Question ATX Power Cable, Transformer? Hack? Motherboard Fried

Oct 22, 2020
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ATX Power Cable, Transformer? Hack? Motherboard Fried

So, I bought this 'gaming' computer from eBay. It had the components I needed to run an older version of ProTools, as well as 16ch M-Audio interface.

It ran fine, for quite some time - then it went into a disuse status. Just didn't do any recording.

So I brought it back out to do some graphics work. As I was transferring files over to this 'new' machine, it shut down. I restarted, everything was fine. I figured that it had installed an update on its own and restarted. A few moments after a successful boot, it shut down again and would not restart.

I initially swapped in a known-good PSU, but no boot / no lights / no fans. There was a jumper power supply harness between PSU and MB. It looked like a regular 24 --> 20 pin harness, but had a strange 'black tape' wrapping and large bump in the middle.

What is this?? Why would someone put the circuit board in the harness? Is this normal? I've got a new MB arriving this week to try, but it looks like this hack fried the MB (and hopefully not everything else).

Thanks!
<<<<Struggling to upload a photo>>>>
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
There was a jumper power supply harness between PSU and MB. It looked like a regular 24 --> 20 pin harness, but had a strange 'black tape' wrapping and large bump in the middle.

What is this?? Why would someone put the circuit board in the harness? Is this normal? I've got a new MB arriving this week to try, but it looks like this hack fried the MB (and hopefully not everything else).
Potentially an in-cable capacitor which will assist with ripple suppression, if I had to guess.

Why there would be black tape, I've no idea - perhaps someone was just trying to ensure the connection between the 24pin and adapter wouldn't come apart.... likely unnecessary, but could be the logic behind it.

Difficult to say for sure, pics might help - You can upload to imgur or imgbb and link/embed them here.
 
Oct 22, 2020
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Oct 22, 2020
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That was my initial thought - but the original PSU 24 pin connector has the removable last 4 pins. Why not just separate the last 4, plug in and go?

That thing was an attempt to mate a standard ATX 24 pin power supply to an HP 20 pin motherboard.

If you're getting a new PSU and motherboard, just get regular ATX parts.
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
Thank you!

So, since it appears mine is fried, and possibly the MB too - do I need a harness with this installed? Why would this be necessary? I've not had much luck finding a harness with this already installed.

My MB is an HP 503397-001, 20 pin connector.
PSU is a 24 pin connector (but 4 pins can be removed)

Thank you again!
Agreed with USAFRet, if you're looking at replacing anything.... just get 'standard' parts.

Looks like that motherboard came out of a Z200 workstation, Lynnfield-era Xeons, i3s or i5s.

If you're going down the route of buying anything, it's not likely a great value to find a motherboard to support those chips. They'll be used, or new old stock.

Chances are, you could find a much more 'fit for purpose' system in it's entirety, used for less than the cost of a replacement board + PSU.

It's surprising someone had to adapt off a PSU to the board though, those HP workstations usually ship with pretty decent PSUs, since they were intended for more 'workstation' environments.

That was my initial thought - but the original PSU 24 pin connector has the removable last 4 pins. Why not just separate the last 4, plug in and go?
It depends on the configuration on the board.
An ATX standard 24pin is the older 20 pin + an additional 4.

OEM motherboards will sometimes use proprietary pinouts, meaning the 20 as configured with the breakaway 4, may not match the 20 pinout the board requires.
 
Oct 22, 2020
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That is a good point - I should confirm that the HP board pinouts are 'standard'. Where would I find that wiring info for the board?
OEM motherboards will sometimes use proprietary pinouts, meaning the 20 as configured with the breakaway 4, may not match the 20 pinout the board requires.
 

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