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Psu Unit Busted! What Do I Do Now?


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#1 lostcause

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 04:07 PM

Ok so, heres the situation. My computer recently out of the blue begin to freeze and restart by itself. I take it to the store to get it checked they reported that the freeze ups and problems were due to the Power Supply Unit. They said the Power Supply was clogged with dust and kept failing on me.

They concluded they needed to restore my system and fix the power supply (which I am unclear of how they would).

Why do they need to restore my hard drive? I have years of work on my computer and do not want to lose it. They said they need 90 bucks to restore and back up my data. Why do they need to do this??

Is there any other way of fixing it without losing all my work on hard drive?

What should I do to fix my computer without emptying my wallet so much???????

Any help would really be appreciated

thanks :thumbsup:

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#2 Saxif

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 05:06 PM

The $90 is going mainly for labor costs. Here are your alternatives:

1) Find another computer with a motherboard that supports your hard drive's connection type (IDE, SATA), connect the drive there and burn your data onto CDs

2) Buy a new power supply from http://www.newegg.com or http://www.tigerdirect.com or someplace else, install it and get your computer back working the way it was before

3) Decide whether the time it takes to research everything and do it yourself is worth $90. Time is money.

Whatever you decide to do, get in the habit of backing up your hard drive regularly.

#3 acklan

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 12:42 AM

Ok so, heres the situation. My computer recently out of the blue begin to freeze and restart by itself. I take it to the store to get it checked they reported that the freeze ups and problems were due to the Power Supply Unit. They said the Power Supply was clogged with dust and kept failing on me.

They concluded they needed to restore my system and fix the power supply (which I am unclear of how they would).

Why do they need to restore my hard drive? I have years of work on my computer and do not want to lose it. They said they need 90 bucks to restore and back up my data. Why do they need to do this??

Is there any other way of fixing it without losing all my work on hard drive?

What should I do to fix my computer without emptying my wallet so much???????

Any help would really be appreciated

thanks :thumbsup:

I would start with buying a can of air at Walmart and blowing out the dust. As a matter of fact buy two and blow out the entire computer. It is quite common for excessive heat to make a computer unstable. Make sure you blow out the CPU fan and heatsink. It is easy and you should not have a problems. Ever computer should be cleaned at least once a year. Twice if you have pets or live in a dusty place. Cat hair is killer. Just make sure you unplug it first.
P.S. a power supply is only about $40 and very basic to change out. Let us know how it turns out.

Edited by acklan, 29 November 2005 - 12:44 AM.

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#4 dc3

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 03:23 AM

I agree with acklan, use canned air to blow it out, but put something like a pencil through the blades to keep it from spinning, spinning it with air is hard on the bearings. If you are going to blow out the psu, don't try to open it to do this, there are capacitors inside that holds a line voltage charge.

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#5 acklan

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 08:44 AM

Quite right dc3, it could be a shocking experince. Sorry I couldn't resist.
I like to use Q-Tips® to clean the fan blades. 98˘ pack and keep'em next to your computer.
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#6 lostcause

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 06:21 PM

I understand your sugestions for cleaning the fan.

But my real question is why did the computer place want to restore my hard drive???

How is the PSU connected to the all my documents and stuff I have stored on my hard drive????

And your saying if I just clean the stinking PSU myself it will be fine?????

If thats all it takes I would of been pissed if I paid what they were asking. 90 to fix the PSU and 90 to back up my hard drive and restore my system...

#7 acklan

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 06:50 PM

I am not going to comment on the motives of a person that is getting paid if you put your computer in thier shop :thumbsup:
I would clean the source of the heat problem before I dive into wiping someones hard drive. Besides if they can get the drive up fore a few hours you should be able to transfer your data. Lets just try the cleaning route for now.
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#8 lostcause

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 07:13 PM

See that was my suspicions however its not like this place is a small shack. No its an international retail chain with two words and a yellow and blue logo as you can figure it out.

See the thing is you can't keep it running for a couple hours it will either restart or freeze every 5 -10 minutes now.

How do you do the back up yourself???


I am concerned about cleaning the PSU myself. As you can see I am no expert and do not want a big shock.

I think the problem is way inside clogged with dust and maybe a few cotton swabs might not do it.

#9 acklan

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 08:12 PM

:thumbsup: It's OK. Everyone has a first time. It's not hard at all. Go to that yellow and black place or Walmart or any other place that has electronics, and purchase a can(or two) of "computer air" or the equal. Do not use your shop air compressor. They build up moisture and it's like spraying your computer with a hose pipe. That's a bad thing :flowers: . Up plug the power and star blowing out the power supply. Take the cover off your computer and blow out the inside too. As long as you unplug the computer and don't drop stuff on the motherboard you can't mess up. There is a small straw on the canned air so you don't even have to get close if you feel uneasy. On the inside there will be a small fan on top of your CPU along with a heatsink that you should also clean. This should be done once a year at least, twice a year if you have pets or live in a dusty place (like having a computer in a wood working shop).
You can do this. I wish I had a streaming video server so I could demostrate for you. It's very simple and straight forward. :trumpet:
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#10 lostcause

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 08:57 PM

ok, I gottcha on how to clean it.

Now my question is since my PSU is so built up with dust and such is it still possible to clean it and have it working fine again???
I mean it is about 4 years old living in a dusty house and has never been cleaned. You can not even run it without it restarting or freezing on you and I mean exactly around every 5 minutes or so.

You also said to take the back off. Someone on here said not to do that because you could get shocked. I have never opened any computer before.

and what is the purpose of the fan??? If you stop the fan from spinning will it stop your hard drive from working???? :thumbsup:

#11 acklan

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 09:09 PM

It may work just fine or it maybe damaged and need replacing. That is not problem either.
I believe they may have been talking about removing the power supply covering, not the computer case access cover. You will be okay removing the computer access cover. DO NOT open the power supply. You will be able to blow it out without removing the cover.
The fan in your computer serves the same purpose as the fan under the hood of your car. The proccessor is the engine. The fan keeps the proccessor cool. If it is clogged with dust and lint it's like having something covering you radiator. It will overheat. That also goes for your power supply.
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#12 usasma

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 11:00 PM

The guys with the big blue and yellow sign do much the same thing as many other tech support places. First, they put a limit on how much time a tech can spend troubleshooting/fixing a system. Next, they are cautious - they'd rather tell you something and then, later on, tell you that the price is less - then you're pleasantly surprised!

After haunting the forums for quite a while, I'll never work a job in paid tech support. Far too many rules for profitability than concern for the customer.

A long time ago I had the best IT guy in the US Army in Europe working for me. This guy could do anything with the network. My logistics people had just finished a couple of weeks of data entry to computerize their inventory control system. Then the Win 98 system crashed! (no backup, of course). My IT guy said - "We're gonna have to format and reinstall - you've lost everything".

My lead tech came running to me to tell me about it. I went over to the office, typed a couple of commands, and had Win98 up and running smoothly (still wouldn't boot tho'). But I bought them enough time to backup everything so they wouldn't lose it. The moral of the story is that quite a lot of folks are taught that the format and reinstall is the solution for everything - and that any other troubleshooting is just wasted time.
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#13 lostcause

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 12:16 AM

What about the suggestion of putting the pencil or something in the fan to stop it from spinning?

So far I heard two different answers. One to have the computer running and the fan on and the other to pull the plug and take off the cover.


If I leave it on and blow the air into the hard drive I am thinking the dust and crap on it will just blow deeper into the hard drive which I assume would cause more problems.

#14 Mr Alpha

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 02:32 AM

You're supposed to have the computer of when cleaning it. What he meant was that when you blow the air in the fan, it will start spinning, and it is this you should use a pen to stop.
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#15 acklan

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 02:40 AM

dc3 I believe was referring to not allowing the blades to spin while cleaning the power supply. You have to unplug the computer so as not to have a safety hazard. As far as taking the cover off do not remove the cover to the power supply. Remove the cover to the computer case that houses the motherboard and compontants. The power supply in house inside it's own case, which is located at the rear of the main computer case where the power cord plugs in. You will not need to blow out the hard drive. The hard drive is a sealed device and must stay that way.
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