[SOLVED] New Build Burning Smell....

Jan 8, 2020
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Hello, I just put together the following build. Any help and opinions would be appreciated.

Maximus XI Hero Wifi
I7 9700k
GTX 970
G Skill 16gb 3200
Corsair H100i pro rgb
1 spare HDD
1 NVME drive
1 Dvd drive
Corsair K70 Keyboard
Rosewill Thor V2 Tower
Thermaltake TR2 850w

I was able to put everything together except for the dvd drive and the side panel fan. The bios was updated, just a couple of settings changed, like auto to xmp for memory and I believe that's about it. So everything was booting fine, windows installed with no issues. At that point I then connected the dvd drive and the side panel. I connected the side panel to the chas 3 fan header. The case side panel is 3 pin and the mobo has 4. I was under the impression that this wouldn't be a problem. So when I turned it on, I made it to the desktop, then I triumphantly put the side panel back on the case to enclose it. At that point I started smelling that old nightmare burning smell and quickly turned the PC off. I haven't turned it on since last night.

I'm weighing my options on what to do at this point and why this happened. I know I need to inspect the connections and board before I turn back on. I wonder if I should turn on at all.

The burning smell is coming from the 4 and 8 pin power connections at the top. If I turn the power supply on but not the PC, the rgb colors turn on like normal, so I just don't know if any real damage occurred. Might not be anything or might be bad I don't know. I can say that I smelled it this morning and it wasn't as bad, but I could still smell the burning odor slightly. Any ideas?
 
The PSU is actually a few years old. About 4 or 5, but I've never had any problems with it. It isn't letting out the odor from there so I'm just not sure. I can definitely smell it from the top of the mobo though. I have no problems testing it to be sure however.
Since it is an older PSU, you shouldn't be getting an odor from it. I agree with getting a PSU tester because it might be starting to die and you don't want it taking out your whole motherboard.
 
If the PSU is brand new then it is probably making that smell. There are oils and such that cover the internal components that will smell funny when the computer is in use until they are completely burned off. This is a normal thing with new PSUs.
 
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Jan 8, 2020
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The PSU is actually a few years old. About 4 or 5, but I've never had any problems with it. It isn't letting out the odor from there so I'm just not sure. I can definitely smell it from the top of the mobo though. I have no problems testing it to be sure however.
 
The PSU is actually a few years old. About 4 or 5, but I've never had any problems with it. It isn't letting out the odor from there so I'm just not sure. I can definitely smell it from the top of the mobo though. I have no problems testing it to be sure however.
Since it is an older PSU, you shouldn't be getting an odor from it. I agree with getting a PSU tester because it might be starting to die and you don't want it taking out your whole motherboard.
 
Jan 8, 2020
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Ok, I'll definitely try that. I almost just want to buy a new one and just say screw it but I'll test it out first. I guess it makes sense that it could be the PSU, literally every part in the PC was working previously in my other build and this one (mobo, ram, cpu, m.2) for a little while. Would connecting the case fan wrong cause something like this? I inserted it the correct way I believe, going along the plastic insert.
 

DMAN999

Reputable
Herald
I would open the case and see if you can pinpoint where the smell is coming from.
You should smell and carefully look at every connector to ensure there is no melting or burn marks visible.
It could be something inside the PSU or it could be coming from any of the plastic connectors on the cables from the PSU to the MB.
I would also make sure that the motherboard isn't shorting to the case somewhere.
 
Jan 8, 2020
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OKAY. So I'm going to be super honest here and explain the issues that are my fault... and not mine. I opened the side panel where I'm managing all of the cables to try and get that clean look. Well, I saw pretty quickly what the problem was. So when I was putting it together and connecting the fans, I connected one fan to the case connectors. The case has 2 splitters with 3 connectors each with knob controls on the top front of the case. Well, when I connected the rear fan to one of the connectors at first, I ended up switching it to a different connector and when I took it off the connector ripped off. So there was exposed wire... probably touching each other and the case. The wire was melted and fried. At this point, I'm not going to use either of the fan connectors on the case. It's just not worth it, I'll just connect them to the mobo.

Next, I bought the PSU tester and tested it. The PSU fell between the recommended voltages for the 24 and 4 and 6 and 8 pin. However, on one of the 8 pin connecters, it's actually a 6 pin with a 2 pin adapter on the side of it. That was connected to my video card. When I would connect that, it would short out the PSU tester. When I would connect it as a normal 6 pin without the 2 pin adapter, it would test fine. So I suspect there is something weird with the 2 pin adapter and my mistake on the ripped wire that caused this. I've since cut the wire so nothing is exposed and put some black tape on for good measure. I went ahead and bought a new PSU and will be connecting it tonight. I'll update here later on whether good news or bad...
 
Jan 8, 2020
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Alrighty then, so I ended up getting a new PSU, re-managing the cables and triple checking everything. It ended up turning on perfectly, temperatures are ok, no weird errors. Burning smell must have only been that wire. So I'm good now and I'm sooo glad. I could have lost $1500 like nothing. Freaking nightmare. My bad for forgetting about that wire. So, good lesson for sure. Thanks for the help everyone. This is a feel good story lol Now I can play Fallout 4 finally, modded up with great graphics and smooth gameplay.
 
Reactions: DMAN999

ohio_buckeye

Honorable
Jan 5, 2015
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Good that you got it sorted. Once worked on a system a local it shop had sold someone years before, and basically they had an issue where a molex to sata connector caught fire inside of their PC case.

They called me after the fact and I looked, the hard drive connector had actually melted, and there were scorch marks inside of the case as well. Ended up building a new inside the same case however, and with a better power supply. But yes cheap power supplies can literally cause fires. That lady is probably lucky there weren't more issues.
 
Jan 8, 2020
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Ugh, that's a nightmare. The connectors can be so delicate and the wires so thin. You really have to be careful when unplugging stuff, the pin connectors can come off so easily.
 

stonecarver

Upstanding
Nov 18, 2019
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When I would connect it as a normal 6 pin without the 2 pin adapter, it would test fine. So I suspect there is something weird with the 2 pin adapter
Just as in FYI the plus 2 pins as in 6pin + 2 pin to = a 8pin power cord for you Graphics Card the + 2 are GROUNDS.

I have see people force shove there 8 pin motherboard wire into there Video card a poof. Same with putting PCIx 8 pin to motherboard poof.
 

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