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Possible Bad Power Supply


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11 replies to this topic

#1 Drafthorse

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 07:43 AM

I was given a system that I think has a bad power supply, but the rest of hardware seems okay. I don't remember the name/model of the video card (I can post that when I get home), but the mobo docs say it wants at least a 600 watt PSU. I'm reasonably certain the problem lies in the PSU based on what I was told about its history, i.e. It worked fine for a long time, then random crashes, BSOD's, and then it would run less and less time before shutting down. 

 

 Power the machine up and the drives and fans spin up, it passes post, and tries to boot from a Ubuntu USB stick. Hit delete a few times to get into BIOS Setup and -- it shuts off. Hitting the power button again will start it up again but it'll turn off quicker. There is no OS on the hard disk yet, so diagnostic software won't help at this point.

 

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad @ 2.5GHz

RAM: 4 Gb DDR2

VIDEO: ZOTAC ZT-95TEK2M-FSL GeForce 9500 GT

MOBO: XFX nForce 750i SLI

PSU: 600 Watts

2 DVD+RW Drives

1 160 Gb SATA 2 HD (For testing. Bigger HD's to come later.)

 

Going to do a voltage test to make sure, but I guess one question is this: What's a good make & model PSU for a box like this? Any particular brands I should stay away from?

 

This is an older but still useful machine that I'd like to get working, but would like to avoid spending money on a lost cause. A PSU is a fairly reasonable fix at this point.


Edited by Drafthorse, 22 February 2014 - 11:01 AM.


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#2 jonuk76

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 09:51 AM

The parts mentioned already don't need a great amount of power themselves.  A 300-350w PSU would be perfectly adequate for a Core 2 Quad system with those parts and a low end video card.  It's the video card (s) that will make the difference, and it's impossible to recommend a PSU without knowing what will be used.

 

In general, avoid unbranded PSU's, or PSU's that are unusually cheap for their claimed power rating.  Corsair CX range are good basic power supplies at a reasonable price.


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#3 Drafthorse

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 10:58 AM

Thanks for your reply. Sorry about not including the video card, but I was posting from work and could not remember what it was.

 

The video card is a ZOTAC ZT-95TEK2M-FSL GeForce 9500 GT card.

 

Its listed on Newegg.com here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814500147

 

System requirements list a 350 Watt PSU as the minimum for that particular card. :)


Edited by Drafthorse, 22 February 2014 - 11:01 AM.


#4 jonuk76

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 11:10 AM

No worries :)  I was fearing that it could be something like a couple of 9800GTX's in SLI mode which really would justify a 600w+ PSU!! Also any overclocking increases the power requirements if you are into that.  But that's a fairly basic card.  If you want to overspecify a bit (really not a bad thing) then this can be had for $20 after a mail in rebate - http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-power-supply-cx430

 

Some other good deals - http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-power-supply-cx500  http://pcpartpicker.com/part/xfx-power-supply-p1550sxxb9


Edited by jonuk76, 22 February 2014 - 11:24 AM.

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#5 Drafthorse

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 11:39 AM

Actually, there's room for another video card  . . . :whistle:  Nah, then I'd need another monitor . . . and on it would go. :lol:

 

Thanks for the tip about that parts picker site. Handy to have.



#6 jonuk76

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 11:52 AM

Yes it would have been a high spec motherboard in it's time aimed at enthusiasts and gamers.  Probably why they suggest large power supplies in the documentation.  By the way, SLI doesn't need multiple monitors, it uses two GPU's to render the graphics (effectively sharing the workload) but it needs both the cards and the motherboard to support it.

 

The 3 PSU's I've mentioned above are all good quality items despite the almost give away prices if you count the rebates.  It seems amazing some of the deals that come up from time to time (I think I've even seen those Corsair CX's come up at less than $20 after rebates, discount codes and what have you).


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#7 Drafthorse

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 10:16 PM

Follow up:

 

Good News: The new PSU came in earlier than expected and is now installed in the case. I thought it over and decided to go with a 600 watt replacement PSU because it gives me the capacity for future upgrades. Plugged it in, turned it on, and nothing smoked, melted, or burst into flames, so we're good there! (What my dad used to call that the "maximum smoke test.")  :lmao:

 

A minor issue has come up though: Hit the power switch on the front of the case and everything fires up - then goes right back off. I've checked all the connectors and everything seems to be seated properly. I didn't change any jumper settings, and all the mobo to case connections are in place. So I'm wondering if there's a setting I'm missing somewhere, or did I get a PSU that's DOA out of the box? (The output voltages seem okay when I checked those.)

 

It's been a few years since I last messed with this stuff and I'm a bit stumped . . . :huh:


Edited by Drafthorse, 26 February 2014 - 10:18 PM.


#8 synergy513

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 11:22 PM

those nvidia 8/9 series cards are notorious for being dysfunctional after a user tries to sleep/hibernate/standby their machine. they don't recover well and are likely to hose up periodically after that either in the boot sequence or once the platform is running with OS and everything, the pc just freezes. .i had the same thing happen on my xp machine with a nvidia 9 series. what i did was totally uninstall the drivers and the card and get by on integrated onboard video for a time, then reinstall and all is rosy and fast again with the display. i learned not to sleep/standby my machine again with that card. my amd hd 5550 was perfectly functional with that, but not my nvidia.

 

those 9500 gt cards are rated at 50 watts.


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#9 Drafthorse

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 01:15 AM

Thanks for the reply.

 

Edit: checked the docs for the mobo and this one does not have on board video, so yanking the video board turns out not to be an option for me at this point. 

 

I'm wondering if its not something about the power button on the case? The only thing that's changed is the PSU, and all the jumpers, etc. are unchanged and the CMOS has been cleared too.


Edited by Drafthorse, 27 February 2014 - 02:05 AM.


#10 synergy513

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 02:03 AM

i have done multiple PSU replacement/upgrades/installations and the things are usually not  a hassle. there are the 2 plugs that go to the motherboard, the wide 24 pin and the 4/8 pin. and then the hard drive sata plug (s), the optical drive plugs etc. it usually is a process that isn't carrying too many variables, unless you crimped a cable or something.

 

 the one thing that is carrying alot of variables is the 9500 gt. I have done multiple card replacements and upgrades, and i would just love to believe it isn't a biggie, but it is. so many things can go wrong with those pesky graphics cards. the bright side is that if it was your RAM, the blue screen phenomenon would be in the picture so at least you would have that to deduce.

 

does your machine have a video out port coming off the motherboard? if it does, then that is one function you could use to rule out everything BUT the 9500gt. power down the PC, unseat the card, plug your monitor into your onboard video out port, and boot back up to check for display. if it doesn't work, then power back down , and then power up and get into BIOS with a steady flogging of your f2 key during the first few seconds of power-up (most of the time this is the BIOS trigger, but it culd be the delete key or something else) and once in BIOS, check for the display toggles. i think the video card toggle is called PEG or something like that. disable peg. and save and exit. if all goes well, you will have display and we can narrow it down further.


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#11 Drafthorse

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 02:11 AM

I went back through the docs for the mobo, and there isn't a video output on the board itself. I'm at work right now, but when I get home I'm going to check all the cables again. The 24 pin & 4/8 pin connectors were seated, as are the ones for SATA and the DVD drive.

 

I'm thinking that I may have gotten a PSU that's DOA. . . 


Edited by Drafthorse, 27 February 2014 - 06:17 AM.


#12 Drafthorse

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 01:39 AM

Its fixed!

 

Went over the machine again after work and found the problem. The 4/8 pin connector was on, but not all the way down and latched. I couldn't see it until I laid the case over on its side on the table and used a really bright work light on it. (Yeah, I'm getting old.) The beast fired right up after the connector locked into place. Now the fun of installing Windows can start. :)

 

Thanks to all for your help, and especially for the hardware sites.






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