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Replace Power Transformer?

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  • Power
  • Computers
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Anonymous
April 29, 2004 10:08:45 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.gateway2000 (More info?)

I purchased a Gateway Essential 900c in September, 2001. I get a fair amount of
crashes (freezes; requires shutdown; reboot with scan) with it. A friend told
me Gateways were notorious for having poor power transformers.

In others' experience, would it be worthwhile to replace the power transformer?

What's the identifying information on the transformer (so I know what to ask for
at a shop)?

About how much should the transformer cost?

Where is it located inside the casing? (I'll also start researching this on my
own. I have had the computer apart for cleaning before. I'm pretty handy and
have a decent mechanical and electrical background.)

What's a good place to buy a transformer?

Might E-bay have these transformers?

Thanks in advance.

More about : replace power transformer

Anonymous
April 29, 2004 10:08:46 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.gateway2000 (More info?)

If your machine is one of the flex cases (very small only one cdrom bay and
a floppy bay externally), look inside the machine at the motherboard. Look
at the capacitors (small and cylindrical) and check the tops of them for
bulging and leaking. If they are, you either need a new motherboard or you
need to have someone replace the capacitors.


"Caroline" <caroline10027remove@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:Nwbkc.14284$eZ5.12066@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
>I purchased a Gateway Essential 900c in September, 2001. I get a fair
>amount of
> crashes (freezes; requires shutdown; reboot with scan) with it. A friend
> told
> me Gateways were notorious for having poor power transformers.
>
> In others' experience, would it be worthwhile to replace the power
> transformer?
>
> What's the identifying information on the transformer (so I know what to
> ask for
> at a shop)?
>
> About how much should the transformer cost?
>
> Where is it located inside the casing? (I'll also start researching this
> on my
> own. I have had the computer apart for cleaning before. I'm pretty handy
> and
> have a decent mechanical and electrical background.)
>
> What's a good place to buy a transformer?
>
> Might E-bay have these transformers?
>
> Thanks in advance.
>
>
Anonymous
April 29, 2004 10:10:33 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.gateway2000 (More info?)

Caroline,

The power supply may be one cause of system crashes, especially if the wattage
rating is low, 145w or less. But there are a myriad of other causes including
insufficient system memory, corrupted software, and on and on.

The power supply need not be a Gateway branded item. Gateway uses mostly
off-the-shelf standard form factor parts. However, power supplies have gotten
tricky over the years as manufacturers have "standardized" on 4 or 5 different
ones with varying sizes and screw hole patterns... Ben Myers

On Thu, 29 Apr 2004 18:08:45 GMT, "Caroline" <caroline10027remove@earthlink.net>
wrote:

>I purchased a Gateway Essential 900c in September, 2001. I get a fair amount of
>crashes (freezes; requires shutdown; reboot with scan) with it. A friend told
>me Gateways were notorious for having poor power transformers.
>
>In others' experience, would it be worthwhile to replace the power transformer?
>
>What's the identifying information on the transformer (so I know what to ask for
>at a shop)?
>
>About how much should the transformer cost?
>
>Where is it located inside the casing? (I'll also start researching this on my
>own. I have had the computer apart for cleaning before. I'm pretty handy and
>have a decent mechanical and electrical background.)
>
>What's a good place to buy a transformer?
>
>Might E-bay have these transformers?
>
>Thanks in advance.
>
>
Related resources
Anonymous
April 29, 2004 10:45:48 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.gateway2000 (More info?)

Thanks, Ben. I understand the causes of my computer's problems may be myriad.

I'm inclined to try a changeout of the power supply, as I think the part will
run me under $50, and I just found out from the Gateway site that it's a 90-Watt
unit, specifically model # ATX90-3405. I now know what it looks like and
understand any replacement I buy has to physically fit as well as be
electrically appropriate.

My main question now is what my upper limit on wattage is. I figure more is
better, in general.

Feel free to comment.


<ben_myers_spam_me_not @ charter.net (Ben Myers)> wrote in message
news:409143ff.22595200@news.charter.net...
> Caroline,
>
> The power supply may be one cause of system crashes, especially if the wattage
> rating is low, 145w or less. But there are a myriad of other causes including
> insufficient system memory, corrupted software, and on and on.
>
> The power supply need not be a Gateway branded item. Gateway uses mostly
> off-the-shelf standard form factor parts. However, power supplies have gotten
> tricky over the years as manufacturers have "standardized" on 4 or 5 different
> ones with varying sizes and screw hole patterns... Ben Myers
>
> On Thu, 29 Apr 2004 18:08:45 GMT, "Caroline"
<caroline10027remove@earthlink.net>
> wrote:
>
> >I purchased a Gateway Essential 900c in September, 2001. I get a fair amount
of
> >crashes (freezes; requires shutdown; reboot with scan) with it. A friend
told
> >me Gateways were notorious for having poor power transformers.
> >
> >In others' experience, would it be worthwhile to replace the power
transformer?
> >
> >What's the identifying information on the transformer (so I know what to ask
for
> >at a shop)?
> >
> >About how much should the transformer cost?
> >
> >Where is it located inside the casing? (I'll also start researching this on
my
> >own. I have had the computer apart for cleaning before. I'm pretty handy and
> >have a decent mechanical and electrical background.)
> >
> >What's a good place to buy a transformer?
> >
> >Might E-bay have these transformers?
> >
> >Thanks in advance.
> >
> >
>
Anonymous
April 29, 2004 10:46:16 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.gateway2000 (More info?)

Although electrolytic capacitors in all consumer equipment have caused
a lot of trouble in recent years, the motherboards with known and
chronic problems with its electrolytics were the "Corfu" and "Corfu
II" boards. GW knew about the problems in early 2002 and never did
make it known.

Look for bulging, leaking, misshapen or swollen caps. They are
standard through-hole parts and can be replaced by anyone who knows
what they are doing, but most computer shops do not do component
repair and TV shops usually get really mulish when asked to work on
anything but TVs. It can be done with a temp-controlled iron and
solderwick but a Pace tool is preferred. Replacement caps are
available from Digi-Key or other regular electronic suppliers.

Computer power supplies do not use transformers but are what are
called "switch-mode" supplies. If the voltages are approximately
correct and there are no obvious intermittents power supplies usually
are _not_ the problem, usually a unit inside the case is pulling one
line or another low or the power supply to the computer is
intermittent or sags. A regular old incandescent light can tell you a
lot if used right.

The 90-watt supply used in the NLX/LTX form factor case is usually
adequate "and then some". NDF (no defect found) rates on Power
Supplies were consistently in the 50-70% range when I was involved
with GW. A little of this was probably due to insufficiently rigorous
testing of returned supplies, but not much. The only good way to test
switchmode supplies is to cycle them through their entire operating
envelope of permissible currents on each line while watching for noise
and monitoring input current-at maximum, minimum and bogey input
voltages. I was never able to see Gateway's parts testing but my
understanding is they just put them in a computer and checked to see
if they "worked or not".

Most of the techs at GW and in the rest of the PC business have what
I call the hobby-shop mentality. They reject all but ATX machines
"because of the versatility" of expansion, knowing full well no one
ever does use this "versatility". I like the small form factor
machine, provided it is well-built, Apple's old Mac LCs, and the HP,
Sun, DEC, and SGI Indys were all great boxes as were the single-board
in the keyboard PCs we had at a former employer running a Citrix front
end for a Unix GIS. So the small box isn't the problem. It's a
well-made small box you want.
Anonymous
April 29, 2004 11:21:45 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.gateway2000 (More info?)

Caroline,

The more wattage the better. 90w is definitely anemic. You can probably find a
higher wattage power supply as a non-Gateway item. The important things are the
size and shape and screw hole mounts. But 145w, 185w, and 200w are now common
in the smaller sized power supplies.

I'm fairly sure that the power supply was made for Gateway by Astec, long a
producer of good quality power supplies. But the 90w was Gateway's idea to save
maybe less than one dollar in the cost of manufacturing the Essential... Ben
Myers

On Thu, 29 Apr 2004 18:45:48 GMT, "Caroline" <caroline10027remove@earthlink.net>
wrote:

>Thanks, Ben. I understand the causes of my computer's problems may be myriad.
>
>I'm inclined to try a changeout of the power supply, as I think the part will
>run me under $50, and I just found out from the Gateway site that it's a 90-Watt
>unit, specifically model # ATX90-3405. I now know what it looks like and
>understand any replacement I buy has to physically fit as well as be
>electrically appropriate.
>
>My main question now is what my upper limit on wattage is. I figure more is
>better, in general.
>
>Feel free to comment.
>
>
><ben_myers_spam_me_not @ charter.net (Ben Myers)> wrote in message
>news:409143ff.22595200@news.charter.net...
>> Caroline,
>>
>> The power supply may be one cause of system crashes, especially if the wattage
>> rating is low, 145w or less. But there are a myriad of other causes including
>> insufficient system memory, corrupted software, and on and on.
>>
>> The power supply need not be a Gateway branded item. Gateway uses mostly
>> off-the-shelf standard form factor parts. However, power supplies have gotten
>> tricky over the years as manufacturers have "standardized" on 4 or 5 different
>> ones with varying sizes and screw hole patterns... Ben Myers
>>
>> On Thu, 29 Apr 2004 18:08:45 GMT, "Caroline"
><caroline10027remove@earthlink.net>
>> wrote:
>>
>> >I purchased a Gateway Essential 900c in September, 2001. I get a fair amount
>of
>> >crashes (freezes; requires shutdown; reboot with scan) with it. A friend
>told
>> >me Gateways were notorious for having poor power transformers.
>> >
>> >In others' experience, would it be worthwhile to replace the power
>transformer?
>> >
>> >What's the identifying information on the transformer (so I know what to ask
>for
>> >at a shop)?
>> >
>> >About how much should the transformer cost?
>> >
>> >Where is it located inside the casing? (I'll also start researching this on
>my
>> >own. I have had the computer apart for cleaning before. I'm pretty handy and
>> >have a decent mechanical and electrical background.)
>> >
>> >What's a good place to buy a transformer?
>> >
>> >Might E-bay have these transformers?
>> >
>> >Thanks in advance.
>> >
>> >
>>
>
>
Anonymous
April 30, 2004 1:24:07 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.gateway2000 (More info?)

When I was at Gateway, the Oxnard Athlon board and the Brookings Flex ATX
board were the ones that we replaced the most for the capacitor issue. Both
boards were made by MSI. We replaced several Oxnard boards a week. I only
saw the Corfu problem once, when a school district brought in 20 of them. We
also replaced a lot of those 90 watt power supplies in the flex case. The
problem was a failed fan most of the time.

"Jim-Ed Browne" <jimedbrowne@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:65228e33.0404291746.2afa3b0f@posting.google.com...
> Although electrolytic capacitors in all consumer equipment have caused
> a lot of trouble in recent years, the motherboards with known and
> chronic problems with its electrolytics were the "Corfu" and "Corfu
> II" boards. GW knew about the problems in early 2002 and never did
> make it known.
>
> Look for bulging, leaking, misshapen or swollen caps. They are
> standard through-hole parts and can be replaced by anyone who knows
> what they are doing, but most computer shops do not do component
> repair and TV shops usually get really mulish when asked to work on
> anything but TVs. It can be done with a temp-controlled iron and
> solderwick but a Pace tool is preferred. Replacement caps are
> available from Digi-Key or other regular electronic suppliers.
>
> Computer power supplies do not use transformers but are what are
> called "switch-mode" supplies. If the voltages are approximately
> correct and there are no obvious intermittents power supplies usually
> are _not_ the problem, usually a unit inside the case is pulling one
> line or another low or the power supply to the computer is
> intermittent or sags. A regular old incandescent light can tell you a
> lot if used right.
>
> The 90-watt supply used in the NLX/LTX form factor case is usually
> adequate "and then some". NDF (no defect found) rates on Power
> Supplies were consistently in the 50-70% range when I was involved
> with GW. A little of this was probably due to insufficiently rigorous
> testing of returned supplies, but not much. The only good way to test
> switchmode supplies is to cycle them through their entire operating
> envelope of permissible currents on each line while watching for noise
> and monitoring input current-at maximum, minimum and bogey input
> voltages. I was never able to see Gateway's parts testing but my
> understanding is they just put them in a computer and checked to see
> if they "worked or not".
>
> Most of the techs at GW and in the rest of the PC business have what
> I call the hobby-shop mentality. They reject all but ATX machines
> "because of the versatility" of expansion, knowing full well no one
> ever does use this "versatility". I like the small form factor
> machine, provided it is well-built, Apple's old Mac LCs, and the HP,
> Sun, DEC, and SGI Indys were all great boxes as were the single-board
> in the keyboard PCs we had at a former employer running a Citrix front
> end for a Unix GIS. So the small box isn't the problem. It's a
> well-made small box you want.
Anonymous
April 30, 2004 2:53:27 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.gateway2000 (More info?)

The part about the school district having 20 was common-these E-series
usually were sold in groups. Ditto the fan on the 90-watter-actually,
the fan in most power supplies is easily replaced if you catch it
before it cooks. I remember this well. It was a big pain in the ass
because our Siebel was configured to only allow Quantity 1 on line
items. You had to cut and paste 40 times-20 sends and 20 receives.
When Siebel started f^&*ing up routinely-they outsourced the back end
servers to Denver-we had a Outlook form we could use and that
simplified matters drastically but then you had to annotate that
service request as there'd be no record otherwise.

I can't recall replacing a Brookings for capacitor failure
specifically, but I replaced a whole bunch of them. Most Brookingses
were in the hands of consumos who didn't know a capacitor from a
collander.

My last two weeks or so at the facility I started generating
imaginary SRs with some pretty creative-never profane, but funny and
harmless-event texts. My doc percentage went up, not that I cared, but
I got to do some really creative short story writing.
Anonymous
April 30, 2004 10:29:15 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.gateway2000 (More info?)

Thanks Jim, Tweek, Ben and Sam.

Update:

I inspected the capacitors and none are leaking. Nor do they appear to be
bulging.

Without too much difficulty I disconnected and removed the 90-Watt power supply
and took its dimensions. After some research and leg work, it turns out the big
trick in replacing it is that it's a "micro" size. CompUSA had a perfect fit 150
Watt version for $70 at its store; online CompUSA had a $33 (taking into account
shipping) 145 Watt version.

Ebay also lists many 145 W and higher Watt versions whose dimensions and screw
holes appear to fit dead-on, too. Lowest price with shipping = $32 at the
moment.

I drove to three independent computer shops and they had nothing that would
physically fit. Also, they were not optimistic I'd find one locally.

Again, I don't know if a new power supply will improve my computer's
performance, but I figure it's worth a try. I cleaned the power supply fan more
thoroughly than I ever have, so maybe this will help, too.

I will watch Ebay for a week or so then make a decision.
Anonymous
April 30, 2004 11:29:31 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.gateway2000 (More info?)

You can get a power supply from www.skyline-eng.com if you don't have any
luck on ebay.

"Caroline" <caroline10027remove@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:%Vwkc.526$Hs1.462@newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net...
> Thanks Jim, Tweek, Ben and Sam.
>
> Update:
>
> I inspected the capacitors and none are leaking. Nor do they appear to be
> bulging.
>
> Without too much difficulty I disconnected and removed the 90-Watt power
> supply
> and took its dimensions. After some research and leg work, it turns out
> the big
> trick in replacing it is that it's a "micro" size. CompUSA had a perfect
> fit 150
> Watt version for $70 at its store; online CompUSA had a $33 (taking into
> account
> shipping) 145 Watt version.
>
> Ebay also lists many 145 W and higher Watt versions whose dimensions and
> screw
> holes appear to fit dead-on, too. Lowest price with shipping = $32 at the
> moment.
>
> I drove to three independent computer shops and they had nothing that
> would
> physically fit. Also, they were not optimistic I'd find one locally.
>
> Again, I don't know if a new power supply will improve my computer's
> performance, but I figure it's worth a try. I cleaned the power supply fan
> more
> thoroughly than I ever have, so maybe this will help, too.
>
> I will watch Ebay for a week or so then make a decision.
>
>
Anonymous
May 2, 2004 6:23:14 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.gateway2000 (More info?)

On 30 Apr 2004 10:53:27 -0700, samdotbyrams@hotmail.com (Sam Byrams)
wrote:

> I can't recall replacing a Brookings for capacitor failure
>specifically, but I replaced a whole bunch of them. Most Brookingses
>were in the hands of consumos who didn't know a capacitor from a
>collander.

The most common problem was modem failure on the Brookings.


Albert Alcoceba
<><
alberta@REMOVE.ihug.com.au
http://aussietrains.fotopic.net/
Remove REMOVE
January 29, 2014 3:58:23 AM

Anonymous said:
Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.gateway2000 (More info?)

I purchased a Gateway Essential 900c in September, 2001. I get a fair amount of
crashes (freezes; requires shutdown; reboot with scan) with it. A friend told
me Gateways were notorious for having poor power transformers.

In others' experience, would it be worthwhile to replace the power transformer?

What's the identifying information on the transformer (so I know what to ask for
at a shop)?

About how much should the transformer cost?

Where is it located inside the casing? (I'll also start researching this on my
own. I have had the computer apart for cleaning before. I'm pretty handy and
have a decent mechanical and electrical background.)

What's a good place to buy a transformer?

Might E-bay have these transformers?

Thanks in advance.


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