USB Kills PC

  johnzc 22:27 20 Apr 2007

Just plugged a USB hard drive into my PC which shut down and produced a burning smell.
Obviously fried something, but what? Motherboard? ATX Power Supply?
PC will not power up at all now.

  Totally-braindead 22:47 20 Apr 2007

There is a fuse for the USB built into the motherboard and I would have thought it would have blown first. But if it had your PC would still have run but without the USB. Since its not starting I can only assume that either the entire motherboard has blown or the power supply.
I'll have to leave it for others to supply any testing ideas as personally I have no idea how to test the power supply and would myself try another power supply first.
If it was the plugging in of the hard drive that caused this then there is a good possability it would have blown the USB ports as well even assumming the board and CPU is ok. If so then you can buy a USB card for about £10-20 so thats not a total loss.
First thing, open the case, see if you can detect what has been burning and check all leads. It could be something as simple as a lead coming out but the smell of burning does obviously concern me.

  phono 22:50 20 Apr 2007

Who manufactured the PC or is it a home build?

Have you previously plugged other USB devices into the same socket without problems?

Did you use the motherboard USB sockets to connect or, as I suspect, case mounted sockets attached via a header cable?

Some case suppliers have the USB header cable wires terminated individually and as a result may have been connected incorrectly.

  phono 22:53 20 Apr 2007

"First thing, open the case, see if you can detect what has been burning and check all leads."

Good call, look for blackened components or copper tracks.

  Totally-braindead 22:53 20 Apr 2007

Should have said perhaps, if your power supply is not a branded one then perhaps, depending on what you have added to your PC the power demands were just too great. From my point of view its more than likely the power supply that has failed.

This might be stating the obvious but have you tried another fuse in the plug?

  johnzc 00:27 21 Apr 2007

Have got the power supply out now and opened the case. Surprise surprise two capacitors seem to have overheated and died.
So new psu could be the solution.
Thanks to all who replied.

  phono 21:51 21 Apr 2007

I take it that it's the PSU that has the dead capacitors? Hopefully it won't have taken the motherboard and/or other components with it when it died.

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