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How to tell if PSU is the problem?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by datarunner, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. datarunner

    datarunner Byte Poster

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    hi all

    i had a PC that was a nightmare to repair. after testing and swapping parts im beginning to think the power supply is the prob as its only a 300W running a Sempron 3000+.

    i just wonderd if there was a way to check if the psu is the prob? ive heard Lavasys's Everest can do this but not sure how.

    any ideas?
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP 210, 270, HNC Networking
    WIP: MCSA
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    A PSU tester will tell you if the PSU is outputting the correct voltages.
     
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  3. datarunner

    datarunner Byte Poster

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    OK but wot if u dont have a PSU tester?

    while we are on the subject is there a PSU tester you would recommend ie make / model?

    regards
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP 210, 270, HNC Networking
    WIP: MCSA
  4. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    if you don't have one then you could guess, but thats a bad idea.

    This tester from maplins is a newer version of normal testers you just plug the lead that goes into the mobo in it and it tells you if its knackered or not http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=98829&criteria=psu tester&doy=27m8

    Normal PSU testers you use the probes and use them to connect to the contacts on the plug in the mobo and they are about the same price but more bulky
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  5. datarunner

    datarunner Byte Poster

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    cheers bud

    no software that can define this?
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP 210, 270, HNC Networking
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  6. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Swap the PSU out with one that works on a different system and see if everything works. :)
     
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  7. r.h.lee

    r.h.lee Gigabyte Poster

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    datarunner,

    In the case (pun intended) that you don't have a PSU tester or another power supply, a good way to verify PSU operations is to strip down the computer and remove the motherboard from the case. Then, with the only components connected to each other are: 1) the PSU 2) the motherboard 3) the cpu and 4) at least one stick of RAM, use like a metal object like a screwdriver to connect the two jumper pins on the motherboard that corresponds to the on/off switch. If the system fails to power up, then it may be the power supply.

    Another thing you might want to check is if there's enough juice (wattage) in the power supply to even power the computer and it's components. Disclaimer: I do not work for PC Power & Cooling, I just know that this chart is the only one that I know of. Here's a "Power Supplies: How Much Power Do You Need?" webpage...

    Link:
    1. Power Supplies: How Much Power Do You Need? @ pcpower.com - http://www.pcpower.com/technology/power_usage/
     
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  8. Gary B

    Gary B Nibble Poster

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    What he said :D

    PSU are often the cause of many many erratic and random issues, it's not down so much to the power output but the quality of the components used and how stable the current is that they can supply. Don't forget there are numerous rails of different voltages and whilst everything may appear to be working it only takes small fluctuations in one of them to cause all sorts of random issues.

    Using a tried and tested spare is the best answer
     
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  9. thecatsmother

    thecatsmother Byte Poster

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    Yep, solved a problem this way recently myself. A local repair shop let me borrow the PSU they used to swap with suspect PSUs they are testing. I was gonna buy one as I was fairly certain the PSU was the problem, but they didn't have one in stock, so I did a deal with them and left a deposit for the cost price to them on the understanding that if it worked ok I could keep it for cost, and if not I could return it and retrieve my deposit. It worked.
     
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  10. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Cool nice one.. The PSU is usually the cause of a dead computer, like 9 times out of 10 and a 300W PSU is very underrated IMHO, doomed to fail.
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)

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