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Old October 26, 2012, 05:35 AM
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Default Likelihood of motherboard damage?

Hi everyone,

I recently purchased a new computer from a certain popular Canadian computer store. I selected the parts and then they assembled and tested the system.

After running the computer for an hour or so, I encountered a problem with the case's front panel i/o module (crackling noise followed by a strong burning odour after I pressed the fan LED toggle button for the first time). The assumption was made that the i/o module of my case, a Corsair Carbide 400R, was defective. Front panel i/o module problems don't seem to be extremely uncommon for 400Rs (and its close relatives) if you go by postings in the Corsair forums. Not so great a thing to encounter, but a replacement i/o module should set things right...

While waiting for the replacement part from Corsair, I had a look inside the case to see how the i/o module had been hooked up to the motherboard...... and I noticed a number of mistakes made by the person who built the system. All of these seem relatively minor and simple to deal with, except this: the FireWire (1394) cable from the i/o module was connected to one of the USB connectors on the motherboard (an ASUS P8Z77-V PRO, which has no FireWire header...).

For the relatively brief time that I had the computer powered up, I didn't touch the FireWire port on the front panel at all (as far as I knew, it wasn't hooked up to anything inside the case). Apparently the computer was run for a few hours while it was being tested by the builder...... although (based on the other issues I found) I'm not sure that they actually touched anything on the front panel other than the power button, despite what the check list I got from them says.

How likely does it seem that there would be damage to the motherboard as a result of this? Would the 1394 cable alone be enough to cause damage or would damage only occur if something had been plugged into the FireWire port?
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Old October 26, 2012, 05:43 AM
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If the firewire was connected to the wrong port, there's a strong chance that damage might have been done. Whether it was just the IO module which has been damaged or other hardware can only be determined by testing, and I'd suggest outside of the case. Best bet would be to call the company in question (It's ok to name them here so long as you're not trolling.... ;) ) and mention your concerns as they might want to verify the hardware themselves.
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Old October 26, 2012, 06:27 AM
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Before doing anything.....grab pictures (ie proof) of the setup. While most companies are reputable....some are not and will try and blame YOU for the damage. IE 'obviously he switched things around to try and get firewire and fried his parts'.

Honestly with a prebuilt....I would grab pictures then leave it as is...and return to the store and make THEM fix it. They built it, its their responsibility. The more you screw with it the more chances they will deny the problem is their doing.
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Old October 26, 2012, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sswilson View Post
If the firewire was connected to the wrong port, there's a strong chance that damage might have been done. Whether it was just the IO module which has been damaged or other hardware can only be determined by testing, and I'd suggest outside of the case. Best bet would be to call the company in question (It's ok to name them here so long as you're not trolling.... ;) ) and mention your concerns as they might want to verify the hardware themselves.
Thanks for your reply!

I didn't name the company in an attempt to avoid going off on a rant and getting sidetracked. This particular purchase has been one long headache...... I may post (somewhere) a more complete account of my experience, at some point in the future, but right now I'm just trying to resolve the current (latest) problem.

At any rate, I'm waiting on a reply from their Technical Support regarding this. I was just hoping for input from knowledgeable folks here to compare/contrast with whatever Technical Support's response is.
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Old October 26, 2012, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassafras View Post
Thanks for your reply!

I didn't name the company in an attempt to avoid going off on a rant and getting sidetracked. This particular purchase has been one long headache...... I may post (somewhere) a more complete account of my experience, at some point in the future, but right now I'm just trying to resolve the current (latest) problem.

At any rate, I'm waiting on a reply from their Technical Support regarding this. I was just hoping for input from knowledgeable folks here to compare/contrast with whatever Technical Support's response is.
There is always 3 sides to the story no matter what. We can't side with anyone or give anyone a real good answer on what to do.

We can tell you what to do to cover your ass tho and like it was said.. providing pictures isn't really proof because you can have done something before taking them.
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Old October 26, 2012, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AkG View Post
Before doing anything.....grab pictures (ie proof) of the setup. While most companies are reputable....some are not and will try and blame YOU for the damage. IE 'obviously he switched things around to try and get firewire and fried his parts'.

Honestly with a prebuilt....I would grab pictures then leave it as is...and return to the store and make THEM fix it. They built it, its their responsibility. The more you screw with it the more chances they will deny the problem is their doing.
Thanks for the advice! I don't ever remember feeling the need to take as many photos (just in case) with a new system as I have with this one.

I haven't changed anything around, as I'm still waiting for the replacement i/o module.

Absolutely no use for FireWire, here. I've never owned anything that uses it and likely never will.

I only noticed that the 1394 cable had been plugged into a USB connector because of two mysteries that were rattling around in my brain while trying to sort out how the i/o module was hooked up:
- where on earth had they tucked away the 1394 cable from the i/o module (I initially figured that it had to be somewhere in the mess of cables beneath the hard drives...)
- what the heck had they plugged into that USB 2.0 connector (there shouldn't be anything plugged in there... the front panel usb ports are connected to a USB 3.0 connector and there isn't anything else......)

It took awhile but then it clicked - I remembered the "Never connect a 1394 cable to the USB connectors. Doing so will damage the motherboard!" warning from the motherboard's manual (information that I first came across while searching for information about the USB/eSATA module that I found in the motherboard's box), which suggested that it possible to do just that by mistake.

And so there was disbelief that the builder had done that...

And some swearing...
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Old October 26, 2012, 09:01 AM
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video (YouTube) is more believeable as to pic's




as you see that the pins connections aren't same but footprint is

if wanted the firewire to work with your set-up would need to add firewire card $22.oo

and cables to front port


$13.00 PCI

Last edited by KaptCrunch; October 26, 2012 at 01:26 PM.
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Old October 26, 2012, 09:15 AM
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Heh... yeah any time you see the pins (7 and 8) on one connector @ ground and the other one @ live (12VDC) you're in for a problem if you mix them up. Not sure if I buy into the reasoning, but Max PC suggested that this issue was one of the reasons why firewire didn't catch on.
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Old October 26, 2012, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sswilson View Post
Heh... yeah any time you see the pins (7 and 8) on one connector @ ground and the other one @ live (12VDC) you're in for a problem if you mix them up. Not sure if I buy into the reasoning, but Max PC suggested that this issue was one of the reasons why firewire didn't catch on.
the name shure did firewire lol its a hot issue when doing that mixing up connectors

Last edited by KaptCrunch; October 26, 2012 at 01:27 PM.
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Old October 26, 2012, 12:20 PM
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Actually if nothing was plugged into the plug after it was connected to the header there should be no problem as no circuit has been completed.

However, if they tested the port by inserting a firewire unit then damage is possible. Note that any unit might also have been damaged, and even if not would certainly not have functioned properly if at all.
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