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Is my PSU Dying/Dead?

Tags:
  • Power Supplies
  • Speedfan
  • Components
Last response: in Components
September 13, 2009 5:35:50 PM

I recently posted in another section of these forums of an issue I've been having with random lockups, and a very nice user has given me some lead, hopefully in the right direction. I just wanted to confirm his ideas here.

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/page-266640_10_0.ht... < Previous Topic

We both believe I have a dying PSU. These are the numbers I copied from SpeedFan. Do they mean that the PSU is dying?

VCore1: 1.17V
VCore 2: 3.34V
+3.3V: 0.02V
+5V: 5.11V
+12V: 12.16V
-12V: -16.89V
-5V: -5.66V
+5V: 5.05V
Vbat: 3.20V

More about : psu dying dead

September 13, 2009 5:44:10 PM

Voltage readings from software cannot be relied upon, I know because the same programs gave me conflicting values between two different OS installs.

Go in there and measure the voltages with a multimeter (IDE power cables have separate pins with different voltages that you can use.)
But the easiest way would be to check if the lockups are connected to heavy loads on your CPU and GPU.
September 13, 2009 6:09:56 PM

BIOS and ASUS Probe II say Vcore is 1.15V, +12 is 12.16V and +5 is 5.08V and +3.3V is 3.34

The lockups are in no way related to any heavy load at all, normally just extended use (If left on for most of a day)

So what does this sound like then, if not PSU? Memory/HDD tests check out fine, like i said, its only after extended use that this happens :\
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September 13, 2009 6:15:27 PM

progenitorvirus said:
BIOS and ASUS Probe II say Vcore is 1.15V, +12 is 12.16V and +5 is 5.08V and +3.3V is 3.34

The lockups are in no way related to any heavy load at all, normally just extended use (If left on for most of a day)

So what does this sound like then, if not PSU? Memory/HDD tests check out fine, like i said, its only after extended use that this happens :\


Overheating maybe, but could be RAM too (try with one stick at a time.)
September 13, 2009 6:20:53 PM

I have some pretty decent cooling so I know there's no overheating, and I memtest86+'d for 6 hours with no errors whatsoever. I also ran MS's version of a memtest, no errors :\

Its pretty much narrowed down to graphics cards, Motherboard, or PSU, but I don't think Graphics cards would make my system lock up like that.

Essentially the lockups are everything stops, no mouse/keyboard/HDD use, and I need to hard reboot. This is all under normal use, usually after say 5 to 10 hours of use
September 13, 2009 6:32:43 PM

memtest doesn't always get all of the memory errors

try using prime95 and large fft's (tests the memory more)
September 13, 2009 6:57:30 PM

Running it now, for how long should I let it run, or does it stop after a certain amount of time?
September 13, 2009 8:59:19 PM

My PC has been running 2 1/2 hours straight with Prime95 and no issues. CPU load is 100%. But as I've said, the problem can occur at any time and has no pattern to it, generally on low use this happens
September 15, 2009 3:52:38 AM

A development, I just got another Lock-Up, when using my TV Tuner with VirtualDub. The system got incredibly slow, but mouse was still moving, nothing was really responding. Only after a minute or two of this did the complete lock-up occur.
September 16, 2009 9:01:24 PM

We can pretty much rule out memory, CPU, GPU and PSU. That leaves the motherboard, and the hard disk.
September 17, 2009 4:33:13 AM

:] May be on to a lead!

Removed my Optical Drives on a gut feeling, though for what I do I need them very frequently, I can go a bit behind in work to troubleshoot.

9 Hours, and no lock ups. By now, probably, I would have had one, I'll let it run for 10, then test tomorrow.

So, here's what I'll do. The IDE cable is a bit damaged upon very close inspection (I thought only superficial, but maybe more) and I had trouble burning last night.

Replace IDE: Since the IDE does look a bit sketchy, I'll replace it tomorrow. If that doesn't work,

Substitute in one drive at a time with another drive (Ensuring this isn't a power issue, I'll need 2 in there always), to test for a bad drive. If that doesn't work,

Try using my friend's PSU. I can test for power issues this way, in case it is the issue, but if I still get them

I know its my motherboard.



Does this Troubleshooting sound viable? I mean, removing SATA during operations recreates the issue, very possible removing/damaged IDE could do the same, and stable for 9 hours.
September 17, 2009 9:23:48 AM

progenitorvirus said:
:] May be on to a lead!

Removed my Optical Drives on a gut feeling, though for what I do I need them very frequently, I can go a bit behind in work to troubleshoot.

9 Hours, and no lock ups. By now, probably, I would have had one, I'll let it run for 10, then test tomorrow.

So, here's what I'll do. The IDE cable is a bit damaged upon very close inspection (I thought only superficial, but maybe more) and I had trouble burning last night.

Replace IDE: Since the IDE does look a bit sketchy, I'll replace it tomorrow. If that doesn't work,

Substitute in one drive at a time with another drive (Ensuring this isn't a power issue, I'll need 2 in there always), to test for a bad drive. If that doesn't work,

Try using my friend's PSU. I can test for power issues this way, in case it is the issue, but if I still get them

I know its my motherboard.



Does this Troubleshooting sound viable? I mean, removing SATA during operations recreates the issue, very possible removing/damaged IDE could do the same, and stable for 9 hours.


Keep going with the process of elimination and you'll eventually find out what's broken, but don't forget more than one component could be broken.
September 18, 2009 4:18:08 AM

Alright, so, last night I unplugged all IDE cables/Power. It ran perfectly for 18 hours, no hiccups.

I try swapping and replacing DVD drives, first two times it was an instant freeze, then, when I thought I had it stable and the drive was to blame, freeze.

Drives are out of the question.

The fact that it can't run two devices seems odd to me, yet works perfectly when I unplug them.

I guess we're down to PSU and Motherboard.

If I have less drives, I have less power being taken, so it would make sense it'd be more stable. However, maybe the IDE on the Motherboard somehow started dying on me.
September 18, 2009 10:38:25 AM

progenitorvirus said:
Alright, so, last night I unplugged all IDE cables/Power. It ran perfectly for 18 hours, no hiccups.

I try swapping and replacing DVD drives, first two times it was an instant freeze, then, when I thought I had it stable and the drive was to blame, freeze.

Drives are out of the question.

The fact that it can't run two devices seems odd to me, yet works perfectly when I unplug them.

I guess we're down to PSU and Motherboard.

If I have less drives, I have less power being taken, so it would make sense it'd be more stable. However, maybe the IDE on the Motherboard somehow started dying on me.


No, the hard drive could be the culprit as well, though it's more likely that it's the PSU or motherboard (or both.)
September 18, 2009 7:12:52 PM

I can understand it may be the Harddrive, but I believe it not to be, its only a year old, and has had no issues. The fact my PC was stable when everything IDE was unplugged seems to lead away from the idea of HDD failure, though god only knows, this is one problem everybody I've been asking has no idea about :S
September 19, 2009 10:25:14 AM

progenitorvirus said:
I can understand it may be the Harddrive, but I believe it not to be, its only a year old, and has had no issues. The fact my PC was stable when everything IDE was unplugged seems to lead away from the idea of HDD failure, though god only knows, this is one problem everybody I've been asking has no idea about :S


DVD drives take most of their power from the 12V rails, just like the CPU and GPU, and those two use a lot more than DVD drives do.
If the PSU can't deliver the required wattage to the drives when the rest of the system is idle than it should also fail when you put both the CPU and GPU to work: disconnect the DVD drives and try a 3dmark benchmark or play a game of Supreme Commander with the highest settings and lots of AI players, if that causes a shutdown then you'll know it's a power issue, if it doesn't then your 12V rail is fine, DVD drives also use the 5V rail, check the 5V rail voltage in the BIOS with both drives connected, if it's way below 5V than the 5V rail may be broken.
If both the 12V and 5V rails are fine then I don't think it's the PSU, then it must be the motherboard.

Alternatively, if you can get your hands on another PSU (even a weaker older one) you can underclock your video card and CPU and connect your DVD drives, then let the system run and if it doesn't lock up then the motherboard is fine, and the PSU was the problem, if it does lock up then you'll know for sure that the motherboard is the culprit.