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I had a case of an exploding CPU. For those who have never experienced one or those who believe it cannot happen, here's a description of the experience : this ...
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  1. #1
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    Computer exploded


    I had a case of an exploding CPU. For those who have never experienced one or those who believe it cannot happen, here's a description of the experience : this is a Dell GX115 machine which is switched on a lot for simulations that need to run; at one point it was switched back on again after a perfectly normal shutdown ; the fan revved up but slower and little louder than normal and after about 5 seconds a loud puff and white smoke coming off the computer; the smell is quite pungent similar to burning plastic.

    Would it in general make sense to replace the CPU or may I reasonably assume that the mother board is faulty too and will never make the computer operating again unless completely replaced ?

  2. #2
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by technossomy View Post
    I had a case of an exploding CPU. For those who have never experienced one or those who believe it cannot happen, here's a description of the experience : this is a Dell GX115 machine which is switched on a lot for simulations that need to run; at one point it was switched back on again after a perfectly normal shutdown ; the fan revved up but slower and little louder than normal and after about 5 seconds a loud puff and white smoke coming off the computer; the smell is quite pungent similar to burning plastic.

    Would it in general make sense to replace the CPU or may I reasonably assume that the mother board is faulty too and will never make the computer operating again unless completely replaced ?
    Yes, the white whisp of death. I would say it's pretty safe to assume the motherboard is done too, and even if it still worked I'd always be leery about it. If it's not going to set you back too much, just replace them both to be safe.
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  3. #3
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    They say that a badly cooled CPU can do itself permanent damage in less than a second, and completely self-destruct in less than ten. There were probably smalls areas of damage on the board too, at least a few popped capacitors. The best thing to do is assume that it is broken, as you never know when problems could arise even if it does appear to work.

    Isn a GX115 quite old, maybe PIII/P4? Anyway, always look on the bright side. You have a genuine reason now to upgrade

  4. #4
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    Thanks for your responses and there was no harm done. It was a fine working machine (FreeBSD), but really not a loss. NIC, RAM and HDD are salvaged, the rest can go to recycling.

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