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Computer rebooting randomly, PSU suspicious

Last response: in Components
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March 12, 2010 8:25:27 AM

Hello,

I have the following:

AMD Phenom XII 550 BE
Gigabyte MA770-UT3P
4 GB RAM (Corsair)
ATI HD5750 1 GB GDDR5
1x Western Digital 320 GB hdd (main)
3x 1 TB HDD (Hitachi and two Samsungs - were external, but ripped the case and put them in).
Rocketfish 550W power supply (I know, I know...)

The issue is that the computer randomly reboots. Not necessarily under load, just totally random. Checked the temperatures, they're fine. Sometimes it just reboots, sometimes I get white (Blank) screen while the audio is still running (for a while), or green screen with stripes.

When it reboots itself, during AHCI setup, I can hear all the 1 TB harddrives motors spinning up. AHCI is then delayed and later shows "S.M.A.R.T. error" for all the three hard drives (not for the main one of 320 gig). When I manually restart the computer again, it works perfectly fine.

Sometimes the computer doesn't do this at all in a day, today it did it like 5 times. Sometimes I would come back and see my computer on the GRUB boot loader screen (I use two OSes; Ubuntu 9.10 and Windows 7, this happens in both of them).

I am suspecting that the PSU unit is failing. Some people suggested it was the video card.

Any ideas?

Thanks a bunch!

More about : computer rebooting randomly psu suspicious

a b ) Power supply
March 12, 2010 9:18:51 AM

It more likely is a PSU than a video card issue. Are all voltages within specs (use a DVM to check them)?
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March 12, 2010 9:46:04 AM

An interesting thing just happened. My $10 Dynex extension cord has all the stuff (printer, computer, monitor) plugged into. When I plugged in my laptop powercord into the spare outlet on the extension cord, my computer rebooted and my monitor turned off.

Now the monitor and the computer are plugged into different outlets. We'll see how it goes.

Still, here are the voltage readings from BIOS:

VCORE: 1.344
DDR3 1.5: 1.616
+3.3V: 3.296
+12 : 12.112
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a b ) Power supply
March 12, 2010 9:51:45 AM

Your voltages look fine. Connecting a computer on an extension cord isn't a good idea.
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March 12, 2010 9:54:54 AM

GhislainG said:
Your voltages look fine. Connecting a computer on an extension cord isn't a good idea.

I bet it's not. I have fixed that. I apologize to all my fellow computer lovers :D 
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a c 129 ) Power supply
March 12, 2010 10:54:00 AM

What kind of printer is it? If it is a laser printer, every time its heating element cycles, it is spiking the A/C line (one reason not to plug laser printers into a UPS). The poor filter stage of your PSU is probably choking on it.

Funny, just the other day I was on HardwareSecrets, and watched the videos of all those Huntkey units blowing up...
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a c 243 ) Power supply
March 12, 2010 11:00:49 AM

Onus said:

Funny, just the other day I was on HardwareSecrets, and watched the videos of all those Huntkey units blowing up...

Without having the model number, we don't if the Rocketfish is a Huntkey or a CWT.
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March 14, 2010 1:41:07 PM

Deusdies said:
Hello,

I have the following:

AMD Phenom XII 550 BE
Gigabyte MA770-UT3P
4 GB RAM (Corsair)
ATI HD5750 1 GB GDDR5
1x Western Digital 320 GB hdd (main)
3x 1 TB HDD (Hitachi and two Samsungs - were external, but ripped the case and put them in).
Rocketfish 550W power supply (I know, I know...)



Not to be an ass, but if "you know...you know" then why on earth did you put it in your system? Its like saying i know I shouldn't stab myself in the eye with a pen but I did it anyway.
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March 14, 2010 1:42:57 PM

Because I ordered everything from Newegg except for the power supply. Why? I forgot. Then, when all the parts arrived, I found out that I forgot to order the PSU. Instead of waiting for 3-4 more days to get the PSU from newegg, I went to Best Buy. This was the only 500+ Watt power supply they had.

And you're not an ass, it's a legitimate question.
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a c 129 ) Power supply
March 14, 2010 3:32:13 PM

Well, your machine would run quite nicely on a 380W Antec Earthwatts, or a 400W Corsair CX. I think until / unless you replace the Rocketfish, any further attempts at diagnosis are likely to be futile.
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March 14, 2010 3:35:46 PM

So, if I go to best buy right now and buy a new power supply, but then find out that it is not the PSU issue, can I return the newly purchased PSU ? (i.e. will they give me a refund if the thing is still working?)
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a c 129 ) Power supply
March 14, 2010 4:02:18 PM

I can't speak to Best Buy's policies, but a) I would think so, and b) the Rocketfish is known to be crap, that may have already damaged other parts, so you would not want to return its replacement.
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March 14, 2010 4:03:45 PM

Ok, thanks a bunch.

Just ran OCCT 30 minute test and it did not reboot :/ 
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a c 129 ) Power supply
March 14, 2010 4:14:46 PM

You went to Best Buy? That was quick. What did you get?
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March 14, 2010 4:21:28 PM

No, sorry, I ran the OCCT test on the old PSU. I'll go to Best Buy later.
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March 16, 2010 3:51:11 PM

I just got a new PSU - Corsair 650W. The problem is still there. I am running memtest86+ right now (so far 82%, 0 errors), but I seriously doubt memory has issues because it is also Corsair.

If it is not the RAM, what else could it be?

Also, do you recommend me keeping this PSU, or returning it and putting back my old Rocketfish in?
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a b ) Power supply
March 16, 2010 5:55:47 PM

RAM issues normally don't cause random reboots. CPU overheating should cause shutdowns. but video card overheating might cause a reboot. Is your power clean? Do you have a good ground? Are all of your components connected to the same circuit and if if not, is there a voltage differential between the grounds?
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March 16, 2010 6:48:04 PM

GhislainG said:
RAM issues normally don't cause random reboots. CPU overheating should cause shutdowns. but video card overheating might cause a reboot. Is your power clean? Do you have a good ground? Are all of your components connected to the same circuit and if if not, is there a voltage differential between the grounds?


Video card is running at ~40 degrees, with an automatically regulated fan speed that is usually at 40% speed. However, I will check the temperatures again to make sure.

I am pretty sure the circuitry is NOT really good, since I live in a 50 year old college dorm. Unfortunately, there's no way for me to check it. Since I'm at college, I cannot test the difference of potentials since I have no tools :/ 
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a c 129 ) Power supply
March 16, 2010 10:01:18 PM

Keep the new PSU; it's a good one and may last through future builds.
It is possible another component has been damaged over time by spikes from the bad PSU. Is your RAM voltage set right in your BIOS? What do the specs say it needs? The default is 1.5, but yours may need more to be stable.
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March 17, 2010 3:45:12 PM

The voltages are good.

memtest86 shows no errors for either of the memory sticks.

The computer just rebooted in the middle of the work (luckily, I am now used to saving every 5 minutes).

Now here is the thing I hear before every reboot: there's some sort of a click in the hard drive, and then the motor spins for a second, and then the computer reboots. It is like that every time.

However, I have 3 hard drives corrected - Main one (Western Digital WD3200AAJS) and two "file" hard drives: Samsung 1 TB and Hitachi 1 TB. The Hitachi one is old (has lots of hours on it) and kinda loud - I can hear every time something is being written from it, and when I perform some sort of a test it runs like a tractor. BUT, I unhooked the Hitachi once and the reboot still happened.

Now all the Hard Drives return SMART status OKAY (except for the WD hard drive: current pending sector count shows as WARNING in HD Tune Pro) and chkdsk finds no errors on any of them. But I still can't get rid of the feeling that there's something wrong with one of them. WD maybe?
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a b ) Power supply
March 17, 2010 5:20:11 PM

What makes you think that it's the WD? Can you live without the other drives for a couple days?
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March 17, 2010 10:28:14 PM

I can live without the other drives and I tried - the computer still reboots.
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a b ) Power supply
March 17, 2010 10:35:57 PM

Do you still hear the same clicking noise before the reboot? Are you sure that it isn't the video card? One way to test if it's the hard disk is to disconnect it and boot from a CD/DVD. You could do that at night and if the system hasn't rebooted in the morning, then you sort of know that the hard disk probably is causing the issue.
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March 17, 2010 10:41:25 PM

Well, as I described in the previous post, after reboot I hear hard drive motors spinning up. First, the hard drive #2, then hard drive #3 (and all that during AHCI process, then they report SMART ERROR, but if I restart it, it loads fine).

I am not sure that it is not the graphic card. However, I ran a stress test for 30 minutes on it and it did not cause a reboot.

Also, the problem is that the computer reboots totally randomly. Sometimes it's fine for 2 days, sometimes it reboots 5 times a day. So, it'd be hard to test it via Live CD.
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a b ) Power supply
March 17, 2010 10:47:24 PM

Other than swapping parts, there isn't much that you can do. Do you have only one computer?
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March 17, 2010 10:57:58 PM

I have one more laptop :p  and I have two more computers that are approximately 4000 miles away :D 
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July 11, 2010 8:41:50 PM

Was this issue ever resolved or just another thread gone with the wind?
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a b ) Power supply
July 11, 2010 9:05:18 PM

so try leaving off the hdds, and see if the comp works fine.
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a b ) Power supply
July 12, 2010 3:17:15 AM

could be bad data being read from the HDD. Run HDD Regenerator, I find this the best tool for checking bad sectors. Could be mainboard, could be many things.
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a b ) Power supply
July 12, 2010 2:21:02 PM

the free ver of hd tune is good fr finding basd sextors. thts whatt i use
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