We have an HTPC in the lounge, housed in a very elegant slimline case. It's dead quiet but a fairly modest PC.
It's based on an FIC Intel 945 chipset running a Intel C2D E6700, 2GB of ram and 500GB HDD, running Vista Home Premium 64bit.
For the last couple of months the system has been having a few problems. The standby light would sometimes flicker when you powered up the PC and the system wouldn't start. Giving the case a little tap on the side would stop the standby light flickering, then the system would start. I had planned to look at it over the holidays and try and see what the problem was.
The PC is often left running when we are out, recording a TV program, or when we're in bed.
On Saturday, the problem returned. Once again i gave the case a tap on the side and the PC started. I never thought any more about it.
About 40 minutes later, my hubby asked if i could smell something burning. We looked around but couldn't see anything. About 5 minutes after that, with the burning smell getting much stronger. I seen what looked like smoke coming from the cabinet where the HTPC is located. Opening the cabinet, the smoke was coming from the HTPC. I switched the PC off and started disconnecting it. By this time the smoke was much less, so i opened up the PC.
Where the power regulators are, around the CPU, there was a hole burned in the motherboard around one of the legs of one of the regulators.
My dad had a look at it and, he said the soldering on that leg had cracked and was arcing which made it heat up and burn.
I dread to think what might have happened if we had already been in bed with the PC running, or out of the house.
Do you leave your PC running when not at home or in bed?