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PC Running Like Dirt after Power Surge...NEW PSU INSTALLED ALREADY

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August 6, 2012 11:03:26 AM

Ok so we had a pretty good monsoon lightning storm while I was out of town. I asked my room mate to unplug my computer if any storms started while I was gone, because I didnt have a surge protector at the time. Needless to say a massive lightning storm rolled through while I was away, and he DID NOT unplug my PC as requested. Instead he sat on star wars watching the lightning outside my window....

Anyways, I downloaded a few hardware monitors to check voltages and what not (I know theyre hardly ever accurate but I was trying to get any ideas as to what I was dealing with here)

Voltages were as follows

3.3v rail was reading 3.02
5v rail was reading 4.38
12v rails was reading 7.25
CPU Core was reading 1.08

I thought those were all a bit low, especially the 12v rail, so I butsted out my electrical tester ( I am an electrician so it was handy ) and they read as follows

3.3v rail was reading 3.091
5v rail was reading 4.46
12v rail was reading 7.58

Now what I dont understand is if the 12v rail was in fact so low, how did my computer boot to begin with?? It started up normal, power cycled fine, shutdown and restarted just fine, except it was running like dirt...Installs took 2-5 minutes to even open the setup, avg scan took hours (normaly takes about 35 minutes), Internet speeds are down to about 1.1 mbps from about 19.5, latency and ping is up to almost 1000ms, any media takes 35+ seconds to open and it almost seems like it rebuffers itself during the song/movie (obviously causing audio/video lag).

So I ordered me a new 700watt ATX 24pin mb 8pin cpu power plant...I recieved it on friday evening and installed it on saturday morning. Everything went smoothly old one came out and the new one slid right back in its place. Powered it up ( not connected to the motherboard or hard drives yet ) and tested all the lines

3.3v rail read 3.290v
5v rail read 5.001v
12v rail read 12.000v

I hooked up all system connections and it booted like a champ, so I hoped into the system bios to check voltages there. It seems that on my particular mb you cannot view them, just adjust them lolz ><. Everything was set to factory default voltages, so I left bios alone and proceeded to windows. After the pre-boot post where the windows splash screen would typically be I got the message " error cannot find bootmgr.exe ". After putzing around with it for a little bit I ended up just reinstalling windows, much easier than fixing installs...or so I thought. Windows install from my SSD took unusually long, it typically only takes me about 35 minutes to reinstall windows where in this case it took over 2 hours.

After that was all said and done and I was back into windows I ran checks on all of my hard drives ( for bad sectors ) checked my ram in windows ( 6GB was registered through windows and in the pre-boot post ) and checked in device manager to see if anything was not being acknowleged by the computer, then installed the hardware monitors again...voltages read as follows ( In WINDOWS, I tested it all with an electrical tester, all voltages are normal on the power supply )

3.3v rail is at 3.18
5v rail is at 4.78
12v rail is at 8.64

Basically after everything I did my pc is still running like crap, especially anything related to the internet or writing data to disks. So I was wondering if anyone out there had any ideas as to whats going on here. Why my voltages are reading so low, for starters. Could this be caused by something that was damaged in the motherboard or processor itself?? Any advice would be great because as of now I am looking at 650+ to build a new I7 system.

And I already bought a Surge Protector/UPS
Anonymous
August 6, 2012 11:50:00 AM

With a surge protector and a ups is impossible to get below 10 Volts in the 12 V trail seens you have digital polimeter check your surge protector output, ups output first check your cable to the pc voltages also if there is a problem in there, Unplag the dvd's from the psu first and see if the problem conitnues...

Run task manager while you are at idle check the processes, see the resources if something is using the ram hard disk any activity while you are idle....

There is always the possiblity the programs you tested not to working right in your motherboard...
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August 6, 2012 12:43:39 PM


It could be the lightening took out more than just your PS. I have had damage to part of a motherboard while most still works. Once lost USB and LAN but nothing else. It booted and ran OK except for those parts.

As you have changed the PS, that is not the problem.

I would suggest taking it into a shop where they can test the major components individually (like CPU, memory, main board etc) and so source the problem.

Btw, surge protectors protect only against surges generated by the running of the electricity's generation and it's distribution. They are not very effective against lightening strikes as they are several orders of magnitude greater and faster (several being the understatement of the year). Unplug in a storm :) 

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Anonymous
August 6, 2012 1:03:09 PM

He didn't had a surge protector or ups at that time unless the thunder drops to your balcony there is no way to harm you with this equipment, this is why we are using them and i never close my pc in thunder storm.

There are surge protectors that covering and the Lightning issue or a simple Lightning rod to the roof you are ok.
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a c 138 à CPUs
August 6, 2012 1:15:51 PM

Slayer0697 said:
Now what I dont understand is if the 12v rail was in fact so low, how did my computer boot to begin with??

If the PSU's under-voltage lock-out worked properly, it should be shutting down the PC somewhere in the neighborhood of 11V so if you really did measure 8-9V on 12V rail using your multimeter while the PC was running "normally", that is indeed puzzling.

Since you mentioned that everything related to IO seems to be hit worse by performance problems, it could be that the power surge fudged up the base-clock generator. Since BCLK is used to generate PCIe, SATA, USB, CPU, etc. clocks, an out-of-spec BCLK could explain all your performance problems.
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a b à CPUs
August 6, 2012 2:20:46 PM

Anonymous said:
He didn't had a surge protector or ups at that time unless the thunder drops to your balcony there is no way to harm you with this equipment, this is why we are using them and i never close my pc in thunder storm.

There are surge protector that covering and the thunder issue or a simple thunder rod to the roof you are ok.


Think you mean "lightning" instead of thunder (which is the sound the lightning makes).

If you're saying what I think you are, remember that in most areas the electric power grid is mostly above-ground, and spread out over a huge area, so it makes for a pretty big strike target. So a bolt hitting the power grid kilometers away can cause surges & spikes in your home or business electric lines, which is why some sort of protection is recommended for any expensive electronic equipment such as TVs or PCs.
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Anonymous
August 6, 2012 2:30:48 PM

fazers_on_stun said:
Think you mean "lightning" instead of thunder (which is the sound the lightning makes).

If you're saying what I think you are, remember that in most areas the electric power grid is mostly above-ground, and spread out over a huge area, so it makes for a pretty big strike target. So a bolt hitting the power grid kilometers away can cause surges & spikes in your home or business electric lines, which is why some sort of protection is recommended for any expensive electronic equipment such as TVs or PCs.


Search the web for how a Sourge Protector EMI/RFI filter works, also how a UPS works and when i wrote thunder i mean thunder. if is close there always a possiblity of EMP wave and nothing can save you.

Don't waste my time like this..
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a c 138 à CPUs
August 6, 2012 2:48:10 PM

zootnerper said:
They are not very effective against lightening strikes as they are several orders of magnitude greater and faster (several being the understatement of the year).

Good surge suppressors can be effective against lightning strikes but there are conditions, the most important one being that the surge suppressor has to provide the one and only power, return and grounding point for all interconnected equipment so that all equipment follows the ground voltage spike together.

As soon as you provide secondary ground/power paths through network cables, phone cable (dial-up/DSL), coax cable (cable-modem), equipment on a different power bar, etc., the surge protection becomes substantially less effective against lightning since the ground voltage spike may exceed the breakdown voltage on some/all of those and jump there.
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a c 138 à CPUs
August 6, 2012 2:53:54 PM

Anonymous said:
if is close there always a possiblity of EMP wave and nothing can save you.

Humm, lol.

Lightning may generate some EMI but nothing that can compare to an actual EMP.

Anonymous said:
Don't waste my time like this..

Humm, re-lol.
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Anonymous
August 6, 2012 3:00:55 PM

You said them your self with an EMI/RFI filter nothing can pass through the cables. With a Lightning rod (fazers_on_stun was right i did the correction) on the roof all the other Possibilities are pointless.

Lamer
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a c 138 à CPUs
August 6, 2012 3:11:51 PM

Anonymous said:
You said them your self with an EMI/RFI nothing can pass thour the cables.

A power surge will definitely pass through cables since cables are made of copper, aluminum, steel, silver, etc. which are all (very) good conductors and the insulator on those is nowhere near sufficient to block the several MV from a lightning strike. What a proper surge suppression setup does is provide a low impedance path from power to ground to ensure that all equipment get brought up/down with the voltage surge together so that voltage/current does not jump from one equipment to another.

Having lightning rods does not necessarily prevent damage since the lightning strike may cause the local ground voltage to rise high enough to cause discharge from local ground to power grid, coax, phone line, etc.
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Anonymous
August 6, 2012 3:14:10 PM

InvalidError said:
A power surge will definitely pass through cables since cables are made of copper, aluminum, steel, silver, etc. which are all (very) good conductors and the insulator on those is nowhere near sufficient to block the several MV from a lightning strike. What a proper surge suppression setup does is provide a low impedance path from power to ground to ensure that all equipment get brought up/down with the voltage surge together so that voltage/current does not jump from one equipment to another.

Having lightning rods does not necessarily prevent damage since the lightning strike may cause the local ground voltage to rise high enough to cause discharge from local ground to power grid, coax, phone line, etc.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_6b6Bk6bM8

The lightning hits the corner only some players had a problem for a while and the match started again. Notice the other players had no idea and continued playing… The grace was green and wet according to your fantasies they can pass from the ground to only you know were….
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a c 138 à CPUs
August 6, 2012 3:24:31 PM


Is there a point to linking this here? The absence of any hint of a lightning flash which should have been blindingly bright at that range and the large dust cloud in the upper-left corner at 0:06 looks more like someone used fireworks than lightning.
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August 6, 2012 3:38:25 PM

Looking at your voltages, I do suspect motherboard damage. Forget for a second how it was damaged, I'm not sure that's even salient at this point.

I see two possibilities--either your power coming from the wall is bad, or something in your PC (probably the motherboard) is really pulling heavy current to the point that it pulls the voltages down. If it's your power from the wall, I wouldn't think the PC would even get enough juice to boot at all, so I'm thinking it's your motherboard.

Please be careful. Somewhere in that system the lost voltage is very likely being translated into heat. There's nothing so bad that a spontaneous fire can't make it worse....
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a c 138 à CPUs
August 6, 2012 3:48:23 PM

seamus_ar said:
or something in your PC (probably the motherboard) is really pulling heavy current to the point that it pulls the voltages down. If it's your power from the wall

The PSU's over-current or under-voltage protection should trip and shut the PSU down long before loads can manage to pull output voltages down that much if the PSU (even a crappy one) is working properly. (Though crappy ones tend to self-destruct in the process.)
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August 6, 2012 7:08:57 PM

Anonymous said:
Search the web for how a Sourge Protector EMI/RFI filter works, also how a UPS works and when i wrote thunder i mean thunder. if is close there always a possiblity of EMP wave and nothing can save you.

Don't waste my time like this..


Since I have a degree in electrical engineering plus design experience working with ESD (electrostatic discharge) protection, it seems like I'm wasting my time arguing with you.

If you're so worried by the thunder, perhaps wear earmuffs during the next storm, eh?

Sayonara.
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August 6, 2012 7:33:04 PM

Looks like your system had a lighting surge.

There are no surge protectors, UPS that really protect you from lightning.

From the sounds of it you will need a new motherboard, PS and more.
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