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A few months ago I was using my computer and heard a very loud popping sound. I didn't think about it much - I thought it was my new furniture settling in. Anyway, a few days after that I had to reboot my PC (I usually have it on at all times) and discovered that my DVD drive opens at startup and refuses to close. It worked fine in another computer, however. After a little googling I found out that this is usually caused by a blown capacitor on a motherboard. This was supported by the fact that one of the two PCI slots on my motherboard just stopped working.

However, upon a quick inspection I couldn't find any blown capacitors on the motherboard, but I did find four of them on my vidcard - a PCI-E GeForce 8600 GT. So my question is - could the vidcard be causing the problems with the DVD drive and the PCI slot? I'll have it replaced anyway, but should I be worried about the motherboard and take a closer look at it?

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3 Answers 3

Ah yes, yet another Nvidia 8600 bites the dust. See Solid capacitors burst, PC seems fine, how safe is it to keep using it?

Unfortunately, sounds like it may have damaged your PC when it went. :-( I haven't heard of anyone else having any issues other than with the video card itself after one of those events.

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Funnily enough, I don't actually have any vidcard-related problems. No loss of performance (though I don't play many games, so I can't really tell here), no random signal loss, no graphics glitches. –  user56529 Nov 22 '10 at 21:28
    
It usually takes several burst caps before the visual glitches start. I've found 1-2 burst caps on 8600's before that showed no issues. –  Brian Knoblauch Nov 23 '10 at 13:54

Heh, I just answered this same question a few hours ago:

Bad motherboard?

Take a look at the picture in that answer and see if you notice any capacitors like that. Mine also popped like you described. Note that a capacitor problem doesn't always end with the capacitors blowing out, just bulging or leaking capacitors can cause a problem.

If you heard the popping, then I would definitely have it professionally checked out or thoroughly look at it because your problems are only going to get worse.

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Sadly, there is a whole website at badcaps.net for electronicsy people to discuss faults caused by bad capacitors. Replacement by a competent repairer can work ,but it is slightly more involved, as they often take out related nearby parts as they fail. –  Tim Williscroft Nov 22 '10 at 21:48
    
Yeah, I linked to badcaps.net in my other post. The whole issue still isn't widely enough known and it should be. –  deltaray Nov 22 '10 at 21:54
    
Yep, the blown capacitors on my vidcard look like this, only worse - the shards are sticking out at a bigger angle and something yellow is leaking out. On the other hand, I couldn't find even bulging capacitors on my motherboard (which is by the way much older than the vidcard), though I didn't look everywhere - a few places are obscured by the numerous IDE, SATA and power cables and the my large heatsink –  user56529 Nov 22 '10 at 22:13

I would worry. If enough juice got to the video card to blow it that hard, power was travelling outside of spec to get there. If you start getting weird intermittent problems in the future, it's probably either the PSU or the mobo.

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I should've mentioned - there were at least two popping sounds. The second one that I witnessed came several weeks after the first one. For all I know, the four capacitors could have blown up separately from each other. –  user56529 Nov 22 '10 at 21:27
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If this is a bad capacitors issue then we're not talking about a power surge but a component failure under normal operating voltages. –  Linker3000 Nov 22 '10 at 21:53
    
true...and it is a demonstrated bad component issue, but i still worry –  hbdgaf Nov 22 '10 at 23:02

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