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SSD HD Destroying Power Supplies?

Last response: in Storage
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January 23, 2011 1:14:42 AM

Hello,

I have a small solid state drive to run my operating system on home computer. I went on vacation for a couple weeks and left the machine on as usual. When I got back the screen was frozen on my windows desktop. It would not turn off even when I held down the power button for 10+ seconds. I could only turn it off with the power supply's I/O switch. The button would turn the machine on, but it did not even get to the boot screen. The screen stayed permanently black.

Wondering what the problem was, I moved the drive to another computer that I knew worked. It booted up until it got to the Windows loading screen and then froze. That computer is now suffering the same problems as the first. Neither boots with a known functioning hard drive either (since it doesn't even get to the BIOS screen this doesn't seem to matter much). Today I took a voltmeter to the yellow and black pins of one of the power cables. It should have read 12 volts with the computer "on" but would only spike to about 3 and then drop and remain at about 0.2.

It seems that the solid state drive may have destroyed both power supplies. Has anyone seen something like this before? Is it from some kind of a short? Is this more common with solid states? Is there anything else that I can try, or any other potential problems that I'm not thinking of?
a c 248 ) Power supply
a c 298 G Storage
January 23, 2011 5:11:33 AM

This is the first time I've heard or read of a situation like yours.
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January 23, 2011 12:40:00 PM

Same here. That's why I'm trying to get some info. I asked our hardware people at my job and they've never heard of this situation before either. It's really strange.
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a b G Storage
January 23, 2011 1:36:42 PM

SSD's pull power from the 5V rail not 12V, could it be you don't have enough load on the 12V line?
Most modern switching PSU's require a load to operate correctly, modern hardware pulls power from the 5 and 3.3V rails, if the PSU is an older design that is expecting load on the 12V line it will have problems if there isn't one... (if you see what I mean).
What's the (full) machine spec?
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January 23, 2011 2:07:40 PM

I didn't know which the SSDs pulled from. I only tested the 12V as a sample to see if the PSU was putting out enough power in general. It's not just the SSD that doesn't work, it's the entire computer. Even the fan will only turn on for about a second, and it does this regardless of whether or not the SSD is attached. Both computers are now like this: the one that the SSD was on originally, and the one that I moved it to. The original rig had been operating properly for over a year, so I doubt it's an incompatible hardware issue.

The setup is as follows:
600W OCZ PSU
AMD Phenom II quad-core black edition (i forget the exact # & clock speed)
ECS A78GM-A mobo
6GB DDR2 ram
Powercolor AX4830 512mb vid card
one of the TV cards, I don't remember which, I never use it
Patriot Warp 32GB SATA I/II SSD for the oS & page file
2 Hitachi Deskstar 500GB 7200 RPM SATA II HDDs for programs, data, etc.
CD/DVDR drive
running Microsoft Vista OS
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a b G Storage
January 23, 2011 8:02:14 PM

MrLinux said:
SSD's pull power from the 5V rail not 12V, could it be you don't have enough load on the 12V line?
Most modern switching PSU's require a load to operate correctly, modern hardware pulls power from the 5 and 3.3V rails, if the PSU is an older design that is expecting load on the 12V line it will have problems if there isn't one... (if you see what I mean).
What's the (full) machine spec?




His MB/CPU would be loading the +12 line.
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a b ) Power supply
a b G Storage
January 23, 2011 8:23:17 PM

mavroxur said:
His MB/CPU would be loading the +12 line.

Not to mention the Video card! :D 
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a b G Storage
January 23, 2011 9:02:20 PM

Yeah. I didn't even see the vid card, i just saw the comment regarding insufficent +12 load and posted a reply. I guess i need to read more carefully :-P


But back to the original question, i've NEVER seen a SSD kill a power supply. If the SSD had a short of some kind, the power supply would crowbar and simply turn off. All modern power supplies have overcurrent protection. I have seen HDD's kill motherboards though. I suppose an SSD that had an internal problem and was sending stray power up the sata cable could do the same thing. I'd test the PSU's first. A cheap, poor man's test would be to disconnect all the power connections from all drives, and both power connections to the motherboard. Attach an old hard drive (that you don't care about, preferable an old IDE one, since some SATA's dont spin up if the SATA line isn't connected) to generate a small load. Then use a small jumper wire to connect the green wire on the ATX motherboard plug to a black wire. This will force the PSU to turn on. You can use a DVM to measure your voltages once it's turned on. Most modern power supplies can be turned on with no load though, so the old hard drive to generate a load might not be necessary. This will power-on test the PSU.

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January 23, 2011 9:39:42 PM

I essentially already did that, just I had a few more components connected. As I stated, the voltmeter spiked to 3V when the computer got turned on and quickly dropped to 0.2V.

I picked up a new PSU today and ran the voltmeter test in almost the exact same configuration as I ran it on the other one. It spat back 12.24V consistently. I then hooked up a bootable hard drive that wasn't the SSD and it boot and ran perfectly. From this, I can only conclude that the SSD somehow messed up the PSUs. I don't know how this would happen from either a hardware or virus perspective, but it seems to be the case. I'm afraid to hook it up to the new PSU, so will probably just toss it out. If anyone has any ideas on how to test it, what went wrong, etc. I'd love to hear them.
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a b ) Power supply
a b G Storage
January 24, 2011 12:46:53 AM

You say you were away so you wouldn't have been there to see that there was a power surge or lightning strike... ??? destroying both computers..
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January 24, 2011 1:11:57 AM

There very well could have been a power surge or lightning strike, and it very well could have bricked my original PSU. However:

the second / test computer was not on, the surge protector was off, and I don't believe it was even plugged into the wall.

my roommate's computer saw normal usage during most of this time and worked fine.

I suppose it's still possible, but I'd really like some way to test the SSD before I blow out another PSU if it really is what's causing the problem.
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a b ) Power supply
a b G Storage
January 24, 2011 1:14:14 AM

Is the SSD still under warranty? If so , I'd try to RMA it.
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January 24, 2011 1:33:41 AM

clarkjd said:
Is the SSD still under warranty? If so , I'd try to RMA it.


I doubt it. I got it about 2 years ago and I don't even know where the receipts, etc. are anymore.
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a b ) Power supply
a c 353 G Storage
January 24, 2011 12:48:59 PM

Contact the SSD vendor. Explain problem. On warrenty, most SSDs are for 3 to 5 years and when no receipt is available they will go by the date code on the SSD (manuf dtd).

You might try this, put SSD in a usb enclosure, plug into a USB hub, NOT directly into the computer usb port. use a powered hub, not a hub that gets power directly from computer usb port. You could also use a ohm meter and measure the pwer pins (+12 V and +5 V pins to ground and also the +5 V in to the +12 Pin (+12 Pin should show an OPEN in both cases. The +5 pin should be > 5 ohms (probably > 100 ohms)

As one poster stated, the +12 V from the PSU is not used by the SSD (SSDs use only the +5V), BUT the +12 v is available at the power connector. I quess that it is possible that a short developed from the +12 pwr pin which may have tied the +12 V to the +5 V lines - WHO knows what this would do to the PSU as this is NOT a normal failure mode. Call it FM for "friging" magic (as applied to electronics when explanations fail)
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January 24, 2011 10:17:20 PM

I never tested the +5. My guess is that's shot as well. The entire PSU seems to be dead (it doesn't power anything at all, it's not just the SSD that isn't running). Thanks for the suggestion to test the SSD. I might try it when I get home, but I'm out of town until Friday. I guess throwing the powered USB hub in there adds an additional layer of protection? It makes sense. I wouldn't have thought of it though. Thanks :) 

And yeah, this whole thing is definitely FM and FUBAR. I'm hoping it's all power surges and coincidences.
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