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Burning smell coming from PC

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

My main computer is a system that I put together myself, and that has run for about a year and a half now with no problems. About a week or so ago, I started to notice a burning smell whenever I ran the computer for more than a few minutes at a time. I've visually inspected the hardware and thoroughly blown out as much dust as I can, yet the smell persists. I can barely smell it when I have the case open, but when I close things back up and run it in my computer room (a somewhat poorly-ventilated office) it is very noticeable. I finally turned the computer off and haven't used it in several days.

Anyone know what could be causing this? The computer is working just fine otherwise - no performance issues, no temperature issues, all fans working fine - yet there's this smell. My suspicion is the power supply - can anyone recommend a tester so I can check it out? Any other suggestions are welcome too.
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The Beast
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Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
1.5TB & 500 GB BluRay/DVD x2 Stock Windows 7 x64 Home Edition 
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post #2 of 19
Id say power supply too, ive noticed this with factory built computers were the cheaper power supplies are used. For a burning smell to happen there must be something cooking in there though. If you could give detail on your computer system eg. Board, cpu, gpu, psu so we can see if your power supply is being overloaded.
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Intel i7 3930K Batch: 3135B495T Gigabyte X79 UD7 GTX 570 3-way SLi Corsair Vengeance 1600mhz CL9 
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60GB OCZ Vertex II / 3x 500GB Samsung Spinpoint EK Supreme HF Nickel, EK DCP4.0, Stealth GT 360... Windows 7 Ult 64bit Acer 22" G225HQ 
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post #3 of 19
I'd say psu also!
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post #4 of 19
get a can of air and blow it out, if office is small its the air cleaner. Power is most likely it.
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post #5 of 19
A burning smell might not mean something went wrong, but something is going wrong at the moment.

That usually is a problem related to high temperatures, maybe caused by old thermal paste, bad PSU shooting wrong voltages to components, not enough airflow on your computer, or also an old bad quality PSU.

You should try to determine where the smell is coming from.
Also use some software to check temperatures and have an idea of voltages (voltage monitoring is not near as precise as hardware voltage checking) - you can use HWMonitor for that matter, for example.

Check back with more data... at least with where the smell is coming from.

Also, try touching gently some of the components to check their health.

My brothers computer has a NB that kinda overheats and shoots a burning smell after a bad OC. It should be dead, but we revived it and it's working with that overheating problem for a long time. We got rid of the smell by applying better TIM to it, and also reducing it's temps with a fan
post #6 of 19
One more thing..

Some electrical stuff are rated for 50hz or 60hz or both currents. That might be your case, although PSU are usually meant to work on both frequencies.

There is also votlage from the wall. We usually talk about 110V and 220V, but in reality most countries don't provide that very voltage, it can vary for something like 100V to 127V and 210V to 247V. Products are also manufactured to work flawlessly on a voltage range. You PSU could be around the corner of those ratings. A product rated for 125v working on a 130V wall for example will most likely work, but it's lifetime will be reduced overtime
post #7 of 19
I'd say check to see if a bug got into your psu and got fried. Happened to me and had this terrible burning smell that I didn't find out where it was coming from for about a week. Finally busted the psu open and found a cockroach had crawled in and got fried.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Argh, this thing keeps eating my posts. Last time here:

Intel i7-920 CPU
Asus P6T Deluxe 2.0 MB
6GB RAM
1.5TB & 500GB hard drives
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 910 PSU

I was thinking about the power supply next, but am a little leery about opening those up - heard the horror stories about the charges they hold, and have no desire to have a 'shocking' experience, you know? wink.gif
The Beast
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i7-920 Gigabyte G1 Sniper EVGA GTX 285 6 GB DDR 3 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
1.5TB & 500 GB BluRay/DVD x2 Stock Windows 7 x64 Home Edition 
MonitorPowerCase
Dell 24" widescreen PC Power & Cooling Silencer 910 Cooler Master ATCS 840 
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The Beast
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-920 Gigabyte G1 Sniper EVGA GTX 285 6 GB DDR 3 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
1.5TB & 500 GB BluRay/DVD x2 Stock Windows 7 x64 Home Edition 
MonitorPowerCase
Dell 24" widescreen PC Power & Cooling Silencer 910 Cooler Master ATCS 840 
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post #9 of 19
Put that system info into your sig information that way you don't have to fill it out again and people can see what you are running without asking.
    
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 250 GB SSD,2X 1TB F3, 250GB WD Blue, 1T... Asus BD Megahalems black chrome edition Windows 7 Professional 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
2x Asus 24" Mac keyboard Enermax ERV950EWT Silverstone FT02 
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post #10 of 19
It could be a case fan burning out.
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i7 3770K @ 4.7GHz GA-Z77X-UD3H Sapphire R9 290 4x4 GB Mushkin Stealth 2133MHz 
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Samsung EVO 120GB Crucial M500 480GB WD10EZEX 1TB H100i 
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Win 10 QNIX QX2710 Rosewill HIVE-650 HAF 912 
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i5 4590 GA-Z97X-SLI ASUS STRIX RX 480 8GB 2x4GB Samsung 30nm 2000Mhz 
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Crucial M4 128GB SSD WD Blue 500GB WD Blue 320GB Stock Intel 
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Win 10 QNIX QX2710 Corsair TX650 DeepCool Tesseract 
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A-Data S599 64GB SSD Assorted HDDs ASUS 24X DVD Burner Hyper 212 EVO 
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Win 10 x64 SANYO 50" Silverstone ST50F-ESG NZXT Source 210 Black 
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My Computer
(12 items)
 
Haswell PC
(12 items)
 
HTPC
(12 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770K @ 4.7GHz GA-Z77X-UD3H Sapphire R9 290 4x4 GB Mushkin Stealth 2133MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Samsung EVO 120GB Crucial M500 480GB WD10EZEX 1TB H100i 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Win 10 QNIX QX2710 Rosewill HIVE-650 HAF 912 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 4590 GA-Z97X-SLI ASUS STRIX RX 480 8GB 2x4GB Samsung 30nm 2000Mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Crucial M4 128GB SSD WD Blue 500GB WD Blue 320GB Stock Intel 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Win 10 QNIX QX2710 Corsair TX650 DeepCool Tesseract 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 3570K 4.4Ghz GA-Z77X-UD5H Sapphire HD7950 3GB 2x4 GB Mushkin Stealth 1600Mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
A-Data S599 64GB SSD Assorted HDDs ASUS 24X DVD Burner Hyper 212 EVO 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Win 10 x64 SANYO 50" Silverstone ST50F-ESG NZXT Source 210 Black 
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