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Hardware Malfunction - Possible short-circuit/overheating?

Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:19 pm
by mseth

I recently noticed that one of the Pi's I was running for a project suffered from a critical hardware malfunction. It looks like some components on the board exploded and leaked. I'm trying to figure out what could have happened here and prevent it in the future. I should note that I was NOT overclocking the device, and I was monitoring and logging the CPU-temp every minute prior. And just before the failure, the CPU-temp reading was approx. 48*C. This is well-within normal operating temperature from my understanding.

The pi was in a plastic enclosure at the time, and was not exposed to the elements. Upon first inspection it appeared that some of the small components (capacitors/resistors, and small ICs) near the Ethernet/USB controller leaked/exploded. There is a milky white liquid and a white powdery substance in that area as well. I'm attaching some pictures to show this.

The high-res images are linked below --

Full-view: ... 125303.jpg

Close-up: ... 125330.jpg

Any help in figuring out what might have happened would be highly appreciated, and I hope I can get to the bottom of this.