PSU given up?

  shauntaylor 15:32 20 Jun 2008

I woke up this morning happy to check a nice nine hour run of orthos had been successful Then I opened my case and swapped a stick of RAM into another slot as i'd mistakenly had them running in single channel mode.

When I switched the pc back on it lasted maybe two seconds before switching off again, I unplugged and plugged back in the power cord making sure it was in tight but same thing happened again. Now i fear my psu has failed but have no idea of how to check this.... also I bought a case and psu combo so I cant actually get at the psu as its hidden away in a sealed compartment in the case so if it is dead I may have to replace case and psu which I realy cant afford.

  shauntaylor 15:32 20 Jun 2008

Now im a little worried.... I removed the ram and graphics card plugged in and powered up.... the front fan turned blue and I thought "woohoo here we go" ... however, this went off but then it powered itself back up... for longer than it had this morning.

To my horror however instead of a nice smooth whirring sound I got a much slower spinning and what sounded like something getting grated I also got a very worrying smell kind of like something burning but not quite that smell? I switched off immediately.

Whats confusing me is I left the pc running orthos overnight after I had overclocked it, when I went back to the loft this morning to check on it I could kind of smell this smell in the air however the pc seemed to be running fine. I immediately shut down and switched the ram as i've previously said and my problems started from there.

  mrwoowoo 17:16 20 Jun 2008

Why were you running Orthos? have you overclocked your system.
Have you tried putting the ram back into the original slots?
Even with a psu that came with the case ,i've found that you can still remove it though they can be awkward.

  Diemmess 18:13 20 Jun 2008

Your title "has the PSU given up?"
Not necessarily....... though a few basics.

Noise and smells suggest overheating and you had run the thing overnight!

Grating noise - Have you disturbed a cable so that it touches a fan?

You say you removed the graphics card? Is there an alternative integrated with the mobo, because no graphics will almost certainly halt the boot process very early.

Removing the PSU.
I can see no advantage to seal the PSU inside the case.
The PSU itself may be sealed against meddlers, but should be withdrawable like any others, though you might have to remove something to feed out the PSU and its cables once its (4)screws have been removed.

  shauntaylor 08:08 21 Jun 2008

sorry maye I wasn't clear enough there, yes I overclocked my cpu, I ran orthos to test if it was stable, I was expecting it to be as I had ran other tests earlier. I removed the graphics card after it was refusing to boot as I was advised to do this as it would help find out if the problem was psu or mobo. Its possible I disturbed a wire and its touching the fan with the psu when I changed the ram over although again that compartment is sealed off.

Im unsure as to what you mean by overheating? The pc was running when I went back to it but there was a slight smell. Whats likely to be damaged if it has overheated?

  Diemmess 12:28 21 Jun 2008

I'm far from the best person to ask about overclocking, but as I understand it you are working the CPU and other components that much harder, and higher current will add to any heat generated.

As a rule heat is bad news for any semiconductor, and running the computer hard for several hours increases the risk of damage to any vulnerable components, though of course it doesn't usually end in tears, because sufficient cooling has been designed into the machine with a margin for safety.

Have you discovered the reason for a grating noise yet?

If you can beg borrow or steal another PSU to eliminate it as a problem, that would be a start!

It might be worth disconnecting the HD, but put the graphics card back first.
This combination should go through the early boot stages and then stop with an error message about no system disk or no OS. That would prove the PSU is OK.

Best of luck solving this problem, there are fewer boffins about at the weekend to trade ideas with you and each other on this forum.

  shauntaylor 23:03 22 Jun 2008

I've been able to remove the PSU from the case but it's still covered apart from the power socket and the molex connectors and the motherboard connectors. Can I test the PSU without removing the covering?

  Diemmess 09:42 23 Jun 2008

There is no easy way to check it is supplying the correct voltages on those connectors.
Any testing needs quite sophisticated equipment, though a local computer shop may be able to do this for you.
The PSU justifies a label of "No serviceable parts." There is also a risk from quite considerable charges remaining on some of its components.

You have been able to remove it, so if it is faulty you can easily put a suitable new one back.

  I am Spartacus 11:08 23 Jun 2008

One of these PSU testers might help click here

  shauntaylor 15:50 23 Jun 2008

I can appreciate that i'm not going to be able to sophistically test the psu without extra equipment. All I want to do is start it up without attaching it to the mobo that way I can verify if it is making the grating sound. Is there a simple way to do this? I'm sorry, i'm a complete novice with regards to PSU's.

  Diemmess 17:13 23 Jun 2008

I honestly don't know whether the PSU in no-load condition might damage some of its circuits.
Probably not, but it is a risk you take if you merely hook it up to the mains.
Th only component in the PSU which could grate, is the fan and I think you would have spotted that already.

As I mentioned earlier, if you put it back together but don't connect the power cable to the HD, Relative silence would then point the finger at the HD.

Fundamentally you have a computer which has gone down and not sure of what has failed.

To add to the gloom - a failure of PSU, motherboard, or HD, can very occsionally kill the other two components.

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