IrishMASMS (irishmasms) wrote in olug,
IrishMASMS
irishmasms
olug

Bad Caps = Bad Motherboard = OLUG Downtime

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Subject: [olug] Bad Caps = Bad Motherboard = OLUG Downtime
From: Jon Larsen relayer at levania dot org
Date: Fri, 27 May 2005 19:16:32 -0500
To: olug

Back in the late 1990s, a formula for a new electrolyte for capacitors was stolen from a superconductor manufacturer. It was used to make capacitors, many of which wound up in many popular motherboards. The formula was not complete, and was flawed. Over time, the 'faulty' capacitors started to exhibit behavior of producing incorrectly, or erratic voltage to the CPU (as the caps are used mostly in the voltage regulator module or VRM).

The Capacitors bulge and leak electrolyte over time. One indicator of this is the toroid choke in the VRM may show scorching or heat stress.

The motherboard from the OLUG box had such capacitors, which caused the failure last Sunday night.
Pictures can be viewed at <http://www.olug.org/albums/badmobo/>

So, one thing to take away from this is when you do your regular dusting and clean out of your PCs, check the caps, choke, and board surface for any irregularities. You may save your data. You do clean out your PCs, right? If not, check your fan exits and intakes, plus your CPU heatsink.

A good resource:
http://www.badcaps.net/


But, backups are always your first line of integrity.

Jon L.
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