ATX power supplies keep blowing

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware' started by le ténébreux, Oct 14, 2003.

  1. 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.

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

    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? 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?

    This is getting annoying and expensive, so any help greatly
    appreciated.
     
    le ténébreux, Oct 14, 2003
    #1
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  2. le ténébreux

    Vanguard Guest

    Sounds more like you are getting underpowered cheap power supplies. If
    you are drawing more power than the power supply is rated for (and some
    are overrated in the first place as to how much power they will actually
    supply) then the power supply heats up and something blows. Hopefully
    it is a resettable fuse (after a cool down period the unit is ready
    again). Sometimes it is a fuse so you have to open its case to replace
    it (it might be in a snap-in holder or you have to do some snipping and
    soldering). Other times something pops and you can't find what to fix
    inside; a part might've exploded and you can see its remnants or it just
    vaporized and you might find the leads that went to it. Some power
    supplies recover after a prolonged overload, others can be repaired, and
    some just self destruct.

    Tally up the power consumed by everything that you have connected to the
    power supply. See if you can find what are the real specs for the power
    supply (see if you can find the maker's web site and if they provide
    anything useful but unfortunately many only give the combined power for
    the 5 and 12 volt taps). If it's a cheapy power supply, don't load it
    more than three-fourths of its rated power because that might be all it
    will really handle. If your system requires more than that, get a
    bigger power supply. Or get one that really can handle loads up to
    their rated power, like Antec, Fortron, Zalman, Enermax (I don't
    remember all the good ones right now).

    If you feel like doing some reading, Tom's Hardware has some interesting
    articles:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/column/20011012/index.html
    http://www.tomshardware.com/howto/20021021/index.html
    http://www.tomshardware.com/howto/20030609/index.html

    Also, it could be surges on your power line taking out the power supply.
    The best solution is a whole-home surge arrestor but sometimes that
    isn't practical or even legal (it may not be your property). If you
    have to use a surge protector, use only one. Don't use 2 or more surge
    protectors because one doesn't have enough outlets. Get one with lots
    of outlets or string outlet strips from the surge protector. You want
    to keep ALL power connections upstream of the one surge protector.
    Don't interconnect equipment that is connected to multiple surge
    protectors. Due to impedance differences between the surge protectors,
    you can end up with several hundred volts potential between them. And
    expect to pay some hefty money for a good surge protector. A UPS lets
    you keep your system up during a power outage but it may still provide
    little or no surge protection. Again, check out what surge protection
    features it has in addition to its power backup abilities.

    --
    ____________________________________________________________
    *** Post replies to newsgroup. E-mail is not accepted. ***
    ____________________________________________________________


    "le ténébreux" <prince.d'> wrote in message
    news:3f8c0c1a$...
    > 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.
    >
    > The power supplies don't go completely dead, they still
    > supply some power to the mainboard and USB devices,
    > but nothing else. 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.
    >
    > 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? 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?
    >
    > This is getting annoying and expensive, so any help greatly
    > appreciated.
    >
    >
    >
     
    Vanguard, Oct 14, 2003
    #2
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  3. le ténébreux

    w_tom Guest

    Some basic information. When one claims that surges on
    power line might be causing problems, then poster is not
    technically informed. Too many are easily made victims of
    propaganda promoted by plug-in surge protector manufacturers.
    Surges typically occur once every eight years - which they
    don't want you to know. If suffering daily surges, then you
    are trooping daily to the hardware store to replace electronic
    appliances. Are you suffering daily electrical appliance
    failures?

    If not paying about $80 retail for that new power supply,
    then immediately suspect that as where to begin seeking a
    reason for failure. If power supply manufacturer is not
    provided with a long list of specifications, then supply
    probably is missing essential functions. However if doing
    hardware repair / replacement - especially involving power
    supplies - a 3.5 digit multimeter and associated data is
    necessary. Data in chart at:
    http://www.hardwaresite.net/faqpowersupply.html

    Tom's Hardware, for example, demonstrated by experiment how
    many supplies do not even output power as claimed. But it
    goes farther - much farther. No power supply can be damaged
    by too much load. Power supply outputs can even be shorted
    together and power supply still would not be damaged. If
    power supply fails under normal load, then most likely reasons
    include manufacturing defects, undersized supply, or failures
    associated with motherboard. Which one? That is what meter
    data would first suggest.

    You know one important number - how much was paid for that
    supply. Other numbers essential to answer your question
    include those provided by multimeter and the so many numbers
    provided by manufacturer's specifications. If the latter is
    not provided, then you all but know that supply is missing
    essential internal functions.

    Don't just wildly replace supplies. First collect facts so
    that you know where reason for failure is located. Fact #1
    comes from that multimeter. Even fans spinning or not
    spinning just don't provide sufficient information. That
    meter costs less than a new supply.

    "le ténébreux" wrote:
    > 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.
    >
    > The power supplies don't go completely dead, they still
    > supply some power to the mainboard and USB devices,
    > but nothing else. 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.
    >
    > 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? 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?
    >
    > This is getting annoying and expensive, so any help greatly
    > appreciated.
     
    w_tom, Oct 14, 2003
    #3
  4. le ténébreux

    Lane Lewis Guest

    "le ténébreux" <prince.d'> wrote in message
    news:3f8c0c1a$...
    > 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.
    >
    > The power supplies don't go completely dead, they still
    > supply some power to the mainboard and USB devices,
    > but nothing else. 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.
    >
    > 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? 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?
    >
    > This is getting annoying and expensive, so any help greatly
    > appreciated.
    >


    In addition to what was already said there are three other strong
    possibilities.

    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.

    2. Your system 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.

    3. the motherboard may indeed be putting the power supplies in standby mode.
    Did you check to make sure the PSUs were bad.

    Lane
     
    Lane Lewis, Oct 14, 2003
    #4
  5. Vanguard wrote:
    > Sounds more like you are getting underpowered cheap power supplies.
    > If you are drawing more power than the power supply is rated for (and
    > some are overrated in the first place as to how much power they will
    > actually supply) then the power supply heats up and something blows.


    Thanks for the reply. That was the first thing I suspected, because
    I could actually hear the cooling fans slow down slightly when it was
    doing something CPU-intensive (I'm pretty sure that's not normal).

    When I explained this, the PC repair guy assured me I was delusional
    and replaced it with the same thing, warning me not to bother coming
    back if it blew again because the warranty wouldn't cover a fault
    with my equipment (which was the only thing it could possibly be),
    and would I be interested in purchasing a surge protector.

    As I found out, it's not easy to get real answers from someone who's
    standing behind a cash register.

    Anyway, I've managed to got hold of a different brand this time which
    was about twice the price of the others, and the PC actually sounds
    a little healthier now. It would still be nice to know what sort of thing
    could have caused it... no power supply problems in about six years,
    and then four fail all at once.
     
    le ténébreux, Oct 14, 2003
    #5
  6. w_tom wrote:
    > Some basic information. When one claims that surges on
    > power line might be causing problems, then poster is not
    > technically informed. Too many are easily made victims of
    > propaganda promoted by plug-in surge protector manufacturers.
    > Surges typically occur once every eight years - which they
    > don't want you to know.


    :-(

    I just bought one, thinking it might help.

    > If suffering daily surges, then you are trooping daily to the
    > hardware store to replace electronic appliances. Are you
    > suffering daily electrical appliance failures?


    Nothing at all except ATX power supplies.


    > If not paying about $80 retail for that new power supply,
    > then immediately suspect that as where to begin seeking a
    > reason for failure. If power supply manufacturer is not
    > provided with a long list of specifications, then supply
    > probably is missing essential functions.

    ....
    > You know one important number - how much was paid
    > for that supply.


    I have no idea which manufacturers are reputable and which
    are not, but the first one that blew was a CODEGEN 350W
    power supply that had been purchased new about 4 months
    previously ($55 Australian) and had been running just fine up
    until then. I replaced that with an older 300W supply that I
    had lying around (no brand name, it came with a PC case).
    That died within three days. I went back to the shop where
    I got the first one, and bought another CODEGEN 350W
    which blew up after a week. They replaced it free under
    warranty but made it clear that they would not replace any
    more (and I don't think I blame them). Again, it went after
    only a week.

    So although this latest one is my fifth power supply, it's only
    the second replacement I've had to purchase. It's a "Herolchi"
    300W. ($115 Australian).

    Twice the price - here's hoping it lasts at least two weeks
    instead of one.
     
    le ténébreux, Oct 14, 2003
    #6
  7. 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.

    > 2. Your system 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.

    > 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?
     
    le ténébreux, Oct 15, 2003
    #7
  8. le ténébreux

    kony Guest

    On Wed, 15 Oct 2003 08:36:18 +1000, "le ténébreux"
    <prince.d'> wrote:


    >I have no idea which manufacturers are reputable and which
    >are not, but the first one that blew was a CODEGEN 350W
    >power supply that had been purchased new about 4 months
    >previously ($55 Australian) and had been running just fine up
    >until then. I replaced that with an older 300W supply that I
    >had lying around (no brand name, it came with a PC case).
    >That died within three days. I went back to the shop where
    >I got the first one, and bought another CODEGEN 350W
    >which blew up after a week. They replaced it free under
    >warranty but made it clear that they would not replace any
    >more (and I don't think I blame them). Again, it went after
    >only a week.



    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.

    You should blame the shop, because they knew the relative quality of
    the power supply, else are grossly incompetent and sold a part with no
    idea whether it'd work. Your system is not particularly power hungry
    or unique, it's just that a Codengen or other generic is not worth the
    capacity printed on the label, and cut corners wherever possible.

    >So although this latest one is my fifth power supply, it's only
    >the second replacement I've had to purchase. It's a "Herolchi"
    >300W. ($115 Australian).
    >
    >Twice the price - here's hoping it lasts at least two weeks
    >instead of one.


    The Herolchi 300W versions I've seen are quite a bit better than the
    Codegen, it's a mid-grade power supply, was relabeled by Antec to be
    their model PP303XP.


    Dave
     
    kony, Oct 15, 2003
    #8
  9. "le ténébreux" <prince.d'> wrote in message news:<3f8c0c1a$>...

    > 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.


    Does your Codegen look anything like this one?

    www.mikhailtech.com/articles/psu/codegen350/codegen350-07.jpg

    In the lower left corner, near the donut choke wrapped with red and
    white wires, is an empty space on the circuit board where I think a
    capacitor would normally go to help reduce EMI. As far as I can tell,
    this PSU doesn't have another EMI filter, such as at the AC
    receptacle, and in another PSU made by the same company, Deer, all of
    the EMI filter components were left out, including the choke. Also in
    front of the missing capacitor, next to the fuse, is a place labelled
    TR1 with a jumper soldered there, but that should be a thermistor to
    help reduce the surge at turn-on.

    If you ever decide to buy an inexpensive PSU, it's possible that the
    Q-tec 300-350W models are good, even though the higher powered ones
    are supposedly junk.
    http://forums.overclockers.com.au/showthread.php?s=&threadid=115831&highlight=killed+psu
    shows a VIP brand 350W version of the same PSU in this photo
    http://members.optusnet.com.au/funked/psu/7.jpg , and the thread's
    originator thinks it's of decent quality. The other PSU may be a
    Deer, with some components upgraded or added to improve the quality.
     
    larrymoencurly, Oct 15, 2003
    #9
  10. 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, or that they could break so easily.
    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.

    I'll be a bit more careful in future about letting these guys tell me
    what I want.
     
    le ténébreux, Oct 15, 2003
    #10
  11. larrymoencurly wrote:

    > Does your Codegen look anything like this one?
    >
    > www.mikhailtech.com/articles/psu/codegen350/codegen350-07.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.
     
    le ténébreux, Oct 15, 2003
    #11
  12. le ténébreux

    Trent© Guest

    On Wed, 15 Oct 2003 00:45:37 +1000, "le ténébreux"
    <prince.d'> 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!
     
    Trent©, Oct 15, 2003
    #12
  13. le ténébreux

    Trent© Guest

    On Wed, 15 Oct 2003 11:20:58 +1000, "le ténébreux"
    <prince.d'> 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!
     
    Trent©, Oct 15, 2003
    #13
  14. 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.
     
    le ténébreux, Oct 15, 2003
    #14
  15. le ténébreux

    kony Guest

    On Wed, 15 Oct 2003 15:03:05 +1000, "le ténébreux"
    <prince.d'> 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
     
    kony, Oct 15, 2003
    #15
  16. le ténébreux

    Lane Lewis Guest

    "le ténébreux" <prince.d'> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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.
     
    Lane Lewis, Oct 15, 2003
    #16
  17. 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.
     
    le ténébreux, Oct 15, 2003
    #17
  18. le ténébreux

    ~misfit~ Guest

    "le ténébreux" <prince.d'> wrote in message
    news:3f8dacf4$...
    > 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~


    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
    Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
    Version: 6.0.525 / Virus Database: 322 - Release Date: 9/10/2003
     
    ~misfit~, Oct 15, 2003
    #18
  19. le ténébreux

    kony Guest

    On Thu, 16 Oct 2003 06:24:10 +1000, "le ténébreux"
    <prince.d'> 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
     
    kony, Oct 15, 2003
    #19
  20. le ténébreux

    V W Wall Guest

    ~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.
     
    V W Wall, Oct 15, 2003
    #20
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