What is causing my GPUs to FRY!?

WinMan_x2000

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 3, 2003
Messages
154
So, I have an odd one that I am looking for some potential causes or thoughts on.

My wife has a little itx haswell i5 that was running the integrated GPU with HDMI out. This PC had been running fine for roughly 5 or so years. A few months ago her video stopped working on the PC. Here are the steps I took to bring me to this WTF is going on post.

Steps to troubleshoot:
  • Plugged her laptop into the monitor, no issues, got video.
  • Installed an older PCIE video card into her MB, no video.
  • Tried a different PSU, no video.
  • Tried different RAM, no video.
  • Tried an i7, no video.
At this point I have concluded, oh well, the itx MB is shot. I decided to put all the parts back together that I used to test her ITX out, and just say F it. She would now have a normal tower at her desk. I proceeded like a good husband, and rebuilt my old PC, installed everything as we all would. I reused her SSD without reinstalling the os as going from an i5 to an i7 with the same generation haswell parts should not cause a windows issue. I also used the older video card as it was better than the iGPU haswell. I plug everything in, let windows update, restarted multiple times, tested both the GPU and iGPU with no issue. Now, I unplug everything to tidy it up where the case should go. I had all the peripherals connected and the monitor connected and powered to the power strip. I plugged the PC into the power strip and had a large pop at the power strip. Uh oh, no video again! Now, keep in mind, this time I was using a video card, not the internal. Of course, the large pop is associated with a charred electrical plug and the good ole electrical burning smell.

WTF? Now I have fried a GPU, so I decide to test the iGPU, and it is fried too!

Has anyone ever seen this before? This is not my first rodeo in building PCs. Been doing this for over 20 yrs. Can a monitor be faulty and fry video cards and iGPUs through HDMI? I am oh so very confused. I do know that everything is going in the garbage, that's for sure.

Thoughts?
 

jeremyshaw

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 26, 2009
Messages
12,357
Possible. I don't know myself, however.

If the monitor is floating (say) 10V above normal (on both data and return/ground), a desktop PC that's plugged into mains might complain. Laptop running off of battery has no reference, so it doesn't care. It's all a guess, however.
 

WinMan_x2000

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 3, 2003
Messages
154
Possible. I don't know myself, however.

If the monitor is floating (say) 10V above normal (on both data and return/ground), a desktop PC that's plugged into mains might complain. Laptop running off of battery has no reference, so it doesn't care. It's all a guess, however.
OOOOH, very interesting point about a laptop floating. Good thoughts.
 

ManofGod

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Messages
11,936
Honestly, it may very well be the outlet you are using. Did you initially get the machine working at the same outlet and power strip? The reason I ask this is because, 14 years ago, I had the monitor plugged into one power strip from one outlet, the computer plugged into a different power strip with a different outlet, plugged the monitor into the video card and poof, a quick short and the port was dead.
 

WinMan_x2000

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 3, 2003
Messages
154
Honestly, it may very well be the outlet you are using. Did you initially get the machine working at the same outlet and power strip? The reason I ask this is because, 14 years ago, I had the monitor plugged into one power strip from one outlet, the computer plugged into a different power strip with a different outlet, plugged the monitor into the video card and poof, a quick short and the port was dead.
Agree on your thoughts. But, for this case, it was one single outlet through one single power strip in all scenarios.
 

sc5mu93

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 11, 2018
Messages
226
outside of the popping issue with the power strip, did you swap video cables? I didnt see it mentioned in the post.

I have had a cable fail in the past, and it was the most frustratingly mundane thing to debug.
 

WinMan_x2000

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 3, 2003
Messages
154
outside of the popping issue with the power strip, did you swap video cables? I didnt see it mentioned in the post.

I have had a cable fail in the past, and it was the most frustratingly mundane thing to debug.
Yeah, i forgot to mention that. Tried HDMI port to HDMI port. I also tried a Display port to Display port. Both non functional. So odd.
 

WinMan_x2000

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 3, 2003
Messages
154
the power strip gave it up and took various components with it?
I dunno..... I thought through that too, does not make sense. A shorted strip would just trip a breaker and not fry electronics. It just makes me wonder if this is just a very strange coincidence.
 

Rvenger

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
2,082
Get a battery back up so your power is conditioned coming in from the receptacle. That would be my first step. The Battery backup will detect a fault better than any surge protector. Cheap insurance if you ask me.
 
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