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Second Opinion


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#1 dleet

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 12:42 PM

My problem just started yesterday. After I got out of the shower I sat down at my computer and realized it was off. When I tried to turn it on the power button didn't respond. Confused, I got up and unplugged my computer, waited a moment, then plugged it back in. My computer started up just fine and I proceeded to use it smoothly for a couple hours. Later yesterday evening I left the room for just a few minutes only to come back and find my computer off yet again. Once more the power button wouldn't respond and I had to unplug/replug the computer in order for it to start up. However, this time my computer only got to the login screen before it turned off. Again I had to replug in the computer before it would even attempt to turn on. The next time the computer shut down before windows could even load up. I should mention that I have yet to receive a BSOD or any other error from my computer. The last time I tried to start up I got the windows failed to start up screen and it recommended I put my windows disc in and repair. Hoping that would turn out to be all I needed to do I grabbed my disc and put it in, however my computer shutdown before the utility could even begin to repair. At this point I was too tired and frustrated to mess with it anymore so I went to bed. Also, the few times I have elected to skip the repair and start windows normally, the computer starts up just fine, but shuts off completely randomly.

This morning I cracked the case open to see if I could find anything wrong. Apart from being a little dusty, which I cleaned, I could find nothing wrong. I double checked all the cords and everything was plugged in securely. All of my fans were running just fine. Oh, also, the first time I came back to see that my computer had died I made sure to monitor the temperatures of everything closely. During the couple hours I was gaming and surfing the web my temps were excellent.

At this time my computer shuts down before windows loads up every time now. Am I likely looking at a failing psu? Or is there another culprit I need to think about before I order a replacement?

I'm using Windows 7 with a custom built computer. The PSU is a ABS 1100 or 1200. Every thing in my computer is at the most 3 years old. I can't remember the model information, but I can find it out if I need to.

Thanks for the help.

--Lee

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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 02:56 PM

Hello and welcome to Bleepingcomputer.

You did make sure the heat sink of the CPU did not any embedded dust in it correct?

Below is a procedure you can follow that will help you test your PSU without the motherboard being involved, this will tell you if your PSU is at fault and needs replacing.

WARNING: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN DIRECTIONS THAT INCLUDE WORKING WITH LIVE VOLTAGES OR PARTS INSIDE A COMPUTER'S POWER SUPPLY THAT CAN CAUSE SERIOUS ELECTRICAL SHOCK OR SERIOUS BURNS, A POWER SUPPLY CONTAINS VARY LARGE ELECTROLYTIC CAPACITORS THAT ACT JUST LIKE A BATTERY OR VOLTAGE STORAGE DEVICE, THOSE AND OTHER ELECTRONICS FOUND INSIDE A POWER SUPPLY CAN STORE DANGEROUS AMOUNTS OF ELECTRICITY HOURS OR EVEN WEEKS AFTER ALL ELECTRICAL CURRENT HAS BEEN DISCONNECTED FROM THEM! PLEASE USE EXTREME CAUTION AND COMMON SENSE WHEN WORKING WITH POWER SUPPLIES OR AC VOLTAGES!


The purpose of this procedure is to bypass the motherboard to test a ATX PSU.  Some manufacturers Like Dell have used some non ATX PSUs which have a different pinout for the 20/4 pin connector, please confirm that your PSU is a ATX type before using this procedure.

Caution:
This procedure will involve working with live 12VDC electrical potentials which if handled improperly may lead to electrical shock.  Proper precautions should also be taken to prevent electrostatic discharges (ESDs) within the case of the computer.  For safety purposes please follow the instructions step by step.

First, shutdown your computer. Then unplug the power cable going into your computer.

Once you have opened the case, touch the metal of the case to discharge any static electricity.  

The connector of the PSU which connects to the motherboard is readily recognizable by the number of wires in the bundle.  To disconnect it you will need to press on the plastic clip to disengage it and then pull the connector up and away from the motherboard.  Please take notice of the location of the locking tab and the notch on the socket of the motherboard, this will only connect one way as it is keyed.  This wire bundle will have a memory of the way it has been installed and will want to bend back that direction, you may have to play around with it to find a position that the connector will stay in the same position while you run the test.

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From the top left to right the pins are 13-24, the bottom from left to right are 1-12.

  
Please notice that there are PSUs with 24 pin and 20 pin connectors, the location of the green wire in the 24 pin connector is #16, and the green wire in the 20 pin connector is #14.  If you look at the connector with socket side facing you and the clip on the top the number one pin will be on the bottom left corner.  This makes the pin out for the 24 pin connector from left to right 13-24 on top, and 1-12 on the bottom.  The pin out for the 20 pin connector from left to right is 11-20 on top , and 1-10 on the bottom. If you look at the connectors you notice that these are sockets that fit over the pins on the motherboard where the PSU cable attaches, this is where you will place the jumper.  For a jumper you will need a piece of solid wire about the size of a paper clip (20-22 awg), preferably a wire with insulation.  It will need to be large enough to fit firmly into the socket so that it will not need to be held in place while testing.  You are at risk of electrical shock if you are holding the jumper when you power up the PSU.  Insert one end of the jumper into the socket of the Green wire, and insert the other end into the socket of any Black wire.

Once the jumper is in place plug the cord back in. If the PSU is working properly the case fans, optical drives, hdds, and LEDs should power up and remain on.  I would suggest that you not  leave this connected any longer than is necessary for safety purposes.

To reconnect the 20/4 pin connector unplug the power cord, remove the jumper, and reconnect the connector. Take a moment at this time to make sure that nothing has been dislodged inside the case.

Please report back the results of this test.

Bruce.
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#3 BrianM86

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 06:19 PM

Typical symptoms of a failing PSU. I had a computer do exactly what you described for over a month till I finally replaced the PSU, funny thing is it never completely died, just kept having the same symptoms you described.

Edited by BrianM86, 18 May 2011 - 06:19 PM.





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