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Underpowered Power Supply causing Crashes ?!?!?

by nwilton / August 10, 2005 5:21 PM PDT

Hi All,

I recently installed a second HDD into my computer, and I started getting some bizarre crashing. My computer doesn't crash randomly, but only under the following conditions:
* When the PC is cold (first 5 minutes). If the computer has been on for a while and I reboot, the pc starts up fine...so the problem only occurs when the pc is literally "cold".
* When copying large amounts of data from one HDD to another.
* When burning DVD's (sometimes).

A friend suggested buying more fans, although I couldn't see why, for the sake of $10 I did anyway, as well as another 512Mb of memory. I installed this and now the computer seems to crash even more often. Someone else suggested trying Linux to see if it's a Windows problem...so I installed SUSE, but still the crashes continue.

I played around with the BIOS settings, and discovered that disabling HyperThreading seems to slightly improve the frequency of crashes...that got me thinking...maybe it might be the power supply, unable to provide a stable voltage to the rest of the system. When the pc is cold, or I'm doing something that causing more power usage the whole thing crashes...but I've got a 400w Power Supply, and my head says that shold be enough...any ideas?!?!?

My system is:
Pentium 4 2.8C (w/Standard Cooler)
1Gb PC3200 Memory (4x 256Mb)
2x Maxtor 80Gb SATA Drives
LG DVD Recorder
Nvidia GeForce4 Ti4200
On-board Sound and LAN.
400w Generic Power Supply.
2x 80mm Fans.

Please help...thanks in Advance.

-Nick
(Australia)

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Collapse -
The other reasons.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 10, 2005 10:40 PM PDT

If the power supply is more than a year old, it's no longer it's full rating. Such can lose some 25 to 33% of full load capacity in just 1 year. Never skimp on a power supply.

-> You can test for this issue by lightening the load.

Also check the motherboard for bulging or leaking capacitors which do manifest the cold PC issue.

Bob

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look at buying a new psu
by AKonny47 / August 11, 2005 2:23 AM PDT

i would say it is underpowered as if your system doesn't get enough or not the right amount of power, it will cause crashes. plus, it's generic so i wouldn't expect much from it.

antec, ozc, enermax, seasonic are all good psu companies.

konny

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Items need power
by Willy / August 11, 2005 10:04 AM PDT

When you add more goodies to the system, the power supply has to power them. Thus, it becomes stressed and as the quality of the p/s unit is put into question, tells what its made of. Since, you mentioned a generic p/s unit, maybe it has meant its limit to supply stable levels of juice. The quick cure is to get your hands on either a true name brand unit above 400W+ or a generic one in the 500W+ range. Do this asap, as the continued operation will or shall cause problems down the line all too often.
If you disocnnect the ram and 2nd HD and things seem to be stable, then you know its the p/s. Its a pretty good bet to replace it.

enjoy -----Willy Happy

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