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Windows 7: Memory slot smoking

05 May 2013   #1

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7600 Multiprocessor Free
Memory slot smoking

This is a hardware question for anyone that can help me out. I have tried to upgrade the ram in a dell dimension 5150, after seating the additional ram one of the existing slots containing ram started smoking with an obvious plastic burning smell. I have removed all ram and the burning is still occurring when powering on accompanied by a loud beeping noise. It's clear that one of the slots is melting. Need to know what my options are now. New board, or can this be rectified. Obviously the slot is now damaged and can't be used but there are three remaining. Never experienced this and unsure what has caused it to happen ? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2013   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit (6.1, Build 7601)

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The beeping noise, is it a one long beep? Or is it accompanied by another long or short beep?
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05 May 2013   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

Whether or not the motherboard is fried (literally) is to be seen. However it depends on the cause of the fire.

It would be best to disassemble the computer and remove the motherboard from the case. Then carefully inspect the RAM slots, using a magnifying glass if necessary. Also inspect the board behind the RAM slots. When you remove the board pay close attention to anything behind the board, between the board and the case. Look for any loose screw rolling around.

When inspecting the RAM slots, use a toothpick or tool to search for anything inside the slot that would explain the short circuit. This includes hair and lint (dust).

Also carefully inspect the RAM modules. Look for any defects or malformations. Mark the stick that was in the smoking slot to identify it.

Most likely the fire (smoke but no flame) was caused by a short circuit - electricity going in an unintended path. Hair and lint is not a very good conductor but they do conduct which means they will quickly heat to the burning point due to electrical resistance. If you are lucky that will be the cause: lint burning up.

If not lucky you will have something metallic in the slot. This kind of short would get hot enough to melt plastic. The slot will be totaled.

Any short circuit can sent unintentional current throughout the motherboard. This can cause more global damage. To test, reassemble the computer and put one stick of RAM in the first RAM slot and see if the machine will boot. If it will, what you would do after that depends on what you find in your inspections.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2013   #4

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit

If its the motherboard, only another Dell 5150/E510 motherboard will work, due to the Dell proprietary motherboards and the proprietary and undoctumented front panel connector (that can vary from model to model). This is also a BTX style, but it doesn't matter since it will require an exact replacement.

The required memory is DDR2 PC2-5300, DDR2 (non-ECC), 1.8V
Maximum Memory: 4GB
Slots: 4

I had a Dell Dimension E510, which is identical to the 5150 (The E510 was sold only in the US, the 5150 was sold worldwide).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2013   #5

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7600 Multiprocessor Free

There are 6 beeps with a slight pause after the fourth one. It will now turn on the burning has stopped but it won't boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2013   #6

Win8/8.1,Win7-U64, Vista U64, uncounted Linux distor's

You let all the magic smoke out, it's toast, bt-dt. Dell can be very proprietary but you can make things fit, may have to change a few connectors.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2013   #7

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit

A non-Dell could be made to fit, however, as its a BTX there are very few commerciall BTX boards around. As it uses the Dell Proprietary and undocumented front panel connector, the user would have to be able to trace each lead out to find the correct leads and then fabricate the correct connector on the leads. The rear I/O panel would have to be cut out (it doesn't have a standard I/O panel insert) to accomodate whatever motherboard. I don't know about this model but many Dell's in that era did not have a standard motherboard mounting hole arrangement.

A refurbished Dell 5150/E510 motherboard is the best way to go. There were three different part number motherboards used during the production of the 5150/E510, and they are all interchangeable. The final production boards were 0HJ054 (I think that's correct).

Here is one I found doing a google search Dell DM051 Dimension E510 5150 Motherboard p/n:0WG261 945G
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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