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Problem PC power keeps cutting out

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Hedley, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. Hedley

    Hedley Bit Poster

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    Hi all,

    I've got a problem with the computer I use as a Media Centre. The power randomly 'cuts out', but there's no real pattern to this.

    I could watch 3-4 movies in a row and I wouldn't have any problem, but on another day, I could run a search, and the power would just cut out. No crash dump or nothing.

    The PC uses a media case, but it's got what I think is enough fans to keep it cool. Just to make sure I'm thinking correctly, I've even enabled the 'temperature warn' in BIOS. The only time I've ever set the temperature warn off is by doing a load test, though. The load tests I ran were using Everest, and the computer remained stable throughout the tests.

    I've tried replacing the RAM, changing the power supply, connecting only the 'essential' hardware, and even a full clean of the case using compressed air.

    My expertise don't really lie in Hardware, so I can't think of what else to try. Electrical contact cleaner perhaps?

    Any thoughts would be very useful! Cheers!
     
  2. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Have you tried to full reinstall?
     
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  3. supernova

    supernova Gigabyte Poster

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    I have read some people having this problem with older Nvidia drivers, an update has resulted in stability.

    Also is there anything in the event log?
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2010
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  4. Hedley

    Hedley Bit Poster

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    There's nothing in the event log that identifies what happened. I'll have a look into the nVidia drivers, as it is an nVidia card that's in there.

    I've done a few full re-installations, as it was originally running XP, then Vista, and now 7.
     
  5. supernova

    supernova Gigabyte Poster

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    and you have only started getting these problems since windows 7?
     
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  6. Sco0t

    Sco0t Byte Poster

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    What about the CPU, might be an issue with that?

    If not that..from personal experience sounds like a GFX card problem.
     
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  7. Hedley

    Hedley Bit Poster

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    I was getting the problem since originally having XP. I ended up doing full clean installs, instead of upgrades when changing OS, due to this.
     
  8. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Then it's a hardware problem. It could be anything, like an intermitant short circuit somewhere. Intermittant faults are very difficult to trace.
     
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  9. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Yup it sounds like a dry solder, the best thing to do is simply rip it out and replace it, always go for branded tho as cheap and cheerful really don't pay for themselves.
     
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  10. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Go into the BIOS and see what your temps and voltages are like. If the 12v, 3.3 and 5v readings are over or below these values by 10% or more then you have a psu problem and it needs replaced. You can get more accurate results by using a multimeter.
     
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  11. danielno8

    danielno8 Gigabyte Poster

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    Whoops
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
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  12. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Guys read the post please :rolleyes:
     
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  13. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Yep sorry missed rhat part but I will ask this then.

    Was the PSU you tried brand new or a known good one? are you sure it has sufficient power to run your system? and last is it a good make? I ask the last because there are plenty of PSUs out there that claim to be a certain power but when you add up the amps the maths just doesn't work These PSUs are normally crap name brands like huntkey or winpower or they are generic crap.

    Sounds like a silly question but is the motherboard on standoffs.

    Have you tried bench testing the system i.e start from scratch and build the system outside the case.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
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  14. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

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    The other thing I'd suggest is take a close look at the motherboard, we had a machine here with very similar symptoms and it turned out that several of the capacitors on the board were toast. Take a look at http://www.badcaps.net/ if your not sure what your looking for.

    In the case of the one here I actually found busted caps on both the motherboard and graphics card, replaced both and the PSU (the one that was in there was a generic and could well have been responsible) and its good as new.

    If it is the caps on the board you can either re-cap it or replace it (one will cost you a couple of quid and some time with a soldering iron, the other is quite a bit more expensive :p ).
     
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  15. Hedley

    Hedley Bit Poster

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    Excellent cheers. The board is on stand-offs, but I'll certainly try re-building it outside of the case, and load test again.

    The power supply I originally had was 500W, but when I replaced, I put a 700W in. Every component in the machine has been bought as new.

    I did try changing the video card too, as I had a spare PCI-E Radeon X300 SE. Same problem still occurs though.
     
  16. Hedley

    Hedley Bit Poster

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    Resolved this a couple of weeks ago. Ended up removing heatsink, and cleaning up that and the processor. Applied some Artic Silver 5, and re-seated. Never had a cut-out for weeks now :)
     
  17. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Great, glad it's sorted 8)
     
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