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Bad Power Supply??

Last response: in Components
October 15, 2011 11:04:10 PM

I ran into a dilemma and I don't have a multimeter tester or anything to actually test what the issue might be. Have an old computer that I plugged a Thermaltake 750W power supply into. Well the old power supply works fine, but is just under powered for future plans. The new Power Supply does not seem to be powering up anything on the motherboard EXCEPT the CPU Fan and Back fan and Video Card, all the fans are going crazy fast. No other lights come on and it doesn't seem like the hard drive is being powered up. Also there is no POST beep. I want to think the voltage is jacked up on it as the other PSU works.

Any thoughts?

More about : bad power supply

October 15, 2011 11:33:17 PM

What model are the PSU and MB?
a c 274 ) Power supply
October 16, 2011 2:23:24 AM

More info is required like full system specs.
Related resources
October 16, 2011 3:14:26 AM


PSU: Thermaltake TR2 RX 750W Bronze (the new PSU)
MOBO: Acer H57H AM2
CPU: 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 860
RAM: 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM (Sorry doesn't have brand name on stick)
Video Card: 1GB ATI Radeon HD 5770
a c 274 ) Power supply
October 16, 2011 3:34:23 AM

Check the capacitors on that mobo = they're cheap non-solid caps.
I would suspect you have faulty ones.
If the tops are bulged or split they're faulty.
They should be flat.
If thats the problem, which i suspect it is, i wouldn't have the mobo repaired.
Cheaper to buy a new one.
a c 144 ) Power supply
October 16, 2011 3:47:29 AM

It may be either the motherboard or the PSU. TR2's are not the most reliable PSU's around.

$20 will buy you a good enough multimeter that will come in handy for all sorts of stuff.

Once you get (or borrow) a multimeter, you can breadboard the system and test it in stages.

The following is an expansion of my troubleshooting tips in the breadboarding link in the "Cannot boot" thread.

I have tested the following beep patterns on Gigabyte, eVGA, and ECS motherboards. Other BIOS' may be different, but they all use a single short beep for a successful POST.

Breadboard - that will help isolate any kind of case problem you might have.

Breadboard with just motherboard, CPU & HSF, case speaker, and PSU.

Make sure you plug the CPU power cable in. The system will not boot without it.

I always breadboard a new build. It takes only a few minutes, and you know you are putting good parts in the case once you are finished.

You can turn on the PC by momentarily shorting the two pins that the case power switch goes to. You should hear a series of long, single beeps indicating memory problems. Silence indicates a problem with (in most likely order) the PSU, motherboard, or CPU. Remember, at this time, you do not have a graphics card installed so the load on your PSU will be reduced.

If no beeps:
Running fans and drives and motherboard LED's do not necessarily indicate a good PSU. In the absence of a single short beep, they also do not indicate that the system is booting.

At this point, you can sort of check the PSU. Try to borrow a known good PSU of around 550 - 600 watts. That will power just about any system with a single GPU. If you cannot do that, use a DMM to measure the voltages. Measure between the colored wires and either chassis ground or the black wires. Yellow wires should be 12 volts. Red wires: +5 volts, orange wires: +3.3 volts, blue wire : -12 volts, violet wire (standby power supply): 5 volts always on. The green wire should also have 5 volts on it. It should go to 0 volts when you press the case power button, then back to 5 volts when you release the case power switch. Tolerances are +/- 5% except for the -12 volts which is +/- 10%.

The gray wire is really important. It should go from 0 to +5 volts when you turn the PSU on with the case switch. CPU needs this signal to boot.

You can turn on the PSU by completely disconnecting the PSU and using a paperclip or jumper wire to short the green wire to one of the neighboring black wires.

A way that might be easier is to use the main power plug. Working from the back of the plug where the wires come out, use a bare paperclip to short between the green wire and one of the neighboring black wires. That will do the same thing with an installed PSU. It is also an easy way to bypass a questionable case power switch.

This checks the PSU under no load conditions, so it is not completely reliable. But if it can not pass this, it is dead. Then repeat the checks with the PSU plugged into the computer to put a load on the PSU.

If the system beeps:
If it looks like the PSU is good, install a memory stick. Boot. Beep pattern should change to one long and several short beeps indicating a missing graphics card.

Silence, long single beeps, or series of short beeps indicate a problem with the memory. If you get short beeps verify that the memory is in the appropriate motherboard slots.

Insert the video card and connect any necessary PCIe power connectors. Boot. At this point, the system should POST successfully (a single short beep). Notice that you do not need keyboard, mouse, monitor, or drives to successfully POST.
At this point, if the system doesn't work, it's either the video card or an inadequate PSU. Or rarely - the motherboard's PCIe interface.

Now start connecting the rest of the devices starting with the monitor, then keyboard and mouse, then the rest of the devices, testing after each step. It's possible that you can pass the POST with a defective video card. The POST routines can only check the video interface. It cannot check the internal parts of the video card.