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Is my PSU the Problem?

Last response: in Components
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August 9, 2011 4:39:32 PM

I wanted to know if people think my PSU is the problem before I go out and buy one. I suspect that it is, but I'm seeking another opinion first.

First off, I had feared my PSU might be going for a couple of weeks. I've had the same one since 2006, and it's only 300 W. I don't do a ton of high-end stuff on the CPU, but enough for your average wear and tear. The first symptom was my PCI-e graphics card stopped working one day. I ordered a new one, but that didn't work either. A lower power PCI graphics card worked, so I thought maybe my PCI-e slot went bad. I ordered a PCI graphics card that required 300 W, but that did not work.

I've had my lower-powered card in the past couple of weeks, but yesterday the CPU would not boot. Here's what happened:

-Computer froze while using it, turned off computer.
-Turned on computer, and I can hear fans blowing REALLY loud non-stop, like VRRRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOMMMMMM. It doesn't stop, the monitor doesn't come on, and I don't see the orange light on the front of my computer blink like it always does when things start up.
-The DVD drive does have some power to it but has trouble opening sometimes.
-The keyboard never shows signs of lighting up upon turning on.

Another weird thing is that when I unplug the power cable itself from the back of the PSU and plug it back in, the computer acts as though I've pressed the power button on the front of the computer (and I hear the VROOOOOM sound, but with no boot). The PSU never came on in the past when I plugged the power cord in. The green light on the back of the PSU is steadily on when plugged in; no blinking or anything.

I'm familiar with all the typical PC checks. I've took out all my cards. I've reseated the RAM. I've cleared the CMOS. I've held the power button to discharge. I've connected and reconnected every cable in the machine. I tried turning on the computer with no RAM, but there are no beeps -- it's as though the PSU never gets to that point (hoping the MoBo didn't die).

Any help is appreciated! Thanks! :hello: 

More about : psu problem

a c 1203 ) Power supply
a c 564 U Graphics card
August 9, 2011 6:08:38 PM

What is the make and model of the PC? Is it a pre-built consumer unit like an Acer, Dell, Gateway, HP, etc.?

At least provide the make and model number of the power supply unit (i.e. it can be found on the label affixed to the power supply) and graphics card.
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August 9, 2011 6:21:37 PM

Sounds like an OS error to me. But the system shutting down might be a symptom of psu failure O.o The slow opening dvd drive might be clogged with dust. Mine does that some times when there dust in there. Dust your comp to, it can never hurt :) 


The fan thing is wierd. It also maybe failing driver's. How old is your system m8 ? Or is the whole thing from 2006. 300 watts is low so im assuming it's an oem ? If so name your system specs such as the motherboard, the cpu and as mentioned aboved the graphics card.


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a b ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
August 9, 2011 7:00:42 PM

If my power supply was nearly 6 years old, I would replace it for the hell of it and not have to wonder if it's causing all my headaches or not. Besides, I like to keep a spare anyways.

Likely it's the psu, just get another one, one that has a decent quality and enough extra power for a future upgrade, if it's that old, likely other things are/will be failing too.
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August 9, 2011 7:27:33 PM

It could also be the motherboard. All the problems with a PSU that I've personally had, the computer just shuts down (no blue screen even) not just freezes. Plus even if the power supply is shot, id think it'd atleast try to boot...
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a b ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
August 9, 2011 10:18:54 PM

It could be anything. I'm saying the most likely and easiest and cheapest thing to try is power supply.
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August 9, 2011 10:47:10 PM

yea mine failed a couple of yhears ago....took the whole system down with it the dirty basterd
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a c 147 ) Power supply
a c 276 U Graphics card
August 10, 2011 12:20:54 AM

trolling troll said:
Sounds like an OS error to me. But the system shutting down might be a symptom of psu failure O.o The slow opening dvd drive might be clogged with dust. Mine does that some times when there dust in there. Dust your comp to, it can never hurt :) 


The fan thing is wierd. It also maybe failing driver's. How old is your system m8 ? Or is the whole thing from 2006. 300 watts is low so im assuming it's an oem ? If so name your system specs such as the motherboard, the cpu and as mentioned aboved the graphics card.


If you can't boot to bios, it is not software or the OS.

I would also suspect the psu. I would replace it regardless, and look at it as an opportunity to justify a properly sized unit that can handle stronger graphics cards.

You can buy a basic psu tester for $15-$20 that will verify basic functionality. A local shop might even do that test for you.

I really think that the motherboard may have been damaged. Who knows why, perhaps a faulty psu.
The fact that there is power to various devices indicates that the psu is not entirely shot.
The fact that a lower powered graphics card worked for a while is an indicator of a deteriorating psu.
Older, lower quality psu's can and will lose their effectiveness over time.
If you get a new psu, get a quality brand.
My short list would include PC P&C, Seasonic, Antec Corsair, and XFX to name a few.

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August 10, 2011 12:34:53 AM

I had an os problem where it wouldnt boot to bios ? I did every test i could. I cleaned out the hard drive of any junk. Swaped my mobo cpu gpu psu and the ram. Nothing worked, but then I reinstalled my os and it worked again lol ?
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a c 147 ) Power supply
a c 276 U Graphics card
August 10, 2011 1:05:00 AM

trolling troll said:
I had an os problem where it wouldnt boot to bios ? I did every test i could. I cleaned out the hard drive of any junk. Swaped my mobo cpu gpu psu and the ram. Nothing worked, but then I reinstalled my os and it worked again lol ?


You had a software problem, not a hardware problem.
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August 10, 2011 3:10:13 PM

My whole system is from 2006, bought from Best Buy in the store. Here is the link to the original specs:

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00...

Motherboard is a A8M2N-LA, NodusM-GL8E. My power supply was ATX-300-12ZCDR. I just got my hands on a 450 Watt power supply by Antec, but it did not help (still a necessary investment for if things do come back to life anyway).

I know people in the past had issues with the camera bay reader. Unhooked, but no help. I need to try unhooking the front USB panel still. Regardless, there is a little LED that usually blinks orange under my power button, I assume it's the HDD light. It does not blink or light up whatsoever when the PC turns on and fans are blowing.

Not sure if this matters, but the fan on the graphics card still blows. Nothing appears on the screen (tried several graphics cards); can't get to BIOS. Just loud fans.

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a c 147 ) Power supply
a c 276 U Graphics card
August 10, 2011 3:24:44 PM

At this point, consider replacing everything. Your system is obsolete, and I would not pour more money into it.

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August 10, 2011 3:42:17 PM

I'm about 90% sure its your motherboard. Your PSU may have fried it while it was going out. I've heard of that happening. I hate to say it, but its probably time to replace the whole system. rather than pour money into one that is that old
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August 10, 2011 3:47:57 PM

Let's say hypothetically, the motherboard got fried. Would the processor be fried along with it? If I did decide to buy an identical motherboard, could I just swap the processor (with careful installation / thermal paste, of course)?
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a c 147 ) Power supply
a c 276 U Graphics card
August 10, 2011 4:04:13 PM

ChrisPokorny said:
Let's say hypothetically, the motherboard got fried. Would the processor be fried along with it? If I did decide to buy an identical motherboard, could I just swap the processor (with careful installation / thermal paste, of course)?


Yes, you could.

It is unlikely that the cpu was damaged, but you have no way to be certain.

But consider that the cheapest sandy bridge cpu @$78, H61 motherboard $50. 4gb of ddr3 ram$25 would cost total of $153.

The G620 has a passmark number of 2495, twice what your current cpu has of 1194.
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August 15, 2011 2:32:32 AM

I decided to play around with my CPU a little bit more, but to no avail. I tried another hard drive, but it made no difference. I did notice that the keyboard lights all go green for a half second as the power goes on, indicating it is receiving some power from the motherboard. It is not recognizable after that.

I tried re-seating the CPU (I applied thermal paste too), but nothing happened still. I then read somewhere on the Internet that even if the motherboard is bad, the processor should start getting really hot if you put your finger on it as soon as it is plugged in. I decided to try this out, and it was still cold to the touch in the 5 seconds I tried the experiment.

Does anyone know if this means my processor could be bad, as opposed to the motherboard being bad?
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August 24, 2011 1:22:04 AM

I think your system would still post with a shot cpu. could be wrong there though
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