My daughter's PC has gone phut - PSU questions

  rickus 13:50 03 Sep 2006


My daughter's PC has had a problem when she turned it on this morning. It made a noise, started to smell of burning and then stopped doing anything.

After taking the cover off and sniffing around I think the smell is coming from the PSU.

Is installing a new PSU a job a non-expert can do?

What PSU should I get and from where - could it be a compatible one to that listed below if I can no longer get the original?
The PC was built for her at university 3 years ago. It says it is a Shuttle X on the front and it has a smallish case - the PSU looks about half the size of the one from an old PC of mine.
Her PSU is an Achme AM630BS20S.

Many thanks

  DieSse 15:02 03 Sep 2006

*Is installing a new PSU a job a non-expert can do?*

Yes it's very easy - basically a few screws and a number of plugs

You will have to get an equivalent sized PSU - which is not the same as a "standard" one from a regular tower.

This is a Shuttle PSU click here but you should check with them first to see if it's a direct replacement for your particular one.

One word of warning - PSUs that go pop can sometimes damage other components, including the motherboard, plug-in cards - and hard drives. Not always but sometimes9.

If you have access to a spare regular PSU you can use it carefully without fitting it to the case, and check if anything else has gone. If other parts have blown too, your best course of action may be to replace the whole she-bang.

If it was during a Thunderstorm, check your insurances.

  Ray5776 15:10 03 Sep 2006

Changing a PSU is normally a fairly simple matter on a desktop PC. I think you will find MicroDirect a source for a replacement but if as you say it is not the same size as a normal PSU then probably expensive.

  961 15:11 03 Sep 2006

Type "Achme psu" into google for forum info

If she is still at uni can they help?

If back home, how old is this system?

PSU replacements are not expensive so long as they have not damaged other components

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:14 03 Sep 2006

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 15:26 03 Sep 2006

click here
some good info here with easy to follow, illustrated instructions..

  rickus 16:36 03 Sep 2006

Great advice everyone - much appreciated.

Will do some research on your leads and see if I can test for anything else having gone with my old PSU outside the case.


  Ray5776 00:20 04 Sep 2006

"PSUs that go pop can damage other components, sometimes 9"
A little pessimistic dont you think :-)

  DieSse 00:27 04 Sep 2006

I've seen just about every combination - from just the PSU to virtually every component damaged.

It's as well to be aware that replacing the PSU just might not be the end of it. If the PSU is all that's gone - all well and good - I hope so.

  Strawballs 00:32 04 Sep 2006

Only being realistic and seeing if there is a way off checking without spending what could be quite a lot on a non standard size PSU

  Ray5776 18:14 04 Sep 2006

DieSse & Strawballs,
fair comments from both of you.

Reading DieSse posting again it looks as if the (sometimes 9) may be a typing mistake rather than meaning sometimes 9 other components may be damaged.
I may be wrong of course but anyway hope rickus gets away with just a PSU. He is at least taking your advice and testing with another PSU before spending out about £50.

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