Question I think my pc is frying itself

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Sep 16, 2019
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Hello, I'm new to the site and honestly, I never thoroughly cleaned the motherboard of my PC, I am too afraid to damage/murder it.

So I had a back fan clunking and giving odd noises ever since I bought a pre-made PC (you all hate me by now don't you), but it never (and it worked hard) made any other issues.

So yesternight I play some games with friends, the usual, and I sense a plasticky or burning dust smell, I cleaned everything I could, all the fans with brushes and vacuum.

Turned it on to check if smell would persist but it doesn't seem to, is my poor PC okay? Am I in danger? Is my PC in danger and how do I clean the motherboard efficiently without damaging it? It's very dirty and I got a brush and tiny air compressor can but I'm beyond afraid of doing a coup de grace to my PC.

I bought an external drive to attempt and back up what I got and that was the only thing I could think of, I'll probably call a service but I'm honestly unsure of it because (here) they often steal personal info/phones etc and I got no one of trust yet.

Those are my current & planned steps, sorry for a long post.

If you know anything, please do tell! This has been a wake up call for my bad electronics hygiene and I'd like to fix it before it's too late!
 

Grobe

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Have a look for:
  • Molex and other power connectors, Look for signs of overheating (melted plastic or burnmarks on connector pins)
  • Capacitors on mainboard and PSU. Particular at bottom or if they seems to be pressurized from inside.
Also, if old thermal paste on CPU is really dried out, but I cannot tell what it may smell like.
 
Sep 16, 2019
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  • Capacitors on mainboard and PSU. Particular at bottom or if they seems to be pressurized from inside.
Well, capacitors give off a specific smell to my knowledge and I didn't notice that any of them popping. I didn't open PSU up yet, I was adviaed not to until now., I will check rest, thanks!
 

Grobe

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You're right about don't opening up PSU.

That is dangerous because even if not connected to mains, it probably still holds a voltage equal to or higher than mains that may give off ugly burn marks on skin. Or other damages from schock.
 

Grobe

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Does it still smell burned of your rig? Are you able to separate different parts and actually smell on them in order to find where it comes from.

In theory the source can be everything that is connected to power, even cd/dvd rom (have once a 3.5' diskette reader that had an exploded capacitor inside). Was impossible to spot until I actually dissassembled it and saw it myself.
 
Sep 16, 2019
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Everything seems fine and looks fine, I turned my PC on 2 times for backup and testing and I've actually seen a bizzare thing. The fan in the back of the case started rotating in sequences, normally for 5-6 seconds, then slowly in the other direction, some 8 times before it continued working as supposed.

Now, the burning smell occured when the case was closed and I could hear the fan being loud and making the same noise. So I've shut it down and it took minutes to do so.

Happened once or twice before with long shut downs, mostly soon after startup and next boot my screen looked all washed out.

I really got no idea personally and I feel it's out of my hand to do anything other than check for damage and dissasemble a few things as you said.
And maybe it's me, but I couldn't find anything wrong.

At least my files are safe, I think it's going to the service folks in the further days.

Thank You for all the assistence!
 
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