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CRASHED! A topic for SEVERE and immediate Hardware and Operating System FAILURES. We will try to get you up again. NOT for Optimization questions!


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Old 1st December, 2004, 09:37 PM
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Unexplained random crashes? Check this out!

Just saw this on PCStats. Aparently a wide spread problem with bad electrolyte fluid in capacitors. Tons of MB companies use them cause lots of capacitor manufature's use the fluid from the same source. Found several at my work that randomly reboot or lock up and low-and-behold, blown/warped capacitors were found on everyone.
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Old 1st December, 2004, 10:01 PM
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Actually, this is a really old issue, first spotted back in 2002 (see here).

However, the capacitors used in switching regulators (such as many CPU voltage regulators) have to work hard. This tends to give them a shorter lifetime. Lifetimes of between 5000 and 20,000hours are common for such low ESR capacitors. This lifetime is not when they stop working, but where they have significantly lost their ability to store power. At some point after the end of this lifetime, the internals of the capacitor are typically no longer up to handling the power demands placed on them.
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Old 2nd December, 2004, 01:22 AM
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The story goes something like this. Electronics manufacturers in Taiwan paid an industrial spy in Japan to bring home the formula for the glop used in Japanese electrolytic capacitors. For a reason I can't remember, only part of the recipe made it to Taiwan. This incomplete formula was assumed to be the real deal, hence bubbling bad capacitors.

Abit was the first mainboard maker to fess up to this problem. If I remember right, other mainboard makers were in no hurry to admit that their electrolytic caps were also unreliable.
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Old 2nd December, 2004, 02:44 AM
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Yea, the story says ASUS is one of the few manufactures that didn't and don't use the questionable capacitors.

Sorry, didn't know it was an old issue since I've never come across it before. Sounds like it's still an on-going issue until all those old boards finally die. Just thought it'd help since it explained my problems on work computers.
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Old 2nd December, 2004, 04:04 PM
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Don't worry about this being old news, DiabloAbogado. The crummy electrolytic capacitor sitch is still important.

If I remember right, Asus also used the pirated electrolyte formula. They just kept their mouths shut about it. It would be nice if I was wrong about this, I usually buy Asus mobos.

I wonder how much it costs to license the Japanese recipe? Perhaps they won't let you. If one has to buy the caps from Japan, they are probably expensive.
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Last edited by cloasters; 2nd December, 2004 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 2nd December, 2004, 06:09 PM
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You don't license the recipe, you buy the fluid instead. Unsurprisingly, it's more expensive buying caps from Japan. When even a $ on a board can be the difference between profit and loss, it's hardly surprising that many manufacturers are using cheaper components. They'd go out of business otherwise!

The other problem is that as CPU power consumption has gone up quickly, capacitor technology has not moved forward. The extra power consumption does work components much harder.
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