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Component(s) starting to fail?

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January 13, 2013 10:59:25 PM

Hello, I am having a few problems and I'm thinking they're all stemming from one area. I suspect it is the power supply, but would like to know if that is the case, if it could be something else, or if it is more than one part.

This problem started today, I was on the computer this morning at around 6 AM. I was on the computer for around an hour and everything was fine, as far as I could tell. Fast forward to 4PM and I start noticing some problems. I'm on the computer and I hear a power down noise from the case. This has never happened before and I was wondering which component it was. It happened again around two minutes later so I decide to turn off the computer, open the case and see what it is. I restart the computer after everything is set and it does it again after 20 minutes. I'm pretty sure it's the hard drive I have, as it wasn't the solid state drive and all the fans were still fine. So I disconnect the drive and was planning to use an external adapter on it, but I remember that I did not have it on hand so I could not try. I'm 95% sure this was the hard drive though. I then went to dinner with the computer off and just turned it back on. I was using it for around 5 minutes and my screen turned a complete washed-out yellow color. I waited around a minute and Windows says that the computer recovered from an error.. I decide to turn it off again and check the voltages in the bios. I'm not that spot on with knowing how stuff works, but I saw that the listing for the 5V was running at 4.2-4.5 and was in red. The other values were all lower than they should have been, the 12v, and the other two that I can't remember, they weren't red though. They were fluctuating a few tens of a number though, which I don't think it should do if it were fine.

I have now had the yellow screen four times, twice it was able to recover, twice it was not. I also just recently had a pinkish/purple screen that recovered and noted that windows encountered a serious error when it booted. I also tried to do a system restore to yesterday night when everything worked, and it did not work.

Any ideas, requests for further information or provision of logs and such?

Thanks if anyone could help, I think it is the power supply and hopefully not my video card. They both should be under warranty and this power supply is some junk one that came with the build, I don't have much trust in it. All parts aside from video card have been running fine for 4 months. The video card is around 2 months old.
a b ) Power supply
January 13, 2013 11:08:10 PM

You could use a DVM to check the PSU voltages (a scope would be better, but few people have access to those). If you already know it's a crappy PSU, then why not replace it before it causes damage to components that no longer are under warranty?
January 13, 2013 11:17:01 PM

It had not caused any trouble prior to this, and it was fine for my usage. I am hopefully going to go to a local store around here to see if I can find a decent power supply tomorrow. I am not sure on which to buy, as I do not have much money currently to pick one up. I was hoping perhaps for an affirmation that it is most likely the power supply? If anyone knows of a good power supply on Tigerdirect.com compared to my current one that is under 50 dollars, then it would be awesome if you could point me in the right direction to one.

My current junky power supply with only two sata connectors..

I was just looking at this one. It's by the same company but is sleeved and has more sata connectors and looks more reliable. Would it be fine?
Related resources
January 13, 2013 11:31:23 PM

I don't have a spare. I am not sure if they would require me to send it back, they most likely would and I would be out of a computer for quite a while then?
a b ) Power supply
January 14, 2013 12:06:38 AM

Get a new power supply that is a Seasonic, Corsair, or Antec.

Ultra is trying to repair their image with lifetime warranties but until they get it right stick with one of those 3.

Where are you at? Newegg would ship you one and you would have it in a few days.

Remember the power supply failing could ruin anything it is attached to.
January 14, 2013 12:15:35 AM

I am located near Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. I also noticed something else as well. Normally when I go to bed I shut the computer down normally and then unplug the cable just encase something goes wrong with the house electricity or a storm. Normally when I unplug it, my Asus MB has a 'chirp' once the green activity light from the motherboard goes off, meaning it has no power. I tried it just now once the computer was off and it did this noise in quick succession, like 8 times. Whenever the cord is plugged in for more than 5 minutes and then unplugged it now does it two-three times before it's off? Is the PS ruining the MB, is the motherboard the cause of all of this.. Or something else?
a b ) Power supply
January 14, 2013 12:22:14 AM

That is a bad practice. By unplugging the machine you are taking away the ground of the machine. When you pull the plug you can cause a spark of electricity (spike) that has nowhere to go. Buy an UPS instead.

Your mb may have a battery backup (watch looking battery) that needs to be replaced.
January 14, 2013 12:28:10 AM

Do you think it has anything to do with the current problem I am having? It did not happen this morning or last night when I unplugged the machine. I am not sure about what 'watch looking battery' means, but when I did unplug the machine and it did those eight chirp noises instead of one, the next time I booted up the machine the BIOS were reset. It asked me to set the date and time and settings and such. Do you think there is something wrong the motherboard now, along with the power supply?
a b ) Power supply
January 14, 2013 12:28:21 AM

^+1.
January 14, 2013 12:34:03 AM

GhislainG said:
^+1.


You are +1'ing it because you believe that to be the case on one of the points I mentioned, or that it is a possibility? I am not sure on which point you are referring to.
a b ) Power supply
January 14, 2013 12:38:15 AM

If you have never had to set the time and date before then it is what I said in my previous post. The "watch looking battery" I am referring to is a small silver disc about the size of a dime. I should have said looks like a watch battery. It should be on the motherboard in a small holder. Remove the battery and buy a replacement.

Stop unplugging at night.
January 14, 2013 12:56:13 AM

I've replaced the BIOS battery. I am having doubts this would cause the hard drive problem and the yellow and pink monitor crash screens during usage, is that correct to assume? You have now helped me with diagnosing that there is indeed a problem with the power supply most likely. Do you think there is any damage to the motherboard? I am not sure if I would be able to purchase an item off Newegg and then have to wait quite a while.

You guys do not believe purchasing a 650 or 750 supply from Ultra would be wise, what is the problem as you mentioned they are trying to 'repait their image'? My old computer has a 300 watt Hipro power supply and it has been fine for 10 years, and I've never heard of Hipro.

Edit: I had to check once more if the motherboard still did the excessive chirping when unplugging it and it still does; is it damaged? If I were to get a replacement, then I would not unplug it in the manner you mentioned, but I would like to know if this one poses a risk to the system?
a b ) Power supply
January 14, 2013 1:04:21 AM

Well, the 5 volt DOES seem low. Checking with a multi meter is a good idea for sure.
5 and 12 volts can be tested from any molex(LP4) connector.


That power supply is only about as good as an average 400-450 watt unit as well(It is all about the 12 volt current on modern power supplies and you have 384 watt @ 12 volts).

While not a GREAT power supply, if it can keep the voltage in spec at its labeled wattage, it should run a mid end system fine.

This is always a step by step process

As for the CR2032 battery. It will not cause your main problem, but if it is dead or low it WILL cause the bios settings loss when you unplug over night. When you are plugged in that battery gets very little use on most boards.

I do not think harm comes from unplugging a powered down computer at night. Many smart power strips can be set to do this as well(by load or time). It is harder on the CR2032 batter and may take a bit more power to start from FULLY off. Some users do this to reduce the phantom power of the system(2-10 watts when OFF on many systems).

This spark you may see would just be power trying to jump. It is not actually a spike in any way(most switches can spark when connecting or disconnecting a load), if anything it would cause a DROP in power because power at this voltage does not flow though air very well.

Your pulling the plug noise is most likely just power discharging(the delay is about as long as the caps in the power system can hold power for under the stand-by load of the MB).

If you have onboard video and are not using it, I would try to pull the video card to reduce the power supply load and see if things are any better.

If you can test the video card in a friends system it would go along way to proving if it is the problem or not.

Can you list FULL system specs please.

EDIT.

Ohh and many GREEN hard drives may park the heads(clunk), but very few power right down(laptop drives on the other hand DO power right down, but with very little noise).
January 14, 2013 1:14:13 AM

Tried to boot up the computer again and it has gotten worse, I'm not even sure what it would mean for the problems it is exhibiting. It goes to the desktop, my wireless module does not display a signal in the taskbar, and a few seconds later it tells me windows explorer continually crashes. I tried to see if Chrome would load despite this, and it did connect to the internet and load some pages despite it not showing a signal. I'm rather scared now as to what the problem would be?

Here are my specs:

Hard Drives: 1. Runcore 120GB SSD
2. 200 GB SATA Western Digital Caviar. It's old.

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition AM3
MB: ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS 760G Socket AM3+ Motherboard
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master V6 GT Multi-Socket CPU Cooler
RAM: Corsair XMS3 8GB PC10666 DDR3 1333MHz
Graphics Card: EVGA GTX 550 1GB Factory OC'd
Power Supply: ULTRA LS600 600W ATX POWER SUPPLY
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 Mid-Tower Computer
Monitor: Upstar 24 inch LED TV/Monitor
OS: Windows 7 64 Bit Ultimate(I believe, or Home Premium)

I can't really get into the computer now to get an extensive listing, as per the problem mentioned above. I don't have a volt reader or any type of electricity meter, but I could see about borrowing one from a local shop. If there are any other specs needed that I did not include, please mention it. Thanks.

Edit: I only have the SSD And HDD in the system, no green drives. The HDD was the one powering down, as I remembered the noise from having used it with an adapter and when unplugging it, it spins down with the same noise.

The MB has never done the chirping noise more than once as I mentioned. I am fearful that there is something extremely wrong with the computer?
a b ) Power supply
January 14, 2013 1:30:09 AM

The BIOS battery is not the cause of your problem. I would believe you need a new power supply like I previously said. You already know the 5V rail is not in specs.

The image that Ultra is trying to repair (I would guess they are trying to repair based on lifetime warranties) is that they make crap power supplies. I have read some reviews lately that their supplies are getting better. That being said I would stick with Seasonic Corsair or Antec until their name is fit to be mentioned with the rest of the good supply companies.
January 14, 2013 1:38:43 AM

Why does it seem like everything is messing up now? I'm pretty scared that even the SSD is having trouble with just the OS having errors? Would the power supply or MB even be able to cause errors such as that?
a b ) Power supply
January 14, 2013 1:43:26 AM

The power supply can mess up everything it touches. About the only thing it can't ruin is the CD/DVD media in your player. Get a new power supply and see if it works or not. bad supplies can make it seem like the whole machine is screwing up. Most of the time people assume it is a software problem until something fails.
January 14, 2013 1:49:11 AM

It could also cause the hard drive to display errors and just having it crash and have problems with explorer.exe? I think perhaps I'll pick up the Ultra 750 watt power supply tomorrow to test it with the problems. I will return it if everything seems fine, or if it has a problem. I would like to test it now though, and buying from Newegg would require me to wait 4-7 days with the normal shipping. I don't even think the power supply would do that to the motherboard with it chirping after being unplugged, since the power is already disconencted from it?
a b ) Power supply
January 14, 2013 1:55:05 AM

Sly34me said:
You are +1'ing it because you believe that to be the case on one of the points I mentioned, or that it is a possibility? I am not sure on which point you are referring to.

I was referring to jnkweaver comment about unplugging, but you replied just before I did. Sorry for the confusion.
a b ) Power supply
January 14, 2013 2:00:12 AM

Sly34me said:
It could also cause the hard drive to display errors and just having it crash and have problems with explorer.exe? I think perhaps I'll pick up the Ultra 750 watt power supply tomorrow to test it with the problems. I will return it if everything seems fine, or if it has a problem. I would like to test it now though, and buying from Newegg would require me to wait 4-7 days with the normal shipping. I don't even think the power supply would do that to the motherboard with it chirping after being unplugged, since the power is already disconencted from it?

The PSU provides 5v standby power to the motherboard. Trying another PSU is a good move.
January 14, 2013 2:06:44 AM

The only other powersupply is the 300 watt one I mentioned before, and it lacks the wattage, peripheral and sata cables for me to feel comfortable trying to use it. I really don't know if a lack of power would cause the motherboard to act differently after being unplugged though? I don't know if that would cause the errors with the SSD Windows either..? Any help, insight, or encouragment on this? I'm afraid even if I were to buy a new PSU, I would have a lot of other stuff wrong?
a b ) Power supply
January 14, 2013 2:08:28 AM

We can't give you any guarantees. Your failing powersupply could have damaged other components. You won't know until you get a good one in there.
January 14, 2013 2:20:48 AM

That's rather saddening. I'll be buying the new PSU in around 10 hours, so I'll post in the thread in around 12 hours.
a b ) Power supply
January 14, 2013 4:20:42 AM

If the 5 volt line is low and you have an SSD. its even worse because that is what they run on.
January 14, 2013 4:26:07 AM

I am hopefully going to go to a local store around here to see if I can find a decent power supply tomorrow.
January 14, 2013 4:38:42 AM

nukemaster said:
If the 5 volt line is low and you have an SSD. its even worse because that is what they run on.


That would be the case as I am using an SSD as my main OS drive. Do you think the fact of the 5V rail running at only 4.2V or lower would cause it to spew errors, and perhaps along with the yellow and pink screens?

Thanks for the help, hopefully it will be fine with a new power supply. :) 
a b ) Power supply
January 14, 2013 4:31:24 PM

The video card runs off the 12 volt lines and should have less effect, But most SSD's list 5v +/- 5% so ~4.75v - 5.25v. Laptop hard drives also run off the 5v rail as well as ALL usb devices that are bus powered.

Do you have a chance to test with the onboard video by any chance? Your board seems to have VGA out. If you can test the card on another system, its a good idea too.
January 14, 2013 10:39:15 PM

Sorry about responding a bit late, got caught up in a few things.

I replaced the power supply and everything seems to be working perfectly. The first boot still had the 'explorer has stopped responding' problem, but after I used system restore everything was fine. Thanks for everyones help.
a b ) Power supply
January 14, 2013 10:55:00 PM

Well lets hope this is the last time you have to worry about this.
!