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new hardware build powering off shortly after booting

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March 26, 2006 10:55:46 PM

Hello, I've been a hardcore, albiet poor, computer geek for the last 7 years or so (since high school) i recently built and rebuilt a machine that suddenly started having trouble, so I decided to join the forumz, since i've been reading Toms for the past few years.
here's the hardware:
Athlon XP3200+ (400FSB)
Abit zKV7-V Socket A
MSI FX5700LE 128MB AGP 8x
2x 512MB Kingston ValueRAM
Seagate 200GB Sata NCQ drive (I realize i'm probably not able to use NCQ with this setup)
Samsung DVD +-R/RW DL burner
Generic CD-R drive
Generic case & power supply (Powmax 400W)

here's what's happening.
First of all, the processor, I tried to overclock once, didn't know what i was doing, fried the old motherboard because of it, but it went through this installation fine without any problems. are there any concerns I should have about the processor?

I installed the OS, programs, a few games, etc about a month ago, and it all booted fine, including Azureus which I ran overnight starting that monday night. The comp didn't give me any trouble, even when I got home from work, I could boot up my latest game (LOTR: Battle for Middle Earth) and i got into the game, but then as soon as I got past the load screens and could continue my mission, suddenly the PC shut down with no warning. I could turn it back on, only by unplugging the power cord, or switching the power on the PS unit off then on. every time it booted up, it did the same thing, getting earlier and earlier into the boot, where i couldn't even load the game or load/not load any other program for that matter. I only got an error message once after the OS loaded, but it shut down too quickly for me to read it. I tried looking at temp gauges in the BIOS, and all showed acceptable temps, i think, never saw it go above 140 or maybe 160 (bios is set to warn at 185F)
I tested with the power supply with the system I'm using now, also tried using an IDE hard drive on PATA channel 1, same result. tried booting to a CD bootable lindows sample on PATA 2, and it didn't have the same issue, but I can't explain why. I'm wondering what else I could try. I only have the 1 sata drive and no other sata controllers right now. at this point, after completing a few missions and downloads, i'm wondering what I can do to salvage my system. has another part gone bad, or do I have to reinstall my OS? Please help. I'm not incapable of troubleshooting this further, but it's discouraging when a new system that was built and working properly suddenly stops working and I can't find any errors messages or notes on this type of failure. if it's somehow the PS, i'm willing to upgrade that because I would want a a reliable power supply for future addons.
March 27, 2006 12:55:21 AM

First thing. Get rid of that evil generic psu and buy a brand name psu. Generic psu's are the suicide bombers of the pc world. They may destroy themselves and take the m/b, processor etc with them.
I have had the exact same symptoms with dying m/b's. But the lindows scenerio has me confused. Is it software? Is it a hardware issue aggravated by Bill Gate's finest 8O Help me posters , help me.
March 27, 2006 1:48:48 AM

i'm all about the good PSU at this point, but is that going to be necessary to buy before I get it fixed?


by the way, where is that darn any key? I never could find it.
Related resources
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March 27, 2006 11:55:13 AM

We are hoping that the new PS itself *is* what fixes it! :-)
March 27, 2006 1:32:00 PM

but I've already tried another known working power supply, and it had the same issue.
March 27, 2006 6:16:33 PM

okay well i found a good deal on an Ultra 500W X-connect power supply at Micro Center that I picked up on my lunch hour. I'll install that tonight, but does anybody have any other suggestions? I've got other processors, RAM (albeit at a slower speed) other CD-Rom, HDD's, graphics cards, i'm just not sure what makes sense in this type of trouble.
March 27, 2006 7:06:31 PM

I agree with everyone above. This screams a power issue.

SELF EDIT: I didn't read your post fully. My bad. :oops: 
March 27, 2006 7:14:49 PM

Okay. I'll install the new PS unit tonight and post tonight or tomorrow and let everyone know how it goes. any suggestions in the mean time are still appreciated. Thank you to everyone for your help, thus far.

"Live Long and Prosper"
March 27, 2006 7:40:45 PM

Quote:
Generic psu's are the suicide bombers of the pc world.


Thats a bit harsh! Since when has a rogue no-name PSU left your PC and overloaded itself in a crowded area????
March 28, 2006 2:41:12 AM

well i installed the new power supply and it's working like a charm! I can only think that somehow it wasn't giving enough juice, or perhaps got too hot or something (very warm to the touch upon the auto system shutdown) somehow my CPU temperature is lower too, in the 100F under idle to 130F under full CPU load. did replacing the motherboard the 2nd time somehow give my CPU better thermals when i resat the processor? I can only think that maybe the other PSU i tried was underpowered or something, ending in the same result. oh well, it's working now, if anyone has any final thoughts, I'd be glad to hear them.
March 28, 2006 2:48:55 AM

From the sounds of it, on top of your PSU being under-powered (was a 400W, now a 500W), and unreliable (I wager if you'd put a probe across the outputs, they wouldn't have been near spec), it was also causing a heating issue. i.e it was pumping out more heat than it should have, and had inadequate cooling.

Anyone seen a powersupply with the fan on backwards, blowing hot air INTO the case?
March 28, 2006 3:25:50 AM

That's weird. why would a power supply blow air into the case?? Never seen one before. Maybe that power supply is 2nd hand? being repaired before and the fan got placed wrong way round?
March 28, 2006 3:45:46 AM

Well, you've got the problem fixed, but was the original power supply (the one that was failing) new, or old? An old PSU can become clogged with dust and overheat resulting in a thermal protection shutdown. This sounds very much like what your problems was, considering you were able to run the computer for some time before these symptoms started appearing.
March 28, 2006 3:55:15 AM

i'm not doubting you on the varying outputs thing, based on my rudimentary PS knowledge, and power in general. I've taken the PSU out before, and there's no underneath fan, just the one on the outside of the unit, so it shouldn't have mattered if it was upside down.

the PS was supposedly new with the cheapo aluminum case I bought. oh well, this is just one to add to my ol bag o' tricks for the next system i run across. as for the power blowing in not out, couldn't tell ya. never checked, and i probably don't have any reason to use it again, except for an emergency backup PS.

I guess it's possible I was overloading the PS, i did a Wattage calc at: http://www.extreme.outervision.com/
and under non-ideal CPU/aging capacitor/peak loads, i was getting right up to the 400W, assuming my system was having up to 50% wattage surges (how likely is that?)

Well thanks again everyone, and I look forward to being able to be a part of these forums further!
March 28, 2006 4:36:16 AM

My Antec TruePower 550watt has only one 120mm fan on the bottom of the PSU blowing up into the PSU, and a exhaust vent in the rear where power cord plugs in to it.
March 28, 2006 4:51:06 AM

I bought the case/PS about 2 years ago, give or take, only finally started using it a year ago. total life of this PS is about a month or 2 because of all the other hardware problems my systems had in this case. who knows, maybe the PS caused it all along, lesson learned.
!