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Troubleshooting Random Hard Power Down

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February 1, 2011 8:22:05 PM

I need help with the next steps to diagnose my power down issues.

My PC just random shuts off hard, as if unplugged.

This homebuild has worked flawless for for one year.

So far this I have tried these repairs.

Ensured Case and Heatsink Fans worked.

Replaced thermal paste on CPU.

Put a box fan on high, and directed at cpu.mobo.

That's it, Bios is up to date.

So what should be my next few steps in diagnosing this problem?

My System
Antec 300 Case/Power
MSI nf750-g55 mobo
AMD Athlon X2 250
Corsair PC10600 2g


a b B Homebuilt system
February 1, 2011 9:29:45 PM

Welcome, Newcomer. When diagnosing power problems, it is always best to start with the Power Supply Unit (PSU). It is possible that the PSU has degraded over time. So if you can, test your PSU with a multimeter or try a different PSU.

The next thing I would do is double check the temps in your system. Changing the thermal paste was a good step, but make sure that the heatsink isn't loose.
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February 2, 2011 4:35:14 AM

What is the PSU make and model?
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February 2, 2011 10:55:47 AM

tik said:
What is the PSU make and model?


I bought this Combo from Newegg 11/08

* 1 x Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
* 1 x Antec True Power Trio TP3-430 430W ATX12V Active PFC Power Supply with Three 12V Rails



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February 2, 2011 11:18:29 AM

Your PSU seem to look fine for your system, even with 1 year old. My advise is to follow T_T advices. But before you do that, check your PSU power cord. Sometime the contact at the PSU of the power loosing. Try changing it or testing by shaking the near end of the supply. Also check it at the socket of your power strip. Sometime the switch of the power strip or the fuse inside loosing. Consider moving to another outlet too. Let us know how the symptom would be.
Edit: Have you seen any sign of spark inside or near PSU?
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 2, 2011 11:19:22 AM

PSU is the logical, number one suspect in this case of symptoms.

(Some homes suffer half of a second 'brownouts' when AC turns on, and PSU is unable to handle momentary voltage drop to 90VAC)
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February 5, 2011 1:59:10 PM

mdd1963 said:
PSU is the logical, number one suspect in this case of symptoms.

(Some homes suffer half of a second 'brownouts' when AC turns on, and PSU is unable to handle momentary voltage drop to 90VAC)



I tried my pc on a different outlet, on a different circuit. Still having problems.

At this point I hope it is the PSU. A couple thoughts on that, If I purchase a psu and still have the problem, I'll be out $50. Not sure If I can return an opened psu.

If it is the psu that has the problem, Antec has a 5 year warranty, so this is good, and that is why I did the homebuild because of the individual warranty on componants.

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February 5, 2011 2:05:18 PM

tik said:
Your PSU seem to look fine for your system, even with 1 year old. My advise is to follow T_T advices. But before you do that, check your PSU power cord. Sometime the contact at the PSU of the power loosing. Try changing it or testing by shaking the near end of the supply. Also check it at the socket of your power strip. Sometime the switch of the power strip or the fuse inside loosing. Consider moving to another outlet too. Let us know how the symptom would be.
Edit: Have you seen any sign of spark inside or near PSU?



Ok, I did this test. I set up the PC on a different circuit without the power strip. And played jump rope with the power cord. I think I have diagnosed that the power cord is not at fault. And power outlet and strip are not to blame.

I do not have a power meter, just a circuit tester that lights up a bulb if working. So I am not sure if it is worth buying the tester, or if I should instead spend the money on a psu.

Also to test CPU temp, should I just enter my bios? Or should I choose a windows option?

One other item, Can I run it without loading windows? To determin it is not shutting down due to a software issue or bug?
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February 5, 2011 5:29:51 PM

Try this

http://www.lavalys.com/products/everest-pc-diagnostics/

http://download.cnet.com/Everest-Ultimate-Edition/3000-...


Then let us know your progress.

You can get a good 500w PSU for as low as $25 after rebate. Buy a brand name one. To be honest, you either get a good help from a the one has a little more experience (than you), or you have to pay for the PSU and do it yourself. I would invest $25. Experience you will get is priceless.

Edit: Don't blame me if new PSU won't solve the problem. Because it can be mobo.
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February 6, 2011 12:19:42 AM

tik said:
Try this

http://www.lavalys.com/products/everest-pc-diagnostics/

http://download.cnet.com/Everest-Ultimate-Edition/3000-...


Then let us know your progress.

You can get a good 500w PSU for as low as $25 after rebate. Buy a brand name one. To be honest, you either get a good help from a the one has a little more experience (than you), or you have to pay for the PSU and do it yourself. I would invest $25. Experience you will get is priceless.

Edit: Don't blame me if new PSU won't solve the problem. Because it can be mobo.



I know you can't guarantee the PSU will fix it...I really appreciate your help

So I ran the test AIDA 64 and the results after a 14 run:
Mobo 33.5c
CPU 51c
CPU core 1 37c
CPU core 2 37c
cooling fans @ 3130rpm
12v reads a constant 12.144


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February 6, 2011 1:05:38 AM

Mobo temp look normal. So as cpu temp.

http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/K10/AMD-Athlon%20II%20X2%...(ADX250OCGQBOX).html

What is HDD temp? Can you also get PSU temp too. BTW, keep your eyes on PSU fan too. If you see PSU fan stop spinning, then you know that the problem.


Also, try running memtest. Memory failure normally can cause blue screen and system crash and random restart.

Everyest Ultimate will be very useful for you. It's free trial. Without any diagnosis tool, it will be very tough for us to identify the problem.
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February 7, 2011 1:54:02 PM

tik said:
Mobo temp look normal. So as cpu temp.

http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/K10/AMD-Athlon%20II%20X2%...(ADX250OCGQBOX).html

What is HDD temp? Can you also get PSU temp too. BTW, keep your eyes on PSU fan too. If you see PSU fan stop spinning, then you know that the problem.


Also, try running memtest. Memory failure normally can cause blue screen and system crash and random restart.

Everyest Ultimate will be very useful for you. It's free trial. Without any diagnosis tool, it will be very tough for us to identify the problem.



Good News. I relocated my PC to another floor, and it appears to be working. Almost 24 hours with no hiccup. Before it was less than 2 hours before it would shut down. I am now thinking that it was the electrical outlet.

I may try a UPS unit. I am unsure what wattage I should get. 450W seems like overkill and is very expensive. My PSU is 450W. I am sure I don't pull 450W that often, if ever, I don't game or design.
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February 7, 2011 2:12:06 PM

I would recommend checking that outlet for proper connections and ground. I moved my comp like you did and it stopped working a month later. Turned out the new outlet wasn't grounded and it fried my mobo.

You could also invest in a PSU tester. I think Thermaltake makes the one I have. You can plug the power connectors into it and it will make sure all power is acting as expected. I've used it many times since I bought it.
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February 7, 2011 2:54:06 PM

.
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February 22, 2011 11:24:31 PM

mage182 said:
I would recommend checking that outlet for proper connections and ground. I moved my comp like you did and it stopped working a month later. Turned out the new outlet wasn't grounded and it fried my mobo.

You could also invest in a PSU tester. I think Thermaltake makes the one I have. You can plug the power connectors into it and it will make sure all power is acting as expected. I've used it many times since I bought it.



Well I warranty exchanged my PSU with Antec. They gave me a 550Watt PSU upgrade. And the problem did not clear up.

I will look into the PSU tester, and the ground. I did however change outlets for my pc set up, on a different circuit as well. Also I invested in an APS unit that should help with any problems with power interruption. But even with all of this, it still shuts down like it the power cord is yanked.

I am now wondering if it Chip related, MOBO related, or Hard Drive issue. My MOBO mat be under warranty as well.

If anyone else can offer guidance I would appreciate it.

I will look into the PSU tester a next step.
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February 22, 2011 11:37:31 PM

T_T said:
Welcome, Newcomer. When diagnosing power problems, it is always best to start with the Power Supply Unit (PSU). It is possible that the PSU has degraded over time. So if you can, test your PSU with a multimeter or try a different PSU.

The next thing I would do is double check the temps in your system. Changing the thermal paste was a good step, but make sure that the heatsink isn't loose.



Replaced PSU and still having an issue. I am almost 100% certain that it is now something inward of the PSU.
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February 22, 2011 11:44:34 PM

mdd1963 said:
PSU is the logical, number one suspect in this case of symptoms.

(Some homes suffer half of a second 'brownouts' when AC turns on, and PSU is unable to handle momentary voltage drop to 90VAC)


It appears not to e the PSU, I just replaced it.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 23, 2011 10:11:04 PM

If it's not the PSU, then the next likely suspect is mobo or CPU. This is where the PSU tester comes in handy. Test the new PSU while it is connected to the mobo and the power is on. If there is anything lower than a 5% variance, then the power to the mobo could be shorting, or you've got another defective PSU.

Also check your CMOS battery. These, like all batteries, degrade over time. I would, if you haven't already, consider replacing this. The battery is a CR2032, and can be purchased just about any store that sells batteries.

The least common failures could be motherboard or CPU. Unfortunately, the only way to test these two components is to swap them.
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