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Question Can a dead video card damage a motherboard?

Perene

Member
Oct 12, 2014
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I had an old Gigabyte H97M-D3H (MB) that died after years being oxidized, suffice to say the computer case accumulated dust/dirt and wasn't cleaned over the years. Also using the i7 4770 CPU. I was using the PC one day and all of sudden the video became fuzzy and then not even went to BIOS anymore (the MB has onboard video). At the same time I was using the AMD Radeon R7 265 video card.

I already bought a new 1150 motherboard (H81-T), which is using onboard video.

The problem is that the R7 265 at least according to the computer technician is GONE, too, so the two broke at the same time when this happened.

I suspect, however, he didn't check the video card, because if your MB dies then obviously you aren't going to get anything from the rest even if they are all OK.

When I went there to bring the new motherboard he said it was risky to put this dead video card in a new motherboard. The idea was to try for the last time and if this didn't work then the BIOS would just not recognize or use the onboard video anyway.

Why? Because when a hard drive dies (and makes that click of death) Windows/your BIOS both don't recognize it anymore, yet a HDD can't affect the motherboard. It just dies separately.

I will ask another person to evaluate the R7 265 condition and if it can be repaired.

What I want to know is if it's true a dead video card can damage somehow a motherboard.

Because if there's always a risk then I am not even going to bother spending on repairing.
 

Topweasel

Diamond Member
Oct 19, 2000
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If it didn't give up the ghost (smoked, burning smell) when the board died then no. You can pretty easily recognize a smell if it shorted. Otherwise I don't see it taking out a board if it is dead.

That said there is no way to know until you test. So catch 22. If it was easier to find a replacement considering age and pre famine pricing I'd say write it off. Now it might be worth finding out.
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
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With as many computer issues you've posted about recently, why would you even chance putting the card in a new PC after the PC tech said it was dead? People in your counterfeit USB thumb drive thread told you to stop using it, but you continued to do it until the drive (according to you) damaged your PC.

If anything, take the card to another PC repair to diagnose it if you don't trust the first shop.
 
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Perene

Member
Oct 12, 2014
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With as many computer issues you've posted about recently, why would you even chance putting the card in a new PC after the PC tech said it was dead? People in your counterfeit USB thumb drive thread told you to stop using it, but you continued to do it until the drive (according to you) damaged your PC.

If anything, take the card to another PC repair to diagnose it if you don't trust the first shop.
This time it was a hardware I bought 7-8 years ago and never presented ANY problem. I didn't know about the dangers of testing a dead video card in a brand new motherboard.

The reason I thought about this was because I was suspicious the computer technician only checked the MB, saw it wasn't working at all and didn't check the video card as well, despite he saying it did. If I were to buy an used R7 265 I would have to spend 2x what I did in this new motherboard. So I have to be 100% sure the R7 265 can't be salvaged and at the same time isn't going to damage this new motherboard. I can't put in an eBay-like website dead hardware that is so expensive these days without making sure a) it can't be repaired, and b) if the repair is worth paying for. You sell these for a fraction of what they are worth when working, I don't want to lose money by giving others a video card that is worth a lot more they would ask (assuming it can work again).

The R7 265 is still useful these days or at least a lot better than using the video onboard which I am stuck now. What I can't risk it is to order a repair and then the R7 265 arrive OK but somehow fry the new motherboard.
 

Perene

Member
Oct 12, 2014
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I brought the R7 265 to another person and under a microscope it has been revealed the PCI-E connectors (not all, some of them) are burned. You can't clearly see this with a naked eye, but it's there. Under a microscope I saw some black areas surrounding them, one of them has even a very tiny hole in it. So in other words this video card was really affected, since I couldn't go to BIOS after the incident (which also took the old MB). I am now waiting for a final answer if it can be salvaged, if it can then if a) isn't going to be damage the new motherboard sooner or later, and b) if it's worth paying for fixing it.
 
Feb 4, 2009
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OP without reading thru the various threads it is probably best for you to buy a brand new in box card from a reputable brand that offers warranty service or guarantees their workmanship.
 

Iron Woode

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 10, 1999
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I brought the R7 265 to another person and under a microscope it has been revealed the PCI-E connectors (not all, some of them) are burned. You can't clearly see this with a naked eye, but it's there. Under a microscope I saw some black areas surrounding them, one of them has even a very tiny hole in it. So in other words this video card was really affected, since I couldn't go to BIOS after the incident (which also took the old MB). I am now waiting for a final answer if it can be salvaged, if it can then if a) isn't going to be damage the new motherboard sooner or later, and b) if it's worth paying for fixing it.
if this is true then it sounds like the PSU is messed up and took out the video card and motherboard.
 

Perene

Member
Oct 12, 2014
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if this is true then it sounds like the PSU is messed up and took out the video card and motherboard.
I never had a problem with the PSU. It's a Seasonic 520W. If it has a problem now I have no idea how to check how "healthy" it is.

I don't think you can tell how good most of these hardware are (with few exceptions) until they die. They can warn you before they break there's no guarantee they will.

If the PSU caused this then it was a temporary short circuit, because I've been using for days ever since I installed the new MB and no sign of a problem.

I think the old MB was prone to die sooner or later, because it was oxidized and the computer case was accumulating dust.

If the PSU has a problem then it's also possible it will manifest when a new video card is installed. Maybe it has something to do with not being able to withstand so much power drained from it anymore?

Whatever happened to damage this video card I have no idea from where it came from. I can tell it was not a lightning strike and for sure no voltage swell... at least I didn't notice. And my surge protector is good and never failed me...
 

Perene

Member
Oct 12, 2014
126
4
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The video card is gone. Due to the extension of the damage I was told it's likely it has affected other parts and/or repairing would be too costly/complicated. Not to mention what was said here that it could die again and/or be a threat to the new motherboard.

Converting to USD I spent US$ 100 buying a new motherboard for this old CPU/RAM. I would have to spend US$ 200 getting a similar video card and it would be used, not new. So for the time being I'll stick with the onboard video.

What I can't answer is if the short circuit was caused by a bad PSU or some electrical problem in my bedroom, or the problem originated elsewhere and affected my system with a voltage swell. I highly doubt the PSU or the surge protector affected the old motherboard and VGA in any way.

The best explanation is this: the old motherboard was going to die anyway due to being oxidized for years and not doing proper maintenance to remove dust/dirt from the computer case and when it died the video card was affected as well. I expected that repairing these computer parts would be either costly or not possible, so take care of what you have because it can die without any previous warning.
 
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