
I have a Dell studio desktop with a separate video card. The power supply is currently: Bestec, model: ATX0350D5WA
Input: 100-127V~10A 200-240V-5A 50/60Hz
Output 350W Max
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#8
rshaffer61

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Bestec, model: ATX0350D5WA
Input: 100-127V~10A 200-240V-5A 50/60Hz
Output 350W Max

Very low grade PSU for the system
The amount you spend will actually depend on what you can afford.
I myself prefer Corsair myself and they are the ones we recommend a lot here at GTG. They are dependable with good steady power.
The one i would recommend you look at is this one HERE
Connections it has:

1 x Main connector (20+4Pin)
1 x 12V(4+4Pin)
6 x peripheral
6 x SATA
2 x Floppy
2 x PCI-E


Voted best power supply manufacturer 2010
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#9
hospitaldoctor

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Why would Dell put in a weak PSU for this system? Can I call and complain and perhaps get a new one or something from them? My one year warranty expired in August though. What should I say to them exactly??
So is it easy to install myself? I want a dependable power supply that will last for at least a few years, a great value, no modifications required, includes all the necessary wires, will work sufficiently for my system, and is priced a little less than $80 (maybe around $20 - $60). $80 is a little high for my budget. Any recommendations please?
Should I stop using my computer then? How can I examine the video card and mother board?? Thank you.
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#10
iammykyl

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Should I stop using my computer then?


Yes, IMMEDIATELY. You could damage other parts of the computer.

Edited by iammykyl, 12 December 2010 - 01:42 AM.

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#11
hospitaldoctor

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So why would Dell put in a weak PSU for this system? Can I call and complain and perhaps get a new one or something from them? My one year warranty expired in August though. What should I say to them exactly??
So is it easy to install myself? Will the corsair PSU you recommended fit perfectly in my desktop? 550W isnt too much? Thanks!
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#12
rshaffer61

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Yep with the burning you could cause further damage the least worst being a fire in your home.
For that price I highly doubt you will find a name brand good PSU.
Manufacturers use lower grade PSU's to keep the price down on systems. They don't intentionally put a known faulty one in. Several factors could be the cause of the failure.

So is it easy to install myself? Will the corsair PSU you recommended fit perfectly in my desktop? 550W isnt too much? Thanks!


It's not that hard to install if you just take your time. What I normally tell first timers is to sit the new PSU next to the system while taking out the old one. Unhook something on the old one from the system and mark it on the new one. The other option is to follow that guide I linked to in post 4 to see how to mount the PSU.
550 watt should be plenty without over doing it with enough for future upgrades.
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#13
rshaffer61

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Is this the same system you are talking about in the topic you posted back in November?

I have a Dell Studio Desktop with Windows 7 Home Premium. While I was using my computer, I lost all the power in my home (a blackout occurred). My computer shut off and now when I turn on my computer and type in my password in the welcome screen I get this message:
The User Profile Service service failed the logon
User profile cannot be loaded.
And then I get logged off. What happened exactly? What do I do in this situation please? I have very important information on my computer that I do not want to lose. I really need my computer as soon as possible because I have to use it for my job training I would really appreciate your help. Thanks a lot.


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#14
hospitaldoctor

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Yes, it is the same system. why?
Dell Studio 450 desktop intel core two duo with independent video card
Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 (2.93GHz, 3MB)
4GB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHZ- 4X1GB DIM M
ATI Radeon HD 4350 512MB
640GB Serial ATA 2 Hard Drive 7200RPM

Edited by hospitaldoctor, 12 December 2010 - 11:29 AM.

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#15
rshaffer61

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This comment here is probably what started all your issues.

I lost all the power in my home (a blackout occurred)

Most likely the PSU took the blunt of the hit when the power came back on damaging something internally.
It's just taken a while for it to get to the point of it burning as you put it.
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