Did my ass kill my motherboard ?

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#1 ge∅  Icon User is offline

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Did my ass kill my motherboard ?

Posted 24 January 2017 - 05:05 PM

Hello there,

I had to buy another motherboard a couple of weeks ago, for the old one, well, died.

The computer has been emitting sounds at random since the replacement of the motherboard (and the installation of Windows 10): it sounds like a USB device disconnection and it is caused by (or correlated with) my pants rubbing against my chair as I stand up... My hypothesis is that the generated electrostatic discharge is conducted by the floor to the case/cables.

I wonder if it is possible that I killed my old motherboard by repeatedly discharging static electricity at a distance, progressively damaging my hardware... I could mount the computer case to the wall if it is that simple but I wont pierce holes in the wall because of a mere suspicion. Do you think it's possible ? Aren't computer cases protected against this ?

I had noticed problems with the old hardware before it died (computer not POSTing this summer, and issues with the Ethernet port), but it was intermittent and difficult to reproduce under controlled conditions. The fact that I sometimes have issues with the network on this machine today (the wifi is fine, I have some quick disconnects and sometimes I "need" to release the IP address - at least, doing so helps) worries me. Could I be damaging my new motherboard at this instant ?

Thanks

This post has been edited by ge∅: 24 January 2017 - 05:07 PM


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#2 BetaWar  Icon User is offline

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Re: Did my ass kill my motherboard ?

Posted 24 January 2017 - 06:13 PM

I would doubt that electro-static discharge on the outside of your case would be causing any problems. Cases are build (most of the time at least) such that the frame is grounded -- and I actually typically use my case frame to ground myself when working on my machine.

What is more likely is that your surge protector has been tripped (since most surge protectors seem to be only good for 1 power surge) at some point and then any power fluctuation that your power supply wasn't able to deal with eventually fried your motherboard.

But, don't forget that motherboards aren't typically specced to live more than 3-5 years, so depending on the age of your old one, it may have lived a long and full life.
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#3 andrewsw  Icon User is online

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Re: Did my ass kill my motherboard ?

Posted 25 January 2017 - 12:38 AM

Do you code in disco pants?

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#4 ge∅  Icon User is offline

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Re: Did my ass kill my motherboard ?

Posted 25 January 2017 - 08:10 AM

I was thinking that, since my ass triggers a USB deconnection noise, the electrostatic discharge must get to the I/O panel, which is a structural weakness. It could propagate through I/O ports (explaining the Ethernet port failure)

But you are correct: the motherboard did live longer than 3 years.

It's a pity. I had found a funny explanation of my misfortune and you are telling me that it is normal. How mundane!
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#5 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Did my ass kill my motherboard ?

Posted 25 January 2017 - 08:14 AM

Without seeing a visual of the actual setup - no.. I am guessing a cheap mouse, headset, etc was the blame for the "disconnect usb sound when standing up".. or a tilt in the carpet and an improperly secured board.
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#6 ge∅  Icon User is offline

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Re: Did my ass kill my motherboard ?

Posted 25 January 2017 - 01:03 PM

Well, I have an office rolling chair. The seat and back are covered with synthetic fabric, and I can sometimes hear and feel the discharges when I stand up. The floor is a cheap plastic imitation of a wooden flooring, the atmosphere in the room is very dry in winter and I always feel an electrostatic build-up in my hair and sometimes even on my clothes. The case rests directly on the floor. When I stand up I don't touch the (very heavy, secured to the wall and supported by big metal legs) desk: I usually move backward and rotate the chair in order to face my destination before I stand up. I have tried to jump next to the desk, jiggle the cables, it doesn't produce the USB disconnect sound.

This post has been edited by ge∅: 25 January 2017 - 01:06 PM

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#7 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Did my ass kill my motherboard ?

Posted 25 January 2017 - 01:09 PM

Again - that sort of gremlin-esque process seems odd. Maybe get a few rubber hotpads or mouse pads to put on the floor beneath your case.
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#8 snoopy11  Icon User is online

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Re: Did my ass kill my motherboard ?

Posted 25 January 2017 - 10:54 PM

Very strange,

I would re-check the wiring as it may be this that's causing the issue.

also a quick check to see if the IO shield is on right would seem appropriate
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#9 ge∅  Icon User is offline

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Re: Did my ass kill my motherboard ?

Posted 26 January 2017 - 12:36 AM

Actually, there already are rubber pads on the case. It's one of those "silent" cases with rubber and foam everywhere.

I've checked the IO shield, it seems OK, but it's not a regular shield: an Asus Q-Shield, I didn't need to bend it, and positioning it was very comfortable and easy. My fingers remember it.

I'll check unplugging all the cables but the power supply one this evening.

The surge protector failure mentioned by Betawar is a very appealing explanation to the death of the previous motherboard, but it is hard to test. I use to have a UPS, but I would hear the alarm all the time, and the button to shut it up didn't work. I had a similar model at work and it behaved the same, so I've replaced both by surge protector with no battery. It is probably a mistake, because if Betawar is right and the surge protector works only once, you can never know whether it's protecting you or not.

This post has been edited by ge∅: 26 January 2017 - 12:42 AM

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#10 BetaWar  Icon User is offline

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Re: Did my ass kill my motherboard ?

Posted 26 January 2017 - 09:09 AM

A lot of the surge protectors actually have a light to indicate that they are spent; though you have to read the manual on them to figure out what state of the light indicates it is dead and a lot of companies seem to use different "standards" there.

I had a UPS at work and it did wonderfully until we had a power surge one day and then it would alarm any time we plugged anything in to it. So I think the alarm on a UPS is an indicator that it has been tripped (or the battery is bad... or something else entirely). Most of the UPSs don't alarm at all (unless, of course, there is something wrong with it).
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#11 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Did my ass kill my motherboard ?

Posted 26 January 2017 - 09:14 AM

The amount of ESD required to kill a device is something crazy like 75,000 times smaller than what is required for you to feel an ESD.

That being said, an ESD would damage a particular part of the board. If the motherboard is completely dead, I would instead look to power. The job of a PSU is to take unknown amounts of power & provide guaranteed output. If there is a surge, it is designed to fail, in order to not allow the surge further. This protection can be intensified by placing a UPS or protective power strip between the PSU & the power source.

If I were you, I would replace the PSU with your 3rd logic board.
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#12 westom  Icon User is offline

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Re: Did my ass kill my motherboard ?

Posted 26 January 2017 - 10:27 AM

View Postge∅, on 26 January 2017 - 12:36 AM, said:

The surge protector failure mentioned by Betawar is a very appealing explanation to the death of the previous motherboard, but it is hard to test.


Surge protector does nothing useful. UPS also does not help. Obvious because those recommendations do not say why static electricity causes damage - or provide numbers.

Your computer must be built with chassis ground and digital ground separated. That is essential to make static electric damage not happen. Then a static discharge to a properly constructed USB device goes to chassis ground - is not anywhere on motherboard digital ground.

Static electricity is an electrical connection between charges in a body and charges beneath shoes. What is that path? If that path goes through a motherboard, then problems occur. If that path is (for example) an anti-static wrist stra connected to a table or floor pad, then that path does not damage anything.

So again, what does a UPS or surge protector do for that electric current? Most who make these kind of recommendations are brainwashed by protector and UPS claims of "we cure everything".o

Defined is the problem. That must be clearly understood long before any recommendations or solutions exist. Moving on to solutions.

Room humidity must be at least 40%. Important for health (that some companies do not care about). And essential to protect electronics (that companies run by bean counters always care about).

Second, potential for static damage is quite high with custom built systems. Most computer assemblers do not have basic electrical knowledge. Therefore do not understand why chassis ground and digital ground are different. Even the keyboard should have some design features to conduct away those charges.

Third, conductive materials (ie a pad beneath chair, conductive pad located on a desktop to that wrists discharge before touching anything else, anti-static wrist straps) can discharge before those charges become potentially hazardous.
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#13 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Did my ass kill my motherboard ?

Posted 26 January 2017 - 10:31 AM

I don't think anyone has claimed a surge protector and/or a UPS "cure everything".
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#14 snoopy11  Icon User is online

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Re: Did my ass kill my motherboard ?

Posted 26 January 2017 - 11:24 AM

no2pencil said

Quote

If I were you, I would replace the PSU with your 3rd logic board.


Yes I would also add its useful to check the wiring loom for the motherboard as well.

ge0 said

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Second, potential for static damage is quite high with custom built systems. Most computer assemblers do not have basic electrical knowledge. Therefore do not understand why chassis ground and digital ground are different. Even the keyboard should have some design features to conduct away those charges.



Yes again I concur, most people who build PC's do mess up the wiring especially the on off buttons and led's which have a -gnd
and a +pos, which is why it's always a good idea to check the wiring of the machine.

ge0 said

Quote

Room humidity must be at least 40%. Important for health (that some companies do not care about). And essential to protect electronics (that companies run by bean counters always care about).


Why are you such a bad-ass social terrorist all the time ? and if Humidity was a factor which I doubt since its Winter and the Humidity is 63% rH (that's relative Humidity to all you non-engineering folk out there) possibly due to all the rain.
There would be brown marks at the solder joints on the old MotherBoard...

and finally

modi123_1 said

Quote

I don't think anyone has claimed a surge protector and/or a UPS "cure everything".


No, no one said that, it's so weird huh ?

Aah wadda I Know......... :)
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#15 westom  Icon User is offline

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Re: Did my ass kill my motherboard ?

Posted 27 January 2017 - 11:40 AM

View Postmodi123_1, on 26 January 2017 - 10:31 AM, said:

I don't think anyone has claimed a surge protector and/or a UPS "cure everything".

Why did anyone recommend a UPS or surge protector for static electric problems? Most discussions of electrical anomalies eventually get someone recommending a protector or a UPS.

Topic here is static electricity. Therefore no one should have mentioned a UPS or surge protector. Eventually someone recommends them as a solution to 'cure everything' including blackouts, frequency variation, Asus motherboard surge message, harmonics, voltage variations, USB overcurrent, and even lightning protection. Neither UPS nor protector do anything useful for those anomalies. In this case, it was recommended as anti-static protection.
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