[SOLVED] What killed the Graphics card?

Ebiye Idumange Elton

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Hello everyone, this post is gonna be a bit long so I'd like to start with listing out the computer specifications out.
  • MSI B85M Micro-ATX Motherboard
  • 16Gb DDR3 1600Mhz RAM
  • 850 Watts Thermaltake Bronze P.S.U
  • I7 4770S (4 cores - 8 threads CPU at 3.1Ghz - 3.9Ghz)
  • GTX ASUS Turbo 1080
  • (Failing) Seagate 4TB External Hard Drive as boot drive
With that out of the way, there was a PCIe Wi-fi card that was installed at one of the two PCIe x4 slots on the motherboard. It started to behave erratically, loosing connections randomly, so I figured it was failing. Yet I decided to inspect the PCIe x4 slot that it was connected to. The plastic shroud of the slot was wobbly - that is it was shifting and bending as I pressed on it, so I thought to remove the plastic shroud from the pins and insert it back properly into the motherboard. I later learned that the PCIe casing wasn't designed to be inserted into the pins on the motherboard due to my inability to insert into back into the PCIe x4 pins on the motherboard. After some research I decided that the best course of action was to clip the pins to prevent any contact between the pins and perhaps create a short on the board.

I didn't succeed as well as I thought in clipping the pins, cause later I noticed that the case fan connected to the board was revving at higher speeds and I could no longer control the fan speed through the BIOS and the system temperature was incorrect (it was absurdly high at 125c). I tried insulating the now empty PCIe x4 slot with black tape to see if that would fix the problem - it didn't. I later tried the same thing but with Vaseline but still nothing. As that was the only weird behavior I noticed, I decided to continue using the computer as it was. However about a week or two later, the GPU fans would spin up high and the display would go off. There would also be electricity running along the case when this happened. Restarting the computer would rectify the GPU behavior. I didn't have a spare computer or parts to switch out with the ones I had and getting new parts was quite difficult in the current environment so I decided to keep using the computer still. A couple days after that, the P.C didn't boot due to the GPU reporting not having enough power even though an 8-pin PSU cable was connected to it. Once again like before the problem went away after a couple restarts.

I attributed these faults to the motherboard - I thought it was failing due to the PCIe slot and I was working on getting a replacement. Unfortunately while gaming, the display went off even though the computer was still on and the GPU fans were still spinning normally as well as the GPU lights still on. At first I thought it was due to a bad DVI cable, but a cable through a different port on the card didn't restore the display. I tried restarting the computer yet the graphics card didn't appear in the BIOS. The P.C booted through the IGPU on the 4770S. I noticed that electricity was running along the case as well as the back of the card. Even on the DVI port connected to the card. The kind of electricity that gives you a tingle when you touch it and doesn't go away after a while so its likely not static electricity.

So far, nothing I've tried has gotten the computer to recognize the GPU. I've tried the testing the GPU on another rig and the same thing happens. The computer boots straight to the igpu and doesn't recognize the GPU at all even though the fans still spin and the lights turn on - it appears that the card is dead. I'd like to understand what happened to the card, what caused it, any mistakes I made through the entire process so that I would not repeat it in the future. I'm willing to hear any opinion or thoughts about it.

Thank you.
 

Ebiye Idumange Elton

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Had you electrocuted yourself that would have been a good slogan for your tombstone.... "And I needed to use the computer."
Thank you for your advice. Clearly I made the wrong choice then - I'll keep it in mind for future experiences.

I think that next time I'm experiencing hardware problems. I'll make sure to consult hardware forums for advice so that I can minimize any possible damage as much as possible.
 
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"There would also be electricity running along the case when this happened"

This alone should have scared you enough to stop using the system immediately. This wasn't a static shocks where you go "ouch". If you're getting electrocuted because of your PC you have to stop and not decide that everything is ok. That is one serious ground issue.

And how did you actually see that electricity was running along the case as well as the back of the card? Like did you actually see the electricity? You know this isn't good right?

Please stop using the system immediately before you get seriously hurt or your system start a fire.
 

Ebiye Idumange Elton

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"There would also be electricity running along the case when this happened"

This alone should have scared you enough to stop using the system immediately. This wasn't a static shocks where you go "ouch". If you're getting electrocuted because of your PC you have to stop and not decide that everything is ok. That is one serious ground issue.

And how did you actually see that electricity was running along the case as well as the back of the card? Like did you actually see the electricity? You know this isn't good right?

Please stop using the system immediately before you get seriously hurt or your system start a fire.
I should have clarified, I could tell there was electricity running along the case by touching it and getting the tingle sensation. Sometimes it was sharp, and other times a bit mild.
 

Ebiye Idumange Elton

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replace the PSU
Thank you very much for your suggestion, I spoke with an acquaintance some days ago and he also had the same suggestion. I think the P.S.U is the culprit here. I would have guessed it but I thought that the symptoms I was experiencing was caused by the motherboard due to the faulty PCIe slot.

If the motherboard was completely fine, I would've replaced the PSU as soon as I could.
 

Ebiye Idumange Elton

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All the suggestions have been very helpful. Indeed I should've been more skeptical of the PSU especially when I was getting electrocuted often. My last question is if there's a chance that the GPU can be fixed somehow?
 

Ebiye Idumange Elton

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try the GPU in a different system, shouldn´t be dangerous for other components if the GPU is faulty somehow.
Hello, thank you for suggestion. I have tried the GPU in another system. The same symptoms is what showed up - the GPU wasn't detected in BIOS and the computer booted using the IGPU. I'll appreciate any analysis you can provide. Thank you.
 
I thought to remove the plastic shroud from the pins and insert it back properly into the motherboard.
I decided that the best course of action was to clip the pins to prevent any contact between the pins and perhaps create a short on the board.
You should have replaced motherboard immediately after PCIE slot got broken.

BTW - vaseline is electrically conductive. You should not have used that.
 
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Ebiye Idumange Elton

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Which other system was it? Did you reset the BIOS of the motherboard before booting with the GPU?
Hello, I didn't reset the BIOS of the system I tried the GPU in. But it was a desktop with a RX 580, 8Gb of DDR3 Ram, and an i5 3rd Generation.
I tested it several times on that computer and the I couldn't detect the faulty GPU that is the 1080. The P.C just booted straight into Windows.
I didn't see the GPU either when I checked in Device Manager. Thank you.
 

Ebiye Idumange Elton

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You should have replaced motherboard immediately after PCIE slot got broken.

BTW - vaseline is electrically conductive. You should not have used that.
Oh dear... I got the idea from extreme overclockers using Vaseline to insulate parts of their motherboard before commencing on overclocking using Nitrogen.
And yes.. I knew that I had to replace the motherboard eventually... but it wasn't such an easy thing to do at the moment. And I needed to use the computer. Thank You.
 
Hello, I didn't reset the BIOS of the system I tried the GPU in. But it was a desktop with a RX 580, 8Gb of DDR3 Ram, and an i5 3rd Generation.
I tested it several times on that computer and the I couldn't detect the faulty GPU that is the 1080. The P.C just booted straight into Windows.
I didn't see the GPU either when I checked in Device Manager. Thank you.
That´s normal for these Intel gen. You would have to remove the 580, install the 1080 instead and reset the BIOS to get the 1080 detected by the motherboard instead of the onboard graphics of the CPU. The video cable of the monitor has to be only connected to the 1080 and not the motherboard.
 

Ebiye Idumange Elton

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That´s normal for these Intel gen. You would have to remove the 580, install the 1080 instead and reset the BIOS to get the 1080 detected by the motherboard instead of the onboard graphics of the CPU. The video cable of the monitor has to be only connected to the 1080 and not the motherboard.
Hmm I see.. I'm not sure that I did that. It wasn't my computer so I didn't want to reset the BIOS settings of a computer that didn't belong to me.
I guess what that means is that the only other computer I tested the GPU on - the testing process was faulty so the results may be inaccurate.
But remember that when I inserted a Wi-fi card into the PCIe x16 slot of the motherboard of MY COMPUTER, it was detected in BIOS. When I insert the GPU however, it is not detected.

Please share your thoughts about this subject. Thank you.
 

Ebiye Idumange Elton

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the wifi card doesn´t need all space/pins to work like a GPU
Okay. Thank you for your response.
I'd like to share with you some comments an acquaintance had on the issue and let me know the validity of it. I'm still a novice in regards to troubleshooting P.C parts so I'd like to get better at it.

  • Would a problem like the one I had where it affected the PCIe x4 slot - would it affect all other PCIe slots on the motherboard or would it be isolated to only the affected slot?
  • PCIe slot problems wouldn't affect integrity of the motherboard since its similar to an Input/Output slot?
Lastly, given the issue that I'm experiencing and in the absence of further testing, what do you think is the probability that my GPU has been fried? Was it due to the broken PCIe slot on the motherboard or was it due to a faulty PSU?

Thank you for your patience. Much appreciated.
 

Ebiye Idumange Elton

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Pretty high.

Broken slot and use of vaseline.
Thank you for your comment. I'm aware now of what an error using Vaseline was. If only I had double checked the insulating properties I would've found a better alternative. Like aluminum tin foil is a good insulator.

What do you think of my other questions in my previous post? Are you asserting that a broken PCIe slot on a motherboard could affect the other PCIe slots on that same motherboard, as well as the integrity of the motherboard?

Much appreciated.
 

Ebiye Idumange Elton

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Had you electrocuted yourself that would have been a good slogan for your tombstone.... "And I needed to use the computer."
Thank you for your advice. Clearly I made the wrong choice then - I'll keep it in mind for future experiences.

I think that next time I'm experiencing hardware problems. I'll make sure to consult hardware forums for advice so that I can minimize any possible damage as much as possible.
 
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