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PC starts only after using hair dryer

Vyom

The Power of x480
Staff member
Admin
As weird as this thread title sounds there's a perfectly logical reason for it. My PC starts boots only when I use a hair dryer on the motherboard. After which it boots perfectly. Here's the story...

Last Friday (21-Jul) my PC didn't boot. Pressing power button didn't do anything. I was puzzled. I opened the cabinet, did some messing around. Took apart all components from motherboard, re attached everything back. Suddenly PC booted fine. I was happy. On Saturday PC worked perfectly.
On sunday, (22-Jul) morning, same issue. PC didn't boot. Now I became sad. Swapped PSU and other components from my secondary PC and concluded that the mobo is at fault. Someone recommended, there might be a moisture issue. So I used a hair dryer and used it to blow hot air on the mobo for a minute. After doing which the PC booted.

Sine then everyday, when I return home, I try to start the PC.It doesn't. Then I take the hair dryer, blow hot air on mobo for few seconds. And then the PC boots. It is to note that once the PC boots I can shutdown the PC any number of times, and it will boot as long as I start it within minutes. But the PC won't definitely boot if I shut it down in night and then try to turn it on in morning.

I have taken the mobo to Nehru Place last weekend, but it started in one go there, prompting me that the PSU could be defective too. But why does then, the PC boots, when I blow hot air on mobo. This is too strange. I have never faced such issue.

Anyone can speculate any theory over this "hair dryer" solution of fixing mobo?
 

whitestar_999

Super Moderator
Staff member
Maybe the "air in your room/place" has some extra moisture/stuff(it is rainy season after all) which somehow condenses on metallic circuits because of rapid change in temps when turning on the system.This process should take a couple of minutes so maybe that's why as long as you turn your system off & on within a few minutes it works correctly.
 

ssb1551

Technomancer
I dont think you can do anything about dying capacitors. Guess he can try to get it repaired but most probably he has to buy a new one.
 
OP
Vyom

Vyom

The Power of x480
Staff member
Admin
@Vyom I guess its because of Relative humidity.
Check this - HELP High humidity causes failure to boot + quick fix.

That's why, some of the MoBos have "Dehumidifier' feature specifically for this scenario.
So after I started my PC, using a hair dryer (still funny, whenever I say it out loud), I went through that thread. It was a interesting read.
So the issue could be the CMOS battery touching parts of mobo too. Too many possibilities.

Does this look like a good dehumidifier? Buy Eva-Dry E-333 Dehumidifier Online at Low Prices in India - Amazon.in

Use Silica Gel to remove moisture
Where do you get free and cheap silica gels?

I dont think you can do anything about dying capacitors. Guess he can try to get it repaired but most probably he has to buy a new one.
I have no issue to replace my mobo. I was mentally prepared for it. But the thing is when the PC boots, it works flawlessly.
 

Hrishi

******************
Use Silica Gel to remove moisture
Try this, if your PC still doesn't boot... It's definitely not humidity. Besides, how humid can Delhi be man?

Probable causes and my take on it :

1. Loose contacts, bad soldering but hey!!! ... Why would it work 24*7 once it's heated, right? The soldering or the contacts would go back to loose state and the PC should abruptly shut down once cooled... But doesn't happen, right?! . So no loose contacts for sure.
Don't tell me that a PC in power state generates enough heat to keep those loose contacts heated enough to spread and make contacts.
The heating technique is called heat reflow, and it doesn't need you to do it time and again.

2. Humidity : Hell no. Though it rained here, its not even close to coastal areas. Also I used to run a damn desert cooler in the same room during monsoon.... And it never ever caused a problem, and I have had my small computer room full of electronic equipments including several laptops, desktop, dslr, tv, ht etc etc.
And unless you water or steam bath your PC every once in a while, accumulation of so much humidity is just not easy... Specially given that your mobo has humidity removed every once in a while via Blower.
How much humidity can your mobo even accumulate in few hrs LOL.

3. Bad PSU : Probable, but you need this to be diagnosed properly. It could be possible that your PC isn't getting enough power from the PSU, but if that was the case then the PC should trip once in a while, specially when running that AMD beast and i5-4*** on Load.

4. Short Circuits : No. Ideally, the board or components would rather expand causing the opposite charged contacts to touch even further leading to more issues than actually helping.

5. Processor Fan : How well, does your processor fan spins? Every motherboard has some safety switches which would basically prevent the motherboard from starting up. For example, if a CPU fan isn't detected, etc.

6. Have you actually changed that CMOS cell I advised? : Maybe the heating of CMOS Cell is bringing some life into it ? Helping in starting the PC?

7. Dying Components : Science 101 says Conductivity increases as temperature increases (For semiconductors, band gap), which is what forms a major portion of our motherboards. It's very likely that heating up the motherboard is triggering the dying/dead SCs upto a point where it can conduct electricity. Once up and running its easy for it to stay in that state. However after power loss it goes back to a state where it needs more than what it's getting at start by default unless heated.

(This is my speculation, I would appreciate if some genuine electronics expert can validate or negate).

Those humidity, poor contacts would generally make sense however in most cases they will make the PC work for a longer period, and not required every time.

Sent from my ONE E1003 using Tapatalk
 

Hrishi

******************
^^Can blowing hot air over capacitors possibly affect their charge holding capacity?
That was a pun (capacitance isn't heavily impacted by temp change, afaik) , but there is definitely something(components) dying on his motherboard.

Sent from my ONE E1003 using Tapatalk
 

Zangetsu

I am the master of my Fate.
Where do you get free and cheap silica gels?
Medical Stores/ Hardware stores/D-Mart

Posting to just be notified for any updates on this. Too interesting to miss.
You can also click on subscribe without posting ;)

That was a pun (capacitance isn't heavily impacted by temp change, afaik) , but there is definitely something(components) dying on his motherboard.

Sent from my ONE E1003 using Tapatalk
Capacitor(s) are dying definitely
I had this issue with my Monitor and problem was dying capacitor.
sometimes used to display, sometimes not
 
OP
Vyom

Vyom

The Power of x480
Staff member
Admin
Try this, if your PC still doesn't boot... It's definitely not humidity. Besides, how humid can Delhi be man?

Probable causes and my take on it :
Thanks for the detailed post explaining your speculations man. I appreciate it.

1. Loose contacts, bad soldering but hey!!! ... Why would it work 24*7 once it's heated, right? The soldering or the contacts would go back to loose state and the PC should abruptly shut down once cooled... But doesn't happen, right?! . So no loose contacts for sure.
Don't tell me that a PC in power state generates enough heat to keep those loose contacts heated enough to spread and make contacts.
The heating technique is called heat reflow, and it doesn't need you to do it time and again.
Yes, the PC works flawlessly for days once I start it using hair dryer. But it won't boot if I shut it down at 1 am and try to boot at 8 am.

2. Humidity : Hell no. Though it rained here, its not even close to coastal areas. Also I used to run a damn desert cooler in the same room during monsoon.... And it never ever caused a problem, and I have had my small computer room full of electronic equipments including several laptops, desktop, dslr, tv, ht etc etc.
And unless you water or steam bath your PC every once in a while, accumulation of so much humidity is just not easy... Specially given that your mobo has humidity removed every once in a while via Blower.
How much humidity can your mobo even accumulate in few hrs LOL.
I had this issue of moisture when I use to have a pen 4 PC. I had to repair/change motherboard every damn year, until I got fed up and finally decided to upgrade my PC. I used my Pen 4 PC for 7 years. But the issue only started to appear after 3 or 4 years. There's something about motherboard I guess, that it later becomes more susceptible to moisture. It maybe the same case happening with this mobo having, 'Humidity Protection" feature which the MSI site boasts of here.

3. Bad PSU : Probable, but you need this to be diagnosed properly. It could be possible that your PC isn't getting enough power from the PSU, but if that was the case then the PC should trip once in a while, specially when running that AMD beast and i5-4*** on Load.
It was on 7 Nov 2016 that I started using RX 480 GFX on my PC. This issue of not booting only started to come like a month ago. I don't think PSU is the issue. Besides, I only blow air on motherboard (not PSU) but the PC still is able to boot without fail everytime.
Btw, I also tried just blowing hot air over CMOS cell for a minute, which didn't work. It was not after I blew hot air over the entire motherboard, that PC finally boot up.

4. Short Circuits : No. Ideally, the board or components would rather expand causing the opposite charged contacts to touch even further leading to more issues than actually helping.
Yea, doesn't seem short circuit issue.

5. Processor Fan : How well, does your processor fan spins? Every motherboard has some safety switches which would basically prevent the motherboard from starting up. For example, if a CPU fan isn't detected, etc.
Processor fan spins normally once the PC boots. To check if my motherboard has this safety feature of not booting if CPU fan isn't detected, I removed the CPU fan power connector from motherboard. PC booted (but I quickly turned it off since I of course am not supposed to run PC without processor fan running).

6. Have you actually changed that CMOS cell I advised? : Maybe the heating of CMOS Cell is bringing some life into it ? Helping in starting the PC?
I have changed the CMOS cell. Talking about that, there's one more observation. Whenever my PC fails to boot and I use the hair dryer to boot it up, the clock runs a few hours behind. I have to manually set the correct time everytime. Should I try using another CMOS cell. (I have two extra new cells that I also bought as spares). But there's also one more thing. PC should be able to boot without a CMOS cell. Also, if CMOS cell had an issue, then the PC's time should be something like 1990s. But it doesn't loose the date, only time. Which makes me wonder it can't be the CMOS cell issue.

7. Dying Components : Science 101 says Conductivity increases as temperature increases (For semiconductors, band gap), which is what forms a major portion of our motherboards. It's very likely that heating up the motherboard is triggering the dying/dead SCs upto a point where it can conduct electricity. Once up and running its easy for it to stay in that state. However after power loss it goes back to a state where it needs more than what it's getting at start by default unless heated.

(This is my speculation, I would appreciate if some genuine electronics expert can validate or negate).

Those humidity, poor contacts would generally make sense however in most cases they will make the PC work for a longer period, and not required every time.

I am puzzled here. Doesn't the Science 101 also says, the resistivity decreases when a metal is cooled (which is the theory of superconductors?). And hence conductivity should also increase when the metal is cooled? I maybe super wrong here. I am just shooting in the dark.

If your theory is right tho, the next big questions are:
1. How long can I keep using my PC by just blowing hot air over it?
2. Can using PC like this may adversely impact other components that are connected to the motherboard (aka everything damn peripherals like HDD, SSD GPU, Fans).

Sent from my ONE E1003 using Tapatalk
That is some helluva post from a mobile device!
 

whitestar_999

Super Moderator
Staff member
@Vyom for semiconductors their resistance decreases as temperature increases,what you say is true for conductors(& metals are conductors). That is why all semiconductor-based electronics avoid high temps as much as possible because that will allow more amount of current to flow through the circuits damaging the components which are designed to operate at tiny voltages/current.
 

Shade97

Right off the assembly line
This seems oddly similar to the issue that i face,except there are no hair dryers involved,just restarts and scared prayers
my PC oddly was working fine and problem-less from March to May which didn't make sense to me(now as i read this thread,OF COURSE )
and its issue would replicate during winters and rains,my house is also very humid,so this theory makes a lot of sense
 
OP
Vyom

Vyom

The Power of x480
Staff member
Admin
So, yesterday I got my motherboard fixed by a motherboard repair shop in Nehru Place.

I had to attempt repair, since my PC was unable to boot using hair dryer anymore from last wednesday. The repair man took Rs 400 and fixed it in half an hour.
He told it was some shorting issue, and didn't divulge any info regarding the exact thing he repaired. Upon my inquiry on what he thinks about the hair dryer solution, he didn't have a satisfactory answer.

Well, so my PC starts now without a hair dryer. But as history have dictated me, my MSI H87-G43 won't be the same anymore. It will surely show signs of aging again. But when that happens next time, I will need to buy a new one, and I can't just repair it again.

Thanks everyone to try to solve the mystery of hair dryer. Looks like it will remain a mystery.
 
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whitestar_999

Super Moderator
Staff member
I faced a similar situations many years ago when my system refused to boot.I took only my mobo,ram & processor to pc repair shop.He did something & it was fixed & he charged me ~500.He too never explained what exactly was the problem so my guess was it was something small but also very easy to overlook(dust in some contact point/circuit,some pin/capacitor/component part slightly bent touching something else etc).
 

gta5

Ambassador of Buzz
does anyone had this happen with gigabyte boards also ? i don't know about quality of MSI humidity feature .. but read somewhere that gigabyte used to have this problem with their boards for users in india especially, with lot's of RMA returns , then they modified their PCB with glass fabric around 5-6 years back i guess , and the problem was solved ..

P.S- found some marketing material and it explains how does it happens

GIGABYTE’s New Glass Fabric PCB Technology Helps Your PC Win the War against Humidity | GIGABYTE

would be good to have some actual feedback regarding this
 
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bssunilreddy

Chosen of the Omnissiah
I had an MSI LGA 1150 board where once it didn't start at all and when I sent it to RMA to Delhi. The guys at Delhi said that due to a lightning strike the CPU Socket got damaged and they replaced the entire socket and sent it back to me. It worked flawlessly until I sold it via OLX locally.

Later I bought a Gigabyte LGA 1150 board where due to continuous rain the CPU socket got humid some how and I sent it for RMA to Bangalore. The guys at the RMA center said that if there is incessant rain, it's always better to open the cabinet and put a table fan for the humidity to get evaporated. I always kept the side panel of my cabinet opened until sold it via OLX locally.

Now I am using Asus LGA 1150 Board which has Surge Protection built into the Bios. I never faced the issues after I started using Asus Board.

PS: Now when ever there are some clouds I just remove all the cables and turn off the Wifi Router as well.
 
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