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Unstable PSU , Bad RAM, or worst bad motherboard

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March 9, 2013 7:06:50 PM

I have an 8 year old HP PC that has been having issues recently. When the system started showing issues it shut down , restarting about once a week, little load or no load it did this early on. Now locks up or randomly restarts i could use it for 20 mins or 7 hours. I did memtest and got like an infinite amount of errors(seemed like it)always* on test 7 on each individual ram stick tested on each of the 4 slots of ram. I thought i had a PSU issue (crackling like sound sort of like the rice cereal ,coming from it.) I ran prime95 for 6 hours and NO issues at all :o  !!? every test passed ,heavy pentium 4 3 GHZ @ 100%load , huge heavy ram use and it worked. :o  . OK,cool , browse the web (reddit)for around 10 mins boom SHUTS DOWN randomly ,restarts -perfect,just perfect. I instantly look at my window , then my wallet, i cooled down. I need to NASA this b*tch up,with no budget. :heink:  . My computer is well taken care of,no downloading software from random sites,no russian obscured porn sites,no dust,i looked at the MB no siigns of leaking caps , blown fuses-good as new.Cold climate , cold to the touch even after long hours of use.I dont PC game,in 8 years i only had to replace the hard drive once.nothing new has been added or removed. This happens under both windows and linux . I could use the old replace bad part with known good part trick,but i have no spares at the moment .Any advice,tips ,or help at finding what the problem is very much appriciated and welcomed. this was a pain to put together on an xbox 360 :lol:  .
a b α HP
a b V Motherboard
March 10, 2013 4:42:30 PM

crackling from the psu doesnt sound good. can you verify where it is originating? ie make sure its not the fan plastic hitting plastic or a wire which can sometimes sound like crackling.

memtest listing multiple failures is also not a good thing. the last time i saw such failures was when i tried to install win vista on an older machine (vista fried the ram and it failed memtest after but was okay before). i ended up having the ram replaced (lifetime warranty from ocz gotta love it).

on the hardware end this is what i would check: the ram and the psu. ram for old systems should be quite cheap. a low end psu is also rather cheap. for a budget brand i recommend sparkle (aka fortron source or fsp group). not high end but great low end products. i dont prefer them but i've used them in the past (one has been running since 2004 and although not used every day now, it still works fine).

on the software side, if you are running winxp you may want to do a reinstall (if you can still activate windows since its now not supported by microsoft that is). windows xp had issues with slowdowns when installed for a long period of time. if that is not an option because you cannot activate (do check on this) or its not feasible for some other reason then at least run registry cleanup, delete all of the unnecessesary crap, run disk defragmentor and see if this helps.

i would check the hardware side first. you can replace those two parts for $50-80 or less if you find a deal elsewhere. again, if you look around you can probably save more.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
March 15, 2013 8:46:22 PM

ssddx said:
crackling from the psu doesnt sound good. can you verify where it is originating? ie make sure its not the fan plastic hitting plastic or a wire which can sometimes sound like crackling.

memtest listing multiple failures is also not a good thing. the last time i saw such failures was when i tried to install win vista on an older machine (vista fried the ram and it failed memtest after but was okay before). i ended up having the ram replaced (lifetime warranty from ocz gotta love it).

on the hardware end this is what i would check: the ram and the psu. ram for old systems should be quite cheap. a low end psu is also rather cheap. for a budget brand i recommend sparkle (aka fortron source or fsp group). not high end but great low end products. i dont prefer them but i've used them in the past (one has been running since 2004 and although not used every day now, it still works fine).

on the software side, if you are running winxp you may want to do a reinstall (if you can still activate windows since its now not supported by microsoft that is). windows xp had issues with slowdowns when installed for a long period of time. if that is not an option because you cannot activate (do check on this) or its not feasible for some other reason then at least run registry cleanup, delete all of the unnecessesary crap, run disk defragmentor and see if this helps.

i would check the hardware side first. you can replace those two parts for $50-80 or less if you find a deal elsewhere. again, if you look around you can probably save more.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...


March 15, 2013 8:53:51 PM

It was the PSU...it was very unstable . I was able to switch it for another one and my PC is working fine now. I ran memtest(+ 4.00?) and got the same amount of errors, i haven't had any lock ups or problems though ,so i am sure the test is incorrect and my memory is fine.




Thanks for your suggestion, i was able to find a used power supply from an organization called FreeGeek (if anyone is having some problems i suggest you look them up on google and see if they have one in your city). So far so good.


This PC will be retiring soon, that's why i didn't want to go hard spending $80 or 50 dollars.
!