Power Supply Blew Up - Testing Configuration for Damage?

mda

2[H]4U
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Mar 23, 2011
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2,105
Hi All,

So I was in the process of running a system through a memory stability test (memtest86+) and I heard a high pitched pop - more of a crack, and realized the machine had turned off.

There was a bit of magic smoke but it disappeared fast enough. Couldn't smell exactly where the smell was coming from, but the only thing warmer than usual was the power supply shroud. Tried smelling the back of the PSU and couldn't smell anything either.

My first guess is the PSU is dead.

Would appreciate some troubleshooting tips on how I can try to not kill more stuff.

My plan:
Replace PSU, then go from there. What to try next? Just plug in a new PSU in and try?

Will I risk the new PSU if any of the parts are fried?
Should I throw away the power cord that was plugged in?
Will I risk damaging further hardware if I try testing the storage devices and other parts in another system?
Any chance that the PSU fried the USB sticks and the USB ports on the case as well?

Current parts list:
3700X, NH U12S
X470 Crosshair VII Hero
2x16GB Corsair DDR4 3200
NV Passive GT710
A few 2.5" SSDs, 1x M.2 NVME, a 3.5" HDD
2 USB sticks
Intel 4 Port NIC, I350-T4
Seasonic Platinum P860
Fractal Define 6

Thanks!
 

travm

[H]ard|Gawd
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Feb 26, 2016
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1,385
personally i would just try a new PSU,
But the "correct, safest" way would be to break the system down, visually inspect all chips you can easily see (any, and I mean any sign of damage, consider that part junk and only test it with other hardware you are prepared to lose), and put back only the bare boot minimum. OS SSD, 1 stick ram, cpu, vga, and power on.

Based on your description of events, sounds like a capacitor in your PSU blew up. It would be prudent to verifiy that all your upstream power delivery components (wiring, outlets, UPS, etc) are in working order, and verify voltage is correct (I worked in a place that every day at 4pm, the mains lines would go from 120v nominal to 160v... it was nuts. The ceiling fans would accelerate to ludicris speed and all the UPS's would kick into overvoltage protection, i can only imagine what those fluctuations could have done to a poor computer PSU).
 

mda

2[H]4U
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Mar 23, 2011
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2,105
Too bummed to try a post mortem tonight.

I'll order a new PSU in the morning :|

Hopefully it's just that. Will test Seasonic's legendary reputation to see if it took out any of my parts as well haha
 

auntjemima

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You could unhook the PSU and try jumping it and see if it starts. If you heard a pop and there was smoke, you would smell it wherever it happened.

Secondly, WHERE did you see the smoke? I mean, even if it disappeared fast, you should have seen the location.
 
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mda

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You could unhook the PSU and try jumping it and see if it starts. If you heard a pop and there was smoke, you would smell it wherever it happened.

Secondly, WHERE did you see the smoke? I mean, even if it disappeared fast, you should have seen the location.
The smoke was behind the computer unit. I think this is inconclusive since it could have come from the mainboard compartment or the back of the PSU.

Tried smelling the mainboard area -- there's a smell near the rear fan but this is probably where the smoke accumulated with the fan blowing out the rear of the case.

Edit: Partially pulled out the PSU, smell is definitely from there.

Edit2: Will update within the next few days. Will probably replace another Seasonic P660 while I'm at it :|

Edit3: Agony prolonged a while longer. Power supply will take a few more days. I really hope it's just the PSU.
 
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3dprophet

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Oct 9, 2020
Messages
102
Did you RMA the PSU?

The refurbished units Seasonic sends are better than brand new out of the box. If you get it replaced through a retail store the PSU will have the same flaws.

I had a Seasonic that failed after about a year, and it also had coil whine from new. The replacement works properly after many years and as a bonus it doesn't whine.

They fix the flaws when they refurb or send a better batch. Legendary.
 
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mda

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Just to chime in -- moved the older Prime Platinum 750 I had into that machine while waiting for a new power supply to arrive.

Fired up properly. I think there was a hint of smoke left in the machine though that the fans spit out into my room.

All good, I have 2 SSDs I have yet to test but all the other drives attached to the machine seem to be running properly.

Thanks again, case closed. In the absence of better OEMs locally (not from the USA), I'll be sticking with Seasonic. Ordered a newer model Gold GX-850.


Did you RMA the PSU?

The refurbished units Seasonic sends are better than brand new out of the box. If you get it replaced through a retail store the PSU will have the same flaws.

I had a Seasonic that failed after about a year, and it also had coil whine from new. The replacement works properly after many years and as a bonus it doesn't whine.

They fix the flaws when they refurb or send a better batch. Legendary.

The PSU was unfortunately out of warranty. That was the time Seasonic only offered 5 years on the warranty. I purchased that unit after a glowing review here on the [H] back in 2012/2013. But all good now, the machine fired up properly last night :]
 

GiGaBiTe

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The PSU was unfortunately out of warranty. That was the time Seasonic only offered 5 years on the warranty. I purchased that unit after a glowing review here on the [H] back in 2012/2013. But all good now, the machine fired up properly last night :]

If you send me the dead PSU, I can do an autopsy on it to see what failed, if you're interested.
 

mda

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I would, but I'm not in the USA, sorry. Halfway around the world in southeast asia. :]
 

GiGaBiTe

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Doesn't make much sense to ship a dead PSU around the world lol.

You could still open it up and do an autopsy. Usually just four screws and the lid pops off. If it went bang, it's most likely going to be something on the primary side. Mosfets, controller, bridge rectifier or fuse.
 

mda

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I'll do a post mortem sooner or later. Will update this post when that happens so you can take a look and have a guess at the cause of failure.

This will actually be both entertaining and educational :D
 

OFaceSIG

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Seasonic as you said has a great reputation. Hopefully they don't treat you poorly because you're in southeast asia.
 
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