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PC works in labs, dies at users home

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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 6:38:07 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Hello all,

I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but I'm
unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:

First I want to say upfront that I am a systems engineer/builder/network
engineer and have been dealing with hardware for years now so I am truely
experienced and am using this as a last resort to figure out a problem I am
having with a clients PC system. Her system is a custom build tower she
purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.

The client I have came to me 2 years ago to have the bad motherboard
replaced. It was a GigaByte board with an AthlonXP processor, I replaced it
with an exact model and everything worked for over a year and half. Well
last fall the client comes to me again with major issues of Windows slowing
down, crashing, not working and it was determined that her powersupply was
going bad and the motherboard was damaged (bulgding/leaking capacitor). I
replaced both of these items last fall with an Antec 350 PSU and a albatron
motherboard and again her system worked *great* in my office lab area. I
thoroughly tested these prior returning the system to her

I returned it to her and she was using it just fine till last month when she
contacted me again as to having major slowdown/crashing problems that were a
result of a knocking noise. I diagnosed the problem as a failing Samsung
hard drive, replaced it with a Maxtor 7200rpm drive this past weekend.
Again in my labs this system was working great. Windows installed very
fast, everything was very responsive so again I dropped off the tower at her
house.

Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up it
breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running very very
slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system simply wouldn't
start, at all. She would power it up, only fans would spin, no beeps, no
signal to the monitor, no response whatsoever.

This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or could
that be the source? Each of the several times I have worked on her system
the system ran great at my office after working on it. Most of the hardware
has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR ram, otherwise the
motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been replaced. I simply am at
a loss for what would allow the system to work great at my office and then
at her house instantly develop serious problems.

Brad
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 6:38:08 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

B. Walker wrote:
>
> This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
> something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or could

Had that niggle once for a good client who we serviced his business and
then he got a custom built system from us for his home. Same exact type
of systems at his busniness worked perfectly but he had problems at
home. Upon visiting there we saw that he had only 2 holes/outlet ie no
ground and when in the house the lights would dim/brigten with different
shades of dimness/brightness. He didnt notice it as he lived there for
many years and I suppossed got used to it. His old 286 didn't seem to
mind but the new p400 had odd failures. We insisted that he upgrade his
electric to 100/200 amps from the 30 with fuses he currently had. Once
he did the problems went away.









--
http://www.bootdisk.com/
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 6:38:08 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

B. Walker wrote:

> Hello all,
>
> I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but I'm
> unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:
>
> First I want to say upfront that I am a systems engineer/builder/network
> engineer and have been dealing with hardware for years now so I am truely
> experienced and am using this as a last resort to figure out a problem I am
> having with a clients PC system. Her system is a custom build tower she
> purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.
>
> The client I have came to me 2 years ago to have the bad motherboard
> replaced. It was a GigaByte board with an AthlonXP processor, I replaced it
> with an exact model and everything worked for over a year and half. Well
> last fall the client comes to me again with major issues of Windows slowing
> down, crashing, not working and it was determined that her powersupply was
> going bad and the motherboard was damaged (bulgding/leaking capacitor). I
> replaced both of these items last fall with an Antec 350 PSU and a albatron
> motherboard and again her system worked *great* in my office lab area. I
> thoroughly tested these prior returning the system to her
>
> I returned it to her and she was using it just fine till last month when she
> contacted me again as to having major slowdown/crashing problems that were a
> result of a knocking noise. I diagnosed the problem as a failing Samsung
> hard drive, replaced it with a Maxtor 7200rpm drive this past weekend.
> Again in my labs this system was working great. Windows installed very
> fast, everything was very responsive so again I dropped off the tower at her
> house.
>
> Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up it
> breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running very very
> slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system simply wouldn't
> start, at all. She would power it up, only fans would spin, no beeps, no
> signal to the monitor, no response whatsoever.
>
> This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
> something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or could
> that be the source? Each of the several times I have worked on her system
> the system ran great at my office after working on it. Most of the hardware
> has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR ram, otherwise the
> motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been replaced. I simply am at
> a loss for what would allow the system to work great at my office and then
> at her house instantly develop serious problems.
>
> Brad
>
>

I'm having a wee bit of a problem following the extent of your logic. All
of the problems you mentioned took a year, or more, to manifest with the
exception of the recent hard drive replacement and, as far as I can tell,
you haven't diagnosed the current problem yet. I mean, it's a bit of an
exaggeration to say it works great on the bench and then always fails as
soon as she gets it home.

You didn't describe why the first main board failed but the second one was
apparently from the bad capacitor issue that is known to have plagued many
main boards from numerous manufacturers (due to a bit of faulty Oriental
corporate espionage stealing an incomplete electrolyte formula and then
selling it to every Dick, Tom, and Harry in the business). Whether the
faulty PSU aggravated it or it aggravated a sloppy PSU is unknown but not
unusual, especially for a 'QVC computer', I would think (I may be wrong but
I am assuming the QVC computer had some 'generic' low cost PSU in it).

The hard drive failed after 3 years. Not stellar but not terribly unusual
either.

On the other hand, I understand your concern in that, taken together, it
seems like an 'unlucky' system.

As for the 'home' situation, yes, 'bad power' could be a problem, and I put
that in single quotes because it doesn't necessarily mean the power
company, but other things could be a problem as well.

Heat is an issue for all of the components and nothing was said about case
ventilation. Was the case clean? (vs dirt clogging fans) What is the
ambient where the computer lives? And, for example, is the case located
inside a desk bay or crammed up against a wall, restricting airflow, or out
in the open? All of these things could lead to high internal case temps and
significantly shorten the life of internal components. 'Bad caps', already
prone to failure, and hard drives are particularly sensitive to high case
temps, and she's had those two problems.

Power is even more difficult because there are so many variables that can
affect it. Is the computer on surge protectors or a UPS? Not being on
proper surge protection could be a problem in areas with noisy power and/or
frequent storms but those devices themselves can create problems,
especially if not configured properly. E.g. Putting the computer AC power
line on a surge protector while the modem/cable connection (or peripherals)
are not can *increase* the likelihood of damage, rather than protect, since
the AC end of the machine is held near ground while the communication line
jumps all over the place, thereby creating large voltage differentials
across the very thing one thinks they've 'protected'.

What circuit in the house is the computer on? I mean, does it share the
same circuit with inductive devices like a refrigerator, or a window unit,
etc., that could cause inductive spikes?

Here's one that will raise some eyebrows. Does her doorbell work? Doorbell
transformers are notorious for injecting loads of noise into the AC line
when they fail (often from a shorted winding. It seems dead, since the
doorbell doesn't ring, but it's actually still on the AC line and will
often be hotter than a small nuclear reactor going critical.)

Wiring itself can be a problem. I know of at least one case where the
outlet strip had dirty/loose internal connections injecting severe noise
into the PSU causing all manner of symptoms, from random reboots to
apparent hard drive failure (even though it had not failed), interspersed
among periods of seemingly normal operation. House wiring can cause the
same thing, especially those with aluminum wiring (because of cold creep).

On the other hand, one could imagine two, identical, main board failures,
since odds are decent they had the same caps, taking, over time, the
(possibly cheap) PSU with them. Hard drive failure in three years, or even
less, seems to be all too common with 'compact' (mini tower) systems these
days (poor case ventilation and sometimes odd mounting).

What's wrong now we don't know, though. If it's something 'new', like the
video card, she may be seeing more problems originating from the original
'bad caps'/PSU stressing of the whole machine. Or it could be the dinky
fans they put on video cards finally died, and after three years I wouldn't
be surprised (last client I had with that problem commented "well, it had
been making a lot of noise but that stopped recently." Uh, yes it did.).

If the Antec PSU has died I'd be suspicious of the surge protetor/UPS/AC
power wiring.

Case ventilation I'm always suspicious of when I haven't seen it.

And when all other ideas have been exhausted there's always gremlins and
Murphy ;) 
Related resources
May 7, 2005 6:38:08 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

I have a customer just like that. He is death to computers.
Nothing I do can keep his computer running. On average,
I have rebuilt his system about every 6 months .. with
this last go around from all new parts, and I've rebuilt that
one twice. I've replaced two hard drives still under
warranty ( Maxtors ), and they were provably bad. I
noticed that the bad hard drives would hang Windows
and make it appear to be very slow. From experience,
I don't think bad house power is the problem. I think
there is something in his house that he is using close
to the computer ... like a big vaccuum cleaner. Those
things are not shielded at all, and they generate a big
magnetic field. The only protection against that sort of
thing is shielded AC line cords. A regular line cord is
a straight pipe right to the psupply, and electrolytics
on the mobo. It doesn't matter if the line cord is plugged
into a surge suppressor, if it is not shielded, and he
cranks up his machine shop, or drags a ragging vaccuum
cleaner right up to the PC box. Also, I have actually
seen this happen. I got stupid one afternoon, and brought
in my leaf blower / vaccuum cleaner to get dust out
of my lab PCs. That damn thing popped every single
HP monitor ( of the 21 inch kind ) in the room. 6 of
them, and not one of them was turned on. I'll bet your
lady customer has a big vaccuum cleaner and a rug
washer ... both made with plastic cases, and it would
not surprise me one bit if she was not plugging them
in to the same surge suppressor used by the PC, and
just raising holy hell all over the room. That little action
will unprogram the dickens out of a dvd player. Ask
her if she is having any problems with her TV and
dvds.

johns
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 6:38:09 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

David Maynard wrote:
>
> Heat is an issue for all of the components and nothing was said about case
> ventilation. Was the case clean? (vs dirt clogging fans) What is the
> ambient where the computer lives? And, for example, is the case located
> inside a desk bay or crammed up against a wall, restricting airflow, or out
> in the open? All of these things could lead to high internal case temps and
> significantly shorten the life of internal components. 'Bad caps', already
> prone to failure, and hard drives are particularly sensitive to high case
> temps, and she's had those two problems.

Good point. Many folks put their pcs inside cabinets with no room for
airflow. Or next to baseboard heating units.



--
http://www.bootdisk.com/
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 6:47:10 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Plato wrote:

> David Maynard wrote:
>
>>Heat is an issue for all of the components and nothing was said about case
>>ventilation. Was the case clean? (vs dirt clogging fans) What is the
>>ambient where the computer lives? And, for example, is the case located
>>inside a desk bay or crammed up against a wall, restricting airflow, or out
>>in the open? All of these things could lead to high internal case temps and
>>significantly shorten the life of internal components. 'Bad caps', already
>>prone to failure, and hard drives are particularly sensitive to high case
>>temps, and she's had those two problems.
>
>
> Good point. Many folks put their pcs inside cabinets with no room for
> airflow. Or next to baseboard heating units.


Yep. And, since he mentioned the folks were rather well off, some put them
inside fancy cabinets for 'appearance', or in an 'entertainment center'
(which has the other components adding heat in addition to poor airflow).
And those with kids sometimes use a lockable desk bay and just open the
door when in use, or only to turn it on and then close it again to keep
junior from playing with the power switch and the built-in motorized coffee
cup holder.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 6:56:03 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

B. Walker, 5/6/2005, 10:38:07 PM, wrote:

> Hello all,
>
> I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but
> I'm unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:
>
> First I want to say upfront that I am a systems
> engineer/builder/network engineer and have been dealing with hardware
> for years now so I am truely experienced and am using this as a last
> resort to figure out a problem I am having with a clients PC system.
> Her system is a custom build tower she purchased on QVC some 3 years
> ago.
>
> The client I have came to me 2 years ago to have the bad motherboard
> replaced. It was a GigaByte board with an AthlonXP processor, I
> replaced it with an exact model and everything worked for over a year
> and half. Well last fall the client comes to me again with major
> issues of Windows slowing down, crashing, not working and it was
> determined that her powersupply was going bad and the motherboard was
> damaged (bulgding/leaking capacitor). I replaced both of these items
> last fall with an Antec 350 PSU and a albatron motherboard and again
> her system worked great in my office lab area. I thoroughly tested
> these prior returning the system to her
>
> I returned it to her and she was using it just fine till last month
> when she contacted me again as to having major slowdown/crashing
> problems that were a result of a knocking noise. I diagnosed the
> problem as a failing Samsung hard drive, replaced it with a Maxtor
> 7200rpm drive this past weekend. Again in my labs this system was
> working great. Windows installed very fast, everything was very
> responsive so again I dropped off the tower at her house.
>
> Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up
> it breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running
> very very slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system
> simply wouldn't start, at all. She would power it up, only fans
> would spin, no beeps, no signal to the monitor, no response
> whatsoever.
>
> This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
> something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or
> could that be the source? Each of the several times I have worked on
> her system the system ran great at my office after working on it.
> Most of the hardware has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR
> ram, otherwise the motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been
> replaced. I simply am at a loss for what would allow the system to
> work great at my office and then at her house instantly develop
> serious problems.
>
> Brad

Is the computer hooked up directly to the wall or does it go through a
surge suppressor?
Take an outlet checker and make sure the wall receptacle is hooked up
properly. You can easily eliminate the power source with these two
easy methods. What do you mean by "she plugged the system up"? Is
that the first time she plugged it up or is she in a habit of
unplugging and replugging the cord?

--
No matter what happens someone will find a way to take it too seriously.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 7:08:39 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Does she live in an old house? COuld be power problems.


"B. Walker" <bawalkerREMOVE@THISmodemnet.net> wrote in message
news:jSVee.637$w9.307@news02.roc.ny...
> Hello all,
>
> I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but I'm
> unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:
>
> First I want to say upfront that I am a systems engineer/builder/network
> engineer and have been dealing with hardware for years now so I am truely
> experienced and am using this as a last resort to figure out a problem I
> am having with a clients PC system. Her system is a custom build tower
> she purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.
>
> The client I have came to me 2 years ago to have the bad motherboard
> replaced. It was a GigaByte board with an AthlonXP processor, I replaced
> it with an exact model and everything worked for over a year and half.
> Well last fall the client comes to me again with major issues of Windows
> slowing down, crashing, not working and it was determined that her
> powersupply was going bad and the motherboard was damaged
> (bulgding/leaking capacitor). I replaced both of these items last fall
> with an Antec 350 PSU and a albatron motherboard and again her system
> worked *great* in my office lab area. I thoroughly tested these prior
> returning the system to her
>
> I returned it to her and she was using it just fine till last month when
> she contacted me again as to having major slowdown/crashing problems that
> were a result of a knocking noise. I diagnosed the problem as a failing
> Samsung hard drive, replaced it with a Maxtor 7200rpm drive this past
> weekend. Again in my labs this system was working great. Windows
> installed very fast, everything was very responsive so again I dropped off
> the tower at her house.
>
> Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up it
> breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running very very
> slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system simply wouldn't
> start, at all. She would power it up, only fans would spin, no beeps, no
> signal to the monitor, no response whatsoever.
>
> This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
> something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or could
> that be the source? Each of the several times I have worked on her system
> the system ran great at my office after working on it. Most of the
> hardware has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR ram, otherwise
> the motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been replaced. I simply
> am at a loss for what would allow the system to work great at my office
> and then at her house instantly develop serious problems.
>
> Brad
>
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 7:29:22 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

> This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
> something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or could
> that be the source? Each of the several times I have worked on her system
> the system ran great at my office after working on it. Most of the hardware
> has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR ram, otherwise the
> motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been replaced. I simply am at
> a loss for what would allow the system to work great at my office and then
> at her house instantly develop serious problems.
>
> Brad

Poltergeist. Well, it's one option, though I admit, not a
particularly useful one from an engineering standpoint.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 7:44:22 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

"badgolferman" <REMOVETHISbadgolferman@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:xn0e1xvjw7bkyp4002@news.readfreenews.net...
> B. Walker, 5/6/2005, 10:38:07 PM, wrote:
>
> Is the computer hooked up directly to the wall or does it go through a
> surge suppressor?
> Take an outlet checker and make sure the wall receptacle is hooked up
> properly. You can easily eliminate the power source with these two
> easy methods. What do you mean by "she plugged the system up"? Is
> that the first time she plugged it up or is she in a habit of
> unplugging and replugging the cord?

1.) Yes the computer is plugged through a surge protector.

2.) I assume I can get an outlet checker at radio shack or any electronics
store?

3.) I dropped the system off at her house while she was not home and placed
it in a secure location inside her car. When she returned she plugged the
various items as th emouse, keyboard, monitor into the tower.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 7:44:23 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

"B. Walker" <bawalkerREMOVE@THISmodemnet.net> wrote in message
news:qQWee.645$nb.590@news02.roc.ny...
>
> "badgolferman" <REMOVETHISbadgolferman@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:xn0e1xvjw7bkyp4002@news.readfreenews.net...
>> B. Walker, 5/6/2005, 10:38:07 PM, wrote:
>>
>> Is the computer hooked up directly to the wall or does it go through a
>> surge suppressor?
>> Take an outlet checker and make sure the wall receptacle is hooked up
>> properly. You can easily eliminate the power source with these two
>> easy methods. What do you mean by "she plugged the system up"? Is
>> that the first time she plugged it up or is she in a habit of
>> unplugging and replugging the cord?
>
> 1.) Yes the computer is plugged through a surge protector.

From what I've read, surge protectors 'expire' - after so many blocked
surges, they lose the abiltity to continue to work in that capacity - and
don't cease to provide AC to the computer. You would think that the
engineers who designed those things would build them in such a way that when
the surge supression is no longer functioning, the unit stops working
altogether. They're cheap: replace it. I replace mine about once a year or
two, and use the old ones only as backups when I have extra systems in the
home for repair.

BUT! A surge protector will not clean up 'dirty' power. Voltage fluctuations
can be moderate to severe, possibly harmful to the computers, but not be
'surges' thus not being handled. We had to put a line filter on our power in
one of the buildings at work. When the air conditioner kicked on or off, the
load change was severe enough to degrade the power to the point where some
of the electronic equipment in that building would 'hang'. Maybe a small to
medium UPS for the single computer system would be beneficial, supplementing
power if there are significant dips in the voltage.

>
> 2.) I assume I can get an outlet checker at radio shack or any electronics
> store?
>

probably - or Lowe's, etc. - little plug in thing with some LEDs. The lights
tell you if the wiring is correct - no neutral/positive swap, good ground,
that kind of thing.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 7:44:23 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

B. Walker wrote:

> 2.) I assume I can get an outlet checker at radio shack or any electronics
> store?


Sometimes that is not always enough. I encountered two houses within the
same power block that had dirty power. It tested fine in the house, but
when a load was placed on it (dishwasher or washing machine) all hell
broke loose. I actually had the local power comany come in and place a
line box on to soak test it. They then took the readings and graphed it
out so we could see when, and by how much the power fluctuated. We
nailed the problem to an outside line, so they fixed it at no cost to
the customer, and the insurance covered damaged electronics.
Just thought I would toss that in, as it may be handy information for you.

Wheaty
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 7:44:24 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Toolman Tim wrote:
>
> From what I've read, surge protectors 'expire' - after so many blocked
> surges, they lose the abiltity to continue to work in that capacity - and
> don't cease to provide AC to the computer. You would think that the

My el cheapo surge protectors at home just "snap" after a nice surge and
then fail to work at all. Doesnt bother me I have a supply and just
replace it as I guess it did its job. Never had pc surge damage using
the cheap units. Generally each system is protected by at least 2 of
them, ie one plugged into the other. Anytime I rebuild a system or move
it both protectors get trashed also and replaced with new ones just in
case what you say above is correct, which it probably is.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 7:44:56 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

"guess" <imnot@home.com> wrote in message news:1115435319.432088@news...
> Does she live in an old house? COuld be power problems.

Actually no, her husband is a doctor and they have a very very nice house,
I'd say in the $500,000 price range, give or take a few.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 7:45:15 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

I'm beginning to wonder if you aren't onto something there. :) 


"Al Smith" <invalid@address.com> wrote in message
news:mCWee.9086$Ph4.276805@ursa-nb00s0.nbnet.nb.ca...
>> This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
>> something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or
>> could that be the source? Each of the several times I have worked on her
>> system the system ran great at my office after working on it. Most of
>> the hardware has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR ram,
>> otherwise the motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been
>> replaced. I simply am at a loss for what would allow the system to work
>> great at my office and then at her house instantly develop serious
>> problems.
>>
>> Brad
>
> Poltergeist. Well, it's one option, though I admit, not a particularly
> useful one from an engineering standpoint.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 7:45:16 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

B. Walker wrote:
>
> I'm beginning to wonder if you aren't onto something there. :) 

Check the voltage perhaps its 135 or so. Perhaps the electric company
has a bad/going bad transformer.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 9:10:24 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

"Toolman Tim" <no.spam.for.tcm@my.email.is.invalid> wrote in message
news:M0Xee.34017$Ow2.10710@fe06.lga...
>
> probably - or Lowe's, etc. - little plug in thing with some LEDs. The
> lights tell you if the wiring is correct - no neutral/positive swap, good
> ground, that kind of thing.
>


Would this be what I need:
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&pro...
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 11:23:04 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

"B. Walker" <bawalkerREMOVE@THISmodemnet.net> wrote in message
news:45Yee.656$Zd.557@news02.roc.ny...
>
> "Toolman Tim" <no.spam.for.tcm@my.email.is.invalid> wrote in message
> news:M0Xee.34017$Ow2.10710@fe06.lga...
>>
>> probably - or Lowe's, etc. - little plug in thing with some LEDs. The
>> lights tell you if the wiring is correct - no neutral/positive swap, good
>> ground, that kind of thing.
>>
>
>
> Would this be what I need:
> http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&pro...
>
>
Yup - that's the puppy!
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 11:23:59 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

"Plato" <|@|.|> wrote in message
news:427c45e5$0$79366$bb4e3ad8@newscene.com...
> Toolman Tim wrote:
>>
>> From what I've read, surge protectors 'expire' - after so many blocked
>> surges, they lose the abiltity to continue to work in that capacity - and
>> don't cease to provide AC to the computer. You would think that the
>
> My el cheapo surge protectors at home just "snap" after a nice surge and
> then fail to work at all. Doesnt bother me I have a supply and just
> replace it as I guess it did its job. Never had pc surge damage using
> the cheap units. Generally each system is protected by at least 2 of
> them, ie one plugged into the other. Anytime I rebuild a system or move
> it both protectors get trashed also and replaced with new ones just in
> case what you say above is correct, which it probably is.
>
Yeah - I wish they all worked that way. I'd rather replace a $10 unit than
repair a computer!
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 11:26:21 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

"Wheat Muncher" <nope@nope.com> wrote in message
news:117oii5l1g1s2a@corp.supernews.com...
> B. Walker wrote:
>
>> 2.) I assume I can get an outlet checker at radio shack or any
>> electronics store?
>
>
> Sometimes that is not always enough. I encountered two houses within the
> same power block that had dirty power. It tested fine in the house, but
> when a load was placed on it (dishwasher or washing machine) all hell
> broke loose. I actually had the local power comany come in and place a
> line box on to soak test it. They then took the readings and graphed it
> out so we could see when, and by how much the power fluctuated. We nailed
> the problem to an outside line, so they fixed it at no cost to the
> customer, and the insurance covered damaged electronics.
> Just thought I would toss that in, as it may be handy information for you.
>
> Wheaty

Excellent info - thanks!
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 11:50:56 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

On Sat, 07 May 2005 02:38:07 GMT, "B. Walker"
<bawalkerREMOVE@THISmodemnet.net> wrote:

>Hello all,
>
>I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but I'm
>unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:
>
>First I want to say upfront that I am a systems engineer/builder/network
>engineer and have been dealing with hardware for years now so I am truely
>experienced and am using this as a last resort to figure out a problem I am
>having with a clients PC system. Her system is a custom build tower she
>purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.
>
>The client I have came to me 2 years ago to have the bad motherboard
>replaced. It was a GigaByte board with an AthlonXP processor, I replaced it
>with an exact model and everything worked for over a year and half.

IMO, it should not have had same model put in again, at that
point the board was suspect- not just that specimen but the
particular make and model, OR there was a contributing
factor that also needed addressed, like the power supply or
the case cooling (among other potentials but those being the
more common).


>Well
>last fall the client comes to me again with major issues of Windows slowing
>down, crashing, not working and it was determined that her powersupply was
>going bad and the motherboard was damaged (bulgding/leaking capacitor).

What make and model was the original power supply?
It might've killed both boards. What part(s) failed in that
power supply? Sometimes cause is equally as important as
effect, the failed part is not always the "problem" per se.


> I
>replaced both of these items last fall with an Antec 350 PSU and a albatron
>motherboard and again her system worked *great* in my office lab area. I
>thoroughly tested these prior returning the system to her
>
>I returned it to her and she was using it just fine till last month when she
>contacted me again as to having major slowdown/crashing problems that were a
>result of a knocking noise. I diagnosed the problem as a failing Samsung
>hard drive, replaced it with a Maxtor 7200rpm drive this past weekend.
>Again in my labs this system was working great. Windows installed very
>fast, everything was very responsive so again I dropped off the tower at her
>house.

The hard drive may've simply been coincidental, or the
longer-term stress of being powered by the earlier failed
drive. Not all failures are instantaneous but rather
progressive, accelerated reduction of parts' lifespan.
However, by this point it would've been prudent to have
taken multimeter readings of the power supply while system
is in it's typical running state.


>
>Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up it
>breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running very very
>slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system simply wouldn't
>start, at all. She would power it up, only fans would spin, no beeps, no
>signal to the monitor, no response whatsoever.

Too many variables... Moving a system around (particularly
with some of the flimsier cases I've seen) can flex the
motherboard and break contact on cards, crack boards, or it
could even be a loose cable. It would be helpful to go to
the site and check it in that environment, measuring input
AC power, checking the interior of the system, etc.


>
>This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
>something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or could
>that be the source?

It's possible, but if the other electrical/electronic
components in the house seem to be fine that's probably not
it. Any fairly decent power supply will accept a fair range
of input voltages and other anomolies in the house should be
noted if the power is problematic. That is, unless it's
isolated to a particular circuit or even one outlet (in the
chain-of-outlets considering surge protectors or UPS, etc).
Simply trying the system at another location in the house
might suffice.

What specific Albatron motherboard? Some of the nForce
chipset based boards had a bug known roughly as "lost bios
syndrome" where the bios would become corrupt somehow.
Clearing CMOS is one thing to try. If the system becomes
operational (and stable) it might be good to update the
board bios. While the more obvious culprit would be
(anything remaining) a constant though all these failures
like the AC power or the case cooling, on the other hand
stranger things have happened.

>Each of the several times I have worked on her system
>the system ran great at my office after working on it.

True, BUT on more of the occasions the system did work after
being returned home. Do these failures seem seasonal?

>Most of the hardware
>has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR ram, otherwise the
>motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been replaced.

True, but not simultaneously. This is one of the problems
with starting out with a poor system (if it were), not only
will the system have the typical failure rates expected for
a "normal" system but also the additional failure modes or
lifespan reduction seen from particular components like the
motherboard, PSU, or fan failures.

At this point it might be useful to also have the system
back in the lab and determine IF it works there and if not,
which part is now failed. I hate to write it but sometimes
it seems people are just cursed, if anything can go wrong it
will at higher frequency than anybody else would have
similar problems.


>I simply am at
>a loss for what would allow the system to work great at my office and then
>at her house instantly develop serious problems.

I had one lady whose monitor was more temperamental than her
system itself. Her descriptions were of a system not
posting, but it turned out that only the monitor wasn't
working right on the flaky AC. As I'd instructed she had
turned off the monitor, but only using the soft-off button
on the front. While on-site I turned it off via a switch on
the rear (though disconnecting AC would've worked as well)
and voila, it worked again. Apparently this particular
monitor had it's logic (or ???) go bad when power dipped,
then it would be locked up and non-functional until AC was
reset to it. I'd though "failing monitor" and advised her
that it might go out completely but now over 2 years later
it still works fine with regular use.

Sometimes it helps to just "forget" the prior attempts at
fixing a system and start clean again as if you'd never seen
the system. Other times (like with smokers) it can just be
expected that the system will deteriorate with time,
especially in humid environments. AC house power is an
obvious suspect and I'd definitely check that but there are
a lot of other variables still.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 1:20:51 PM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

"David Maynard" <nospam@private.net> wrote in message
news:117orble6ic4cdd@corp.supernews.com...
> B. Walker wrote:
>
>> Hello all,
>>
>> I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but I'm
>> unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:
>>
>> First I want to say upfront that I am a systems engineer/builder/network
>> engineer and have been dealing with hardware for years now so I am truely
>> experienced and am using this as a last resort to figure out a problem I
>> am having with a clients PC system. Her system is a custom build tower
>> she purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.

[snip]


>> Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up it
>> breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running very very
>> slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system simply wouldn't
>> start, at all. She would power it up, only fans would spin, no beeps, no
>> signal to the monitor, no response whatsoever.
>>
>> This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
>> something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or
>> could that be the source? Each of the several times I have worked on her
>> system the system ran great at my office after working on it. Most of
>> the hardware has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR ram,
>> otherwise the motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been
>> replaced. I simply am at a loss for what would allow the system to work
>> great at my office and then at her house instantly develop serious
>> problems.
>>
>> Brad
>
> I'm having a wee bit of a problem following the extent of your logic. All
> of the problems you mentioned took a year, or more, to manifest with the
> exception of the recent hard drive replacement and, as far as I can tell,
> you haven't diagnosed the current problem yet.

Exactly. Everything that happened before is irrelevant to the current
problem.


> I mean, it's a bit of an exaggeration to say it works great on the bench
> and then always fails as soon as she gets it home.

Yeppers.

[snip]

> On the other hand, one could imagine two, identical, main board failures,
> since odds are decent they had the same caps, taking, over time, the
> (possibly cheap) PSU with them. Hard drive failure in three years, or even
> less, seems to be all too common with 'compact' (mini tower) systems these
> days (poor case ventilation and sometimes odd mounting).

I'm betting on some sort of component failure.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 1:20:52 PM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Oxford Systems wrote:

> "David Maynard" <nospam@private.net> wrote in message
> news:117orble6ic4cdd@corp.supernews.com...
>
>>B. Walker wrote:
>>
>>
>>>Hello all,
>>>
>>>I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but I'm
>>>unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:
>>>
>>>First I want to say upfront that I am a systems engineer/builder/network
>>>engineer and have been dealing with hardware for years now so I am truely
>>>experienced and am using this as a last resort to figure out a problem I
>>>am having with a clients PC system. Her system is a custom build tower
>>>she purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.
>
>
> [snip]
>
>
>
>>>Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up it
>>>breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running very very
>>>slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system simply wouldn't
>>>start, at all. She would power it up, only fans would spin, no beeps, no
>>>signal to the monitor, no response whatsoever.
>>>
>>>This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
>>>something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or
>>>could that be the source? Each of the several times I have worked on her
>>>system the system ran great at my office after working on it. Most of
>>>the hardware has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR ram,
>>>otherwise the motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been
>>>replaced. I simply am at a loss for what would allow the system to work
>>>great at my office and then at her house instantly develop serious
>>>problems.
>>>
>>>Brad
>>
>>I'm having a wee bit of a problem following the extent of your logic. All
>>of the problems you mentioned took a year, or more, to manifest with the
>>exception of the recent hard drive replacement and, as far as I can tell,
>>you haven't diagnosed the current problem yet.
>
>
> Exactly. Everything that happened before is irrelevant to the current
> problem.
>
>
>
>>I mean, it's a bit of an exaggeration to say it works great on the bench
>>and then always fails as soon as she gets it home.
>
>
> Yeppers.
>
> [snip]
>
>
>>On the other hand, one could imagine two, identical, main board failures,
>>since odds are decent they had the same caps, taking, over time, the
>>(possibly cheap) PSU with them. Hard drive failure in three years, or even
>>less, seems to be all too common with 'compact' (mini tower) systems these
>>days (poor case ventilation and sometimes odd mounting).
>
>
> I'm betting on some sort of component failure.
>
>

Certainly a possibility. But it could also be something jarred loose in
transport. And even if he was as careful as a mother hen on eggs there's no
telling what the owner did in getting it just from their car in the
driveway to the final destination.

Another poster's comments about vacuum cleaners reminded me of another
customer with 'mysterious' semi frequent failures of various kinds, most of
which were his lack of computer knowledge, including the 'feeling' of
'frequent'. But they only bumped the vacuum cleaner into the case 2 or 3
times each cleaning, in addition to the less than motherly rearranging of
the system to get around it. The problem was, in fact, a card that had
jiggled loose.


It's all just speculation and amusing stories, though, till he finds out
what's wrong with it.
May 7, 2005 1:20:52 PM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

"Oxford Systems" <oxfordsystems@earthlinkdot.net> wrote in message
news:TL%ee.8611$HL2.8069@newsread3.news.pas.earthlink.net...
> "David Maynard" <nospam@private.net> wrote in message
> news:117orble6ic4cdd@corp.supernews.com...
> > B. Walker wrote:
> >
> >> Hello all,
> >>
> >> I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but I'm
> >> unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:
> >>
> >> First I want to say upfront that I am a systems
engineer/builder/network
> >> engineer and have been dealing with hardware for years now so I am
truely
> >> experienced and am using this as a last resort to figure out a problem
I
> >> am having with a clients PC system. Her system is a custom build tower
> >> she purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.
>
> [snip]
>
>
> >> Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up it
> >> breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running very
very
> >> slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system simply
wouldn't
> >> start, at all. She would power it up, only fans would spin, no beeps,
no
> >> signal to the monitor, no response whatsoever.
> >>
> >> This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
> >> something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or
> >> could that be the source? Each of the several times I have worked on
her
> >> system the system ran great at my office after working on it. Most of
> >> the hardware has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR ram,
> >> otherwise the motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been
> >> replaced. I simply am at a loss for what would allow the system to
work
> >> great at my office and then at her house instantly develop serious
> >> problems.
> >>
> >> Brad
> >
> > I'm having a wee bit of a problem following the extent of your logic.
All
> > of the problems you mentioned took a year, or more, to manifest with the
> > exception of the recent hard drive replacement and, as far as I can
tell,
> > you haven't diagnosed the current problem yet.
>
> Exactly. Everything that happened before is irrelevant to the current
> problem.
>
>
> > I mean, it's a bit of an exaggeration to say it works great on the bench
> > and then always fails as soon as she gets it home.
>
> Yeppers.
>
> [snip]
>
> > On the other hand, one could imagine two, identical, main board
failures,
> > since odds are decent they had the same caps, taking, over time, the
> > (possibly cheap) PSU with them. Hard drive failure in three years, or
even
> > less, seems to be all too common with 'compact' (mini tower) systems
these
> > days (poor case ventilation and sometimes odd mounting).
>
> I'm betting on some sort of component failure.


OH IC, but not the memory module...........its irrelevant
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 1:29:56 PM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

"B. Walker" <bawalkerREMOVE@THISmodemnet.net> wrote in message
news:jSVee.637$w9.307@news02.roc.ny...
> Hello all,
>
> I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but I'm
> unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:
>
> First I want to say upfront that I am a systems engineer/builder/network
> engineer and have been dealing with hardware for years now so I am truely
> experienced and am using this as a last resort to figure out a problem I
> am having with a clients PC system. Her system is a custom build tower
> she purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.
[snip]

Everything that was snipped out is irrelevant. It has nothing to do with
what is going on now. You haven't bothered to troubleshoot and diagnose the
*current* problem.

> Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up it
> breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running very very
> slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system simply wouldn't
> start, at all. She would power it up, only fans would spin, no beeps, no
> signal to the monitor, no response whatsoever.

Well, it sounds like a component failure or a loose connection somewhere,
doesn't it? Maybe you should take a look.

> This has TRUELY
^^^^^^^

Once I can stand. Twice is unacceptable. It's spelled T-R-U-L-Y.

> got me baffled

Why are you baffled? You haven't even looked at the damn thing to see what
the problem might be. You don't get to be baffled. Personally, I'm baffled
that you're baffled about a problem that you haven't even tried to diagnose.

> and I'm wondering if this doesn't have something to do with an electrial
> problem in the house?

Why would it? Does she have a rash of failures in other appliances? First
rule: K-I-S-S.

> Would it or could that be the source?

Anything *could be* the source but you need to stop being "baffled" and take
an actual look. I wouldn't be surprised to see a bad capacitor on the
motherboard. Just because it happened before doesn't mean it hasn't happened
again and the symptoms sound right.

> Each of the several times I have worked on her system the system ran great
> at my office after working on it.

And that has not a damn thing to do with the present situation.

> Most of the hardware has been replaced

Irrelevant.

> except a stick of Kingston DDR ram, otherwise the motherboard,
> powersupply, and hard drive have been replaced.

Irrelevant.

> I simply am at a loss for what would allow the system to work great at my
> office and then at her house instantly develop serious problems.

Right now you don't know that this system will work fine in your office. As
far as when problems develop, ever hear of "coincidence"? Go check the damn
PC. And if you think it might be a power problem, sell her a line
conditioning UPS and make a buck or two.

You said you were an engineer? That's funny!
May 7, 2005 1:29:57 PM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

A completely useless post...let me guess 24 hour help desk..... does your
ego get in the way often?
and the spell check was really necessary I suppose.


tell me why the 'memory' is completely irrelevant?


"Oxford Systems" <oxfordsystems@earthlinkdot.net> wrote in message
news:o U%ee.8616$HL2.649@newsread3.news.pas.earthlink.net...
> "B. Walker" <bawalkerREMOVE@THISmodemnet.net> wrote in message
> news:jSVee.637$w9.307@news02.roc.ny...
> > Hello all,
> >
> > I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but I'm
> > unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:
> >
> > First I want to say upfront that I am a systems engineer/builder/network
> > engineer and have been dealing with hardware for years now so I am
truely
> > experienced and am using this as a last resort to figure out a problem I
> > am having with a clients PC system. Her system is a custom build tower
> > she purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.
> [snip]
>
> Everything that was snipped out is irrelevant. It has nothing to do with
> what is going on now. You haven't bothered to troubleshoot and diagnose
the
> *current* problem.
>
> > Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up it
> > breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running very very
> > slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system simply wouldn't
> > start, at all. She would power it up, only fans would spin, no beeps,
no
> > signal to the monitor, no response whatsoever.
>
> Well, it sounds like a component failure or a loose connection somewhere,
> doesn't it? Maybe you should take a look.
>
> > This has TRUELY
> ^^^^^^^
>
> Once I can stand. Twice is unacceptable. It's spelled T-R-U-L-Y.
>
> > got me baffled
>
> Why are you baffled? You haven't even looked at the damn thing to see what
> the problem might be. You don't get to be baffled. Personally, I'm baffled
> that you're baffled about a problem that you haven't even tried to
diagnose.
>
> > and I'm wondering if this doesn't have something to do with an electrial
> > problem in the house?
>
> Why would it? Does she have a rash of failures in other appliances? First
> rule: K-I-S-S.
>
> > Would it or could that be the source?
>
> Anything *could be* the source but you need to stop being "baffled" and
take
> an actual look. I wouldn't be surprised to see a bad capacitor on the
> motherboard. Just because it happened before doesn't mean it hasn't
happened
> again and the symptoms sound right.
>
> > Each of the several times I have worked on her system the system ran
great
> > at my office after working on it.
>
> And that has not a damn thing to do with the present situation.
>
> > Most of the hardware has been replaced
>
> Irrelevant.
>
> > except a stick of Kingston DDR ram, otherwise the motherboard,
> > powersupply, and hard drive have been replaced.
>
> Irrelevant.
>
> > I simply am at a loss for what would allow the system to work great at
my
> > office and then at her house instantly develop serious problems.
>
> Right now you don't know that this system will work fine in your office.
As
> far as when problems develop, ever hear of "coincidence"? Go check the
damn
> PC. And if you think it might be a power problem, sell her a line
> conditioning UPS and make a buck or two.
>
> You said you were an engineer? That's funny!
>
>
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 4:03:45 PM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Toolman Tim wrote:


>
> Excellent info - thanks!
>
>
np. Just hope it helps.

Wheats
May 7, 2005 7:31:20 PM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

> A little background never hurts. It allows people to form their answers
> based on the perceived knowledge of the poster. Not everyone has "Nerdese"
> as a second language.

You are right. I do this for a living, and I can spot the phoneys,
and this OxSys guy is one. The problem BWalker is having is
not unusual at all. I'm having the same problem, and I have
every tool and trick in the book to examine these things in
detail ... and I do. I'm finding that there are users out there
who are just destructive and thoughtless, and come back
with weird reports of problems that could have been solved
with a single reboot .... slow OS is a biggie. So the story
gets stranger and stranger until I'm ready to tell her/him to
go buy a DELL and torment the devil out of them. I'm
also seeing the results of "buying Chinese". Their quality
standards are very poor, and they will put out products
that they know are bad, and we get to go through periods
of trying to maintain junk. Right now, I can't keep a
Maxtor drive running. Even the SATAs are failing at a
tremendous rate ... bad spots all over the drive. The
big video cards are fun to play with, but again, I don't see
how the average user can stand it. The drivers take
a lot of babysitting. Buy a new DELL .. if you want to
hear rattle trap fans raising hell late at night. If you
really like WEIRD .. build a system with VIA chipset.

johns
May 7, 2005 7:34:34 PM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Your the one that is ASSUMING...just about everything you said was either
your OPINION or a assumption.
Not that there was much else to give, except you come off like you have the
whole thing figured out.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2005 11:54:35 PM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

"David Maynard" <nospam@private.net> wrote in message
news:117p5cnqg1ulj6d@corp.supernews.com...
[snip]
>
> It's all just speculation and amusing stories, though, till he finds out
> what's wrong with it.

Perfect summary.
May 8, 2005 1:16:59 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

B. Walker wrote:

> First I want to say upfront that I am a systems
> engineer/builder/network engineer and have been
> dealing with hardware for years now so I am truely
> experienced and am using this as a last resort to
> figure out a problem I am having with a clients PC
> system. Her system is a custom build tower she
> purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.

> 2.) I assume I can get an outlet checker at radio shack
> or any electronics store?

Why didn't you simply use your meter and scope? Or at
least run her system from an UPS with its power cord
unplugged from the wall outlet (everything run off UPS,
including monitor, nothing plugged into wall outlets)?
Any real engineer would have tried such things.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 8, 2005 3:23:35 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Well to sum it up, the family is having an electrician come in for other
reasons this week and I suggested they have the electrician check out the
outlet and or circuit for that part of the house.




"Oxford Systems" <oxfordsystems@earthlinkdot.net> wrote in message
news:%19fe.8599$GQ5.5633@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
> "David Maynard" <nospam@private.net> wrote in message
> news:117p5cnqg1ulj6d@corp.supernews.com...
> [snip]
>>
>> It's all just speculation and amusing stories, though, till he finds out
>> what's wrong with it.
>
> Perfect summary.
>
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 8, 2005 5:38:56 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

JAD wrote:
> A completely useless post...let me guess 24 hour help desk..... does your
> ego get in the way often?
> and the spell check was really necessary I suppose.
>
>

Actually in one respect, Oxford was completely on the ball. Until the
OP actually sees the computer and does some elementary trouble shooting,
it is all speculation as to what the problem could be.

I'll play the game though. I suspect the most recent fault is
unrelated to the previous ones. I also suspect the slowdowns and
crashes reported in the past have been *software* related, rather than
hardware, and in an attempt to solve the problems new hardware has been
thrown at the computer.

Each time new hardware was installed, the operating system was
re-installed, and during testing worked as expected until it got back to
the client, then over a period of time the same things happened again.

But then again, I could be just as wrong as anyone else.

--
Cheers
Oldus Fartus
May 8, 2005 6:01:59 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

New guy takes a stab at it:
Hi, I'm Trucker Al, an obvious pseudonym that has nothing to do with my
real name nor profession.

When I lived in a cheap-built "garden apartment" I had bad hardware luck
all the time - even oversized APC Back-UPS systems wouldn't survuve more than a
year. Reason: I was running everything off one poor 15-amp line, with a dirty
ground, in an area with frequent lightning strikes.

Since I've moved out to an area that delivers better-regulated wattage
than Atlantic Electric, my problems have all gone away....


1) When I moved in, (actually, back to an apartment attached to my
parents' home due to a crippling on-job injury) I started by testing the
polarity of every outlet with a cheap 3-neon-bulb tester to make sure all was
well with the house wiring, much of which I had done myself years earlier.

2) I made one change. The house had the old ground, a deep-enough
galvanized pipe well, no longer in use, the telco ground, the power company's
meter ground and a lovely copper pipe that led below the frost line to the
public water supply put in when the shallow wells became polluted - all within 4
feet of another, and each serving as part of the electric system's ground point.
I freshened all the ground clamps and wired all the grounds together with fresh
12-gauge copper - then I wired all the pipes in the hot-water system directly to
the cold, so both heating system and domestic hw pipes were good solid
connectors except in a few places where modern plumbers had gotten to them with
plastic.
NOTE: before I did this, I checked carefully to make sure each ground
was true and not floating at some peculiar voltage level due to a bad connection
somewhere.

3 Then came my big break. The computer room took over what had been a
kitchen, complete with a 2-phase x 20 amps each phase stove outlet with its own
breaker a short distance away..Wired a stove cord/plug to an old breaker box
that also had a floating (ungrounded) neutral bar. Ground the paint off part of
the interior of the box and installed a standard ground bar (a length of metal
pierced by holes of all sizes with screws to hold tight your wires.

Added 1 double-pole x 20 amp breaker coming into the box, then 4, 15-amp
outgoing breakers - each one leading to its own 15-amp outlet in a plastic box,
I checked the outlets, and though I couldn't afford the certified hospital
orange models, these sure had separate neutral and ground lines.

Right now, everything plugged into the outlets is plugged into a surge
supressor first. If the money ever comes in, I plan on buying six HUGE MOVs
(metal-oxide varistors, aka ZNRs, aka surge supressors) and adding them to the
extention cord box (linking hot x to hot y, each hot line to neutral each hot
line to ground and neutral to ground) This means that a voltage spike on *any*
line gets clamped and drained. I'll probably still keep the battery backup on my
main machine and the separate smaller unit on the cable modem and
firewall/distribution hub and all the surge surpressors intact, along with the
minimum APC or Tripp-Lite 3-MOV some + gas discharge tube surge surpressors on
every piece of consumer electronics I own.

At least the house is surrounded by 70-year-old oaks, which form a
natural ring of lightning protection as good as lightning rods could achieve,
without risking bringing a strike towards the house.

Things are a whole lot more reliable around here these days...... (now
if folks would stop hitting utility poles at 5 a.m. so I'm awakened by battery
backup alarms from all over......

TrAl
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 8, 2005 8:24:03 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

On 7 May 2005 21:16:59 -0700, manny@london.com wrote:

>
>B. Walker wrote:
>
>> First I want to say upfront that I am a systems
>> engineer/builder/network engineer and have been
>> dealing with hardware for years now so I am truely
>> experienced and am using this as a last resort to
>> figure out a problem I am having with a clients PC
>> system. Her system is a custom build tower she
>> purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.
>
>> 2.) I assume I can get an outlet checker at radio shack
>> or any electronics store?
>
>Why didn't you simply use your meter and scope? Or at
>least run her system from an UPS with its power cord
>unplugged from the wall outlet (everything run off UPS,
>including monitor, nothing plugged into wall outlets)?
>Any real engineer would have tried such things.

No real engineer adds ANOTHER variable by putting an UPS
intbetween the systen and outlet if they had a meter and
scope there too. Actually, most engineers wouldn't be
bothering with a scope at all, it is not necessary for AC
troubleshooting into a PC SMPS.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 9, 2005 8:14:41 PM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

It sounds like she probably has a sup-prime electrical supply to her house
from the local utility company. She may want to invest in a quality
external unit that acts as a high quality surge suppresion/voltage
stabilization device. Not cheap, but far better than repeatedly replacing
one's computer.

--
DaveW



"B. Walker" <bawalkerREMOVE@THISmodemnet.net> wrote in message
news:jSVee.637$w9.307@news02.roc.ny...
> Hello all,
>
> I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but I'm
> unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:
>
> First I want to say upfront that I am a systems engineer/builder/network
> engineer and have been dealing with hardware for years now so I am truely
> experienced and am using this as a last resort to figure out a problem I
> am having with a clients PC system. Her system is a custom build tower
> she purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.
>
> The client I have came to me 2 years ago to have the bad motherboard
> replaced. It was a GigaByte board with an AthlonXP processor, I replaced
> it with an exact model and everything worked for over a year and half.
> Well last fall the client comes to me again with major issues of Windows
> slowing down, crashing, not working and it was determined that her
> powersupply was going bad and the motherboard was damaged
> (bulgding/leaking capacitor). I replaced both of these items last fall
> with an Antec 350 PSU and a albatron motherboard and again her system
> worked *great* in my office lab area. I thoroughly tested these prior
> returning the system to her
>
> I returned it to her and she was using it just fine till last month when
> she contacted me again as to having major slowdown/crashing problems that
> were a result of a knocking noise. I diagnosed the problem as a failing
> Samsung hard drive, replaced it with a Maxtor 7200rpm drive this past
> weekend. Again in my labs this system was working great. Windows
> installed very fast, everything was very responsive so again I dropped off
> the tower at her house.
>
> Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up it
> breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running very very
> slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system simply wouldn't
> start, at all. She would power it up, only fans would spin, no beeps, no
> signal to the monitor, no response whatsoever.
>
> This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
> something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or could
> that be the source? Each of the several times I have worked on her system
> the system ran great at my office after working on it. Most of the
> hardware has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR ram, otherwise
> the motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been replaced. I simply
> am at a loss for what would allow the system to work great at my office
> and then at her house instantly develop serious problems.
>
> Brad
>
May 10, 2005 9:37:30 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

kony wrote:
> On 7 May 2005 21:16:59 -0700, manny@london.com wrote:

> >Why didn't you simply use your meter and scope? Or at
> >least run her system from an UPS with its power cord
> >unplugged from the wall outlet (everything run off UPS,
> >including monitor, nothing plugged into wall outlets)?
> >Any real engineer would have tried such things.
>
> No real engineer adds ANOTHER variable by putting an UPS
> in between the systen and outlet if they had a meter and
> scope there too. Actually, most engineers wouldn't be
> bothering with a scope at all, it is not necessary for AC
> troubleshooting into a PC SMPS.

An UPS isn't an extra variable if it's unplugged from the wall outlet.
Its only purpose is to eliminate the household AC as
a possible cause of the problem. I agree a scope isn't needed,
but it can show any bad noise on the AC lines.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 11, 2005 2:05:18 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

On 10 May 2005 05:37:30 -0700, manny@london.com wrote:

>
>kony wrote:
>> On 7 May 2005 21:16:59 -0700, manny@london.com wrote:
>
>> >Why didn't you simply use your meter and scope? Or at
>> >least run her system from an UPS with its power cord
>> >unplugged from the wall outlet (everything run off UPS,
>> >including monitor, nothing plugged into wall outlets)?
>> >Any real engineer would have tried such things.
>>
>> No real engineer adds ANOTHER variable by putting an UPS
>> in between the systen and outlet if they had a meter and
>> scope there too. Actually, most engineers wouldn't be
>> bothering with a scope at all, it is not necessary for AC
>> troubleshooting into a PC SMPS.
>
>An UPS isn't an extra variable if it's unplugged from the wall outlet.

It is because IT'S output is still subject to scrutiny.
It is simply introducing another variable when the prior
variables can be passed/failed without it.

>Its only purpose is to eliminate the household AC as
>a possible cause of the problem. I agree a scope isn't needed,
>but it can show any bad noise on the AC lines.

It can show noise, but it won't point out the noise as the
source of the problem, rather than distracting from the fact
that the PSU needs replaced if it can't reject that noise
and function properly. To that extent, perhaps a scope
would be helpful in troubleshooting the PSU itself, but to
confirm it another PSU would need be tried and would also
eliminate the need for the scope... at least until later
when a decision is made whether that PSU is suitable for
*anything* if not the original system.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 29, 2005 8:53:50 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

The computer is on a standard 'Wal-Mart' type $20 surge protector but
not a UPS. Amazing...if you spend the money for a nice computer this is
the minimum I'd recommend.
> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1684...
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 29, 2005 11:51:42 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

"JoeA" <Jsalpha2@ATnetscape.net> wrote in message
news:-YKdnfH9JuSPHgTfRVn-ug@comcast.com...
>
> The computer is on a standard 'Wal-Mart' type $20 surge protector but not
> a UPS. Amazing...if you spend the money for a nice computer this is the
> minimum I'd recommend.
>> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1684...

Adequate only if you plug no peripherals into it. I'd suggest using it for
the computer and monitor only - nothing else. Leave the printers, speakers,
scanners, etc., plugged into the surge protector.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 7, 2005 2:59:25 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

I have read some of your suplimental posts and some of the replies.
While I should probably read them all, I didn't. Because of that, some
of my answer will be duplication, and some is intentially repeated
because it is so important.

I have diagnosed some very unusual situations including one where the
pc worked on the bench, but failed immediately in place. Take it back
to the shop and it again worked fine, consistantly. I solved another
problem where the machine would crash at around 7:30AM two or three
times a week. These can be very difficult.

It is a good idea to check the power, no matter how expensive the
house is or how new it is, mistakes happen. In addition to other
things, put a load on the circuit at the outlet you are using. A. Test
the voltage from hot to ground at the outlet. B. Test the voltage from
hot to neutral at that same outlet. C. Test the voltage from ground to
neutral at the same outlet.

A should equal B exactly, zero deviation. C should be zero, not even
0.1 volt. Remember to have a load on the outlet, perhaps a 75 to 100
watt incandescent light bulb, not florescent.

Force the refrigerator on and watch the voltage on a DVM. It is
unlikely you could see a dip, even if it was significant, but it is
worth a try. Same thing with the garbage disposer, toaster, oven, and
the dish washer. By the way, all these are bad to have near a p.c..
There is a chance that one or more is on the same circuit as the p.c.,
even though they really shouldn't be. I don't like to see a p.c in the
kitchen or dining room for that reason.

It is a very common misconception that surge supressors are mostly for
lightning. There are LOTS of other surge generators. One of the bigest
in a house are the refrigerator and the garbage disposer. The pc is in
the kitchen...hmmmmmm. Since it is a kitchen, it is on a GFI circuit?
An outlet can be on a GFI circuit without being directly on a GFI
breaker. GFI can introduce EMF.

Any surge supressor under around $50 is not good enough. If Walmart
carries it, is is probably also not good enough. Tripplight and APC
costing over $50 is suggested. If this was an critical pc in a
business, I would put in a UPS WITH VR, not just a UPS. This doesn't
warrant it. At least get a good one with EMF supression too.

The following paragraph is personal opinion formed over several years
of advising people who build pc's professionally: use MSI or Soyo
motherboards, there is a big difference in reliability; use Antec
power supplies, the cheapie ones are cheap for a reason; use Maxtor or
WDC hard drives; use major brand memory, e.g. Kingston, PNY; use name
brand video and sound cards, not the $9.95 off brand ones.

The reason for the above is experience. I saw a tremendous decrease in
warrany returns when the above was implemented. The savings in
warranty repairs made up for the hastle of getting the good stuff.

Before everyone tells how wonderful their particular brand of parts
are and how they have had such great experience with them, I say, look
at the statistics. If you build one computer a year, you may easily
not see the difference in the quality of parts. If you build a hundred
a week, you see the difference. I am happy for those who use brand X
and have had a good experience, but I have to go for the highest
percentage. The same goes for the fact that even my favorite brands
have had problems, nothing is perfect, its all percentages.

If the original power supply regulator was bad, it could have trashed
or simply stressed ALL the other components. That could have been a
factor in their short life. I have actually seen that happen, but
almost never. Most of the "power supply testers" out there are
basically checking only for a voltage in the ball park. They won't
tell you if it is 20% too high or varies from hour to hour. The fact
that some of the components are brands that I stopped using because of
their lower reliability may be an important factor also.

Did you, personally, verify that the user did not load anything to
cause a slowdown? Could she have visited a web site and gotten
malware? When she hooked it up at home, was there a printer? If so,
that would add new drivers. Her monitor is different than yours, also
would cause new drivers to load at her place. Any other periferals at
her place? A portable MP3 perhaps.

Did she load ANYTHING at all? Weatherbug, a music sharing program,
atomic clock, IE toolbars, anything? These all often contain malware.
Incidently, using one or two spy checkers is not adequate. I have
never seen one catch all the spyware.

Good luck.



On Sat, 07 May 2005 02:38:07 GMT, "B. Walker"
<bawalkerREMOVE@THISmodemnet.net> wrote:

>Hello all,
>
>I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but I'm
>unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:
>
>First I want to say upfront that I am a systems engineer/builder/network
>engineer and have been dealing with hardware for years now so I am truely
>experienced and am using this as a last resort to figure out a problem I am
>having with a clients PC system. Her system is a custom build tower she
>purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.
>
>The client I have came to me 2 years ago to have the bad motherboard
>replaced. It was a GigaByte board with an AthlonXP processor, I replaced it
>with an exact model and everything worked for over a year and half. Well
>last fall the client comes to me again with major issues of Windows slowing
>down, crashing, not working and it was determined that her powersupply was
>going bad and the motherboard was damaged (bulgding/leaking capacitor). I
>replaced both of these items last fall with an Antec 350 PSU and a albatron
>motherboard and again her system worked *great* in my office lab area. I
>thoroughly tested these prior returning the system to her
>
>I returned it to her and she was using it just fine till last month when she
>contacted me again as to having major slowdown/crashing problems that were a
>result of a knocking noise. I diagnosed the problem as a failing Samsung
>hard drive, replaced it with a Maxtor 7200rpm drive this past weekend.
>Again in my labs this system was working great. Windows installed very
>fast, everything was very responsive so again I dropped off the tower at her
>house.
>
>Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up it
>breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running very very
>slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system simply wouldn't
>start, at all. She would power it up, only fans would spin, no beeps, no
>signal to the monitor, no response whatsoever.
>
>This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
>something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or could
>that be the source? Each of the several times I have worked on her system
>the system ran great at my office after working on it. Most of the hardware
>has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR ram, otherwise the
>motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been replaced. I simply am at
>a loss for what would allow the system to work great at my office and then
>at her house instantly develop serious problems.
>
>Brad
>
June 7, 2005 2:59:26 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

"p.c. guy" <none@none.com> wrote in message
news:qtdaa190dgs3fk206n0rlgp0n5kj54r3ln@4ax.com...
> I have read some of your suplimental posts and some of the replies.
> While I should probably read them all, I didn't. Because of that, some
> of my answer will be duplication, and some is intentially repeated
> because it is so important.
>
> I have diagnosed some very unusual situations including one where the
> pc worked on the bench, but failed immediately in place. Take it back
> to the shop and it again worked fine, consistantly. I solved another
> problem where the machine would crash at around 7:30AM two or three
> times a week. These can be very difficult.
>
> It is a good idea to check the power, no matter how expensive the
> house is or how new it is, mistakes happen. In addition to other
> things, put a load on the circuit at the outlet you are using. A. Test
> the voltage from hot to ground at the outlet. B. Test the voltage from
> hot to neutral at that same outlet. C. Test the voltage from ground to
> neutral at the same outlet.
>
> A should equal B exactly, zero deviation. C should be zero, not even
> 0.1 volt. Remember to have a load on the outlet, perhaps a 75 to 100
> watt incandescent light bulb, not florescent.
>
> Force the refrigerator on and watch the voltage on a DVM. It is
> unlikely you could see a dip, even if it was significant, but it is
> worth a try. Same thing with the garbage disposer, toaster, oven, and
> the dish washer. By the way, all these are bad to have near a p.c..
> There is a chance that one or more is on the same circuit as the p.c.,
> even though they really shouldn't be. I don't like to see a p.c in the
> kitchen or dining room for that reason.
>
> It is a very common misconception that surge supressors are mostly for
> lightning. There are LOTS of other surge generators. One of the bigest
> in a house are the refrigerator and the garbage disposer. The pc is in
> the kitchen...hmmmmmm. Since it is a kitchen, it is on a GFI circuit?
> An outlet can be on a GFI circuit without being directly on a GFI
> breaker. GFI can introduce EMF.
>
> Any surge supressor under around $50 is not good enough. If Walmart
> carries it, is is probably also not good enough. Tripplight and APC
> costing over $50 is suggested. If this was an critical pc in a
> business, I would put in a UPS WITH VR, not just a UPS. This doesn't
> warrant it. At least get a good one with EMF supression too.
>
> The following paragraph is personal opinion formed over several years
> of advising people who build pc's professionally: use MSI or Soyo

great post right up to here ..I woudn't touch either of those boards...soyo
was hit really hard during the capasitor nightmare...



> motherboards, there is a big difference in reliability; use Antec
> power supplies, the cheapie ones are cheap for a reason; use Maxtor or
> WDC hard drives; use major brand memory, e.g. Kingston, PNY; use name
> brand video and sound cards, not the $9.95 off brand ones.
>
> The reason for the above is experience. I saw a tremendous decrease in
> warrany returns when the above was implemented. The savings in
> warranty repairs made up for the hastle of getting the good stuff.
>
> Before everyone tells how wonderful their particular brand of parts
> are and how they have had such great experience with them, I say, look
> at the statistics. If you build one computer a year, you may easily
> not see the difference in the quality of parts. If you build a hundred
> a week, you see the difference. I am happy for those who use brand X
> and have had a good experience, but I have to go for the highest
> percentage. The same goes for the fact that even my favorite brands
> have had problems, nothing is perfect, its all percentages.
>
> If the original power supply regulator was bad, it could have trashed
> or simply stressed ALL the other components. That could have been a
> factor in their short life. I have actually seen that happen, but
> almost never. Most of the "power supply testers" out there are
> basically checking only for a voltage in the ball park. They won't
> tell you if it is 20% too high or varies from hour to hour. The fact
> that some of the components are brands that I stopped using because of
> their lower reliability may be an important factor also.
>
> Did you, personally, verify that the user did not load anything to
> cause a slowdown? Could she have visited a web site and gotten
> malware? When she hooked it up at home, was there a printer? If so,
> that would add new drivers. Her monitor is different than yours, also
> would cause new drivers to load at her place. Any other periferals at
> her place? A portable MP3 perhaps.
>
> Did she load ANYTHING at all? Weatherbug, a music sharing program,
> atomic clock, IE toolbars, anything? These all often contain malware.
> Incidently, using one or two spy checkers is not adequate. I have
> never seen one catch all the spyware.
>
> Good luck.
>
>
>
> On Sat, 07 May 2005 02:38:07 GMT, "B. Walker"
> <bawalkerREMOVE@THISmodemnet.net> wrote:
>
> >Hello all,
> >
> >I appologize in advance for crossposting in 3 different groups, but I'm
> >unsure what the appropriate topic this issue falls under:
> >
> >First I want to say upfront that I am a systems engineer/builder/network
> >engineer and have been dealing with hardware for years now so I am truely
> >experienced and am using this as a last resort to figure out a problem I
am
> >having with a clients PC system. Her system is a custom build tower she
> >purchased on QVC some 3 years ago.
> >
> >The client I have came to me 2 years ago to have the bad motherboard
> >replaced. It was a GigaByte board with an AthlonXP processor, I replaced
it
> >with an exact model and everything worked for over a year and half. Well
> >last fall the client comes to me again with major issues of Windows
slowing
> >down, crashing, not working and it was determined that her powersupply
was
> >going bad and the motherboard was damaged (bulgding/leaking capacitor).
I
> >replaced both of these items last fall with an Antec 350 PSU and a
albatron
> >motherboard and again her system worked *great* in my office lab area. I
> >thoroughly tested these prior returning the system to her
> >
> >I returned it to her and she was using it just fine till last month when
she
> >contacted me again as to having major slowdown/crashing problems that
were a
> >result of a knocking noise. I diagnosed the problem as a failing Samsung
> >hard drive, replaced it with a Maxtor 7200rpm drive this past weekend.
> >Again in my labs this system was working great. Windows installed very
> >fast, everything was very responsive so again I dropped off the tower at
her
> >house.
> >
> >Today I got a call from her stating that when she plugged system up it
> >breifly worked before she stated that Windows XP began running very very
> >slowly and then with a few errors and reboots the system simply wouldn't
> >start, at all. She would power it up, only fans would spin, no beeps, no
> >signal to the monitor, no response whatsoever.
> >
> >This has TRUELY got me baffled and I'm wondering if this doesn't have
> >something to do with an electrial problem in the house? Would it or
could
> >that be the source? Each of the several times I have worked on her
system
> >the system ran great at my office after working on it. Most of the
hardware
> >has been replaced except a stick of Kingston DDR ram, otherwise the
> >motherboard, powersupply, and hard drive have been replaced. I simply am
at
> >a loss for what would allow the system to work great at my office and
then
> >at her house instantly develop serious problems.
> >
> >Brad
> >
>
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 7, 2005 10:16:36 AM

Archived from groups: 24hoursupport.helpdesk,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

On Mon, 6 Jun 2005 21:04:28 -0700, "JAD"
<kapasitor@earthcharter.net> wrote:

<snip>

>> The following paragraph is personal opinion formed over several years
>> of advising people who build pc's professionally: use MSI or Soyo
>
>great post right up to here ..I woudn't touch either of those boards...soyo
>was hit really hard during the capasitor nightmare...

I'd take MSI as often as Gigabyte, but IMO Soyo hasn't been
especially good in several years. Back when they make
pre-super 7 boards seemed to be their golden era. Not that
they're "bad", I'd take a Soyo (or a tub of glue and some
string) over a PCChips.
!