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My hardware is brutalizing me. rescue please.

Last response: in CPUs
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August 9, 2009 10:05:29 AM

I don't really know where to start with this as the problems are sweeping across my machine in waves. I run windows xp and have an Asus M3A motherboard with 2Gb of Kingston RAM. I have a Phenom 9500. Heat is a big problem with my system but I am not sure what else is happening. I think my powersupply is 540 watts.

About a 4 days ago I noticed that the video was funky. My single analog display (I had recently added a second digital display) was full of tiny squiggly lines. It wasn't really but but just a tiny bit distracting. Then I noticed that DVD's would not play without getting all jerky. They would freeze a tiny bit here and there- and this was irritating. At that point I figured OK it's my video card. Who doesn't want a new video card? I had been running an 8600GTS so I ran to the store and got a GeForce 9600GT. Both old and new are XFX. I still had trouble so I updated the drivers; no go. Still jerky DVD video and now I was getting a frozen mouse from time to time.

Then it got worse with a freeze every few minutes. At this point I opened the case again and noticed that one of my 3 HDD's was very hot. I burned an image of it onto my 1terrabyte Samsung HD103UJ. After doing that I pulled the old drive (Maxtor 6L300S0 300gb) out. That leaves me with a little 80gb that is my boot drive and my big Samsung. The Samsung often disappears from "my computer" and also often needs to be checked by windows upon reboot. The last time it said the MFT was bad and checkdisk was being aborted.

I noticed my CPU seemed really hot. I swear, I am not a troll. This is all serious. I am starting to wonder if this seems surreal to the people on the board. LOL. When I went into setup, it said it was 71C. That is hot for a Phenom. I cleaned the fins on the heat sink and the cpu fan. They were dirty but not crazy sick dirty. Now I did the regrease on the cpu and put it back together and downloaded speedfan. I see that my temp is still 71. Am I reading this properly?

I don't know where to go from here. I could really use some help from people with more experience. I use my computer for work so I am getting a little bit shook up. If you have any tips for me I would be really grateful. As it stands, the system is usable and often I have access to the 1 terrabyte HD103UJ, but not always. Scary thing is that I used Macrium Reflect to burn that 300gb image onto the 1TB drive!!!! And now I am losing that one too?

I am still getting my USB mouse freeze sometimes. I use a Go3G USB modem to connect to a cell phone connection- I live in Thailand. I pulled the case off and took some voltages thinking that maybe my newish (8 months?) power supply was going down. This was a rookie job- some of these are + and some - and I just poked around. Here is what I found:

5.05 3.68 11.89 1.35 6.83 6.84 5.01 4.98 11.81 4.97

I took a reading from speedfan and this is what I see:



Sisoft Sandra alerted me to a high temperature but I can't remember if it was the MB or CPU or HDD. Right now it is all running together to me.

If anyone has a logical next step for me to take I will give it a shot!!

Thanks so much

August 9, 2009 10:35:01 AM

Check your BIOS and see if Speedfan is correctly reporting your PSU voltages (there sould be a BIOS page that gives you values for the 12V, -12V, 5V.. etc lines).
If it shows the same values then get a new PSU, -16.97V, -8.78 and +6.85V for the -12V, -5V and +5V lines is WAY off spec, to the point that i'm suprised it boots at all.

Stuart
August 9, 2009 11:14:07 AM

Thanks a million for your blazing fast help Stuart. Here are my real numbers- some are (+), some (-):

5.05 3.68 11.89 1.35 6.83 6.84 5.01 4.98 11.81 4.97

I see the 6.83 and 6.84 are over. But there is no 16.97 anywhere. Unless I missed it somewhere; I am not sure. It was a fast and dirty check with the meter. I will check the BIOS as you suggested. Thanks again!!!


Related resources
August 9, 2009 12:40:57 PM

Bios says:

vcore 1.200

3.3 3.264

5v 4.784

12v 11.584

cpu temp 77/168.5 <<<<TOO HOT???

MB temp 43/109

Now what????







August 10, 2009 4:58:01 AM

Now my 1Terrabyte drive (the Samsung HD103UJ) is not being recognized at all. It doesn't show up in "my computer". But during the boot the screen tells me that the SMART data is OK on this drive!!!!! What the heck is up with this???

Is my CPU too hot? AMD says 70C is tops for this chip. Even with a clean heatsink and fan and new grease it is too hot.

If anyone has a clue what is going on with the hard drive or the CPU please holler. I have a side fan and two back fans in the case. That ought to be enough!! I might add a front one today as well. This is getting ridiculous with the fans.

a b à CPUs
August 10, 2009 5:15:41 AM

What brand is your power supply? It sounds like complications from a faulty psu.

Also, did you try to reset CMOS and remove the BIOS battery? Try to reset to the original factory settings and then reset to your specifications to make sure something isn't crossed up in the BIOS.
August 10, 2009 5:22:19 AM

Thanks for your advice. I will indeed try a new PS today. First I will reset CMOS. Hang on, more reports coming I am sure!! Thanks again for your help. I am very grateful!!!!
August 10, 2009 5:34:11 AM

I loaded the setup defaults in the bios but no change. When I remove the battery on the motherboard does this automatically reset the CMOS? I will try that now.
a b à CPUs
August 10, 2009 5:39:24 AM

Move the jumper pins on the CMOS reset on the motherboard. Refer to your motherboard manual if you still have it. If not, it should be a 3 pin setup with one jumper on two of the pins. Usually you simply move the jumper to the other pin like so:

[**]* original jumper placement

*[**] reset position

Do this for 20-30 seconds then place back into original pin placement.



August 10, 2009 5:55:30 AM

I have a CLRRTC jumper; is that what I need? I have the original manual for this Asus M3A and I can't find anything about CMOS reset or CMOS jumper. My manual says RTC is "real time clock RAM" and that I must power-down before doing this reset.
a b à CPUs
August 10, 2009 6:11:02 AM

Yes, shut down your pc before ever going into your case and messing with connections. Unplug the power cable and touch the side of the case 1st as well...
August 10, 2009 6:14:23 AM

OK the CLRRTC jumper did the trick! I just shut down, unplugged the power cable, took out the battery, moved the jumper for 30 seconds and then moved it back and put the bettery back in. You are effing smart. LOL. Now my Samsung terrabyte is back.

So you really think that this is power supply related? My p-s is one year old but I get horrible support from the store where I bought it. I might just go buy another one if you think that is a likely cause or at least a safe bet to protect the machine from issues. When I was checking it with the voltmeter I noticed that when the cables were unplugged inside they just read "0" so I resorted to checking other points along the same cable while they were plugged in. Make sense or not? And didn't really figure out any way to check the SATA power connectors- the space is too small to get to the contacts.

Thanks a million. It looks like I am back up and running for the moment.
a b à CPUs
August 10, 2009 6:30:21 AM

What brand is your power supply? I need to know that and also the wattage and model if you can tell. It could be psu related but not positive as of yet.

Good to see clearing the CMOS did the trick for the hard drive. Good job.

If you are going to buy another psu be sure to post here what psu you are thinking of getting so we can make suggestions if its good or not.

What kind of tester are you using on your power supply? I like the ones that give you a live reading for each voltage:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

a b à CPUs
August 10, 2009 6:38:20 AM

Sorry for butting in here but on the ASUS power supply calculator he was on the edge for power usage.You had a great suggestion.It rated around the 500 minimum watt mark for his system.It was the extra hard drives that pushed it above 500 watts.

http://support.asus.com/PowerSupplyCalculator/PSCalcula...
August 10, 2009 6:55:49 AM

OK guys some lights are starting to come on in my head. I will unplug that FOURTH case fan I just added- it was spinning too slowly anyhow. Yes, you are right I am on the brink with this power supply.

I am really in a tight spot for a new power supply. I live in a small town in Thailand and not much is available without jumping on the bus for 3-5 hours. I am very doubtful that anything suitable will be found here, as the 540 watt was the very largest that I could find a while back when I was building this system and figured out that I was underpowered with the 400w PSU.

For the meter I am using a Fluke that I bought in vocational school. I see that unit on Newegg- nice. I will put that on my list. I am not a computer tech at all of course but man it is nice to have the tools to do a proper troubleshooting when you are in a jam. That unit would have saved me a lot of time very likely.
August 10, 2009 7:01:12 AM

The PSU is a "Raidmax Technoloty" (no, not technology!!!!!) RX-530SS

It says -5 and +12v it is good for 16W

+3.3, +5, +12 and +12 it is good for 514W

This makes 530W

Shortly after that last boot I started a defrag on the big hard drive and then got a write error and it was unavailable again. Now that I am down to two case fans I will see what it can do.

I am going to the store now to get a PSU but who knows what they have. Not likely to be better than what I have. The local population is very unsophisticated when it comes to PC's and the stores prey on this.

Thanks again you guys I am very grateful!!!
a b à CPUs
August 10, 2009 7:15:57 AM

Great to see you are at the bottom of your issue. Good luck with the psu ordeal and hopefully you can find what you need. If you need help getting a good power supply at a reasonable price, let me know.

I could find the best deal that I can get and post it on ebay for you to purchase and I can ship it to you. That is if it will save you money and get a much better power supply than you can find locally.

See what you can find first if you want and if my offer seems to be a better option then pm me later and we can see what we can do.

Thanks and I enjoyed helping you solve your issue...
a b à CPUs
August 10, 2009 7:37:02 AM

Ya, I was gonna offer to sell you one as well, but someone already did. Go that route dont buy another crap untrusted brand. With all the issues your HDD could be permanately ruined as well.
a c 86 à CPUs
August 10, 2009 11:52:03 AM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it hot in Thailand right now? I suspect the heat has killed your drive, PSU, and is currently working on your CPU right now. The drive is disappearing from my computer not because of power, but its timing out. Basically, its dying. You need a new one. If your 12V rail is being reported as 11.5, you need a new one of those as well. If you are using the stock HSF that came with your CPU, I'd grab a nice aftermarket one. You need to get the temp down, or else things will continue to fry.
August 10, 2009 1:08:22 PM

Thanks a million guys! I got a new PSU today. I shopped all over town and found an OCZ Technology 600W. Thanks for the offer to ship one to me and if you want to send me a PM with your eBay username I would be happy to add you to my favorites list.

The OCZ unit is at least a stop-gap measure as I have not yet looked at reviews for it. It was over $100 so let's hope it isn't a total loss!!! LOL. Here are my new numbers:



I hope that I just did my last checkdisk for a while- on the first boot after the new PSU it called for one. Note that the numbers above are after the machine was running for a few hours checking that 1 TB drive. All seems well with the drive now- but I have indeed said that before. I still wonder if the CPU is running too hot. Yeah, I might get an aftermarket cooler.

It's very hot in Thailand but not in my apartment. I keep it at 26 or 27. No worries there.

Maybe I did OK on this PSU:



Again guys thanks a million I really appreciate your help. When you are backed into a corner like this the internet can be a great thing!! I have browsed around a lot on tomshardware.com and done many searches for info but never posted. This was cool.


August 10, 2009 1:16:59 PM

Thanks a million guys! I got a new PSU today. I shopped all over town and found an OCZ Technology 600W. Thanks for the offer to ship one to me and if you want to send me a PM with your eBay username I would be happy to add you to my favorites list.

The OCZ unit is at least a stop-gap measure as I have not yet looked at reviews for it. It was over $100 so let's hope it isn't a total loss!!! LOL. Here are my new numbers:



I hope that I just did my last checkdisk for a while- on the first boot after the new PSU it called for one. Note that the numbers above are after the machine was running for a few hours checking that 1 TB drive. All seems well with the drive now- but I have indeed said that before. I still wonder if the CPU is running too hot. Yeah, I might get an aftermarket cooler.

It's very hot in Thailand but not in my apartment. I keep it at 26 or 27. No worries there.

Maybe I did OK on this PSU:

review conclusion

Again guys thanks a million I really appreciate your help. When you are backed into a corner like this the internet can be a great thing!! I have browsed around a lot on tomshardware.com and done many searches for info but never posted. This was cool.
August 10, 2009 1:22:35 PM

This is the panel on my unit (well, not mine, but one just like it!):

specs
a b à CPUs
August 10, 2009 1:36:15 PM

Looks better. As 4745454b suggested you may want to get a good aftermarket cpu cooler and probably as many case fans as your case can handle. You could also get a pci slot fan if your case doesn't support more fans.

Glad things are shaping up. Let us know if you need anything else...
a b à CPUs
August 10, 2009 2:05:55 PM

Raidmax is known for max fail around these forums, and something that has a spelling error in the name would mean its a counterfeit, or you got a *** quality one...

One of the best (and oldest) indicator of PSU quality is weight, lots of components of PSU gets hot and needs HSF, and the heavier the PSU is, the more internal cooling it has. Also, larger capacitors and other electrical units weight more, and they usually mean better power.

Weigh the two PSUs you have and see, I would bet the 600 W OCZ is a hell of a lot heavier.

a c 86 à CPUs
August 10, 2009 2:06:59 PM

Ok, something is very wrong then. If you use AC to keep your apt at <30c, and your CPU is reporting 77c, then something is very very wrong. You either didn't get the heatsink on correctly, or used to little/much TIM. Either try again, or get a new HSF.
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