So I installed a new fan and upon turning on the computer there was a huge spark with loud bang. Everything stopped working until I unplugged power from motherboard. Now upon boot, computer says one of the fans has failed. Works otherwise. Upon close inspection I see a broken transistor (not sure proper terminology). I mean it cracked open.

The computer is working OK, but I keep worrying about sparks and hence a fire problem. It may not happen immediately. Can someone, with deeper knowledge in hardware, advise whether motherboard change should be done or I shouldn't worry about this or what are the concerns with this situation?

I've included the photo of the damage below, its right next to the fan connector (which now stays unplugged). The model of this seems to be PA102FDG.


  • You would have to replace the broken transistor which sounds out of your technical ability to do so. Its not clear which part is damaged from your screenshot. In other words if you are that worried you would need to replace the entire motherboard.
    – Ramhound
    Jan 12, 2014 at 19:26
  • 1
    It's probably not worth trying to replace the failed SMD transistor. I would just replace the board.
    – bwDraco
    Jan 12, 2014 at 20:07
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    Your first question should be; "what caused the transistor to be subjected to so much current that it blew". Unless you are familiar with circuit fault-finding and replacing SMTs, replace the board. The manhours alone for a tech to do the work probably exceeds the cost of a new board.
    – Tog
    Jan 13, 2014 at 7:51
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    Without a cct diagram and test equipment there really is no way to determine what else might have been damaged or weakened. Personally, I would be unwilling to continue using the board. Right now your processor, memory and expansion cards can be salvaged. If some other weakened component goes short, who knows?
    – Tog
    Jan 13, 2014 at 17:41
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    Also, from the picture, the cap right above the transistor appears to be bulging... Hard to tell for sure, though.
    – derobert
    Jan 15, 2014 at 22:22

1 Answer 1


IF that fan isn't necessary for proper cooling, you can probably run the motherboard just fine without it. At the low currents available to a fan you're not likely to see a fire hazard.

That said, if its an older setup as you've mentioned, you might just be better off replacing/upgrading it.

I don't recommend attempting to replace the SMD transistor yourself. SMD (de)soldering is quite a bit more difficult than through-hole.

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