Need PC Tech Help

#1 Posted by MAST (873 posts) -

Over the weekend my cat knocked my wife's drink over and it went onto the top of the computer, through the fan opening, and onto the graphics card. She said the computer didn't shut off on it's own or anything, everything continued to work as normal, but she immediately hit the Start button and shut it down, then opened up the case and dabbed up the little puddle that had formed on top of the graphics card. She then took it out and cleaned it off even better, and took a blow drier to it. When she plugged it back in, the entire system wouldn't turn on anymore.

The next day I took it out and cleaned off the circuit board extremely well with Isopropyl alcohol and Q-tips, but it still didn't work. The system tries to come on for half a second (the fans spin and everything), but then just turns back off. It works just fine when I unplug the graphics card, and turn it on with onboard graphics. It also works just fine with a different graphics card that I had lying around.

I guess it's mostly obvious that it's the graphics card, it's just brand new (6 months old) and I'm just wondering if there is anything else that I could do, or should do. Did the card just short out, and that's why it won't come on with it plugged in? What are my options? Is it definitely the graphics card? How should I proceed? Could I RMA it? If so, how do you go about doing that? I've never done it before.

Thanks in advance!

#2 Posted by alternate (2797 posts) -

If it works without the gfx card then I think you know the problem.

#3 Edited by w1n5t0n (177 posts) -

You probably shorted something, particularly the motherboard. Turning it back on was the big mistake, you have to make sure it's completely dry. Even going as far as letting it sit for a day or two.

#4 Edited by lanerobertlane (194 posts) -

It sounds like you shorted something on the Graphics Card. Most probably because it was on at the time, and then didn't turn off immediately. The fact that it powered down when the start button was pressed was probably a coincidence, and it powered down when the liquid caused a short and blew something on the board. As you are saying it works fine without the card in, I'm even more sure this is what has happened.

Unfortunately, it would be a costly, and almost impossible to job to fix. It would involve finding out which component(s) on the card has blown, removing it from the card, finding a replacement component (assuming it wasn't a proprietary one) and soldering it to the board.

regarding getting it RMA'd, you should check with the manufacturer to see if they cover water damage. Chances are they won't I'm afraid as it isn't a manufacturing fault. Most warranties, extended warranties and insurance policies also exclude water damage.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but you're pretty boned.

#5 Edited by OldGuy (1610 posts) -

As above, if your motherboard has onboard graphics then it's an easy test as that should let the machine power up without the card in it. If you don't have that then it's not going to POST if you don't have a video card in there (well, I've never seen a motherboad that would, but I haven't seen every one on the planet either)... and you'll need to plug a different one in to test... RMA won't work for you though as it's not a manufacturing defect (unless they advertised the card as "waterproof")...

#6 Edited by MAST (873 posts) -

Alrighty guys, thanks. I figured this was the case, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything.

#7 Posted by Kidavenger (3944 posts) -

Longshot, but are you plugging the power line back into the videocard, your wife took it out and you put it back in, I could see this being an easy thing to miss if you weren't the one to take the GPU out in the first place.

#8 Posted by MAST (873 posts) -

@kidavenger: Yeah, I did that. Thanks though. Knowing me, that is something I could have missed. ;)

#9 Posted by Mike (14589 posts) -

Moved to the PC forum.

Incidents like this are why I don't allow any liquids around my machines unless they are in containers that can be completely closed when not in use. It's just too much risk when a minor spill can ruin something that costs the equivalent of a used car.

#10 Edited by Devildoll (959 posts) -

do you have another computer to test the graphics card in?

if not, try another pci-e slot, incase the primary one got filled with stuffs.
And of course, make sure the pci-e teeth on the graphics card are all clean.

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