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Power Supply Testing ???

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Co9, May 11, 2009.

  1. Co9

    Co9 Nibble Poster

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    Dear All,

    Am now the proud owner of a Vastech Deluxe ATX2.0 Power Supply Tester.
    A couple of weeks ago my daughter switched on to no avail and I now want to ascertain for sure whether it is the power supply or the mobo. Despite the instructions on the unit and total absense of any others for total newbies - I just need to know I'm doing things the right way.
    I know to test the power supply with a multimeter the supply needs to be connected to the mobo. The power supply is now uninstalled and disconnected from the system - I believe this little tester is what I need if I want to test the power supply without a mobo. Anyway -earlier I connected it up to the supply tester and plugged into the power supply cable and into the wall ( which I have tested and know to be supplying power including the cable ) - none of the lights appeared on the tester and therefore nothing happened - is this my conclusion that the power supply is not working ?????
    Please can you let me have the correct procedure for using this device / power tester if (as I fear) I have totally missed the point.

    Many Thanks

    Co9:D:D
     
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  2. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Well there are many different varieties of power supply testers, so there is no difinitive answer. Surely it came with instructions? if not search the Internet and see if you can find some.

    On a side note, if your PC is totally dead, the chances of it being the power supply is very high.
     
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  3. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    you need to have the power supply connected to the mobo, power supplys don't work unless they are connected.

    You can buy ATX testers which means you can test the PSU without having to connect it to a motherboard if you buy one make sure it supports 20 and 24 pin mobo connector.

    Once you have tested the PSU (whilst connected to the mobo and wall socket) do not worry if the readings are a little above or below what they should be. If all is fine document what you have done and the results and then you can start to investigate other avenues such as the mobo or cpu.

    If your system is unstable and psu is fine, try flashing the BIOS this can sometimes resolve stability issues.
     
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  4. neutralhills

    neutralhills Kilobyte Poster

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    Component swapping is the easiest route. Take a known good PSU and put it into your brat's system. If it powers up normally, it's the old PSU.

    Apologies for bursting your bubble, but any PSU tester without an LCD readout and voltage alarms is not good for much beyond diagnosing units with hard failures. You'll want something with LCD voltage readouts and alarms to test a PSU for flakiness over a given time frame. Unfortunately, even these units don't really do the job as they don't load the PSU down enough to make it reveal its quirks. Which is why component swapping is so important.

    I've seen many PSUs that have tested OK turn out to be flaky after component swapping showed them to be the faulty component. Easier and cheaper than buying a DBS-2100 PSU load tester, IMO.
     
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  5. Boycie
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    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    I with NH on this one. Sometimes componant swops is the only way to pinpoint a faulty piece of equipment as sometimes it only fails under certain conditions. Just a shame about the cupboard full of spares we have to carry! :twisted:
     
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  6. neutralhills

    neutralhills Kilobyte Poster

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    Part and parcel of running a PC repair biz. I've got spare just about everything for swapping purposes. The other necessity for my shop is a 3 terabyte file server (4 1TB drives set to RAID5) that everything is backed onto before I work on it courtesy of Acronis TrueImage. Wasn't cheap, but it's less expensive than a lawyer if someone's data gets borked during a repair. Can't be too careful.
     
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  7. Boycie
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    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    fair point. that's a fair bit of storage! :D
     
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  8. Co9

    Co9 Nibble Poster

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    Many thanks all - connected the tester up to a working power supply and it fired into action and gave readings. Then connected it up to the suspected faulty psu - nothing ! I think for the sake of £8 I can say its the power supply unit.
    Thankyou all for your comments which I will take on board re any similar issues.

    Kindest Regards

    Co9:D:D:D
     
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  9. Boycie
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    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    To be honest, the only thing I would question is the reliability of a PSU that cost £8 mate.
     
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  10. neutralhills

    neutralhills Kilobyte Poster

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    PSUs in that price range don't come with overvoltage protection. Basically, if they fail they'll likely send a large voltage spike through all connected hardware and cook it. Look for something that handles at least 450W, has a 120mm fan (quieter), and will fuse when it blows instead of going suicide bomber on the rest of your system. These tend to cost upwards of $70 CDN or whatever that is in pounds.
     
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  11. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    cheap doesn't always pay, especially when it comes to electronics.
     
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  12. Raffaz

    Raffaz Kebab Lover Gold Member

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    Ive got exactly the same setup on my home system, you can never have too much storage space lol :)
     
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  13. Raffaz

    Raffaz Kebab Lover Gold Member

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    £8 for a PSU!! It always amazes me how unimportant people see these, i personally think its one of the most important parts of any PC.
    People spend hundreds of pounds on the latest mobo and processor etc and then back that up with a cheap PSU, its just asking for trouble because you could fry your expensive components.
    My advice would be to get the best one you can afford as it will prolong the life of your components mate.
     
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  14. Co9

    Co9 Nibble Poster

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    Thanks again for your comments all. I actually paid the princely sum of £18 in the end which I'm sure still doesn't include a unit to protect my psu from spikes. This is great for my learning and wondered if you'd comment further on my thoughts including correcting me where I am wrong.

    1. I was unaware of the suggestion that a psu itself can put out an unbalanced spike and fry the system.
    I do have surge protection between AC and the DC power supply -it seems this is not enough by itself and any power supply fitted should be fused to deal with any dc power spikes ????

    2. The system I've just replaced with an identical one suddenly gave up the ghost after approximately 5 years use. There was no output from the psu tester - completely dead - might this suggest a blown fuse which has been suggested as something that doesn't exist in a cheap PSU ????

    3. The main reason why i went for a cheap psu is the fact that my system is now approx 8 years old and need to do some back up before i scrap the system.

    Thanks for your comments once again

    Co9:D:D:D
     
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  15. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    the psu is the most important part imo, you can have all the fancy pc you want but having a cheap psu you might aswell throw your money down the drain
     
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  16. UKDarkstar
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    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Just take the hard drive out and hang it as a second drive on another system or bung it in an external cradle with a usb connection. After 10 years in the biz I found that was the quickest and easiest way of dumping stuff over.

    As to your storage - sorry to burst a bubble but you're not covered. You could still be "negligent" in transferring data across. Best thing to do is :

    1) check with your insureres what they are happy with you doing or not doing

    2) most likely outcome of (1) and do in anay case - get customer to sign disclaimer stating they are happy for you to try to retrieve/transfer data but understand that it cannot be guaranteed etc etc and that no liability rests with you for data loss.

    Did that in a shop I worked at when I frist started out and the insurers were quite happy once they'd seen the disclaimer customers signed.
     
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