Hard Disk or Power Supply problem?

  drexdrex 15:11 14 Nov 2007

Hi Folks,

I've been running a XP 2000+ on a Asus A7A266 with a NVidia GeForce 5700 LE graphics card. Recently my system has been exhibiting annoying behaviour:-

*Often (very!) the system will not detect the HD (Fujitsu MPG3409AH E) and will not boot.

* In BIOS it will sometimes find the hard drive (primary IDE master) after a while (half a minute of so) but will often not find it at all.

* When the computer does load (XP) i can do everything successfully but if i try to restart the computer it never finds the HD.

* Looking at the ASUS probe i see that occasionally i get dips in my 12V voltage (down to 8.8V) for about 1 second (with a 100% CPU usage peak)

I am thinking that maybe the Hard Drive is broken. And/Or maybe the power supply is insufficient/faulty.

The power supply is a FSP Group Inc FSP250-60GTA and has features +3.3V/+5V 150Wmax +3.3V/+5V/+12V 230Wmax.

Unfortunately i do not have a spare HD to stick in to test whether the HD is faulty. I have seen reviews that this HD does occasionally go in this way.

However, it might also be the PSU, given the voltage trough explained earlier. The system was orignially a Athlon 1400 and had a GeForce4 card so the wattage usage must have gone up since then, but it still has the original PSU.

I've tried calculating the watt usage (can't find the usage for the A7A266!). Also have CDRW and DVD attached, along with floppy, FW card (not used), SB sound card, TV card (not used).

Perhaps people could recommend what i should do now to investigate this problem. I was thinking of buying a new cheap HD ( 100Gb) to see if it is the HD, but thought i'd check to see if its the PSU first!


  johnnyrocker 15:18 14 Nov 2007

the psu seems to me to be the cheaper option


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:54 14 Nov 2007

I agree very low power spec on your PSU a better PSU may work wonders.

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

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

Guide to changing PSU
click here
click here

  SANTOS7 16:59 14 Nov 2007

Fruit Bat /\0/\s been eating manuals again, have to agree with both PSU is under powered..

  woodchip 18:50 14 Nov 2007

This could be a Faulty Data Cable or Faulty Drive Or Motherboard

  drexdrex 09:07 15 Nov 2007

Thanks your advice everyone, i appreciate the detail, and have now ascertained a more powerful PSU (300W rather than 250W) which i shall install soon.

  Technotiger 09:14 15 Nov 2007

Hi, by todays' standards 300W is very poor for any PC - we usually advise the most powerful you can afford, or at least a 450W PSU.

  Technotiger 09:17 15 Nov 2007

I must add, that to manage all your peripherals 300W would most likely still give your PC problems. Absolute minimum should be 450W and of a good quality make.

  umbongo(uk) 14:04 15 Nov 2007

motherboard wattage is usualy calculated by online calcs as 25watts and remember the calculations are at peak values of everything on load

click here

check out journey and read what is already taken into consideration before completing the form

it could be youre psu is on its way out
as your on the brink of its powering capabilitys
taking into consideration the calculater is for everything running youve had a good run

  drexdrex 09:47 16 Nov 2007

Hi everyone,

I disabled the DVD and CDRW drives last night, and now the system works fine. So it definitely was a power supply issue as you recommended. I managed to attach the CDRW back in, and it would still work stably. I've just got to get a new power supply now!

The power supply calculator (mentoned above) is in refit at the moment, but i imagine getting a 450W power supply will suffice.

Thanks for your help,

  Technotiger 09:51 16 Nov 2007

Yes, 450w should be fine - make sure physical dimensions are suitable for your case, take the measurements!

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