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Motherboard blown? Possibly capacitor? Not sure.


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#1
Gingagirl95

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Hello, fellow geeks! I just joined a little while ago because I need help with a computer problem. I have this old desktop with a part on the motherboard blown out. I have just a plain old case with some kind of MSI motherboard. I'm not sure what model or processor type/speed I have, but I do know that it's an MSI board. It powers on for a split second then shuts off. I opened it up and tried turning it on again, but this time it sparked. I immediately shut it off and unplugged it in fear of a fire or electrocuting myself or something, then looked at the board. In the spot where it sparked, it was blackened and it smelled of burning plastic. Is this a blown capacitor or something? This couldn't possibly be fixable without replacing the whole motherboard, could it?
On another note, since I most likely do have to replace the motherboard, where should I start? I've looked on ebay but I'm not sure what I need to have come with it. I know I have to have a processor and RAM and everything included, but is there anything else? Do I need extra cables or pins? Can I use the ones that came with my old motherboard if I buy the same kind? I'm a newbie so I don't really know what I'm doing. Any help/suggestions would be awesome! Thanks! :D
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#2
Digerati

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Without seeing the part, there is no way to determine if it a capacitor, but my guess would be no. I am sure it can be fixed, but since there is no way to determine if that is the only failed part, of if something else failed causing too much current through that part, frying it. In other words, troubleshooting may take some time, making the cost of repairs not worth it for an old computer.

As to your other questions, again, we don't know exactly what is wrong to know what can be salvaged, but my guess is, it would probably be better to just get a new computer. Even if you could find an exact replacement motherboard, there's no telling at this point if your current CPU and RAM are good.
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#3
Gingagirl95

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Ah, I see. Well, this is just an old computer I have lying around. My family has bought a new desktop, but I was thinking of fixing this one up myself as a project and, well, just to see if I could do it. :) It's not super old, but it ran Windows XP. I'm pretty sure the speed of the processor is over 1GHZ, but I forgot, and I can't really check since the computer won't power on for more than a second. Well, thanks for the help anyway. I'll do my homework and look at the options to see what I can do with it. Everything else seemed fine with it, just that one spot on the motherboard.
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#4
Digerati

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Well, that is a good project for learning. When troubleshooting hardware, I start at the wall. Assuming the wall outlet is good, I move to the power supply. If you don't have good power, it does no good to keep troubleshooting. So you may start by testing that PSU, or swapping in a known good one.
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