Frustrating hardware problems... need help diagnosing

My rig is positioned under my table, safe from all liquids...or so I thought.

One night I was sitting and accidentally knocked a bottle of water towards me. The bottle hit my leg, did a spin, and then all the water shot out towards the back of my rig (my rig is positioned backwards so the cables are easier to plug in)

The back of my rig didn't feel wet at all, but the floor towards it was a little wet. When I touched the back I could feel the slightest sensation of moisture, so I'm guessing a very little amount of water touched it. There is a slight opening below my graphics card's ports that I neglected to close. I went outside to get a towel for the floor, and when I came back, my computer froze.

I restarted it to find that my HDMI output doesn't work anymore. Soon after, I found that it suffered from BSOD's randomly. Games had trouble installing, too.

Sometimes chrome would crash unexpectedly and inconveniently.

I'm pretty sure that the graphics card needs replacing, but now I'm not sure exactly what the problem is.

I tried running IntelBurnTest, but both times it failed and my computer freezes while running it. I was told that IntelBurnTest checks the processor and the motherboard, but I thought the problem was with the graphics card?

I don't think enough water got in to bother my motherboard and processor, but then again even a tiny amount could do a lot of damage. I don't know what to do anymore, and I don't have a lot of money. I can't believe a stupid mistake would cost me so much.

If only the graphics card is having the issue, then it would be convenient. I could replace my 4890 that I paid $230 for with a 6850 that costs only $130 at my local Fry's.

But if the processor, motherboard, and hell, even the ram, has issues, then...I don't know.

I'm not experienced with hardware or diagnostics. I'm not even sure what most diagnostics tools do. People on freenode#hardware just suggest random stuff for me, like IntelBurnTest, memtest, PRIME, and a bunch of other random names. I don't understand anything about how to run these tests or how to interpret the results. I also can't afford to buy a bunch of random parts and replace them to see if my computer "works" after that. And I can't afford to bring it to a repair shop either.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Something like that is hard to tell exactly what might have been effected. If water had gotten on some electrical connection, it could be or caused a problem with all parts of the system.

The first thing I would do is leave it off to make sure it has dried out. Unplug the unit and let it sit. Open the case to see if anything looks bad and even unplug all the items on the back to make sure water isn't sitting there. Do you have any compressed air?

After that, you might try to get a dump file from a BSOD for us to check, but replacing devices will be up to your judgement.

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