Cleaning my PC killed my X470 mobo

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Jun 12, 2018
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Yesterday I was cleaning the dust out of my PC for the first time since it was built about 3 years ago and somehow killed my Gigabyte X470 AORUS ULTRA GAMING mobo. Wouldn't post and I'd see alternating CPU/DRAM red LED lights flashing. Did all kinds of resetting including cleared CMOS jumper & battery, holding power button down, checked and replaced CPU power cables and reseating parts like the RAM sticks in different slots and re-installing the CPU to no avail. Ended up making the 45 minute drive to replace it with a Gigabyte X570 Elite mobo which sucks as it has less USB ports but at least my PC is working again.

I was using my Dyson stick vacuum with duster attachment and was cleaning my PC gently so I don't think I hit anything hard on the mobo, visually looks OK too. Has this ever happened to anyone here? Could the vacuum have some static charge to go off on the mobo that killed it?


 

pendragon1

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ive seen dead systems from vacuuming several times, usually its little old ladies doing it though...
could have been a static charge into an ungrounded system, if you unplugged it. if its grounded right static shouldnt kill anything though.
 

Nobu

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ive seen dead systems from vacuuming several times, usually its little old ladies doing it though...
could have been a static charge into an ungrounded system, if you unplugged it. if its grounded right static shouldnt kill anything though.
Depends on what gets the shock. If it's a leg on a resistor or going into a microcontroller you could damage it, especially if the path away from the chip has greater resistance (but also even if it doesn't).

Highly likely static that built up on the bristles from the air passing through. They have ESD safe brushes for a reason.
 

GotNoRice

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I was using my Dyson stick vacuum with duster attachment

What is a "duster attachment"? Some sort of brush?

I would say that if you were making any kind of actual physical contact with your motherboard, you probably killed it with static. There is a reason why so many people use compressed air. You don't actually need to touch the components that you are dusting. Vacuuming is great to start of with, carefully, when there are huge dust bunnies sitting at the bottom of the case, etc. But a vacuum won't get the dust out of the tight spots unless you use something like a brush, which you found out the hard way is not the correct way to do it.
 

pendragon1

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Ah poop. Lesson learned I guess. Thought I'd save time using the vacuum.
if it were a datavac you'd be ok. like nobu said, there are antistatic bristles. normal vacs, not so much.
i once killed a cpu with static. i was young, it was deep into winter, i was on carpet... sometimes lessons are tough.
 

Odigo

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I cleaned out my old computer once and then it wouldn't post. I ended up cleaning the memory slots with iso and a qtip. Fixed the problem :/
 

hititnquitit

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Man thats a drag. I can only imagine. Altho a good reason to upgrade ;)
Scared myself pretty good when i zapped my 780i rig with the vacuum cleaner brush. Didnt hurt anything thankfully. That was when i switched to compressed air and an open window. I still use the shark navigator pro for my case grill/filter cleaning. I have to do it bi-weekly thanks to my aminals and 100yo dusty as hell house. Datavac just doesnt cut it on my filters.
 
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What is a "duster attachment"? Some sort of brush?
Yeah, it was the Dyson nylon duster attachment. Probably created a static electricity bomb, ugh. I should have known better.


Man thats a drag. I can only imagine. Altho a good reason to upgrade ;)

LOL, I'd say the exact same thing except I quit gaming early last year and the new X570 board was $200 and feels like a downgrade from my X470 as it has less USB ports, especially the type-C which I liked using for my phone to charge and transfer data.
 

GotNoRice

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the new X570 board was $200 and feels like a downgrade from my X470 as it has less USB ports, especially the type-C which I liked using for my phone to charge and transfer data.

I was curious about the USB discrepancy since you mentioned it multiple times in this thread. I'm not sure I understand what you are talking about. To me, it appears that your new X570 elite board has the advantage when it comes to USB ports.

Both boards have 10 USB ports on the back panel.
Both boards have 4 USB 3.1/3.2 Gen 1 ports coming directly from the CPU.
Both boards have 4 USB 2.0 ports from the chipset.
x470 has two USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports from an ASMedia controller, which is nothing special. This includes the USB-C port, as well as one USB Type-A port.
x570 has two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports from the Chipset. This is in the form of two USB Type-A ports.

The 4 USB 3.1/3.2 Gen1 ports from the CPU on both boards should be essentially the same, since USB 3.1 Gen1 and USB 3.2 Gen1 are the same speed (5Gbps).
The 2 USB 3.2 Gen2 ports on the x570 board coming from the chipset should have the same theoretical speed as the 2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports on the x470 that come from the ASMedia controller (10Gbps). In practice however, the ASMedia controller is really not that great... So I would give the advantage to the X570 board here. The Type-A ports won't hold anything back compared to USB-C. USB-C is only required for USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (20Gbps) which neither board here supports anyway.
The 4 USB 2.0 ports on both boards should be functionally equivalent and fine for low-speed components.
Both boards offer additional ports via internal headers.

Official specs, for reference:

Gigabyte X470 AORUS ULTRA:
x470USB.png

ASMedia® USB 3.1 Gen 2 Controller:

1 x USB Type-C™ port on the back panel, with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port (red) on the back panel

CPU:

4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports on the back panel

Chipset:

1 x USB Type-C™ port with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support, available through the internal USB header
4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports available through the internal USB headers
8 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports (4 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB headers)



Gigabyte X570 AORUS ELITE:
x570USB.png

CPU:

4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports on the back panel

Chipset:

1 x USB Type-C™ port with USB 3.2 Gen 2 support, available through the internal USB header
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports (red) on the back panel
4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports available through the internal USB headers

Chipset+2 USB 2.0 Hubs:

8 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports (4 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB headers)
 
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