are that near the end of 2002, a large number of capacitors
were manufactured with a defective electrolyte. The instability
of this water based electrolyte creates an excess amount
of hydrogen which will lead to a ruptured can.
in a PC you will find electrolytic capacitors on the system
mainboard and within the power supply. A capacitor is basically
a "storage tank" that will fill-up and try to
maintain the voltage level applied to it. On system mainboards
the capacitors are often used to maintain and filter supply
voltages for various electronic components including the
CPU and Memory.
capacitors can reduce or do nothing at all to filter out
voltage spikes and fluctuations. Symptoms can vary from
occasional system crashes to boot failures and constant
system re-booting. Power supply failures due to defective
capacitors can have catastrophic results. High, un-filtered
power voltage levels can permanently damage electronic components
on mainboards, video cards, disk drives etc.
can identify defective electrolytic capacitors by looking
for bulging capacitor tops or a leaking substance from a
rupture on the top or the bottom of the capacitor.