Faulty PSU?

  twoshots 15:45 21 Oct 2008

OK, bear with me. I'm pretty experience with all software issues but I'm a bit of an idiot hardware-wise.

Recently I'm having some strange issues with my computer.

One day it just refused to POST. Switched it off and everything was fine. For a while. I kept getting random hangs/freezes in Windows, regardless of what I was running. I've had it happening browsing we pages, playing shareware games, playing graphically demanding games, using Office, Photoshop - basically anything. If I'm typing for example, and it occurs while I'm pressing let's say the 'i' key, it'll just get stuck on constantly keying 'i's, just as if I have my finger held down on 'i'. However it's not a keyboard problem as I've tried several. Also, the whole system becomes unresponsive, even though it's still spewing out 'i's. Hope that makes sense - it's so bizarre it's hard to explain it clearly.

A soft or hard reset gets me out, but on restarting, it won't POST again. If I leave it powered off for 10 minutes or so, it'll boot again, but will keep hanging.

I've taken it to a local computer repair shop, but they said they left it running for 30 minutes andfound nothing wrong. Obviously, they wouldn't if they just switched it on and left it running. Just like starting a car and leaving the engine running though, it doesn't mean the rest of the car works fine.

I won't bore you with my system specs right now, as I'd like a general opinion of what you might think it could be. Similar posts after some Googling have pointed the blame at either the PSU, motherboard, menory or HD.

Anyone else ever experienced anything similar and found a solution?


  chub_tor 15:59 21 Oct 2008

You have the blame pointed in the right direction. Usually the easiest to check is the memory, if you have two sticks take one out at a time and reboot to see if one of them is flaky. New DDR2 memory is very cheap now.

Power supplies can only be checked by substitution unless you have a friendly local repairer who might have a test rig. Again not too expensive to buy and always worth an upgrade.

If it runs OK once booted up it's not likely to be the hard drive or the motherboard or the graphics card come to that.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:07 21 Oct 2008

Agree, the fact it freezes and also hangs on POST points to memory or PSU.

Memory Test
MemTest - click here
Tutorial: How to use Memtest - click here
Windows Memory Test - click here

If renewing a PSU check:

1. The physical size of your PSU, some are hard to replace due to being a non standard size.
2. The amount of power need from the PSU don't skimp.
3 The correct connections for your equipment

1. Physical Dimensions

Besides the specs and form factors, the physical dimensions are also important factors in selecting a compatible power supply. Here is an outline of the physical dimensions of most standard power supplies:

# ATX: 6x3.5x5.5", HxWxD. Most common. Uses 4 mounting screws.
# Mini-ATX: 5x3.5x5", HxWxD. Rare size. Uses 4 mounting screws. Can be used in a regular ATX case, but often not the other way around.
# MicroATX: 5x3x4", HxWxD. Use 3 mounting screws. Not interchangeable with ATX or miniATX.
# Flex ATX: Even smaller than Micro ATX. Various sizes according to case specs; often not interchangeable.

Use the data above to determine if a particular power supply would fit your case.

The quality of a power supply can be estimated by its weight. While this is not a true scientific or thorough measurement of the power supply reliability, it is nevertheless a very simple and easy way for ordinary PC users to estimate and compare the quality of a power supply.

2. Power supply calculator click here

3. Correct connections
Some boards have 20 pin connectors others 24 pin
There is often a 4 pin plug required to power Intel CPUs
Molex D plugs for IDE HDD and CD/DVD drives
SATA power connections for latest HDDs and DVD drives.

Guide to changing PSU
click here
click here

  sunny staines 16:15 21 Oct 2008

is it overheating? under demand

  citadel 17:15 21 Oct 2008

I would get a new psu, more so it it a cheap one that normally comes with the pc when you get it.

  Technotiger 17:22 21 Oct 2008

I'm with sunny staines on this one, I too wondered if over-heating was the problem.

  I am Spartacus 17:31 21 Oct 2008

PSU Tester click here Maplins also have them as well.

More up to data PSU Wattage calculator at click here although it's still work in progress it has a large range of options. Alternative version at click here but I fond it tends to overstate the requirements.

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