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ATX power supplies keep blowing

 
 
le ténébreux
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      15th Oct 2003
larrymoencurly wrote:

> Does your Codegen look anything like this one?
>
> http://www.mikhailtech.com/articles/...egen350-07.jpg


That's it. Almost. Except this one DOES have a capacitor in
the space next to the donut. A big yellow rectangular one -
" .33µF K MPX-X2 GPF 250V~ 275V~ " There's another
one like it (but smaller) in that rectangular space just behind the
heatsink.

The thermistor is also there - MF71 SD-11 and also a resistor
between that and the capacitor. In fact, I can see a few other
resistors and capacitors in that area that are missing from that
picture. Very very naughty.

But interesting.


 
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Trent©
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      15th Oct 2003
On Wed, 15 Oct 2003 00:45:37 +1000, "le ténébreux"
<prince.d'(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Hi all,
>
>I'm having a bit of a problem and hoping someone here
>can at least give me a clue about what might be going on.
>About 3 weeks ago my PC (ASUS P4SE mainboard,
>Celeron 1.8GHz) suddenly started spitting out ATX power
>supplies for no apparent reason. I've gone through four
>power supplies since then, now onto my fifth.


What did you do differently 3 weeks ago? New system?...new
mainboard?...changed some configuration?

>The power supplies don't go completely dead, they still
>supply some power to the mainboard and USB devices,
>but nothing else.


Can you elaborate? What kind of power to the mainboard? Are you
booting into the hard drive?...into an operating system?

> No fan, no CPU. It's like they suddenly
>go into permanent "standby" mode and never work again.
>Put a new one in, and everything is fine. For about a week.


Does this happen immediately when the machine boots?...or when its
been running for awhile. Maybe it IS going into standby? Did you try
resetting/shorting the BIOS?

>Can anyone shed some light on what might be happening
>here? Would I be right in thinking that it's not the fuse
>blowing, otherwise it would be completely dead?


Correct. Did you check your BIOS settings?...to make sure you don't
have the machine going into standby? It VERY unlikely that you'd get
4 power supplies that would exhibit the same symptoms...no matter HOW
inexpensive the supplies are.

>And
>is it likely to be a problem with the electricity supply to my
>house, or could it be caused by something in the PC itself?


Very unlikely.

You never mentioned your operating system. It almost sounds like its
kicking into power-saver mode...especially if it happens after the
machine has been on for awhile.

Good luck...let us know.


Have a nice week...

Trent

Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity!
 
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Trent©
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      15th Oct 2003
On Wed, 15 Oct 2003 11:20:58 +1000, "le ténébreux"
<prince.d'(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>kony wrote:
>
>> This is where your problem is, you keep using junk power supplies.
>> After you'd (told them?) why you needed a power supply, they should've
>> recommended something suitable, but instead your components were
>> risked so they could make an extra $. Luckily the system is working
>> still.

>
>It's good to know I at least got something a bit better this time.
>
>Seriously, up until the past few days I had no idea these things
>could vary that much in quality,


They do vary in quality. But even the inexpensive ones are very
good...and usually come with many seals of approval...marked right on
the ps.

>or that they could break so easily.


They DON'T break that easily...and definitely not 4 in a row. You
have a particular problem...that is not the problem of the power
supply.

>When you ask PC hardware suppliers here about these things,
>they tend to dodge the question by looking at you like you're
>mentally retarded and asking you what essential safety equipment
>you have installed.


That's because your problem is unique...and unusual.

>I'll be a bit more careful in future about letting these guys tell me
>what I want.


Millions of inexpensive power supplies are sold each year. Few have
problems.


Have a nice week...

Trent

Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity!

 
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le ténébreux
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      15th Oct 2003
Trent© wrote:

> What did you do differently 3 weeks ago? New system?...new
> mainboard?...changed some configuration?


Nothing different at that time. I put it together about
3 or 4 months ago -

NEW -
* case
* mainboard (ASUS P4SE)
* power supply (CODEGEN 350W)
* CPU (Celeron 1.8GHz)
* RAM (3 × 256MB)

OLD (but all working fine) -
* keyboard, mouse, monitor, various USB devices, etc
* hard drive 20GB IBM Deskstar
* CD-RW drive
* floppy disk drive
* PCI - Soundblaster Live!
* PCI - Banshee video card
* PCI - TV tuner card

That's it. It's not a complicated setup, there is nothing weird
connected to it, nothing is overclocked or tampered with.
I've kept the original hardware settings in the BIOS (aside
from things like bootup sequence and HD configuration)
and haven't touched any jumpers on the mainboard that
I shouldn't. None of the devices misbehave in any way
before or after these "failures" (if that's what they are).

> Can you elaborate? What kind of power to the mainboard?


The mainboard has an LED on it that indicates when the
power is connected (even when turned off). This always
lights up, even with a "faulty" unit. So I know there is
current getting through. And I also have an optical mouse
which remains lit when this happens.


> Are you booting into the hard drive?...into an operating system?


It boots into a partition manager which activates either
Windows XP or Windows 98.


> Does this happen immediately when the machine boots?...
> or when its been running for awhile.


It has done this when the machine had been running for
several days, it has done it five seconds after being switched
on. It has done it in both versions of Windows, and it
has done it at the boot manager before any operating system
has been loaded at all. It has happened at all times of night
and day, in hot, cool, humid and dry weather. It has
happened twice while I was doing something, and twice
while I wasn't anywhere near it.

There is NO common factor here, that's the freaky thing.


> Maybe it IS going into
> standby? Did you try resetting/shorting the BIOS?


I tried that too, and still nothing. Even after I get it working,
if I put one of the old power supplies back in, it stops
working again until I put the new one back.


>>Would I be right in thinking that it's not the fuse
>> blowing, otherwise it would be completely dead?

>
> Correct. Did you check your BIOS settings?...to make
> sure you don't have the machine going into standby?


Yes, I've done that. I don't usually use standby mode
(I prefer to switch it right off) but I've used it a few times
just to test it, and the difference is that the machine
switches back on again without too much difficulty.

> It VERY unlikely that you'd get
> 4 power supplies that would exhibit the same symptoms...
> no matter HOW inexpensive the supplies are.


Yes, I agree with that. I only went through about 4
in the past 8 years. All were cheap ones, and only
one hardware failure (the rest were system upgrades).

Now as many in 3 weeks? Ludicrous. Something is up.




 
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kony
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      15th Oct 2003
On Wed, 15 Oct 2003 15:03:05 +1000, "le ténébreux"
<prince.d'(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Trent© wrote:
>
>> What did you do differently 3 weeks ago? New system?...new
>> mainboard?...changed some configuration?

>
>Nothing different at that time. I put it together about
>3 or 4 months ago -
>
>NEW -
>* case
>* mainboard (ASUS P4SE)
>* power supply (CODEGEN 350W)
>* CPU (Celeron 1.8GHz)
>* RAM (3 × 256MB)


Try the system with fewer memory modules.

>
>OLD (but all working fine) -
>* keyboard, mouse, monitor, various USB devices, etc
>* hard drive 20GB IBM Deskstar
>* CD-RW drive
>* floppy disk drive
>* PCI - Soundblaster Live!
>* PCI - Banshee video card
>* PCI - TV tuner card
>
>That's it. It's not a complicated setup, there is nothing weird
>connected to it, nothing is overclocked or tampered with.
>I've kept the original hardware settings in the BIOS (aside
>from things like bootup sequence and HD configuration)
>and haven't touched any jumpers on the mainboard that
>I shouldn't. None of the devices misbehave in any way
>before or after these "failures" (if that's what they are).
>
>> Can you elaborate? What kind of power to the mainboard?

>
>The mainboard has an LED on it that indicates when the
>power is connected (even when turned off). This always
>lights up, even with a "faulty" unit. So I know there is
>current getting through. And I also have an optical mouse
>which remains lit when this happens.


Try it without any USB devices attached... unplug them all while the
AC cord is pulled, THEN plug the AC cord in, wait a few seconds or
longer just for the heck of it, and then try to power-on.


>There is NO common factor here, that's the freaky thing.


Well, there is the one, that none of those power supplies were
actually capable of 300W, and might easily not be capable of their
rated (2A?) 5VSB either.


>> It VERY unlikely that you'd get
>> 4 power supplies that would exhibit the same symptoms...
>> no matter HOW inexpensive the supplies are.

>
>Yes, I agree with that. I only went through about 4
>in the past 8 years. All were cheap ones, and only
>one hardware failure (the rest were system upgrades).
>
>Now as many in 3 weeks? Ludicrous. Something is up.


These past systems, probably didn't draw nearly as much 12V power, did
they? Your current system is a departure in power distribution, and
you did mention the fan not spinning. If you had a voltmeter I'd
adivse you to check the 12V rail while it's in the on-but-dead state,
and check the 5VSB rail when the system is soft-off (AC cord plugged
in but off by the front switch).


I have a power supply here that's quite similar to that Codegen, it's
brand new, never even been plugged in because I've seen too many of
these hunks of junk fail... I have a few > 4 years old in the basement
for some odd reason, and oddly enough, they're virtually identical
inside but the old ones were only rated for 200-250W.... It seems the
only thing modernized about them is the sticker.


Dave
 
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Lane Lewis
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      15th Oct 2003

"le ténébreux" <prince.d'(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Lane Lewis wrote:
>
> > 1. Check the voltage at the receptacle should be between 105 and 125
> > volts, if it isn't call an electrician. Next turn the computer on and
> > have someone play a game while you check the voltage. If it drops
> > below 100v Call an electrician. Also check to make sure there are not
> > any large appliances on the same circuit as your computer. Computers
> > should really be on their own circuit.

>
> I'm in Australia, where it's ~240 volts. Point taken though, I'll get an
> electrician to check that it's working as it should. The computer
> room only has a single power socket, and the only things plugged
> into that are the PC, monitor, printer and ADSL modem. Nothing
> else ever malfunctions, blows fuses, or does anything weird. Ever.
>

Best to check the voltage yourself, a small voltage tester is all you need.
should be between 220 and 240

> > 2. Your systee may have a short that is overloading the PSU.
> > They way to check this is quite complex so generally if you have
> > not had any electronics training it's quit difficult to do. However
> > if you have eliminated everything else and don't want to send
> > the unit to the shop let me know and I'll see if I can walk you thru it.

>
> I do have some basic knowledge of electronics, but no testing
> equipment. I would have thought that if something was shorting
> out, there would be some other symptoms? Something ought to
> be malfunctioning at the very least, if functioning at all.


Not neccesarily.
>
> > 3. the motherboard may indeed be putting the power supplies in
> > standby mode. Did you check to make sure the PSUs were bad.

>
> This can happen? Really? I didn't do any testing beyond noting
> that the power supply failed to start the PC. When they "fail", it's
> very much like going into standby mode. Everything shuts down
> instantly, and the only signs of life are the LED on the mainboard
> and the light in the optical mouse. But no amount of unplugging,
> button pushing, or expletives can convince it to power up again.
>
> I've still got two of them here. Is there any way to check if this
> has happened, and maybe reset them?
>


The best way to check is to put them in another unit if possible.


 
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le ténébreux
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      15th Oct 2003
kony wrote:

> Try the system with fewer memory modules.


That's one thing I didn't try, so I'll give that a go.
Does RAM draw a lot of power from the system?

> Try it without any USB devices attached... unplug them all
> while the AC cord is pulled, THEN plug the AC cord in,
> wait a few seconds or longer just for the heck of it, and
> then try to power-on.


I'm pretty sure I tried that, and still nothing. At one point I
even took out all the PCI cards and the CD-RW, and unplugged
all device cables from the back to lighten the load. Still the
same thing.

> These past systems, probably didn't draw nearly as much 12V
> power, did they? Your current system is a departure in power
> distribution


That's true. This mainboard is the first one I've had that uses
the extra 12V.




 
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~misfit~
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      15th Oct 2003

"le ténébreux" <prince.d'(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:3f8dacf4$(E-Mail Removed)...
> kony wrote:
>
> > Try the system with fewer memory modules.

>
> That's one thing I didn't try, so I'll give that a go.
> Does RAM draw a lot of power from the system?
>
> > Try it without any USB devices attached... unplug them all
> > while the AC cord is pulled, THEN plug the AC cord in,
> > wait a few seconds or longer just for the heck of it, and
> > then try to power-on.

>
> I'm pretty sure I tried that, and still nothing. At one point I
> even took out all the PCI cards and the CD-RW, and unplugged
> all device cables from the back to lighten the load. Still the
> same thing.
>
> > These past systems, probably didn't draw nearly as much 12V
> > power, did they? Your current system is a departure in power
> > distribution

>
> That's true. This mainboard is the first one I've had that uses
> the extra 12V.


If the USB mouse and the mobo LED stay lit with these other PSUs it suggests
to me that either the 3.3v or 5v rails are still working in the blown PSUs.
(I"m not sure which rail stay's 'live' when powered off so you can 'wake on
LAN' or modem or keypress, I think it's the 5v?) It seems like something is
killing the 12v rail. Maybe one of your old drives has an intermittent (the
hardest to diagnose) fault or short on the 12v rail?
--
~misfit~


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kony
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      15th Oct 2003
On Thu, 16 Oct 2003 06:24:10 +1000, "le ténébreux"
<prince.d'(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>kony wrote:
>
>> Try the system with fewer memory modules.

>
>That's one thing I didn't try, so I'll give that a go.
>Does RAM draw a lot of power from the system?


No, not relative to other components, but it may be powered by the
5VSB rail in soft-off mode. Too much load on the 5VSB can be a
problem.

>
>> Try it without any USB devices attached... unplug them all
>> while the AC cord is pulled, THEN plug the AC cord in,
>> wait a few seconds or longer just for the heck of it, and
>> then try to power-on.

>
>I'm pretty sure I tried that, and still nothing. At one point I
>even took out all the PCI cards and the CD-RW, and unplugged
>all device cables from the back to lighten the load. Still the
>same thing.


Being a Celeron system, it isn't going to have a (relatively) large
load on the 5V rail unless that's also being used for a video card, it
may not make as much difference on your system as on a P3 or most
Athlon platforms.


>
>> These past systems, probably didn't draw nearly as much 12V
>> power, did they? Your current system is a departure in power
>> distribution

>
>That's true. This mainboard is the first one I've had that uses
>the extra 12V.


Many people who can successfully use the low-end power suppiles, are
just barely able to... it's not a good situation to be in. If the
low-end PSUs worked fine on a consistent basis, nobody would shell out
2-3X as much for a better PSU.


Dave
 
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V W Wall
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      15th Oct 2003
~misfit~ wrote:
>


>
> If the USB mouse and the mobo LED stay lit with these other PSUs it suggests
> to me that either the 3.3v or 5v rails are still working in the blown PSUs.
> (I"m not sure which rail stay's 'live' when powered off so you can 'wake on
> LAN' or modem or keypress, I think it's the 5v?) It seems like something is
> killing the 12v rail. Maybe one of your old drives has an intermittent (the
> hardest to diagnose) fault or short on the 12v rail?


ATX power supplies have a separate supply to produce +5V SB. It's completely
independant of the other supply rails. It's primary purpose is to provide
power to start the main switching supply. In addition it's used for "wake
on LAN" as you mention. Older supplies had very linited current available
from this "always on" supply, but newer units can supply more current. The
main supply can fail, or fail to be started, and the +5V SB will keep the
mobo light on. A short on any main supply rail will keep it from starting,
or kill it once it has started.

The first ATX supplied computer I built, I got the floppy drive power plug
on incorrectly. The supply would not start. I kept looking for a problem
in the start switch, even took the front case panel off. ;-(

Virg Wall
--

It is vain to do with more
what can be done with fewer.
William of Occam.
 
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