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Wet Computer Answered

I have a Dell Dimension 4600C, but it was ruined when my room was flooded (Thanks Joe the Plumber!). I know the power supply is fried (no power comes out, the circuit board looks white and wet), but I'm not sure if the motherboard is bad. Only the bottom 1/2 inch got wet, and it looks fine. Everything else in the computer works, but the computer was plugged in when it died. Is there a way to test the motherboard (without another computer or PSU)? Should I buy a PSU without knowing if the motherboard works? A new motherboard is too expensive, I might as well get a new computer, but the power supply is only $20. Henry


If the board got wet, you might as well wash the white stuff off and give it a thorough drying. Remove everything it doesn't need and see if it'll POST (the usual beep!) If it'll do that much start adding bits back in stages. How do you know that everything else in the computer works, without another computer or PSU? L

I know the other components work because they didn't get wet and they worked before. I tried the HD in an enclosure, the CD drive worked when i swapped it out in an old Iomega Hot-burn.

Not meaning to be picky, but you can't be sure they work until they've been tested, including read/write. One suggestion: take the board to a computer store and tell them your story, ask them if they would plug it in and see if it'll POST. They'll be looking at a potential customer and it'll only cost them a small amount of time. If it is broken, you can ask what they've got, look thoughtful, make your excuses and leave. L

. If there is white crusty stuff on the mobo, then you are probably SOL. :( . The power supply may be good. Try hooking it up to a known good mobo and see if it will power up. Or do some searching on shorting two pins on the power connector to the mobo to get the PSU to come on.

I tested it with my multimeter by shorting the pins. That didn't work. Then I took it apart and it was full of white stuff.

was it plugged in when it got the water ? maybe a heck of electrolysis took place inside then

disassemble the computer and dry the heck out of it for few days then assemble with a known good power supply test your current power supply throughly with voltmeter for some hours - with and without load (car lightbulbs). dont just assume that if it passed the smoke test its ok