Possible to damange mobo from externally striking PC case?

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Possible to damange mobo from externally striking PC case?

Postby ksgibbons » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:16 am

My PC tower case was recently struck with mild force by a pet while the tower was under the desk on the side of the case closest to the motherboard. The PC immediately switched off and will not re-boot. I've examined the power supply cable and opened the case. Nothing appeared damaged or out-of-place aside from one small screw that connects the motherboard to the case frame.


Would it be possible to damage the motherboard enough for it to be inoperable from mildly striking the outside of the case, or is the more likely scenario that the already-loose screw fell when struck, hit the motherboard at some location, and caused a short? I can't think of another reason why the PC would be functioning normally and then suddenly go dark when the dog hit it. Hopefully this silly accident doesn't mean replacing the mobo!

Thanks in advance,
ksgibbons
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Postby Mr T » Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:13 am

Welcome to the motherboards.org..

Yes, good chance if the screw was that loose.. A short like that can kill a board. Screw it back in, reseat all your cable RAM and cards, unplug from mains and press the power button.. Plug mains back in an try powering up again...
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Postby ksgibbons » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:00 am

Thanks, Mr T! I just wanted to quickly respond to let you know that I was able to reseat most of my components and the PC rebooted as normal. Thanks again for taking time to offer a solution - I'm glad the fix didn't require a new motherboard!
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Postby Karlsweldt » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:46 am

Good to hear you are back up and running.
Most of the hardware in a computer is either screwed down or clamped down. But almost all device cards have only one anchor spot.. the backplane mount! A small thump or jolt can cause the card to loosen from its contact slot, and prevent the computer from powering on or showing life.
In almost all cases, it is a cause of the data bus being shunted. Normally, no harm done.
Memory is clamped down at the ends of modules, but still there is the remote chance they might loosen. The CPU is clamped down on its own, and the heat sink assembly is also clamped or screwed down. The older AGP type video card did have an anchor at its front end.. to prevent loosening from the socket. But not with the PCI_E versions. And with the video card having some weighty components, it can become displaced easily.
Power connections seldom come loose, but always good to check any item that connects to the motherboard or power leads.
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Postby fussnfeathers » Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:11 pm

Karlsweldt wrote:Memory is clamped down at the ends of modules.


Not on newer boards, just for reference. Newish boards (my Sabertooth X58 was like this) there is only one clamp, at the end closest to the edge of the board. The other "clamp" is fixed in place, you hook the end of the module into that slot, then rotate (CAREFULLY) the module in until the clamp locks in place.
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Postby evasive » Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:14 am

Uggg I totally do not like the idea of that, having the springy fingers in the slot moving sideways over the memory PCB... I guess they did that so you can easily replce the sticks if all the video cards are in, right?
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Postby Karlsweldt » Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:00 am

evasive wrote:Uggg I totally do not like the idea of that, having the springy fingers in the slot moving sideways over the memory PCB...

I also agree with evasive.. unless the edges of those gold-plated socket contacts are rounded, too much of a chance they can be bent or broken! Also possible the contact strips on the module tongue could be damaged. Is this image of the mobo the same as yours, fussnfeathers ?
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Postby fussnfeathers » Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:39 am

yep, Karl, that's it. Seems to work fine, you have to "hook" it in to those inner tabs at a very shallow angle, then push the module in. I've done this on several boards now with no issue.
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