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MAJOR Problem, Please Help

Last response: in CPUs
August 13, 2003 2:59:02 PM

Ok, here's whats happened.

I was in the middle of playing Warcraft 3, when my computer just conked out.

I attempted to turn it back on, nothing. My NIC leds on the motherboard remained on. I whipped the HSF off my proc. No visible damage or frying.

But my PS has an odd smell coming from it, I could almost say burning but im not sure whether it normally makes that smell or not as I havent smelled my PSU during normal operation before. I don't want to open my PSU yet as I'm not sure whether I still have a warranty on it or not.

Unfortunately its a generic 300W psu, I'm OC'ing, I've recently added a cold cathode to my system, I have my cpu fan, 2 case fans, video card fan, one HDD, and one optical drive.

I believe I might have overloaded it, is there anyway to test it to be sure. Fast response would be most appreciated as I have to go off to work soon.


More about : major problem

August 13, 2003 3:23:11 PM

If you have a multimeter, you can usi it! Turn the PSU on and check if you have 12 Volts and 5 Volts at your power connectors.

A good indication is the PSU fan... If this fan don't work... Your PSU is probably damaged.

And don't be afraid to open the PSU cover. Usually when a PSU is dead, a visual inspectionis sufficient to see what components fried or exploded. Check at the base of components to see for "black burned" spots. And check that all condensators (little "canisters") are intact.

Have fun exploring it!!! :) 

Would you buy a GPS enabled soap bar?
August 13, 2003 3:27:38 PM

There's a sticker covering the opening though, it says warranty void if removed, won't my warranty be voided if I remove this cover? As well, I removed the PSU from my system, could I also test for connectivity using an ohm-meter or ohm function of a multimeter to see if there are any dead connections?
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August 13, 2003 3:36:34 PM

First... If you are still in your WARRANTY period. Get your PSU to your computer dealer, he will test it. If it's dead. They will replace it for free! If you replace your PSU, don't forget to get a 350 Watts PSU of quality. YOu may have to pay the difference, but this will ensure PC stability and PSU durability.

If your warranty period have expired. Don't be afraid to open your PSU.

For the OhmMeter... Humm... They are good when you know what resistance you expect between the mesurements points. A long time ago (6 years) I graduated in electronics. I used a lot my OhmMeter fonction on my MultiMeter, but I always had circuits diagram and I knew what to expect from my mesurements... So, without circuits diagrams, it's harder to know if you see on the Meter is good or not. usually, when you have resistance that tends to inifinity (high resistance), you have an open circuit, so no electricy is goind from A to B. And on the other hand, when resistance tend to 0, you have a short-circuit or a direct connection. So ALL the current (electricity) will pass from point A to B.

Would you buy a GPS enabled soap bar?
August 13, 2003 3:42:52 PM

I will have to hook up the PSU to the motherboard in order to test it correct? It will most likely wreck it if it isn't already if I don't have something drawing from it? I'm just wondering if this can do damage or not to other components of my PC
August 13, 2003 3:49:34 PM

PSU can kill other components. But, usually when a PSU dies an "open circuit" is "created". So no current can reach the motherboard or components. But what might happen is some "spikes" or "short-circuit" condition he se situation can kill weak component or even good component if these spikes are too big.

I must admit that I have a couple of PSU dying in friend's PC and they never lost other components. Maybe, they were lucky!

Would you buy a GPS enabled soap bar?
August 13, 2003 6:41:36 PM

Fried my 350w PSU last weekend and all my other components were still intact, same thing happened to a friend of mine around half a year ago. so lucky lucky :D 


August 14, 2003 12:56:55 AM

Only problem, is is that i'm gonna have to determine if it IS the power supply that is fried. Hopefully it is, although on first glance inside my PSU (warranty is definately gone now :lol:  ) I don't see anything, but i'm gonna have a go with the multimeter and see what I can find.
August 14, 2003 1:22:35 AM

Well I took a peek at the underside of the PCB of the power supply and there seems to be a part where there's some brownish stuff on the board and solder connections, i'm not sure whether it's some form of oxidation (from burning) or just flux, although it's odd that it's only in the one part of the PCB, and not anywhere else.

Any suggestions on what I could be looking for... also, if I wanted to test the voltage on the PSU i would have to plug it in, but I was wondering if this could damage it (if it's not damaged already) by not putting any loads on it.

August 14, 2003 1:28:31 AM

My toroid coils look fine, but from the pictures it's a bit hard to tell how to know if your caps are bad? Is there a particular visible sign which shows you?
August 14, 2003 1:53:24 AM

Leaks and expansion. If you see them domed you might expect problems. Cracks they're gone.

Also look carefully for brown dialectric fluid on the Mobo.

Take a look at the pictures read a little more about it.

The loving are the daring!
August 14, 2003 2:04:10 AM

OK, I looked up some more on caps and I don't appear to have that problem. I was wondering what's the best way to test the PSU, one way I read was to connecct the green PS_ON line to a ground line and then turn the PS switch at the back of the unit on and see if it comes on, is this a good approach?
August 14, 2003 2:11:00 AM

Oh and one more thing, what wattage do your recommend I use for my system, since buying a new PSU is most likely in line now.

System Power Draws:

AMD 1700+ XP 1467 MHz @ 1667 MHz
Geforce 2 MX 200/133 @ 250/194
1 80mm Thermaltake 75 CFM Smart Fan II
2 80mm Thermaltake 35 CFM Case Fans
1 40mm Sunon 7.5 CFM fan for GPU
Maxtor 60 GB HDD
LG DVD/CD-RW Combo Drive
One Blue CCFL Sound Sensitive Unit

I was aiming towards a 350 watter, most likely an Enermax PSU.
August 14, 2003 2:50:12 AM

Nothing like the smell of fried Psu.
August 14, 2003 2:50:52 AM

Mine fried. Time to buy better Psu.
August 14, 2003 2:53:13 AM

Well, I did the green wire test... nothing...

I'm pretty sure it's fried, oh well, off to the shop to buy a new one tomorrow :smile:

Well, hopefully none of my other components are done-in, and all will end happily.
August 14, 2003 2:55:52 AM

Why not order from New Egg?
August 14, 2003 2:58:20 AM

Well, I live in Canada, and Bigfoot computers is about a 5 min bike ride from my house, half an hour is a bit better to get something than 2 days :smile:
August 14, 2003 3:01:14 AM

As long as the price is right.
August 14, 2003 1:03:28 PM

Allied is cheap and dependalbe. Enermax and Antec are considered to be top notch. Click the link on my last post.

Get your own sig!!! :tongue:
August 14, 2003 1:41:30 PM

Okay, I know this isn't helpful, but I couldn't resist...

<b><font color=red>*** WARNING! BAD PUN TO FOLLOW! ***</b></font color=red>

It may sound strange, but the best way to deal with Major Problem is to promote him. He gets easier to handle as he climbs the ranks.

For example, promote him to Colonel (Kernel) Problem and your PC will start booting up again. It might be unstable everyone once in a while or act a little flakey, but that's a big improvement from not working at all.

Promote him a step after than and he's only General Problem then. That makes him very easy to handle. He could be as simple as an IRQ conflict or a loose cable then.

<b><font color=red>*** BAD PUN OVER. ***</b></font color=red>

<font color=purple><pre><A HREF="" target="_new">Winamp<b><font color=blue>3</font color=blue></b></A> and freeform skins, the best thing since sliced llama loaf. (Now with more beef.)</pre><p></font color=purple>
August 14, 2003 4:14:34 PM

aaaaiieee!! not the <b>bad pun stun gun</b>!!

*Falls over in agonising pain*

The end is nigh.. (For this post at least) :smile:
August 14, 2003 5:09:27 PM

You have officially killed this thread...

Get your own sig!!! :tongue:
August 15, 2003 2:46:29 AM

Must be a slow day for you.