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Can a motherboard damage PSU?

Konski

Junior Member
Nov 5, 2016
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Ive been battling with PSU issues lately, and I was just wondering this: is it possible for a faulty motherboard to cause damage to a power supply and in what instance could this occur?
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
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May 4, 2000
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Yes. If traces were somehow touching each other, or if your motherboard was improperly mounted in a case and being shorted by being touched by metal outside of the mounting holes.

But the power coming into your house (or the wiring) could also cause PSU issues.

Have you tried different PSUs? We really need more info to make an educated guess.
 

Konski

Junior Member
Nov 5, 2016
15
2
6
Yes. If traces were somehow touching each other, or if your motherboard was improperly mounted in a case and being shorted by being touched by metal outside of the mounting holes.

But the power coming into your house (or the wiring) could also cause PSU issues.

Have you tried different PSUs? We really need more info to make an educated guess.
I have tried multiple NEW PSUs. My problem isnt that the system doesnt boot or has any real issues. All the PSUs I have tried developed an electric clicking noise which can be heard clearly in a few hours in the setup. The sound persists even when the computer turns off and stops when I turn the PSU switch. The first one I tried was even tested at the shop and they reproduced the sound and declared it to be faulty. My old setup stopped working a little while ago and it also developed a similiar sound. Tho the PSU in that was 6 years old. I also recently moved to a new apartment so the house wiring might be an issue aswell. The problem is that I dont really want to use the PC if theres risk of damaging anything... PSUs used are corsair and evga supernova g2
 

UsandThem

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Is the PC you're using 6+ (outside the PSU) years old? If so, your motherboard could have an issue that is causing the early demise of your PSUs.

Those are two good quality PSUs, so what I would do in your situation.

1. Remove everything, place it on a non-conductive surface (wood) to see if it is being shorted by your case. You can power it on this way by briefly touching a screwdriver to the two pwr pins (the ones your case switch are connected to). Remove any video card and use onboard graphics if possible to rule out video card (I don't know your hardware specs, so I'm only assuming you have onboard graphics). If no issues, power down and add video card back in.

2. If comfortable doing so, use a multimeter to see wall readings (or get a smart UPS).

3. If the you still have issues, I'd try another motherboard or take it to the shop you use and have them test it.
 

Iron Woode

Elite Member
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Oct 10, 1999
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get a multimeter and check your apt wiring.

my friend bought an older house and his microwave and fridge died after 1 month. The replacements also died as well as other electronic devices. I told him to check the voltages in the house. He had 135v on the 120 volt system. I told him to call an electrician or London Hydro. LH came out and said there was a grounding issue and some other stuff going on.

After a bunch of repairs his voltage is now down to 124 and stuff isn't dying now.
 

Konski

Junior Member
Nov 5, 2016
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Thanks for the advice! My build is all brand new. I have to make sure the grounding off the components is done right first. Though Im pretty sure I set everything correctly. I think that this could be caused by the wiring of my house, since my old pc did the same thing here. It served me so well and one day it had lost contact to the monitor and keyboard+mouse I cleared CMOS and got it to boot but it just kept freezing before it got to windows. Does this sound like a PSU fault aswell?
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
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Bad power/wiring is very bad for every component in the computer, but is particularly nasty for the PSU, motherboard, and video card.

Dirty power ages PSUs very quickly as they are in first in line.

If this happened with only one PSU, I'd focus my attention on that. However, with several PSUs seemingly having issues, it's most likely a grounding issue or a wiring issue.
 

Konski

Junior Member
Nov 5, 2016
15
2
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I really appreciate that you took the time to share your thoughts! I will try to resolve the issue and will post the results here ☺
 
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Konski

Junior Member
Nov 5, 2016
15
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A little update! I bought a multimeter and checked the wall outlets. On a short time period I was able to measure the voltage which seemed to be stable 227VAC. The voltage should be 230V so its fine. I checked the ground and it was okay aswell. Next thing Ill do is Ill pull the guts on the PC and check the grounding of the motherboard and if all seems to be okay, I have to bring the motherboard/the whole setup somewhere to be tested... Is the testing I did enough proof that it isnt a problem with the house wiring / mains power after all or could there be something else?
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
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The reading looks good at the wall, but maybe check it a few more times throughout the day, especially when you have other stuff running (stove, clothes dryer, high-drain stuff, etc).

If you don't get odd readings then, it's probably safe to assume the apartment wiring isn't an issue.
 

Konski

Junior Member
Nov 5, 2016
15
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Well, I started the computer and didnt hear the noise for a while... It started after 10 minutes and is still present. I measured the voltage again and got the same results. Could the power saving settings of my CPU have anything to do with the sound?
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
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May 4, 2000
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No. Clicking noises will either come from a fan (CPU, PSU, or case fan), or if there is something funky going on in your PSU (like a very bad soldering job), but since you are using either a Corsair or EVGA unit, that's probably not very likely. It could be caused by a grounding issue, so the next step I would do is to get your components out of the case for a bench test to rule out that. Just put it on any non-conductive surface (like a wooden desk).

Which PSU are you currently using?
 

Konski

Junior Member
Nov 5, 2016
15
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Im using the EVGA Supernova g2 750W! I will take the Mobo out tomorrow! I would assume that there would be some other symptoms with grounding issues aswell tho..
 
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UsandThem

Elite Member
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May 4, 2000
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Grounding issues, depending on which area that could be shorted, can have a wide range of issues. It could be so bad that your motherboard or other components could die, or it could cause instability and sudden crashes.

With the issues you have experienced with multiple power supplies (unless you are just one very unlucky person ;)), it's very likely you have something else going on. Grounding issue, flaky motherboard, bad video card, etc.

Now you need to start the process to figure it out. By bench testing it, you will be ruling out a grounding issue with your case. Additionally, when you begin testing it, you can select to use your CPU's integrated graphics in the BIOS, and remove your video card. That way you can test and see if your core components (motherboard, CPU, RAM, hard drive) are good. If so, you add back in the video card and see if the issue begins again. If not, you install it back into the case, triple checking you don't have a rogue stand-off somewhere touching the part of the motherboard (outside of the correct mounting holes, of course).

Each one of those steps should help you identify if there is a problem. If it is truly another bad power supply, you should experience issues with just your core components (listed above), or especially when you add back in your video card and put a load on it (game or a benchmark utility).

Since you said you have already tried multiple PSUs, and still have the same issues, that's why I put it at the bottom of my mental checklist on what your issue is.
 

Konski

Junior Member
Nov 5, 2016
15
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Im about to start pulling the guts on the thing. Heres just something that I noticed: I had the computer and the power supply turned off and the cord unplugged from the back. I noticed that if I turn the plug in the wall socket upside down (SCHUKO), the PSU turned on even tho the power switch was turned to the O position and started ticking. And it never turned off until I pulled the plug. Only after this the lights on the GPU and MOBO turned off. This just keeps getting weirder...
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
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If your PSU was switched to off, it shouldn't do that. If it was was switched to on and you plugged it in, I've seen them automatically power on before shutting down.

I'm not an expert of all the technical differences between 220v and 115v, but it still shouldn't do that if it switched to off. Maybe it is defective or has become damaged from whatever is going on with your system.
 

Konski

Junior Member
Nov 5, 2016
15
2
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Well, Im probably gonna take it somewhere to be fixed... Gonna ask the store where I bought the parts since they fix these things and after all every part is under warranty. It must be defective now since even if the system was shorted out it shouldnt produce any power in off position... I really cant figure this out and I got a lot of stuff to do other than just mess around with my PC every night... :( Yesterday I even played a few hours on the thing to test it and it worked like a charm. I checked the motherboard tho and it isnt shorting on anything atleast. Thanks for your contribution, I will post the final solution here if I ever get one... My tech friends are also baffled about this.
 
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UsandThem

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Please do let us know what the issue(s) turn out to be, because this is one post I am scratching my head over.
 

Konski

Junior Member
Nov 5, 2016
15
2
6
I tested the PSU with a tester plug, it was dead silent. The motherboard will now go under further inspection.
 

Iron Woode

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 10, 1999
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230v? where are you located?

is the PSU set for 230v?

just curious.
 

Konski

Junior Member
Nov 5, 2016
15
2
6
Okay, so I took the PC to the store I bought the parts from to be tested. Im probably gonna get a proper electrician to check the circuit of my apartment aswell just to be sure. I rented the place from a student organization so theyll take care of the costs! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nlp8r5C4X7w I took a sample of the noise tho. Turn up your volume so u can hear it better! THE PSU SWITCH IS IN 0 POSITION AT FIRST!!
 

Konski

Junior Member
Nov 5, 2016
15
2
6
If anyone is interested, the problem isnt in my PC, its in the house wiring. My friend came over for the weekend last friday and he brought hes system with him. As soon as it was plugged in and started it started making a super loud ticking which could be heard from 2 meters away clearly. He returned home yesterday and says there is no more noise emitting. I consulted the shop where I brought my PC to be tested and they had torn the PC to bits and tested it completely. Everything was working like they should. Im having an electrician come by sometime this week to check things out. If theres nothing that can be done I just have to get an online UPS and try to manage.
 

Iron Woode

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 10, 1999
29,245
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If anyone is interested, the problem isnt in my PC, its in the house wiring. My friend came over for the weekend last friday and he brought hes system with him. As soon as it was plugged in and started it started making a super loud ticking which could be heard from 2 meters away clearly. He returned home yesterday and says there is no more noise emitting. I consulted the shop where I brought my PC to be tested and they had torn the PC to bits and tested it completely. Everything was working like they should. Im having an electrician come by sometime this week to check things out. If theres nothing that can be done I just have to get an online UPS and try to manage.
let us know what the electrician finds.

closure is good on AT forums.

:)
 

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