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Solved: My motherboard is shorting w/ the tower case... so now what?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by ablang, Dec 18, 2011.

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  1. ablang

    ablang Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Messages:
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    Hey guys,

    I bought one of those barebone kits from TigerDirect.com. It is very nearly similar to this one http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1101361&CatId=336
    except mine didn't come w/ a hard drive and instead I got a 1GB EGA video card. All the other parts are identical.

    Anyways, I put it together and power it up and find that the computer continually shuts down and turns on again every few seconds. So I shut off the power supply and disconnect the power cord. After researching through this site I find that many others have had similar problems w/ this same symptoms.

    I decide to give the "bench test" motherboard a try. Before doing that, I had removed the CMOS battery and left it off overnight. Next day I put the battery back in and try the bench test (skipping the video card and using on-board video plus the power case switch). Lo and behold I am able to see the motherboard startup (Gigabyte) screen and it goes to the BIOS selection asking about using the default profile.

    So I conclude that probably neither my motherboard nor power supply is DOA. I figure that something of the case is touching the motherboard.

    So what do I do now?

    Do I have to create cushions using construction power to separate the standoffs from the motherboard in 6 places? Should I remove the I/O shield plate so that it's not touching the motherboard? Should I apply electrical tape around all 4 edges of the motherboard?

    Where do you guys suspect the 'touching' is occuring and how should I solve that?
     
  2. leroys1000

    leroys1000 Banned

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    Aug 15, 2007
    Messages:
    6,319
    Usually it happens because one of the standoffs
    is in the wrong spot.
    They should only go where they line up with the
    holes in the motherboard.
    I have also seen loose screws get caught behind the motherboard.
    Some motherboard trays have raised dimples that are the standoffs,
    so standoffs don't need to be installed is those.
     
  3. K7M

    K7M

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2000
    Messages:
    804
    Nest time you try it in the case, don't connect all the front panel connectors. It is possible one of the connectors is shorted, and causing it to shut down.
     
  4. Elvandil

    Elvandil

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2003
    Messages:
    51,988
    All the parts needed to put the thing together properly are included (Usually, I find too many parts with those kits rather than not enough), so if standoffs are needed, they are included. The directions will tell you very explicitly where connectors should be and what type they should be. leroys1000 suggestion is a good place to start, but read the directions in detail. You're lucky if anything at all works after a short.

    Don't connect everything at first, but only those things needed to boot the computer and install an OS.

    The case itself usually has an instruction sheet, too, that most people just toss thinking that after all, it's just a case, and why would I need directions for that. They think it's like an instruction booklet for peanut butter, or something. But they can really offer some tips.

    I have had several of those kits and not even once has the machine failed to boot normally after construction, so I will vouch for the kits themselves. That leaves "operator error".
     
  5. ablang

    ablang Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    Hey guys. The video card is a Nvidia GeForce GT 520 and it has 1024MB DDR3 on it. How much power does just the video card require?

    Do I need to have some kind of insulated or plastic washers between the standoffs and the motherboard? My tower case didn't come with that.
     
  6. win2kpro

    win2kpro

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2005
    Messages:
    11,670
    You don't need any insulators between the standoffs and the board. The Diablotek power supply in your chassis is not a very good unit, however it still should be enough for a GT 520 card.
     
  7. leroys1000

    leroys1000 Banned

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    The 520 is not a huge power drain,but being as the power supply
    came with the case,you probably want to use something better.
    Most of those power supplies are cheaply built and don't get close
    to their rated output.

    In my experience,those felt or plastic washers are not used as insulators
    but for some minor vibration dampening.
    They are a royal pain to install anyway.
    They arent really needed.
    The pads where the standoffs contact are either isolated or tied to ground.
    If the standoffs are installed in the proper locations,there won't be any shorts there.
     
  8. ablang

    ablang Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    Thanks for all of your help guys.

    I had my suspicions about where to start as far as insulating the board from the case.

    I decided to try making my own insulated washers for the standoffs out of thin cardstock. I have 6 standoffs in the MB holes that correspond to holes that line up in the case. So I decided to make 12 'washers'. A set of 2 for each standoff. It would go over and under the MB. Under the MB, I had to use Elmers glue to make it stick to the bottom of the board as I mounted it. It took some time (about 15 mins) but it worked.

    Thanks again to this great community for all the help.

    P.S. the manual for my video card says that the card only uses 29W so I'll stick w/ this PS for now.
     
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