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Old February 13th, 2011, 07:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Motherboard, GPU, Capacitors

Hi. I have some strange capacitors on my motherboard (the computer is a 3 year old HP Pavilion a6230n desktop)

These capacitors are potentially leaking, and have some black looking stuff coming out the top. Is this black stuff that is sitting on top of the capacitors normal or the leaking electrolyte solution? The others on the mobo don't have this issue, so it seems to me they might have had some failure.

Secondly, I had my BFG Nvidia GEForce 8600GT 512MB GPU card fail on me recently (running from the PCI e x16 slot). When I turned on the computer with the GPU in, the computer would start normally but the GPU fan would run at top speed and no image would appear on screen, but the CPU would boot normally.

Obviously that sounds like a GPU failure of some sort, as the computer is working now with its crappy onboard graphics.

I have since ordered a replacement GPU on eBay which has yet to arrive.

Anyway, is there any reason to be worried about these capacitors leaking that could have caused an issue with the PCIE port, thus causing the GPU to seemingly fail? The computer works just fine but it seemes rather odd. Hope it is just the GPU failure.

Anyway thanks for any ideas. Here is a picture of the capacitors:


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Old February 13th, 2011, 09:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I can't tell by looking at the picture if they are leaking or not. If the top of the capacitors are bulging up and there is stuff coming out then they are definitely bad and the motherboard is not far from dying.
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Old February 14th, 2011, 11:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hmm, alright. That is lovely to hear. Seems like they are leaking something but everything is working just fine now. Hopefully I can ride it out for a while if that is indeed the issue.
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Old February 14th, 2011, 11:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The tops of those Caps. should be silver, not black. Black is either leaking or burned out.
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Old February 14th, 2011, 11:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah. Thanks for the info. Hope this mobo can run for a little bit longer. Sigh, not the best time for a new one lol
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Old February 14th, 2011, 11:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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As others have said, they are usually bulging up if they are leaking. It would be silver only if there is no plastic insulation on it. The black could just be poor dyes on the plastic. If it is bulging and leaking, the caps are on their way out. It shouldn't harm anything, but the motherboard won't last. The caps are there to stabilize the voltage, if they are leaking then the voltage could fluctuate to the downside as they are no longer able to store the needed charge.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 05:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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back up your HDD & prepare for a disaster! your MB is on it's way out! The capacitors handle the voltage around the MB & it's unstable which will cause the PC & OS to crash & eventually the HDD will cave in due to this going by my experience.
Check the PSU is big enough to handle the requirements and also check the electrical supply to the computer. Anti-surge is a must!
good luck
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Old February 18th, 2011, 02:07 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rightclickfix View Post
back up your HDD & prepare for a disaster! your MB is on it's way out! The capacitors handle the voltage around the MB & it's unstable which will cause the PC & OS to crash & eventually the HDD will cave in due to this going by my experience.
Yes something might go BANG!! quite expensively

Pyrotechnics will often happen when electrolytic capacitors cease been 'capacitors' and they evolve into 'resistors'. I've seen this happen a few times in switch-mode PSUs.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 12:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedt View Post
Yes something might go BANG!! quite expensively

Pyrotechnics will often happen when electrolytic capacitors cease been 'capacitors' and they evolve into 'resistors'.
i like that way of seeing the problem
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Old March 9th, 2011, 03:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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If you just end up replacing the mobo, I would keep watch on your power supply as well because it could have been the reason the capacitors went bad. If your power supply sends bad electricty through out the mobo, it can cause things like this
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Old March 10th, 2011, 07:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm all backed up and ready to go if something fails on this mobo. So far everything on this computer is working just fine. Got my new (replacement) GPU set up. Had to replace the PSU about 6 months ago because the stock was a typical 300W and the GPU needed 400, so I have a new 450W PSU in there which seems to be working better than the stock one. And it is obviously plugged in to a surge protector too.

I did open it up today and wipe my finger over the capacitors and it looks like they are beginning to fail. The black coating is only on those 3, so they are probably on the way out if they start leaking more.

Anyway thanks for the help everyone (This computer is doing just great with GPU/CPU Folding @ Home too)
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