Power Supply Problems

  SpoonHeed 21:24 08 Jan 2008

A couple of weeks ago I booted my PC and went off to make a coffee while she was firing up. When I returned to logon (Windows XP Pro) I noticed that the mouse pointer would not move and also that the keyboard was non responsive.

I reset the machine and as the PC booted up I was greeted with the CMOS screen where a message was displayed saying that due to a problem some of my settings had been altered and that I needed to make changes to the CMOS settings to ensure the PC worked correctly. Anyway after reading this I just exited the CMOS screen without altering any settings and my PC booted up as normal with no problems.

My machine was ok for a couple of weeks when the original problem happened again (can't move the mouse & keyboard not working). This time when I rebooted the PC I failed to get the beep when the machine tried to boot up.

I opened her up and popped the memory out and then pressed it back in again. (256 3200 DDR)

Upon swith on I heard the fans run at a very low speed even though the PC was turned off which was strange. I pressed the power button on the front which made no difference, I could just here the fans continually running at what seemed to be a very slow speed compared with how they normally sound. Then all of a sudden a small pop and then smoke coming from the power supply unit which is, or was, a Power Master 300W supply (Low Budget I know).

Okay new tower purchased an Ezcool N630 Series 500w.

I took out the motherboard (complete)along with my 2 x hard drives and fitted them into the new tower along with a couple of new DVD drives/writers. Anyway I switched the tower on and a heard the fans startup at what seemed more like the speed they should run at, and I'm sure that I heard my hard drives starting to run up to speed.

I then noticed that I didn't get the usual post start up beep and I also noticed that my monitor went back in to standby. The next thing to happen was an extremely loud pop from the power supply of the new tower followed by smoke! Arrgh!!!!

When staring into the inards of the PC I noticed a chip on the motherboard that looked as though it had a black substance metled onto the surface. To be honest i noticed this when I was swaping it out of the old tower but just took it to be some king of glue/substance that had been dropped onto it during manufacture.

Anyway as I was staring this time with the light shining at a different angle I noticed that the chip looked as though it had heat damage to it close by the glue/substance mark. On closer inspection I could see that some of the legs on the chip were burnt.

The chip in question is marked iTE and is described in the motherboard book as a Super I/O controller.

So now to my questions...

Obviously something is causing a short circuit which in turn is blowing the power supply but what?

Could it be that the motherboard was at fault (ASUS A7V8X-X)? I know that it is now useless.

Could the CPU (Athlon XP2500) or the 256 3200 DDR Memory be causing the short circuit?

Or even one of the hard drives?

I have another PC (the one I'm using to type this letter for help) and can swap bits out to check if they are working but obviously I dont want to check the item which is causing the short and lose another Power supply.

I know that the power supply issues may have fried some of the other components so what is my best bet. Do I simply buy a new motherboard, memory and CPU?

Should I be ok to test my hard drives?

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.


  skidzy 21:33 08 Jan 2008

Think its time for a mobo bundle Kev :-) with a branded psu.

If ive read correctly,you have now got two blown psu's ?

Looks like something is shorting out or possible electric surges in the house !!

  Zopah 21:35 08 Jan 2008

Yeah, surgeproof plug should be on your shopping list too!

  SpoonHeed 10:35 09 Jan 2008

Yep your right that's 2 x power supplies cream crackered!!

So a mobo bundle it is then!! Any advice as to what mobo bundle I should go for?

The PC is basically used for surfing, word processing, listening to music and a little bit of spreadsheet work, so I don't need a high end rig.

Also could you give any advice as to who offers good priced mobo bundles?

Thanks Again!!

  sunny staines 10:54 09 Jan 2008

novatech in portsmouth also have a web site for orders. does several m/board bundles.

  keef66 12:11 09 Jan 2008

I'd second the Novatech recommendation.
For your needs I'd be looking for the cheapest Core 2 duo bundle with onboard graphics, otherwise you'll be having to buy a separate PCI-express graphics card

  keef66 13:33 09 Jan 2008

having looked, none of the Core 2 Duo bundles come with integrated graphics. There's a range of Athlon 64 bundles that do though. You could be looking at £100-ish for mobo, cpu, fan, memory.

Bear in mind if your operating system is OEM rather than retail, Microsoft may not re-activate it on a new motherboard.

  SpoonHeed 15:03 09 Jan 2008

Thanks for the info on Novatech guys! I've spotted a bare nbones bundle on their system for £151 their ref Order Code: BB-X24626M Manf. Code: BB-X24626M.

Seems a fair deal but can anyone recommend? keef66 what do you think?


  keef66 16:24 09 Jan 2008

It's a good deal. You should notice a dramatic improvement compared with what you had.
My comment about the OS still applies, and bear in mind that it comes with just one IDE connector which will take 2 devices, so if you have multiple IDE hard disks and optical drives, you might need to consider SATA replacements.

  SpoonHeed 11:09 10 Jan 2008

My bare bones bundle that I ordered after 4pm last night has just arrived from Novatech and looks like a really nice piece of kit.

I just want to thank everyone who has given advice with special mention to keef66 for keeping me right!!

Thanks again everyone!!

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