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Can a techician determine if a motherboard is fried by looking at it?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by hhannam, Jul 15, 2008.

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  1. hhannam

    hhannam Thread Starter

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    I have a motherboard that may have been accidentally fried by a well-meaning salesman who was trying to help me with a new (used) custom built computer that wouldn't boot up.....(in my opinion he's protected, so to speak, by good Samaritan rules...I've told him I'm not holding him responsible even if it's been fried).

    I was present when this possible frying took place (because a four terminal plug located near the CPU was not plugged in when a power on was attempted), but I don't recall any ruckus (sights, sounds or smells) to indicate an electronic event like "frying", but I'm not a tech, so I don't know if frying can happen silently or not.

    My question is, before I go running off to a $50-$100/hr technician/repairman, can someone with technical knowledge tell me whether a fried board can be detected just by looking at it, or does the technician have to have special testing equipment to find out.

    Note: My board is currently uninstalled and detached from the case it came in.
     
  2. BG-0

    BG-0

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    Not by looking. But if that person had computer parts compatible with the board, he might test it with minimal/no pay.
     
  3. dustyjay

    dustyjay

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    There are cetain things that could be a dead give away. Like Physical burns from shorting or Capacitors burst open. Most times though it would take an electronic test to find out something like that. So unless there is some physical damage of some sort then it is unlikely.
     
  4. hhannam

    hhannam Thread Starter

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    I'm not clear on what you mean by compatible computer parts (which would enable a technician to test the board), but I think I understand what you mean in general. :)
     
  5. BG-0

    BG-0

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    True what dust said, but often there aren't physical traces of damage. By compatible parts I mean computer parts that could be used with that motherboard, if it wasn't fried. If it works with them, then the problem is one of the other parts. If not, the motherboard is bad. Many "geeks" have a lot of extra computer parts, so they can test your motherboard this way. Good luck. :)
     
  6. hhannam

    hhannam Thread Starter

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    I was present when this possible frying took place (because a certain plug was not connected next to the CPU when a power on was attempted), but I don't recall any ruckus (sights, sounds or smells) to indicate an electronic event like "frying", but I'm not a tech, so I don't know if frying can happen silently or not.
     
  7. BG-0

    BG-0

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    Well, do you recall the fan on the CPU spinning? It is highty impropable that the CPU could've fried even if the fan was not powered, but it's an option... But anyways, if it didn't boot in the first place, it is quite highly propable the motherboard is bad.
     
  8. dustyjay

    dustyjay

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    Unless that plug was plugged in when the power dupply was energized, attempting to run the system without it plugged in should not have fried anything. Was this a square plug with 4 pins on it? If so this is the CPU Power plug. You would have gotten a no boot situation if this was not plugged in.
     
  9. hhannam

    hhannam Thread Starter

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    To further clarify my essential concern, this salesman, at the very beginning of looking inside my computer, unplugged that four point plug and replugged it to confirm a secure connection. His warning comment to me was that you never want to attempt a power on without this plug being inserted or else you'll fry the motherboard. It was discovering that this plug was out when I returned home after his final and unsuccessful attempt to power on before I left that made me suspect that he had done the very thing he'd warned me never to do. In that final attempt, the case fan came on, but there was no video (without a CPU plugged in you wouldn't have video, so that may explain that last particular event's result).

    The question now comes up that you seem to indicate the contrary point of view from the salesman in that I think you said if the CPU is not plugged in on a power on attempt ("power supply energized") it would do no harm to the motherboard....is this a valid observation?:confused:
     
  10. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    dustyjay is absolutely correct. If the +12v auxiliary power connector is not plugged in when the machine is started, all that will happen is the machine will not boot.
     
  11. hhannam

    hhannam Thread Starter

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    So the salesman's warning was inaccurate and I may not have a fried motherboard after all....now that's the best news I've had in a long time!! :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
     
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