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  1. #1
    If I'm not back in 5....wait longer! QuickCry0's Avatar
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    Icon9 Water Spill / Help Troubleshooting and Advice?

    Hi guys,

    I did something completely stupid the other night. I had left a small glass of water on desk from work, went back up to office at night, reached for lamp button in the dark, knocked water over - a portion of which went right down through the top of my case. This is something I've managed to avoid my whole life with computers, so maybe I was due to invoke my clumsy/careless side, or karma, who knows :) Anyway...

    Specs -
    CPU: Intel i5-3570K 3.4 Ghz w/ CM Hyper EVO 212
    Mobo: MSI Z77A-G45 Gaming ATX LGA1155
    GFX: MSI GeForce GTX660 Ti 2GB
    PSU: Corsair Pro 750W Gold Cert
    16GB (2x 8) Crucial Ballistix sport RAM
    NZXT Phantom 410 mid tower (I only mention this so you can imagine the config)

    First, the computer powered down immediately (unfortunately it was on at the time). I jumped quickly behind the tower, pulled PSU cord and the rest, carried away from the area.

    Inspected the damage - water was definitely on the GFX card in the most amount (about silver dollar sized splash), a little hit the bottom of the case, maybe a drop was on the PSU at the bottom, a splash was on the top fan, maybe a couple of tiny drops ricocheted onto the RAM sticks and into the heat-sink - most hit the case top though and did not get through. It did not look like anything got to the MOBO, as most liquid fell in vertically. GFX card took the most liquid. Damage done though.

    Immediately dried water off with absorbent towels (was always careful of static/grounding), let dry.

    At this point, I decided I would try and start up after giving it several hours to dry. My logic was that the components were dried, and the system shut itself down so fast, I was unconvinced there might be a capacitor exploded -etc. I do not know if this particular mobo has a circuit protection function, or even the PSU, but obviously the computer detected it somehow and tried to protect itself.

    - The system completely powered on and did not shut off at any time. All fans spinning (3 case fans plus the CM hyper CPU fan), all LED indicators on MOBO blue (normal). GFX fans spinning as well. HOWEVER, monitor had no input coming from GFX card/no screen.Tried both a Display Port monitor and also my HDMI monitor to the card - no display.

    At this point, I decided to pull the main components for further drying / cable reset / board inspection. Pulled GFX card, pulled RAM, pulled heat sync (needs cleaned and new thermal paste anyway), laid tower flat MOBO up. No visible water damage. So that is where I am at.

    Here is my thinking on next steps -
    - I do not believe the PSU is damaged. There was almost no water touching it anywhere and it still powers everything.

    - I am unsure if MOBO, CPU, or RAM has damage. There was little to no water touching these parts either - but a drop or an ocean doesn't seem to matter to powered on electronics. I will wipe with alcohol and let dry further. Wont be able to tell with these until I can see the BIOS (if that even proves possible).

    - The GFX card might be shot, but there is no way to know for sure until I wipe it down with alcohol and give it more time to dry out.

    - The first thing I will try to do is use the MOBO's onboard graphics to see if the computer still works without the GFX card installed.
    - Does anyone know if the MOBO's graphics are plug and play at this point? This MOBO has VGA, DVI, and HDMI capabilities. If I try to connect to monitor and boot BIOS screen, should it default to it's use?

    - Is it possible that the surge/power off occurrence flashed my BIOS, and the reason my GFX card wasn't displaying is that it was loading the onboard GFX drivers by default? (This is me being optimistic) Maybe removing the card and putting it back in will work...?

    - Should I flash my BIOS for the hell of it? Not sure of procedures after a surge-induced shut down. I have a convenient button for that...

    - If I can get the MOBOs graphics to boot BIOS and WIN 8.1, then try the old GFX card and fail, I suppose I will be in the market for that GeForce 970... I am hoping that if anything is completely done for, it is just the GFX card. I can justify an upgrade there, but I really hope I do not have to replace the CPU and MOBO. Both are good components and use the 1155 socket, which is on it's way out. Replacing one or the other not in tandem is not really an option from a chipset evolution perspective.

    So along with the questions / situation above, does anyone have any advice for me here?

    Has this or something similar happened to you?

    I'm all ears as I walk though this. I suppose I will update this thread as I troubleshoot more, but I am glad I have this community to share with. Google is crap on this.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Criminal Lawyer is a redundancy AOD Member AOD_ReaverVI's Avatar
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    Terrible accident to have happen. Usually in the BIOS is an option to choose dedicated or integrated graphics. I would also read info on the version of BIOS you have to see how to get the system to auto negotiate dedicated/integrated. Some earlier BIOS' didn't and if you set it to dedicated, but your card was dead, you were stuck having to reset your CMOS to clear your settings. Most modern Motherboards auto-negotiate dedicated/integrated but still worth checking out.

    I would also try holding off flashing your BIOS. Just in case nothing is wrong with your motherboard. I would hate to see something not load correctly and kill the board, all for nothing.

    I would also recommend running hardware diagnostics on your memory and hard drive for peace of mind.

    This link has some HDD checking tools; I recommend using the first two.
    http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolso.../tophddiag.htm

    Here is the site for PassMark's MemTest86™.
    http://www.memtest86.com/
    "I remember a better solution in an old issue of Popular Mechanics. A lead coffee cup - kept warm perpetually by a little chunk of plutonium."

  3. #3
    If I'm not back in 5....wait longer! QuickCry0's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice Reaver!

    I got paranoid today and just stripped the entire thing down. I tested the PSU with a paperclip short and sure enough - short spin/dead. I don't why it was able to run all the components a few days ago- maybe there was residual power left in the unit at that time.

    SO, I guess I will replace that PSU (SUCKS because it was a good one), and check back in. Next will be trying to figure out the MOBO / CPU / RAM / HDD. What a mess...

  4. #4
    Criminal Lawyer is a redundancy AOD Member AOD_ReaverVI's Avatar
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    It does indeed suck. I dont know how much you know, but some of the really nice PSU's have multiple "rails" each one providing its own line of power. If a rail in the PSU has died, general speaking, the other rails should function. I have had a rail go out on me from power surges. Luckily I had leftover ports on the PSU and moved my GPU power cable to the next rail, just to keep me going.

    This is the fun part about having your own system though. This lets you get "intimate" with your computer. Sooner or later you will start trying to coax it alive lol.
    Last edited by AOD_ReaverVI; 05-02-2015 at 04:20 PM. Reason: Spelling
    "I remember a better solution in an old issue of Popular Mechanics. A lead coffee cup - kept warm perpetually by a little chunk of plutonium."

  5. #5
    I'd give my left arm to be ambidextrous. AOD_LephtNut's Avatar
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    This thread has scared the shit out of me.

  6. #6
    Keep honking. I'm reloading AOD Member AOD_Qrow's Avatar
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    Damn, hope that's the only component. I've shorted a GPU with metal on accident + stupidity but it just reset the system and worked for its life until I sold it :D. Nothing about water though, I think I am mostly safe as my case has panels and no openings in the top. Liquid could go down the cracks but I could avoid a direct hit. Also my PSU intakes from the bottom of the case and vents out the back so that is relatively safe.

  7. #7
    "Oh great, here comes Captain Dipshit in a LAV" - Pyle986 AOD Member AOD_Grady666's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AOD_QuickCry0 View Post
    Hi guys,

    I did something completely stupid the other night. I had left a small glass of water on desk from work, went back up to office at night, reached for lamp button in the dark, knocked water over - a portion of which went right down through the top of my case. This is something I've managed to avoid my whole life with computers, so maybe I was due to invoke my clumsy/careless side, or karma, who knows :) Anyway...

    Specs -
    CPU: Intel i5-3570K 3.4 Ghz w/ CM Hyper EVO 212
    Mobo: MSI Z77A-G45 Gaming ATX LGA1155
    GFX: MSI GeForce GTX660 Ti 2GB
    PSU: Corsair Pro 750W Gold Cert
    16GB (2x 8) Crucial Ballistix sport RAM
    NZXT Phantom 410 mid tower (I only mention this so you can imagine the config)

    First, the computer powered down immediately (unfortunately it was on at the time). I jumped quickly behind the tower, pulled PSU cord and the rest, carried away from the area.

    Inspected the damage - water was definitely on the GFX card in the most amount (about silver dollar sized splash), a little hit the bottom of the case, maybe a drop was on the PSU at the bottom, a splash was on the top fan, maybe a couple of tiny drops ricocheted onto the RAM sticks and into the heat-sink - most hit the case top though and did not get through. It did not look like anything got to the MOBO, as most liquid fell in vertically. GFX card took the most liquid. Damage done though.

    Immediately dried water off with absorbent towels (was always careful of static/grounding), let dry.

    At this point, I decided I would try and start up after giving it several hours to dry. My logic was that the components were dried, and the system shut itself down so fast, I was unconvinced there might be a capacitor exploded -etc. I do not know if this particular mobo has a circuit protection function, or even the PSU, but obviously the computer detected it somehow and tried to protect itself.

    - The system completely powered on and did not shut off at any time. All fans spinning (3 case fans plus the CM hyper CPU fan), all LED indicators on MOBO blue (normal). GFX fans spinning as well. HOWEVER, monitor had no input coming from GFX card/no screen.Tried both a Display Port monitor and also my HDMI monitor to the card - no display.

    At this point, I decided to pull the main components for further drying / cable reset / board inspection. Pulled GFX card, pulled RAM, pulled heat sync (needs cleaned and new thermal paste anyway), laid tower flat MOBO up. No visible water damage. So that is where I am at.

    Here is my thinking on next steps -
    - I do not believe the PSU is damaged. There was almost no water touching it anywhere and it still powers everything.

    - I am unsure if MOBO, CPU, or RAM has damage. There was little to no water touching these parts either - but a drop or an ocean doesn't seem to matter to powered on electronics. I will wipe with alcohol and let dry further. Wont be able to tell with these until I can see the BIOS (if that even proves possible).

    - The GFX card might be shot, but there is no way to know for sure until I wipe it down with alcohol and give it more time to dry out.

    - The first thing I will try to do is use the MOBO's onboard graphics to see if the computer still works without the GFX card installed.
    - Does anyone know if the MOBO's graphics are plug and play at this point? This MOBO has VGA, DVI, and HDMI capabilities. If I try to connect to monitor and boot BIOS screen, should it default to it's use?

    - Is it possible that the surge/power off occurrence flashed my BIOS, and the reason my GFX card wasn't displaying is that it was loading the onboard GFX drivers by default? (This is me being optimistic) Maybe removing the card and putting it back in will work...?

    - Should I flash my BIOS for the hell of it? Not sure of procedures after a surge-induced shut down. I have a convenient button for that...

    - If I can get the MOBOs graphics to boot BIOS and WIN 8.1, then try the old GFX card and fail, I suppose I will be in the market for that GeForce 970... I am hoping that if anything is completely done for, it is just the GFX card. I can justify an upgrade there, but I really hope I do not have to replace the CPU and MOBO. Both are good components and use the 1155 socket, which is on it's way out. Replacing one or the other not in tandem is not really an option from a chipset evolution perspective.

    So along with the questions / situation above, does anyone have any advice for me here?

    Has this or something similar happened to you?

    I'm all ears as I walk though this. I suppose I will update this thread as I troubleshoot more, but I am glad I have this community to share with. Google is crap on this.

    Thanks!
    The MB's onboard DVI/D-Sub is plug and play- there are drivers for it- but they will work regardless;

    ** When you try using the Onboard DVI/D-Sub, let me know if the system POST's(Power on self-test) and recognizes all your Memory,your CPU, And main CORE components; If it does, thats an indication those components are probably fine;

    Some MB's(I know Gigabyte, Probably MSI) have alot of Durability+ESD Protection built in as well as the MB's PCB is made/fabricated w/ materials that help prevent condensation/condensation from humidity

    I would follow Reavers advice and NOT flash your BIOS unless its necessary.

    W/ the info Provided the only thing I can think of is that your Graphics card shorted when the water was dropped on the PCB(Im assuming it doesnt have a backplate, those can somtimes prevent shorts) w/ the power on it shorted the card; In my experience, its kind of a hit or miss, sometimes like Qrow, it will just reset itself and work just fine- My Guess is that it shorted when the water made contact w/ the PCB while the system was running-


 

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