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power source problem. power problem.

Posted on 2004-08-23
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
hi, while watching a dvd movie on my computer, the computer suddenly restarts. Then this happened again, so I decided to turn it off. after that the computer wont start up because there was no power. So I opened up the computer and took off the electric cord off the motherboard then hook it back on. I also checked the power cord connecting to the pc. After a while the pc starts up. Now its not starting up. The power source I got is 350W hooked up to one dvd drive, two hard drives, and a floppy drive and four fans.

I was thinking the power source is not enough so I unhooked the fans, nothing works. Now I'm guessing the power source is getting bad. So anyone know whats wrong?
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Question by:speed_mst
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Mysidia
ID: 11877144
350W should be ample power... what kind of CPU are you using ?

4 case fans?

It may be a bad Power Supply Unit: I would suggest using a tester on it or just try swapping it out.
If you think the wattage is too low, unplug one of those hard drives to take a good 20-30W load off.

Unplugging 4 fans is only reducing the load by about 8 W.   Hard Drives and Optical drives are where
the real load is about at most.

2 hard drives + 1 DVD drive should be about 75 Watts max
A Pentium IV would be about 100 watts max
2 sticks of DDR RAM would be about 20 watts max
A power hungry video card could be up to another 100 watts.

Other accessories... KB+MB+Mouse.. less than ~50W  max hopefully

Depending on what you have drawing power, 350 may actually be plenty, or it may not be enough.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:TeamMaclean
ID: 11877870
Hi there,

Maybe try unplugging your DVD, floppy drive & hard drives from the power and try to start it up. If you get a display (with something like “cannot find system disk”) you know your problem sits with one of the components disconnected before. Try adding them one by one, starting with the hard drive with you OS on. You will soon find the culprit.

If you PC still not start up, even after unplugging everything (and keeping them unplugged) – it can only be one of three things. Faulty Power Supply unit, faulty motherboard or maybe even a faulty power switch.

Cheers
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:surly1966
ID: 11881060
Come on folks its a 350 watt power supply and he has nothing out of the ordinary hooked up, either one of his devices is on the way out or his power supply is shot.
Start by ungplugging some of those fans, they sometimes can draw more power if they are on the way out.
The floppy is probably never used.
The hard drives and minimal.
So take a look at the DVD thats where the problem usually lies if its not the power supply.

Good luck - power supply is probably cheaper than a dvd - hope that what it is.

Surly

 
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Mysidia
ID: 11882859
Except we don't really know that nothing out of the ordinary is hooked up;
without knowing Mainboard + Video + CPU, that's part of the picture missing.

A replacement DVD ROM drives could probably be had fairly cheaply as well.

Hard drives draw a lot of power and often fail as well..  Every device attached to the
power supply other than the MB should be detached first before deciding the
problem is with PSU/MB/.. as TeamMaclean noted.
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Author Comment

by:speed_mst
ID: 11892538
turns out its the motherboard at fault. I tooked the pc to a computer shop and they tested the power and it was fine.
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Expert Comment

by:kkronyak
ID: 11919410
Are you certain it's the motherboard or is that just what they told you?

It sounds to me like you may still have a faulty supply, or maybe "dirty" mains line power.  

The supply depends on how extensive the tests were that they ran.  A lot of peoples' ideas of testing a PSU is simply to plug an ATX "tester" in, which is just a big power resistor and an LED, and see if the fans turn on.  No acrual measurements involved.

The dirty power problem could also be a factor, especially if you have high current devices such as air conditioners, etc. hooked up to or near the same circuit.  Power dips and brownouts can cause your machine to turn off, and a surge protector will NOT help.  If it you think this is the problem, especially if you see lamps flickering or similar electrical distortion, you may want to invest in a UPS.  A UPS will detect such power anomalies and temporarily transfer your PC to battery power.  They range everywhere from $30-$500 for a typical PC version, depending on the amount of devices you want to protect and what kinds of advanced features you're looking for.

Also sometimes with a PC power supply, it may turn off and not turn back on even with the plug in and the switch on.  The best solution is to turn the switch on, have it plugged into the motherboard, and have the mains power unplugged.  Then just press the power button on the PC once or twice and wait about 10 seconds.  This should cause the power supply to drain any power remaining inside.  Plug it back in and it will probably work as long as nothing else is wrong with it.
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Author Comment

by:speed_mst
ID: 12598945
after digging into my computer and adjusting those plugs for the pins the computer started up fine.
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