PSU Help Please?


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Hi folks. This is my first time here and I'm about to perform my first major PC upgrade. It's only the PSU but to me this is looking pretty difficult. Anyway, here goes...

My 2 yo computer came with a 525W Hiper PSU which has served me very well, until yesterday. I got up in the morning and hit the power button and...nothing. I tried everything and when I moved the power lead from my Belkin UPS to the wall socket I did manage to get it 'clicking'. I took the side off the case and noticed my RAM lights were flickering. It seemed a bit scary so I switched everything off. I phoned a local computer repair guy and he told me to bring it in and he'd have a look. He diagnosed the problem as a faulty PSU and duly decided to replace it with an EZcool 550W model. It would take about an hour. I just assumed that because the replacement PSU was rated higher by 25W all would be well. I returned 1 hour later, paid the money and went home happy. When I got home I took the case side off to have a look. Argh! My previous cable arrangement was all neat and tidy but this was a mess. Cables everywhere. I don't know what I expected, I just assumed he'd put everything back as he found it. Ah well, as long as it works that's the main thing. I switched it on and everything was fine...for around 15 mins, then it shut down. Damn! I waited a bit, thinking it might be a heat issue with all those cables lieing around, and then restarted. I ran my Asus Probe temperature sensor intending to monitor any change. Temps were fine, in fact lower than with the Hiper. Then I started Winamp and it immediately shut down again. It was clear even to a novice that the PSU wasn't 'meaty' enough. I phoned the 'repair guy', explained the problem and he told me in no uncertain terms that it was down to my graphics card being a "big one" (?). He reckoned he'd have to fit a bigger one, at least 650W. He couldn't do anything about it until Monday when he would be able to phone his suppliers. He doesn't deal with any of the big brands that I've been researching in the interim. I have to say I've lost confidence in this guy and think it can't be all that hard to do this kind of thing myself. After all, he's replaced the nice sleeved cables with an untidy mess. I can do that much. Would it make sense for me to buy a decent PSU online and fit it myself? If so, I would go to the 'repair guy' and ask him to remove and refund the cost of the PSU he fitted (I guess I'll just have to kiss his initial labour charge goodbye). I could then attempt to do this myself.

I've kinda decided from online reviews, and the fact it's available at a good price from a company I've had good dealings with before, on this PSU It's from the maker of my original PSU and it has these 'modular' cables. From an engineering perspective this seems the way forward. Can anyone give me any tips on what I might need tools-wise? Also, any potential pitfalls to avoid? Is the PSU linked above a good bet?

Obviously, the clock is ticking here. It would be great if the 'repair guy' was to say "Sure, buy a PSU online and bring it here for me to fit in a competent unobtrusive way", but I think that ain't gonna happen. If I could do this myself then it might give me the confidence to tackle other hardware upgrades later. The labour charges the repair guy is making are frightening. Made worse of course when the work turns out to be not fit for purpose.

Anyway, thanks a lot for reading this far and I'll look forward to reading any help you guys can provide.

For reference my system spec is in my sig below.

Thanks.
 
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Adywebb

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Unfortunately your system spec sig isn't showing - perhaps you could list them in a post.

If your old PSU worked fine until yesterday with whatever spec you have, then there is no reason why the new one shouldn't have - have you recently fitted a new 'meaty' graphics card? - I'm wondering if there is a fault elsewhere.

If a new PSU is required, then that Hiper you linked to should be fine, you need no special tools and they are easy to fit - just make sure you plug the right cables in the right sockets!
 
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In zorrofox's profile the details are:

AMD64 3800+ | Asus A8NSLi | Leadtek 7800GTX | 2Gb Corsair Twinpro RAM | Zalman thingy | WD Caviar 500MB SATA & 400MB Mybook | M-Audio 2496 | 525W Hiper PSU | XPpro SP2 | Saitek Eclipse | Razer Copperhead | Coolermaster Wavemaster Black | 19" Hansol 920P CRT | Belkin 1200VA UPS
 

Adywebb

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murdoch said:
In zorrofox's profile the details are:

AMD64 3800+ | Asus A8NSLi | Leadtek 7800GTX | 2Gb Corsair Twinpro RAM | Zalman thingy | WD Caviar 500MB SATA & 400MB Mybook | M-Audio 2496 | 525W Hiper PSU | XPpro SP2 | Saitek Eclipse | Razer Copperhead | Coolermaster Wavemaster Black | 19" Hansol 920P CRT | Belkin 1200VA UPS
Thanks murdoch :thumb:


zorrofox - the 550W your computer guy fitted although not the best of makes, should have no trouble running that little lot - so the problem lies elsewhere - check he has fitted all the power cables to the relevant sockets and are secure - also perhaps he has fitted a faulty PSU?
 
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Thanks for the help guys. No I haven't changed anything major in my pc. The last upgrade was moving from an Audigy ZS sounndcard to an M-Audio Audiophile 2496 and that was at least 6 months ago. Unfortunately I've jumped the gun a bit here ordered the Hiper from Overclockers. Damn! The repair guy used this theory in diagnosing the PSU as being at fault - that the RAM lights illuminated meant the 5V rail was ok but the 12v rail was faulty. I have no real clue as to how this makes sense as I'm not really up on hardware specs. Do you think I should cancel the PSU order and try to see if anything's been left disconnected? Or should I go ahead with the order anyway? It seems wrong that a 550W PSU fails where a 525W PSU has worked flawlessly for 2 years but then the EZcool one is incredibly cheap. Is it a case of 'you get what you pay for'? Maybe nothing to do with power ratings but more about current delivery?

I'm sorry for my staccato replies but my pc only runs for about 10 mins before shutting itself down.

One more thing - I doubt it's connected but a couple of days before my current problem my monitor started displaying distortion on the horizontal plane. I think it's a seperate issue and nowhere near as pressing as my PSU problems.

Thanks for all your help so far. It really is appreciated.
 

Adywebb

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Your right that PSU is not great, but unless its faulty I would expect it to power your PC fine - I would get your money back on it regardless and stick with the Hiper and fit it yourself.

Does your monitor still display distortion during the brief time you can now run your PC? - if not then I would suspect that the old PSU was on its way out and unable to supply your graphics card with a stable supply.

Assuming the new PSU has been installed correctly, I'm wondering if there thas been some damage to the motherboard or other componant when the old PSU popped, if indeed it has.

It would be interesting if you could get hold of your old one and try it in a friends PC, likewise the new one - you don't need to fully install it, just have it loose beside the PC, disconnect the other PSU leads and connect yours.
 
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Thanks for the input. I'm pretty sure the monitor problem is unrerlated because it is old. About 5 years anyway. I'll retrieve my old PSU tomorrow hopefully but unfortunately I have no friends. We live in the absolute middle of nowhere and I don't really know anyone around here. At least not anyone with a pc anyway. I hope there's no damage done to anything else because of the PSU problems, but Sod's Law would suggest it's possible. I'll keep you all up to date after tomorrow anyway. Here's hoping it's not down for too long.
 
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Sorry, one more question? Are there any free programs that could maybe show me exactly how much power my PC is consuming?
 
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zorrofox said:
Sorry, one more question? Are there any free programs that could maybe show me exactly how much power my PC is consuming?

Your electric bills? :p

Try and draw a simple map of the inside of your computer, ie where the sockets are and the leads that are used. At least then you can try different combinations, seeing if the leads are faulty or whether like Ady said, another piece of hardware was damaged.
 
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You should be seeing a methodical step-by-step picture show here about how to change a PSU but, alas, I'm an idiot! I accidentally deleted the carefully shot (and lit) photos. What can I say...

This was the first time I've dealt with a 'modular' PSU and it's a dawdle. Far more intuitive to add the cables I actually require than to have to hide surplus cables. This makes the inside of the case look much neater but, above all, allows proper through-flow of fresh cool air.

So far, so good. No problems to report after 3 days so it's safe to assume all is well.

Thanks to all who offered advice on this issue. I owe you all one.
 

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