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Computer won't boot


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#1 Stocker

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 06:11 PM

This morning I started my computer up for download and when I came back after school it won't work. First thig I noticed when I walked in was the unusual frequent of the fan speed. It was moving faster, louder but in a weird way. Like you can hear it was running out of the pattern. You get what I'm saying right? Even until then I didn't know my computer was dead so I tried to turn on the monitor but it wouldnt. My computer was still on at that time but I coudnt turn on the screen. So I tested it on another computer and it showed my monitor was fine. After a while I sat down in front of my computer and noticed the smell of something burnt. I opened the case and traced te smell back to the area between my v8 coolermaster and my motherbroad. More accurately the smell was strongest on the coolermaster and I know because I can smell it through the fan just on top of it. I also tried to reboot again but only to find it the same. By the same I mean you can boot the computer on but nohing comes up even though the monitor is fine. Another thing is that you can't shutdown the computer even if you hold the shutdown button for the rest of your life. Actually there is also one more thing but I don't think is related. That is, when I touched hardware inside it was not hot or warm at all but it was cool. Why would it be cool when I turned it on since the morning?

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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 06:36 PM

Hello and welcome to Bleepingcomputer.

One thing I can suggest as to what went wrong is your computer over-heated while you were gone.

Now seriously unless there was a problem with the utilities coming into your home from a brown-out or power surge (I am sure you would see evidence of this around the house) your problem is caused by a component over-heating.

Your cooling fan may have stopped working for some reason, this could have allowed your CPU to over-heat, it can either be damaged or at the very least the circuits leading up to it can be.

When you boot up this computer, do you hear any POST beep codes?

The only two possible scenarios that can damage your computer while it is un-attended are brown-outs/power surges or a cooling fan failed and allowed a processor to over-heat.

I do not know what you were downloading while you were absent from the computer, but depending on what it was and if it was allowed an auto-install I can not advise if this program caused any hardware issues unless I know what the program was first.

The download you left downloading, did you choose the option to download and install? If so, what program was this?

Bruce.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 18 October 2010 - 06:41 PM.

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#3 DaChew

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 07:13 PM

If you smell the vent at the back of the computer where the power supply fan exhausts, or at the top of the case?
and it smells like burnt wire/electronics, then the Power supply is dead or a critical part died, the new power supplies have a switching circuit, holding the power button in for 4 seconds signals the PSU to shutdown the computer?
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#4 Stocker

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 10:13 AM

@MrBruce1959
No there were no beeping sound. Actually I was downloading a bluray movie that is 8GB big and when I started my computer that day it was only 1% done.

@DaChew
The smell came from the v8 coolingmaster just under the top of the computer case, and there is a second fan on top of the case located above where my cooling is.

Edit: could this have been caused because I opened my computer case for too long? I always leave one side open.

Edited by Stocker, 20 October 2010 - 10:19 AM.


#5 dc3

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 11:20 AM

Leaving the case open won't hurt anything, it may collect dust quicker, but it will also allow more circulation which should make it run cooler.

From what you have described it sound like the computer PSU is at least running fan? If this is the case, and you have a voltage meter you can check the rail voltages to see if there is a failure on one of the rails. The tutorial I'm going to post suggests using a program to put a load on the PSU, obviously this will not work here. Just use the tutorial to read the rail voltages.


Reading PSU Rail Voltages

Caution: Please read this before continuing.


• Since it will be necessary for your computer to be on during this procedure, you need to be aware that you will be working with live 12Volt DC potentials which if handled improperly may lead to electrical shock.

• There are electronics inside the case that are very susceptible to electrostatic discharges. To protect your computer, touch the metal of the case to discharge yourself of any electrostatic charges before touching any of the components inside.

• If you are not comfortable doing this procedure, then I would suggest that you not use this tutorial. The risks involved are minimal, but are there never the less. Anyone who uses this tutorial will be doing so at their own risk.


There are two devices commonly used to read the rail voltages, a PSU tester, and a multimeter.

The PSU tester is the easiest to use since all that is necessary is to plug the different connectors into the tester and read the results on the LCD display. The problem with most of these is that they only perform a pass/fail test, it will not provide you with actual voltage readings.

There are a variety of multiple meters, this tutorial will address Analog and Digital multimeters. The advantage of these meters is that you will be able to obtain accurate real time voltage readings.

For those of you who wish to know more about multimeters there is an excellent article in Wikipedia.


Analog Multimeter

Posted Image


An Analog multimeter is a little more complicated to use. Both Analog and Digital multimeters need to be set to the appropriate voltage, but with an Analog multimeter you will need to choose the voltage range, and must read the proper scale.

The Analog multimeter uses a needle display which moves from 0 across the scale until it reaches the voltage being tested. This multimeter has five major linear divisions with multiple scales to read a variety of ranges. An example would be to have three different ranges. The first is graduated in increments of 0 through 5, the second, 0 through 10, and the third, 0 through 25. Each of these ranges are subdivided into divisions that are graduated into tenths. In order to read 12 volts the 0 through 25 range would be the appropriate one.

Because DC voltage has positive and negative potentials this device is polar sensitive, this means that if you reverse the two probes when reading a positive DC voltage it will read as a negative voltage. This is actually necessary to read negative DC voltages. The two probes are differentiated by their color, Black (negative), and Red (positive). To read a positive DC voltage the correct probes must be used with their corresponding potentials, positive to positive, and negative to negative.

With the probes being used normally to read a negative DC voltage the needle moves from the 0 to the left "pegging" the needle. By reversing the probes you can properly read the negative voltages.

Digital Multimeter

Posted Image


The Digital multimeter (DMM) is much simpler to use. As was mentioned previously, you will need to set the appropriate voltage. One of the advantages is that the DMM has an LCD display with a numeric readout, so there are not any multiple scales to read. Another advantage is that most DMMs are autoranging when reading voltages, this means that you will not need to set the range with these DMMs. A DMM will read both positive and negative DC voltages and display them correctly. When reading a negative voltage a minus sign will appear on the display before the numeric value. This still is a polar sensitive device, so you will still need to use the positive and negative probes with their corresponding potentials.

There are five different DC rail voltages which are color coded. The Black wires are always negative.

Yellow +12VDC

Blue -12VDC

Red +5VDC

White -5VDC

Orange +3.3VDC


There are only three voltages that can be measured easily without disconnecting the 20/24 pin connector from the motherboard, the +12V, +5V, and +3.3V.

The +12V and +5V voltages can be read from a four pin Molex power connector.

Four pin Molex power connector

Posted Image


The same voltages can be taken from a four pin SATA power connector, but in order to read the +3.3V you will need to read this from a five pin SATA power connector as seen below.

Five pin SATA power connector.

Posted Image

To read these voltages you will need to insert the Black (-) probe into any of the black sockets, and insert the Red (+) probe in the different colored voltage sockets. To read the voltages from a SATA power connector it is easiest to insert the probes into the back of the connector where the wires enter. Unfortunately the sockets of the modular SATA power connectors are not accessible from the back, so the readings will need to be made from the socket side. Some probes are going to be too large to fit in these sockets, so you may need to insert a piece of wire into the socket of which you want to read the voltage of and place the probe on this for your reading. To reduce the potential of creating a short I would suggest taking the ground potential from another connector so that the two wires will remain physically separated.

Caution: It is very important to make sure that you don't allow the two probes to touch each other when taking the voltage readings. This will cause a short which could damage the PSU or other components.

To get accurate readings of the rail voltages it is important that there be a load on the PSU. In order to do this I would suggest downloading Prime95 for this purpose. This program was designed to be used by overclockers to put a full load on the RAM and CPU to determine the stability of their overclocking. Because of this it will put stress on the CPU and RAM which will create higher than normal temperatures. For this reason I would suggest not running this program any longer than is necessary. I would also suggest that an inspection be made of the interior of the case to make sure that there isn’t an accumulation of dust which would impede adequate cooling. Pay special attention to the heat sink and fan assembly on the CPU. If there is a dedicated graphics card with a fan installed on it, look at this fan as well.


Readings should not have variances larger than +/- five percent.

Maximum.........Minimum
12.6V...............11.4V
5.25V...............4.75V
3.47V...............3.14V

Edited by dc3, 20 October 2010 - 11:31 AM.

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#6 MrBruce1959

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 11:38 AM

Edit: could this have been caused because I opened my computer case for too long? I always leave one side open.

Your quote above would have nothing to do with your problem, keeping the computer case open for any length of time would have only limited impact at the very least.

To add clarification to what I am saying above, opening the computer case and leaving it open for any length of time would in all likely-hood allow a larger volume of hot air to escape from the computer case, the negative impact would be less tunneling of the air flow between the computer's inflow to the computers outflow.

But this rarely causes over-heating issues.

What I suggest you do is replace your PSU, it appears it has suffered some type of damage, it may be to over-heating of the bridge-rectifiers, which are inside of the PSU, or a component has just out-right failed.

The PSU is a difficult piece of hardware to repair for the average home user, it also contains large electrolytic capacitors, to which store very lethal amounts of stored energy like a battery. How-ever, this energy (also called current) can cause serious electric shock at the very least. So it is not advisable to suggest you try to repair it without special training, knowledge and understanding of the risks and dangers involved in doing such a repair.

Besides that, you will rarely find the service data sheets required to do an amateur parts replacement with the recommended parts rating.

So it is best that you just replace the PSU with a new one and discard this one for junk, because the price to repair this PSU, will roughly run the cost of a new one, to which would have at the very least a 90 day warranty.

Bruce.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 20 October 2010 - 11:42 AM.

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#7 Stocker

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 11:09 PM

What PSU is compatible with intel E8400? I want one with affordable cost. Purpose is gaming.

#8 DaChew

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 11:39 PM

You need to specify what components your computer has.
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#9 Stocker

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 12:02 AM

OS Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
CPU Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 @ 3.00GHz
Motherboard EVGA nForce 750i SLI (Socket 775)
Memory 4.0GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 399MHz (5-5-5-18)
Graphics Card 512MB GeForce 9800 GT (EVGA)
Sound Card High Definition Audio Device
Monitor(s) Displays LG L1752T
Screen Resolution 1280x1024
Keyboard Comfort Curve Keyboard 2000
Mouse Microsoft Habu Laser Gaming Mouse
PSU OCZ MOD X STREAM-PRO 600W
Case Antec 300 Versatile Mini Tower
Cooling Fan X2
Hard Drives 488GB Seagate ST350032 0AS SCSI Disk Device (488GB) Seagate ST380811 AS SCSI Disk Device (74 GB)

EDIT: Should I also take this chance to upgrade as well? Although I'm a bit short on cash this month...

Edited by Stocker, 22 October 2010 - 12:11 AM.


#10 MrBruce1959

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 12:31 AM

EDIT: Should I also take this chance to upgrade as well? Although I'm a bit short on cash this month...

I was going to ask you before you edited your post and added the last line what your budget was.

I am not exactly sure what you mean by take this chance upgrade, what upgrade are you referring to?

I am guessing your talking about upgrading your PSU to one which has a higher Ampere output rating on your rails.

You originally had a 600 WATT OCZ power supply, OCZ is a decent brand name.

If you want to upgrade you should go in the range of a 800 WATTS.

I do not see that you have any real power consuming devices listed in your setup above, so if you wanted to go cheap, you can purchase another 600 WATT PSU like the one you have there now.

If you want suggestions made on what you should choose other-wise, it would be best to offer us a price range to work with, lets say $70--100 USD and we can make suggestions based on that price range. But the final decision is yours to make from there.

Bruce.
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