Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

[Q] Need Help With Sudden Power Loss


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 zaggles

zaggles

  • Members
  • 3 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:12:28 PM

Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:17 AM

Hi all, 

 

Apologies in advance for the wall of text!  I just wanted to try and be as thorough as possible to help solve the issue.

 

Summary of Issue:  I have been having an issue with my computer suddenly losing power / restarting at random.  

System Specs:

  • Motherboard - Asus P7P55 LX Motherboard (Link)
  • CPU - Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield Quad-Core 2.66GHz LGA 1156 (Link)
  • CPU Fan - ARCTIC Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 2, CPU Cooler  (Link)
  • RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (Link)
  • Video CardSapphire Radeon HD 5850 (Link)
  • Power SupplyMSI TurboStream MS-4500-020 500W ATX12V  (Link)
  • Hard Drive - Don't remember, probably Western Digital 7200rpm 450 GB
  • OS - Windows 7 Professional x64

Newly Purchased Upgrades/Replacements:

  • Hard Drive - SAMSUNG 840 EVO MZ-7TE250BW 250GB SSD (Link)
  • Video CardASUS GeForce GTX 750 Ti GTX750TI-OC-2GD5 (Link)

 

Detailed Explanation:

  1. Approximately three to four months ago, I started having issues when playing games on my computer.  After a few hours, my screen would suddenly go black.  However, the power to my computer would stay on, as I could still hear the music in the game when the screen would go black.  The only way to get the video to come back was restarting the computer.
    • ​​Symptoms - When the screen would go black, I could hear my video card fan (well presumably video fan) kick into high gear.  Combined with just  video loss, to me this indicated an overheating issue.
    • Action Taken
      • Reformatted PC with fresh install of Win7 x64 and updated drivers
      • Cleaned/Dusted PC and fans
      • Removed fans/heatsink from graphics card and cpu, cleaned off old thermal compound, reapplied Arctic Silver compound and let cure overnight.
      • Monitored graphics card temperatures while gaming.  Apparently Radeon 5xxx series have some notoriety when it comes to heating.  Idle temperatures were around 45 degrees C, and closer to 55-65 degrees C under load.
    • Results - It seemed that my graphics card was still running a little hot.  I adjusted the default fan speed before gaming (from base 25% to around 70%).  I also went full ghetto-rig and took off the side panel of my case to put a box fan next to it.  This would give me idle temperatures around 30 degrees C and gaming temperatures around 45 degrees C.
  2. A few months go by, and unfortunately, the problem was still there and seemed only to be getting worse.  I was previously able to play for two-three hours before having the video loss issue.  For more graphics intensive games, like Skyrim, I was able to play 30 minutes at best.  At present (as of last week), I couldn't even play Team Fortress for more than 10 minutes without the video loss issue.
  3. New Power Loss Problem - at some point during all of this, my computer would just suddenly lose power completely, rather than just losing video (which forced a restart anyways).
    • ​​Symptoms - When computer was under load / gaming, I would either lose video and hear the fan kick into high gear, or it would just suddenly lose power.  By suddenly losing power, I mean it was as if I just unplugged it (i.e., no shutdown screen, logging off, etc.).  When it did suddenly lose power, it would restart on its own, meaning I did not need to press the power/reset buttons.
    • Action Taken - I figured that perhaps my graphics card was dying, and I was also looking for an excuse to upgrade, so I purchased the above listed items (Geforce 750 Ti and EVO 250GB SSD).
    • Result - Mo' problems.
  4. Continued Power Loss - My new components arrived yesterday, and I installed them both at the same time (bad for troubleshooting, good for excitedness to play with new toys).  Unfortunately, though, the power loss problem is to the point where my computer is unusable and restarts randomly ever 10 - 20 minutes.
    • Symptoms - Sudden power loss / restarting seemingly at random.  Sometimes it won't get past the Windows loading screen, sometimes it will hang in there for 20 minutes.
    • Action Taken
      • Installed graphics card and SSD.  SSD was installed as primary boot drive (actually unplugged older HDD for time being), formatted, and fresh install of Win 7 x64.
      • First install of Win 7 had some errors when getting to setting up profile / updating registry (phase after file extraction/install and first installer mandatory reboot).  I assumed it was a corrupt image (legally purchased/obtained from msft.digitalriver.net).  I had an older Win 7 ISO (SP 1 w/out Media update), so I used that disk.
      • Second install of Win 7 works (sorta).  I am able to get to the desktop, but I am already noticing the weird restarts and power cycling.
      • Install some new drivers and Windows Update.  Random restarts / Power cycling continues at this point.
  5. Guess as to Issue - Since I'm upgrading from an HDD to SSD, I thought that perhaps the SSD was corrupt / DOA, or that I didn't have some particular settings correct.
    • Action Taken
      • Go into BIOS to poke around, and most everything seems to be set to "Auto".  I reset everything to default (clicked "Load Setup Defaults") in case there is some weird voltage/power issue I'm unaware of.  No success.
      • Try different SATA cable on same port (SATA 1) - No success
      • Try different SATA cable and different port (SATA 4) - No success
      • Read online that SSD's should be set to AHCI (it was previously set to IDE). So I changed the SSD to AHCI --> BSOD --> read it AHCI requires reformat or you get BSOD --> reformat and do another fresh install of Win 7 x64 - No success.
  6. What now? - Anybody have any ideas as to what the issue may be and how I should go about troubleshooting?  My guess from research is that (in order of likeliness) is (1) RAM failing; (2) PSU failing; (3) CPU overheating; (4) Motherboard failing; (5) CPU failing.
  • Next Steps
    • When I get home this evening, I plan on running Memtest86.  
      • Question - does the free version of Memtest86 support x64 systems?  If not, can you recommend a free tool?
    • Swap out power supply.  Wife's computer has a 500w PSU that I can try to swap out.  Not sure if it has all the right pins/connectors though.
      • Question - is there a possibility that the issue is the current 500w PSU is not enough to power my system?  The new graphics card I have uses less power than the old one, and up until a few months ago, everything ran fine.
      • Question - I also have a multimeter, but I'm not sure how to use this to test a power supply or if it would even be useful (since it could just indicate voltage and live/dead, rather than stress under load).

Computer/Tech Skill Level:  I'm slightly above average in my computer skill / knowledge.  I know my way around and understand basics, but I couldn't really tell you what items on an error report/log mean.  That being said, feel free to dumb it down for me.

 

Any advice or help in resolving my issues would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you in advance for your time and expertise!

 



BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 jonuk76

jonuk76

  • Members
  • 2,168 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wales, UK
  • Local time:05:28 PM

Posted 23 July 2014 - 10:26 AM

Hi there.  Hard shut downs (what I mean by that is shut downs not under control of the operating system, but rather just a sudden loss of power) can indicate a problem with the PSU.  Certainly it is something worth ruling out.  I don't think it's a case of not enough "wattage".  Those 750 Ti's are very power efficient - very much more so than a Radeon HD 5850.  A 500w PSU is sufficient, for that system.  But if the PSU has developed a fault (components can and do fail due to age) then that could be an explanation.  MSI, to my knowledge, have never had much of a reputation for power supplies.

 

Voltage can be measured with the multimeter.  A simple thing you can do is insert the probes into a spare molex connector which will allow you to measure 5v and 12v rails (be very careful not to short out the probes on each other or anything metal) and see what voltages you get when the PC is running. 

 

Or this shows you how to test voltages out of the PC (won't be under load however)..

 

AHCI in my experience can be flaky on older motherboards or when older SATA components are attached.  Things like a non AHCI compatible HDD or optical drive being attached to the controller can cause problems.  Try to see if Windows 7 will install to the SSD without any of the secondary disks etc. attached at first.   You can install Windows 7 from a USB stick instead of a DVD if necessary.  Windows 7 does have AHCI drivers built in but if there is a motherboard manufacturer supplied AHCI driver that might be worth a try.

 

Memtest x86 works with 64bit systems just fine.


Edited by jonuk76, 23 July 2014 - 10:27 AM.

7sbvuf-6.png


#3 zaggles

zaggles
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 3 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:12:28 PM

Posted 23 July 2014 - 10:51 AM

 

AHCI in my experience can be flaky on older motherboards or when older SATA components are attached.  Things like a non AHCI compatible HDD or optical drive being attached to the controller can cause problems.  Try to see if Windows 7 will install to the SSD without any of the secondary disks etc. attached at first.   You can install Windows 7 from a USB stick instead of a DVD if necessary.  Windows 7 does have AHCI drivers built in but if there is a motherboard manufacturer supplied AHCI driver that might be worth a try.

 

 

Thanks for the feedback!  I should have included it before, but the only other SATA components attached are a DVD drive (its either a LG DVD Burner Model GH24NS50 or Samsung DVD Burner Model SH-S223B) and the connection cable for the SATA front port on my case (unused at the moment).  All of the components, with the exception of the new graphics card and SSD, were purchased between 2008 - 2010, so it is certainly possibly the 5-6 year old PSU is tanking.

 

Question - When I installed Win 7 the first time on the SSD, I had the former HDD disconnected so that the SSD was the only disk attached.  Are you recommending that I try installing Windows 7 with the DVD drive and front port connector detached as well?  If so, would it be sufficient to just see if Win 7 will run with those items detached, or do I need to do a reformat/fresh install with the DVD and front port detached?

 

Also, not sure if it has any bearing on the situation, but my mobo only supports up to SATA 3 Gb/s, whereas the new SSD I purchased is SATA III 6 Gb/s.  My understanding is that these are fully backwards compatible and that I didn't need to adjust any settings to make it work.  From ASUS's product page, it looks like the lone SATA driver/utility was updated in Sept. 2009.  I'll check it out unless you think this is dated to the point where Win 7 drivers should be sufficient.

 

I also think my BIOS is quite out of date.  I'll flash that as well this evening and report back.



#4 jonuk76

jonuk76

  • Members
  • 2,168 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wales, UK
  • Local time:05:28 PM

Posted 23 July 2014 - 12:31 PM

I was just wondering if it would still BSOD in AHCI mode with all SATA devices bar the SSD detached.  I don't think the front panel connector (USB is it?) should have any impact though.  I recently had an issue with an optical drive on my current PC that was causing problems when connected in AHCI mode (it was an old SATA one I had from about 2007).   If Windows 7 is installed correctly to the SSD you shouldn't need to re-install it.  This shows a few things you should do before re-enabling AHCI in BIOS - http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/61869-ahci-enable-windows-7-vista.html

 

SATA III devices are backward compatible with earlier versions.  Obviously they are limited to the transfer speed of the earlier versions but otherwise no problem.

 

A newer BIOS may improve AHCI performance possibly, but I'd be a bit wary of doing one if the random shut downs problem is not solved.  A loss of power during a BIOS flash could result in an effectively dead motherboard...


Edited by jonuk76, 23 July 2014 - 12:35 PM.

7sbvuf-6.png


#5 zaggles

zaggles
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 3 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:12:28 PM

Posted 25 July 2014 - 08:04 AM

Update - Solved! (hopefully)

 

Just wanted to report back that I think the issue has been solved.

 

Currently, it seems as though my power supply is failing.  I swapped in the PSU from my wife's computer and it has been running fine since with zero crashes.  Just ordered a new PSU to replace the old one.  

 

Since it appeared to be stable, I updated the BIOS.  Thanks for the heads up on the shutdowns/loss of power warning on updating the BIOS.  That is something I knew, but would have absent mindedly forgotten until it was too late.  Haven't run Memtest yet, but I'm still planning on doing it once the new PSU comes in just to cover all my bases.  If anything out of the ordinary appears, I'll report back.






1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users