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  1. #1

    Angry HELP! Salt like substance covering everything! Motherboard GPU etc

    One day out of the blue my computer did not boot, upon inspection everything inside my computer was covered in this salt like crystallized substance.
    It seems like the motherboard was short circuited from this as I found an area that was burnt out.

    I have been to multiple computer shops but they have no idea of what it actually is.

    I think the Graphics card may still have some life in it if it was cleaned properly, any suggestions? I have tried high pressure air to no avail.
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  2. #2
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
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    Default Re: HELP! Salt like substance covering everything! Motherboard GPU etc

    First thought is something like capacitors or the internals of something have blown, but they normally don't shower their contents all over the board. Could also be corrosion just spreading, what started off as something small has been allowed to grow. if you look at it, its heavier around all the solder points.
    Last edited by wainuitech; 18-12-2014 at 04:33 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: HELP! Salt like substance covering everything! Motherboard GPU etc

    That looks like some sort of liquid has got in and then dried out leaving behind that residue.
    For it to cover such a big area, is anything else inside the case covered in the same stuff?

  4. #4
    amateur expert dugimodo's Avatar
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    Default Re: HELP! Salt like substance covering everything! Motherboard GPU etc

    Residue from something burning perhaps, or the insides of an exploded capacitor although that usually looks more like polystyrene.
    If all else fails try good old water and possibly a soft brush. I once fixed a motherboard that had been subjected to cat pee with a garden hose (from wouldn't power up to fully functional). You may need to pull it apart partially though, depends on the design and how well it traps water etc.

    Water will not usually actually damage electronic components provided they are dried off completely before any power is applied. It can take a week or longer in a dry environment though for it to leave every nook & cranny so don't rush anything. You want to avoid any harsh chemicals or solvents so water is probably safest.
    Why it usually is bad to get something wet is because water with trace impurities in it conducts electricity so it goes places it's not supposed to and shorts things out.

    For the motherboard I left it stood on edge in the hot water cupboard for a week then blew dry air over it for a half hour or so with a fan, never expected it to go again but with nothing to lose I figured why not. I also had to take to the RAM contacts with a toothbrush to remove some corrosion.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member 1101's Avatar
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    Default Re: HELP! Salt like substance covering everything! Motherboard GPU etc

    Are you willing to risk blowing a motherboard or Monitor by using that dodgy vid card ?

    Could it be from a very damp house, alot of airborne moisture being sucked into the PC .
    And rust or corrosion on anything in the PC,any copper parts gone green ?
    Last edited by 1101; 18-12-2014 at 04:44 PM.

  6. #6
    amateur expert dugimodo's Avatar
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    Default Re: HELP! Salt like substance covering everything! Motherboard GPU etc

    Another observation from the cat pee incident - the case had a side fan with a plastic tube directing air to the cpu. The offending (and offensive) liquid was sucked in by the case fan and distributed around the case by the CPU fan and was all over the place. Where it made contact with some metallic parts they had begun to corrode.

    I don't know what happened in your case but the point of the story is if any liquid gets near a spinning fan it gets spread very well.
    Ryzen 2700X, 16Gb DDR4RAM, 512GB M.2 NVME SSD, MSI GTX1070

  7. #7
    Superanuitant Poppa John's Avatar
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    Default Re: HELP! Salt like substance covering everything! Motherboard GPU etc

    Abandon ship!!!!!!! Its the Dreaded Lurgi!!! PJ
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    When I was younger I heard but didn't listen.
    Now I am older, I listen but cannot hear.

    If it is not broke, don't make it broker by trying to make it better. (This applies specifically to PJ)

  8. #8

    Default Re: HELP! Salt like substance covering everything! Motherboard GPU etc

    Thing is location of the computer was in a very sunny room on top of the desk no sign of dampness.

  9. #9

    Default Re: HELP! Salt like substance covering everything! Motherboard GPU etc

    Quote Originally Posted by CYaBro View Post
    That looks like some sort of liquid has got in and then dried out leaving behind that residue.
    For it to cover such a big area, is anything else inside the case covered in the same stuff?
    The motherboard was fully covered in this stuff. RAM and hard drives also had traces of it.

  10. #10
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
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    Default Re: HELP! Salt like substance covering everything! Motherboard GPU etc

    Quote Originally Posted by PC builder View Post
    The motherboard was fully covered in this stuff. RAM and hard drives also had traces of it.
    By any chance is there any sort of aerosol spray ( flies etc) or scent spray etc ?

    Sounds more then its been sucked in Via the intakes, possibly over time.

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