PC Hardware

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what are the signs of a failing power supply?

by datalookup / January 30, 2005 9:21 AM PST

I need to know the signs of a failing power supply. My computer is constantly crashing and locks up, then reboots. The power supply is running hot most of the time (the fan is working) It crashes and reboots the same way with Windows XP, Windows 98SE and Windows ME. The RAM tested ok.(512MB DDR). The HDD tested ok no errors. I have 2 additional exhaust fans installed. Internal system temp is 78F CPU temp is 115F. I shut this computer down and borrowed another computer to use in the mean time. I don't want to risk destroying the motherboard with the power supply shorting out. I haven't taken it in for testing yet, but should I consider replacing the power supply anyway? Thanks in advance.

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The easiest way is to swap it out....
by Michael Geist / January 30, 2005 9:42 AM PST

with a known good PS. If the reboots stop, you have the answer.

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P/S unit or heat problem?
by Willy / January 30, 2005 12:27 PM PST

Unfortunely, a weak p/s unit causes all havoc and just makes the system flaky in general. P/S problem can effect all aspects of the system, so you really can't trust anything. Thus, the quickest fix is to replace/swap. But, you mentioned your heat is hot, that alone can effect the p/s worthiness as it starts to falter under such conditions. Leave the side cover off the system and it seems to settle down, you truly got a "heat problem". Further, you can place a household fan to better cool the innards and it really settles down, you found a heat problem. That being the case, damage maybe already done and replacement may still be called for on the p/s or any other fan(s), plusa they have to sucking in air and exhausting it as well at a rate capable of cooling the system. Air circualation is must to better help air flow through out the system case. A good p/s unit should be 400W+ or better and be a quality build unit as well, so pick a namebrand if that what it comes down to. Hope this helps...

enjoy -----Willy Happy

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Do not
by humbletothecore / January 31, 2005 11:46 AM PST

take the side cover off and leave it that way. The case is designed to be closed for proper airflow. You will get more dust inside as well. Just swap out the power supply and see what happens.

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Those temps are not even close to being hot
by Ray Harinec / January 30, 2005 10:09 PM PST

That is, if they are valid readings.

Have you checked for bulging or leaking capacitors? The large ones located around the CPU.

What did you test the memory with? For how long???

Probably much cheaper to put a new supply in than pay someone to check it out.

Have you done the complete gamut of things to do to eliminate spyware, parasites et al????

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what are the signs of a failing power supply
by jcrobso / February 1, 2005 3:24 AM PST

What size is you power supply? Also look for swolen or leaking capactors on the mother board. Any way per A+ stuff the first thing is to replace the power supply. John

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Thanks for your replies...
by datalookup / February 1, 2005 10:41 AM PST

I decided to replace the power supply , the computer responded well, no problems. I had the system temp sensor tested, it was ok. It was just the power supply itself that was running hot and malfunctioning. Everything is back to normal. It is still running well. P.S. this was the first time I had a power supply unit fail in my own equipment. This was a great lesson learned. I know what to look for in the future.
Thanks to everyone.

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