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Author Topic: need advice on intended Frankenstein-style "repair"  (Read 1910 times)

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    Topic Starter


    • Experience: Experienced
    • OS: Windows 7
    need advice on intended Frankenstein-style "repair"
    « on: January 22, 2014, 05:32:38 PM »
    Acer Aspire Desktop Touchscreen All-In-One
    Product: AZ5600-U9D02
    SN: PWSC90203595202B6E6900

    (250 watt power supply - probably fried)
    ACPI x64-based PC
    Intel  Pentium® Dual-Core CPU E5400 @ 2.70GHz
    1x 2GB ram GDDR3-1333 128MX8 1.5v EP
    1x 1GB ram GDDR3-1333 128MX8 1.5v EP
    Up to 8 GB of DDR3 1066/1333 MHz (dual-channel support on four DIMMs)
    (capacity 4 2GB sticks - wondering about eventually maxing that out)
    Also wondering if it is possible to add additional with some bios adjustments and an expansion card of some kind?)
    500MB HDD SATA2  7200rpm internal bootable 
    ST3320418AS Intel® ICH10R SATA AHCI Controller
    SATA 3 Gb/s hard disk up to 1 TB
    DVD/CD-ROM drives: Optiarc DVD RW AD-7643S 
     X8 Super Multi Drive Sata
    Display Adapters: Intel® G45/G43 Express Chipset
    Intel® GMA X4500HD (Intel® G45) (Aspire Z5600)
    Realtek High Definition Audio
    IN (internal and external microphone) Internal: in the middle of the unit above the screen, on both sides of the webcam
    External: Lower right side of the unit
    OUT (left and right. Test using headphones and external speakers)

    Network Adapters:
    802.11n 802.11b/g/Draft-N
    Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller
    RJ-45 Gigabit Lan Ethernet
    Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate)

    Additional readers/ports:

    Multi reader card located on the lower right side near the dvd eject button
    (MultiMediaCard, Secure Digital card, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, xDPicture Card, ExpressCard Reader, Smart Card?)
    eSata port middle rear of the unit
    x 2 on the lower left side of the unit
    x 4 on the rear of the unit
    Operating System:
    Running Windows 7 Ultimate (Upgraded from Home)
    When it began overheating months ago I removed the casing for better ventilation, replaced the fan, added a desk fan behind it and precisely angled it to use air flow to manage heat distribution. Progressively over time it has become harder and harder to maintain core temperature. I was using a modified oven thermometer to keep tabs on internal temperature - proximal, not attached to the motherboard in any way.

    There happened to be a point where I had to work on site and had to leave my monster behind. There was a thunderstorm (and this part I don't quite understand because I have an UPS and a power strip between the computer and the outlet) and SOMETHING HAPPENED (and I don't know what) but upon my return several days later I found hardened white foam everywhere where it had not been before surrounding the power supply and all over the motherboard around the power supply. It hasn't started up since. A TV down the hall and several radios were blown, but the UPS seemed fine other than being off when I got home - I mean - it started up when I restarted it . . .

    It is possible that power supply has failed, and there is also possibly damage to HD and/or motherboard. I don't have my electronic tools with me so I have to at least get something started up first in order to assess with software how extensive the damage may have been.

    I do NOT have a soldering kit or anytesting tools with me. I do have screwdrivers and access to general electrical stuff like nuts, ground wire, electrical tape and heat barriers. I can get silicone heatsink gel from the guy down the hall. Any advice would be welcome!

    I need to cobble something together Frankenstein style from what I have laying around if possible.

    For parts on hand I have:
    > Dell Latitude laptop D620 (also fried in the whatever event that happened)
    > IBM Thinkpad Lenovo T60 laptop (no hard drive but otherwisein working order)
    > Dimension desktop tower E510 with a 450watt power supply (slower than erosion bcz it is a pentium 4 with 256k RAM, but has Windows XP Pro and does start up)

    I need to know ASAP
    what bits and pieces from which computers cobbled together can help me get the files and use of some applications so I can finish the project and make some money so I can buy a decent computer to work with instead of hand-me-downs

    AND I need to know how to assess motherboard & graphics card & HD for damage due to overheating and/or electrical damage MacGuyver style

    Secondarily it would be so nice if I could Frankenstein a few of the others into externals (CD/DVD drives, extra HD space and/or memory, etc) 

    I have been able to find specs and manuals for most of this stuff, but it would be nice to have access to actual technical specs, electrical diagrams, data flow, charts, etc - anything that will help me put together one working computer from what I have, rescue the files and do the work without the danger of frying anything before the job is done. Most of what I have found on YouTube is not what I need nor detailed enough.

    Any and all suggestions/direction welcomed!

    (and I do expect some snide comments, but please remember that not everyone has an easy life and access to money, resources and solutions as they would like, so I have learned to make do or find another way)




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    Re: need advice on intended Frankenstein-style "repair"
    « Reply #1 on: January 22, 2014, 06:07:53 PM »
    but upon my return several days later I found hardened white foam everywhere where it had not been before surrounding the power supply and all over the motherboard around the power supply

    The only thing that could cause this would be leaked electrolyte from capacitors. Generally this stuff smells like rotten fish.

    * In regards to the foam issue, I have never seen such a failure to this extent where foam "which gives me the visual of expansion foam insulation" is inside a computer. The Capacitors have a small amount of electrolyte and generally it takes time for the oil to turn into a foamy secretion due to internal gas pressure within the capacitors that vent. In power supplies that have blown up on me, its an oil that oozes out of it with a dead fish smell and fibers that look like cigarette filters shreaded inside the computer from the electrolyte soaked wick material that also acts as an insulator between the foil plates inside the capacitors. And these capacitors EXPLODED inside the chinese no name power supply on the 2nd boot of a new build during a Windows installation without warning. Just a hiss and BOOM and then white smoke flowing out the back of the tower like a fog machine and I yanked the power cord out the back to avoid a fire. Oil was leaking out the seams of the power supply housing and dripping to the bottom of the case.

    From the sounds of it... it is probably time to part with this system and turn the hard drive from this system into an external drive to get your data.


    > Dell Latitude laptop D620 (also fried in the whatever event that happened)
    > IBM Thinkpad Lenovo T60 laptop (no hard drive but otherwisein working order)

    And no money...

    I'd take the SATA HDD out of the Dell Laptop and install it into the IBM Laptop to have a working Core 2 Duo system that is way better than a Pentium 4. * Requires repair install or clean install of OS!!!

    To have anything better than what your left with, you will have to spend money or get lucky at finding a system that someone doesnt need anymore for free which might be better :-\

    If you are lucky you can find a Socket 775 Motherboard that supports ( Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Pentium E Series CPU's) and install the E5400 into a new motherboard. And if the RAM also isnt contaminated use that, but you still need an enclosure and power supply that is good and the Pentium 4 could be an enclosure donor, but the PSU probably wont work because you need the additional 4pin molex 12V power connection and most Pentium 4 systems are without this unless it was a later Pentium 4 socket 775 system. ***Looking up your Dell Tower it maxes out on a Pentium D and personally there is little to gain between the D and the Pentium 4 you already have, so it might as well remain the same unless you have a Pentium D laying around at no cost and thermal compound to replace when the bond is broken with the CPU and heatsink to avoid overheating on operation.


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    Re: need advice on intended Frankenstein-style "repair"
    « Reply #2 on: January 22, 2014, 06:37:31 PM »
    DaveLembke, I agree.

    Apparently this was a major direct lightning discharge.  Thee is no tropical protection  from that rare disaster. .
    Nothing or value will be salvageable.
    So, there is little the OP can do at this  point.
    I suggest talking to the insurance company. And check the warranty opf the UPS.
    Moral of the story:
    A backup plan has to cover extreme issues. 
    An UPS is a great idea. But in fact, they offer mediocre protection. Then there are other things. Earthquake. Flood. Fire. Riots.  So the best investment is to have a full copy of important stuff same somewhere else. And a spare PC in the closet.