Issues from improper PCI seating?

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Re: Issues from improper PCI seating?

Postby Karlsweldt » Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:49 pm

Go ahead and post an image of that card.. front and back. Might be something that can be repaired, maybe not. As to testing in a motherboard, I would use an older model that is possibly "disposable" but still good.

There is no direct 'gate' between signal routes in a computer, but a coupling capacitor can get the desired data signals to other circuits. The standard computer "signal" is a digital square wave, does not vary in intensity or duration. But the number of pulses per data bit identify the means of executing the process desired. That is from the original "Binary Code" rule. Just a string of "1" and "0" digits, the "0" having a neutral or no value, and the "1" having a positive value. You could refer to the ASCII/Hexadecimal chart to see what represents what. http://www.asciitable.com/
But for analog audio circuits, those signals passing between circuits are sine waves. Same effect of a coupling capacitor. But they vary in minimum/maximum strength and duration.

Stopping one of those small DC fans while powered should not be done for too long, or the servo motor and circuits may overheat. A few seconds is maximum.
Saying 'fairly good' about that Datavac means it is nearly idiot-proof, if directions are followed. Easier to use than an air squeeze bulb, just as safe. And no high velocity stream to cause damage. Plus ESD filtered air featured.

The common electrolytic capacitor is a rolled "sandwich" of thin aluminum foils, one treated with a positive ion chemical, and separated by a permeable insulator. A bit similar to an auto battery. There is a chemical paste (dielectric compound) on that insulator, which aids the passing of electrical ions between the elements. But it is toxic. Highly so! And can etch through copper and other metal parts quickly. http://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/cap ... cap_2.html
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Re: Issues from improper PCI seating?

Postby LakaWaka » Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:11 am

Thanks for all of the information.
The fans stopped for an instant, as it was accidental touches.
Interestinga bout how the Caps work and all that.
Now... Not sure how I feel about the caps and being "highly toxic." So would you say that I should probably dispose of this? I had read a few comments on Google, a few spoke about people hearing a "noise" and that gas came out and that there was a smell. Some people said it was toxic, others said not to worry and that one broken cap wont kill you.... So how bad is it overall to one's health?

Part of me is a bit sketched out, because I asked the guy what happened, and he didn't really give me any indication as to why this device was broken, or what could have happened to it... It was wrapped up, and I don't think I really touched anything (except that one bent cap)... So what exactly is toxic? The gas, or...? I'm assuming that I'm okay since I don't think anything happened, but what would you suggest? Is it something to worry about....? I feel like just getting rid of it now lol! I feel like this is one reason people shouldn't buy used electronics.....
If you think that it's okay and all that I'll get a picture of the card... but for right now... a bit sketched out lol... :(.....

EDIT: Just decided to install the realtek drivers even though we were just discussing driver conflict. It seems that there isn't much in the way of settings for the realtek application, and it doesn't do much overall to my surprise. The sound is... okay. "Speaker fill" does not work like it has worked on older Realtek drivers that I've used, but my speakers do have a setting themselves that I tried. Overall it sounded okay, but it doesn't give me that full surround sound that my sound card does. Maybe if I had more settings that I could use to get the sound I wanted with the Realtek it would be more fair. The Realtek did have some "nice sounds" to it, but just how the entire sound came out just didn't have the same sort of "sound impact" that the x-fi does... But doing more testing now.

Upon further investigation into this capacitor stuff it seems that there are a bunch of things that could happen. I have a feeling that some of the caps on the other sound card had a rust like material on top, and I wonder if some of those caps leaked... I could be wrong.

I also read about the "Capacitor Plague" that happened between 99 and 07, which seemed to hit a lot of capacitors. Taking apart the sound blaster console, I believe it was either stam0ped with a 2004 or 2006 date. Mine was purchased I believe in 2007, but that doesn't mean it wasn't sitting on a shelf for a longer time either..... It seems that this affected MANY computer users, and many people were upset. I have a feeling that if this stuff was super toxic that it wouldn't be used in computer parts, but I have a feeling touching isn't a good thing.... I also read using hot water is a bad idea since it opens pores and that allows these chemicals (anything we might work with in general) to get absorbed easier, which I found to be an interesting tip. Still a bit sketched out about the whole hting, but hopefully you have something to ease my mind, and it's not as bad as I think :P. Would still like to take pictures of this other card, and such, but would like to know the low down (even though I've touched the card twice loll....).
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Re: Issues from improper PCI seating?

Postby LakaWaka » Sun Sep 11, 2016 2:23 pm

So I am not sure what to do at this point.
I tried swapping my sound card to another PCI slot (which I should have done/ thought I did once), and everything worked amazingly for the last x amount of days.
All of a sudden I go try my sound after waking up and it's a little static filled, which I've noticed on the last slot was a bad thing. I switched sound sources in the sound manager, and it worked for about a minute but then I hear a very faint beeep noise, and got super upsetr about it.
I reset the computer and it starts up static filled again, so I try to push in my green front speaker plug and I hear the speakers make their usual noise when plugging in, and then the computer froze. I wonder if it wasn't plugged in all of the way?
I just restarted again and I got the typical beeep+freeze, and now I'm very upset.
I thought that the socket was the issue.... Is that not the case now...? I figured the mobo was at fault, which seems more likely, but why did it work for about a week, and now all of a sudden giving my problems? The other socket did work for multiple days, but at thre end it would freeze every minute and beep all of the time...
Is this possibly a mobo issue, or is there something else at play? I'm going to re-seat my card again just to make sure, since i think trying to plug the green front speaker plug in cvaused something to go on... ... But overall I'm SUPER upset... I thought I fixed it.....
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Re: Issues from improper PCI seating?

Postby Karlsweldt » Sun Sep 11, 2016 3:34 pm

First, I would look over all the capacitors on the motherboard and on any device cards. While most device cards have caps rated at 85°C for general use, where higher heat is present then 105°C is the standard. A motherboard, PSU and quality video cards have the higher rated caps.
Possible a capacitor is starting to bulge its top, a sign of going bad. Can happen due to high temperatures, or a bad electrolyte formula. That "bad caps" plague is still with us, on older gear.
As to static from the speaker plugs, clean the plugs with plain alcohol that has no oils. Just a wipe, then don't touch with fingers! For the jack, a pipe cleaner slightly damp with alcohol just pushed in and out a few times should clean any contamination. Twisting it may leave bits of fiber behind, or distort contacts.
Best if all components connected to a computer that need AC power are fed from the same socket or power strip. This avoids what is known as a "ground loop", where very low voltage but some current passes between the outlets, on the ground path. Can cause sensitive equipment to get buggy. And can cause background hum or crackling.
Lastly, the PC speakers may have a problem with its amplifier system. If they are more than 5 years old, maybe open the one with the amp inside, check for bad caps! Speakers should not feed back any voltage to a sound card or other source.
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Re: Issues from improper PCI seating?

Postby LakaWaka » Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:16 pm

Karlsweldt wrote:First, I would look over all the capacitors on the motherboard and on any device cards. While most device cards have caps rated at 85°C for general use, where higher heat is present then 105°C is the standard. A motherboard, PSU and quality video cards have the higher rated caps.
Possible a capacitor is starting to bulge its top, a sign of going bad. Can happen due to high temperatures, or a bad electrolyte formula. That "bad caps" plague is still with us, on older gear.
As to static from the speaker plugs, clean the plugs with plain alcohol that has no oils. Just a wipe, then don't touch with fingers! For the jack, a pipe cleaner slightly damp with alcohol just pushed in and out a few times should clean any contamination. Twisting it may leave bits of fiber behind, or distort contacts.
Best if all components connected to a computer that need AC power are fed from the same socket or power strip. This avoids what is known as a "ground loop", where very low voltage but some current passes between the outlets, on the ground path. Can cause sensitive equipment to get buggy. And can cause background hum or crackling.
Lastly, the PC speakers may have a problem with its amplifier system. If they are more than 5 years old, maybe open the one with the amp inside, check for bad caps! Speakers should not feed back any voltage to a sound card or other source.


:((((((((((((((((((............ I'm pretty sure I saw something on one of the cards that looked like a bulging cap (the rust like formation at the top). The Capacitor plague strikes again... :(... My card is an old card(would have to check some info to see when it was made, but I think 2006). Which means, most likely, there could be issues.
The speaker static is just something that I notice when you try to plug one in, when the speakers are on, it will make a noise. That's all I might, that it wasn't fuly plugged in, but not sure if that could have done something since it seemed to freeze the comnputer, but I possibly pushed something.
I believe everything is on the same strip, but the main power is coming from the AC itself, and not the strip... is that bad? I figured giving the power supply it's own power source would be better than plugging it into the same strip as everything else, plus I don't have room on the strip, anyways, I don't think....
Thanks for all of the help, much appreciated thus far.
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Re: Issues from improper PCI seating?

Postby Karlsweldt » Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:15 am

Should be no evidence of any substance on the top of a capacitor, unless some glue to keep it anchored. And the top should be flat.. not domed. Otherwise, bad.

As long as all devices and the computer are fed from one outlet, no problems with stray currents. A power strip is rated at 15 amps, same as almost all wall outlets. But the breaker in the strip is faster-acting than the one on your main breaker panel.
Almost all low-grade power strips are called surge protectors. But open one, and the safety device is nothing more than a small disk capacitor, rated about 250 volts! If the power strip costs more than $40.00 US, then it may have some decent protection.
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Re: Issues from improper PCI seating?

Postby LakaWaka » Thu Sep 22, 2016 12:12 pm

Karlsweldt wrote:Should be no evidence of any substance on the top of a capacitor, unless some glue to keep it anchored. And the top should be flat.. not domed. Otherwise, bad.

As long as all devices and the computer are fed from one outlet, no problems with stray currents. A power strip is rated at 15 amps, same as almost all wall outlets. But the breaker in the strip is faster-acting than the one on your main breaker panel.
Almost all low-grade power strips are called surge protectors. But open one, and the safety device is nothing more than a small disk capacitor, rated about 250 volts! If the power strip costs more than $40.00 US, then it may have some decent protection.


I believe you were the one who told me that if you see rusted like stuff that means it's leaking/bulging. I believe I had noticed something like that on some caps on one of the cards, or something, but I'm not 100%, so I will have to double check. I'm also thinking that it could possibly be the console that is what's causing the issues, but not too sure. I will open the console up and see how it is, as I've been meaning to do that anyways because some wood chips got stuck in there (could wood cause any issues to a circuit?)
I guess I will take the PSU off of the 1 socket, and put it on the strip with everything else. Technically I only need power for my computer, monitor, and speakers... Not sure what else would go on there? Technically on the PSU needs power, but I'm assuming that since the monitor and speakers are connected to the motherboard that would be an issue as well. I would assume UPS units have enough sockets needed for everything? I would assume we would need around 2-5 or so. I'm not sure how to check for a good power strip, but I would assume that a UPS would just be my best bet, and I should have had one of those for awhile now, especially with the bunch of power outages I've had.
I believe you said that I should have been okay with the power outages due to the over protection provided by my PSU? Nothing could have damaged any of my components? Something keeps bugging me about those outages and that maybe that has something to do with this sound card issue, but I have a feeling maybe not... Curious about it though.
Thanks a lot as always.
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Re: Issues from improper PCI seating?

Postby Karlsweldt » Thu Sep 22, 2016 3:43 pm

A bit of wood chip, if dry, should not cause problems with a circuit board or motherboard. But if damp, it may become somewhat conductive.. and then pose problems.
For a UPS, basic need is to keep the computer on until a safe shut-down can be effected. If a storage system is part of the setup, then that too should be on the UPS. If a monitor is required for shut-down, then that too could be added.
But the most basic method for shutting down is to press the ALT +F4 keys, then the U key separately.
Self-powered speakers draw no current from the computer.. maybe 10 mils of less than 5 volts at most, as the audio signal.
If using a UPS from a power source, then any budget type power strip plugged into it is good enough. The UPS has superior surge protection, as well as the proper grounding.
Power outages seldom do harm to electronics gear. But if a surge comes in on the power line, can do severe damage. Only about 15 volts over 'nominal' can do damage. But if a lightning strike hits the power lines, could be several hundred volts.
All public power mains in the street or on poles are grounded wherever there is a power transformer. The entire grid is set that way, to help course any dangerous surges to ground.
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Re: Issues from improper PCI seating?

Postby LakaWaka » Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:54 am

Karlsweldt wrote:A bit of wood chip, if dry, should not cause problems with a circuit board or motherboard. But if damp, it may become somewhat conductive.. and then pose problems.
For a UPS, basic need is to keep the computer on until a safe shut-down can be effected. If a storage system is part of the setup, then that too should be on the UPS. If a monitor is required for shut-down, then that too could be added.
But the most basic method for shutting down is to press the ALT +F4 keys, then the U key separately.
Self-powered speakers draw no current from the computer.. maybe 10 mils of less than 5 volts at most, as the audio signal.
If using a UPS from a power source, then any budget type power strip plugged into it is good enough. The UPS has superior surge protection, as well as the proper grounding.
Power outages seldom do harm to electronics gear. But if a surge comes in on the power line, can do severe damage. Only about 15 volts over 'nominal' can do damage. But if a lightning strike hits the power lines, could be several hundred volts.
All public power mains in the street or on poles are grounded wherever there is a power transformer. The entire grid is set that way, to help course any dangerous surges to ground.


What about if it's really humid out, would that cause issues?
I'm not sure what you mean by "Storage System" as in an External HD that has it's own power?
Interesting about the speakers, so I'll leave that off the strip then.
So you're saying to plug the strip into the UPS, or...? I would think you would want to directly plug into the UPS from the wall?
TGhat's good about the outages. The protection inside the PSU should protect it right, or how high are PSU's over-protection rated for? What's the "nominal" voltage? I would assume that lightning could still fry components, but that would be something if PSUs/UPSs could protect from that amount. That's good about the grounding of power lines.
I'm not sure what the issue is, but sometimes it wokrs, sometimes not. I'm thinking that there might be some mobo issue, and randomly it will affect the slot I'm using. The other slot could have just been malfunctioning, and finally gave, and maybe this one will eventually too... It's a PCI slot, so maybe it just has some issues these days since it's old tech, but it's tech that has been used for a long time, so I'm not sure. Granted, the USB ports in the back of this mobo are very wobbly, so overall this just might be a crappy board, or I might have been SOL. Do you know anything about MSI the company? First time using them. Their gear looks nice, and their mobo pages are filled with features, but I just want something that works 100% of the time.
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Re: Issues from improper PCI seating?

Postby Karlsweldt » Sun Sep 25, 2016 3:10 pm

100% dry salt or sugar is considered non-conductive. Same with most materials. But dust, grime and other materials can become somewhat conductive when damp or in high humidity.
As to a storage system, the average user may have just a NAS (network attached storage) unit, self-powered and serving one to five systems. For a commercial setup, the server itself may be multi-processor, gobs of memory, but only one or two hard drives.. probably 1 TB or less total. But it likely is connected via a RAID setup to a self-powered storage unit, up to 20 or more hard drives! But a UPS used in that scenario would be capable of 12 hours use, less or more, depending on needs.
"Nominal" AC mains voltage is 115 volts, single-phase. But you get two service leads, 180° out of phase with each other, providing 230 volts AC for special needs. A lot of countries have only a 230 volt paired mains AC service.
Does not matter how close or how far from the power generating plant.. voltage is maintained at required levels. The voltage coming out of a power generating plant could be on the order of 11,000 volts for local use, or up to 550,000 volts for long-distance transmission to power sub-stations.
Yes, best for a UPS to be connected directly to a wall socket.
The contacts in any device card slot are intended to make best connection if the card is perfectly upright in the slot. Any angle, even slight, may cause poor contact issues.
MSI is one of many companies that manufacture motherboards and other items, and also does orders for different brands. Not the highest rated, but good. Those "other" brands can be 1,000 or more in one lot.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_c ... ufacturers
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