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soldoncass

computer problems

12 posts in this topic

I have been watching , with interest, the threads about computer problems. We were going through a lot of the same symptums with ours. Intermittent problems: BIOS screens, random reboots, fan running like a jet, etc. The ONLY thing we could be sure of was ....don't trust it! Lucky for us we have some kids that understand these things.

After trying lots of things, without success and thinking it was the motherboard....one son brought over a power supply , just to "check our ps" (cause they do STRANGE things). We/he :/switched it out and it worked fine for a couple weeks, so we bought a new one to put in there. Worked great for +/- 6 months. Then it started over again, same as before eek After going through it all again, with flawless memtest etc., the same son used the same test ps as before.....it is working again for 5th day now. We couldn't believe the new ps could be bad already, but it appears to be so. We changed the surge protector strip, just in case that is allowing fluctuating voltages. So far so good.

I relay all this so you have another thing to check out. Do NOT ASSUME your ps is good, just because the computer powers up.....if the voltages out of the ps are inconsistent or not correct, your computer will go NUTS. cry

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We had some weird problems with one of our computers and it sure seemed liked it was the power switch going bad and it ended up being the power supply. Make sure that your power supply is big enough to run all the extra equipment that you add on and has a fan to coll it off.

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Mine PS went out a year or two ago. I took the opportunity to upgrade the power supply (from about 300w to 750w to future proof it), just had to modify the case a little!! wink

I have been very happy with the results, and even upgraded the video card and RAM which has been great.

Next up will be the hard drive. Its going on 5-6 years old, and I don't know if I trust it to last a ton longer!!!

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When you buy a computer power supply, get one from a reputable manufacturer. Even though it might cost a little more it is a good idea. They're not all the same in power quality and reliability.

Also, FWIW, surge protectors are not voltage regulators.

A surge protector only stops relatively high voltage spikes from coming in...typically around 330-400V peak clamping. A surge protector does nothing to smooth out the typical fluctuations of line voltage.

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Whoa,

We did get a ps that was on the "list" of good ones...sil.st...that is why we checked about everything else first, we were soooo sure that was good. Even got a larger one than the original, still failed.

I have questions though about the surge protectors....are they even necessary? Are some ps protected internally? That may have had nothing to do with it failing, but that is the only link we thought might help.

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Most do not have much protection. There's no reason they would fail unless you can't get any air flowing through them. Heat is the number one killer of all electronics.

A few things with power supplies: check the 12V rails. Todays should have multiple 12V rails supporting at least 36 total amps. You could have more than adequate wattage but if the power isn't delivered on the 12V rails you'll get voltage sag and eventual rebooting. Voltage input should never be a problem. I can think of no way in a household you could possibly affect the input voltage enough to cause a power supply not to function. Another thing is to use monitoring software to check voltages, fan speeds, temps, etc... My voltages are always just a little on the low side, but nothing problematic...

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There is some debate on whether multiple rails or one large rail is better.

Both seem to have pros and cons.

My latest PS purchase, a PC Power and Cooling Silencer 610, is of the single large rail variety (12V @ 49A).

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comp. is still going strong, gonna have to go shopping.....How much bigger than original do you guys recommend? We went from 305w (I think it was) to a 400w last time. Never added any hardware to the comp, since we ordered it from the big D, so too big seems like overkill. Because of all our problems, and so many others we have read about, our next comp will have some different letters on the side. Thanks for all your help and advice, I appreciate it.

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Some of the power supply manufacturers have size calculators on their websites. Also, the Tom's Hardware or Anandtech websites probably have some information too.

I have a hard time envisioning a "typical" machine needing more than 300-400W power supply.

My machine is home brew and runs the following:

Celeron processor socket 775 @ 3.35GHz on a Gigabyte P965-S3 board, three hard drives (two in Raid 1, and one for data backup), an overclocked 7300GT graphics board, and two CD/DVD burners. This runs fine on the original 380W power supply.

I bought the 610W power supply when I had some upgrades in mind to a quad core processor and more gnarly graphics card, but I came to my senses because the computer fits my needs 98.5% of the time as it is. And, besides, even though the 610W power supply is called the "silencer" and is quiet compared to other larger power supplies, it makes a lot more noise than the 380W power supply that came in the Antec Sonata case.

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If you are having repeated PSU problems, you may want to invest in an uninterpretable power supply or UPS. Your line voltage may be dropping and over stressing the PSU. A USP would prevent this by monitoring line voltage and switching to battery if the voltage drops too much. They also offer better protection against voltage spikes.

Voltage issues while more common in rural areas, can happen anywhere, a friend of mine lost several PSUs to voltage issues while living near downtown St. Paul.

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Go to General Nano Systems, they'll hook you up. They are University and 280 and have everything.

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