Tech Question:Sound card power connection mistake

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countryboy Posted: Tue, Jun 14 2011 2:32 PM

DUMMY ME, I connected power to my sound card via a floppy connector  (used  to power to my Xonar DX PCIe Sound Card) to a 2 pin molex

connector inside my PC ( 12V+ and 12v-) instead of the correct 4 pin molex using both 12 AND 5 volts + and -, this was actually  an adapter for a case fan added to a molex from my PSU  to power a case fan instead of a real molex 4 pin. I just didn't pay attention when I plugged it in to power my new sound card.

 Powered up PC all exited about my new card, and immediately smelled burning, powered down!!!

 The 12 volt ground wire had meted through from between the 2 pin molex adapter and the 4 pin floppy connector to my sound card, but did not melt anything else like the connector itself, or the power feed from the PSU or connector at the sound card.

I removed the card, and it shows no sign of damage, I assumed the smell was from the burned 22 guage black ground wire and  it's insulation. I powered my PC back up fine

 into Windows 7 64 bit. No issues so far. I am back to on board sound, and needless to say, VERY hesitant to re install

 this  sound card   which has no visible damage or burning smell.  The PCIe X1 slot on my motherboard  looks fine as well.

The card looks and smells fine, but I have no way of knowing if it's fully safe to re-install it.

 I do have a digital volt/ohm meter, but no knowledge what to look for on the sound card card itself.



 QUESTION: How can I tell if it is safe to correctly re install my sound card with a 4 pin (having both 12 and 5 volts)

molex to a 4 pin floppy connector ?. 

 Or, should I "downgrade" to a Xonar DG/DS PCI sound card with no external power connector to "play it safe".

This is my first FULL build of a new PC,  and I am thinking of not "frying stuff" except maybe hash browns for breakfast,

but I want to upgrade my sound (Total itunes addict),

 as the on board was skipping a bit now and then, so I ordered a card, only to botch the installation.

My Specs: Asus AM3  M4A88TD-V-EVO/USB3 880G Full ATX Board Bios ver. 1401

                   Athlon II X3 450 CPU

                   Zalman CNPS 10X  "Performa" CPU Cooler

                  Seasonic S12 520 watt Power Supply Unit

                  Kingston Hyper X  BLUE  XMP profile DDR3 3 X 1GB

                  Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB  Hard Drive , running in IDE mode, as I was too intimidated to set up ACHI on an AMD

                   system after reading too many nightmares about that issue.


                  Asus 1GB GTS450 Video card

                  Asus DVD Drive

                  Cooler Master RC690 Case, with Radio Shack PC speaker added (so I can hear beep codes) with five case fans currently

                   Nothing overclocked or unlocked. Memory timings and voltages set to "auto" 



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AKwyn replied on Tue, Jun 14 2011 4:12 PM

It's worth a shot; it might of been overheating like hell due to the fact that you had the wrong power connector but if the card itself shows no damage then it's worth a shot.

And hey, you can power off the computer in case of an emergency; it's not like that card is going to suddenly break everything in your system.


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I agree with Taylor. Most likely the card itself is fine, the wire most likely melted because it was not heavy enough to handle the draw the sound card was pulling.
It is not likely that the sound card would fry anything in the system if you reinstalled it typically the card would have died and left the rest of the system alone if something is going to be broken.

I do not know of a way to test the card other than sticking it in another system that you might not care as much about.

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countryboy replied on Wed, Jun 22 2011 10:59 AM

Thanks. I got it solved. I threw it in an older system without the power connector, booted up,

then loaded the driver. I then was notified by the Asus software to connect power to the card.

 Which I did after powering down. Powered back up, and it works like a charm.

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