Do I Need a New Power Supply for My PC?

MrChip2 used Ask the Experts™

My custom-made PC just crashed for a reason I have never seen before.  I was using it for about 90 minutes this am when it just turned off.  There was no flickering of the office lights or any indication of a power problem.  The system re-booted and it came up to BIOS screen that included the following message:

Power supply surges detected during the previous power on.
ASUS Anti-Surge was triggered to protect system from unstable power supply unit!
Press F1 to enter set-up.

I entered set-up, reviewed all the screens, did not see anything related to this issue so I exited BIOS with no changes.  Booted in Safe Mode.  Rebooted and all seems fine.

The PC is plugged into a decent UPS that did not sound any alarm.  When there is a power surge in the office, I usually hear a click from the UPS and other devices.  This time - nothing.

When I built this PC I was careful to chose a fairly high end-power supply.  The model I am using is the CORSAIR HX Series HX750 750W ATX power supply.  It is rated 80 PLUS GOLD.  The full name includes "12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply".  The PS was purchased in July 2012, so it is still under warranty for another year.

This has never happened to me before.  If this was a personal PC, I would be inclined to wait a few months and see if it ever happens again.  This is my primary work PC and I really do not want to have a PS failure, or worse, an event that corrupts my system.

What should I do?  Should I replace the PS?

Also, not sure if this is relevant, but the PC was shut down for a few days.  Before turning it on yesterday, I opened up the case to clean dust off of fans.  I used a combination of manual wiping of the fan blades and compressed air.  I did NOT do anything with the PS fan, just a few puffs of air around the PS case. Nothing near the PS fan exhaust.   My efforts solved a noisy case fan problem.  I don't think this is relevant - but thought I should mention it.


P.S. While in BIOS I noted the following Voltage readings (this was after the reboot)

3.3 V = 3.344
5V = 5.080
12V = 12.288

I am not sure what the tolerance is for my board, but these seem to be pretty much on spec.  Of course, this is what it was AFTER the reboot.  I am not sure if there is a way to look for a reading at the time of the crash - such as a log.
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Scott CSenior Engineer
It's possible there was a power surge coming through the outlet.  Do you have your computer plugged into a Surge Protector or UPS?  I don't mean a power-strip...I'm talking about a REAL surge protector.

If you do, then it might be your PS.  If you don't get a real surge protector and see if the issue comes back.

If it was a dirty powerline, it's possible you'll won't see it again or if you do, it will be sporadic.

Is the PS under warranty?  If it's not, you can open it up and see if any of the capacitors are leaking or swollen.  If they are, replace the PS....nvm...just saw that it is under warranty....leaving this comment here though to help somebody who might have a PS that isn't under warranty.
Most Valuable Expert 2013
"Do I Need a New Power Supply for My PC?" - No

"I would be inclined to wait a few months and see if it ever happens again." - Me too

"I opened up the case to clean dust off of fans." - worth checking all the PSU board connectors are fully in and undisturbed by the recent clean - this is much more likely to be an issue with the Asus Anti-Surge message.
Most Valuable Expert 2015
Also I wouldn't change the PSU yet, and rather wait and observe the situation more closely in the future. Just make sure your backups are good.
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Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009
The HX series are excellent PSU's -- it's certainly possible that it's got a problem, but I suspect not.    I think you simply had a static discharge issue on some component as a result of the cleaning you did.   When you turned it on, there was a slight surge, and the motherboard's built-in surge protection ("Asus Anti-Surge") simply shut it down.   Afterwards all was well, since the static that you'd somehow created was now discharged.

Clearly it wasn't an actual power surge, since you have a good UPS unit; and it's not likely the power supply is having any issue, as if that was the case you'd see this problem again.    If you want to test this, just shut down the PC a few times; and then power it back up.   If the power supply is indeed having an issue, you'll get the same Anti-Surge message and another shutdown.    If you don't, then it's almost certain it was releated to the cleaning you did.    I suspect the "manual wiping of the fan blades" was the problem -- you likely touched some component that absorbed static from your hands, and when the system was subequently powered on that's what caused the issue.
Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009

... if, however, powering the system off and then powering it back on (wait at least 30 seconds between the two events) results in the same anti-surge message; then I'd do one more test:

Remove the UPS from the power chain --- i.e. plug the system directly into your main power -- and see if you still have the problem

... and if you do, then I'd replace the PSU.


Thanks everyone for your comments  I do wonder if my cleaning had something to do with this.  I was very careful to not touch any component - I only manually cleaned fans that were removed from the case.  The dust blower, however, may have caused something.  Computer has been running now for 4+ hours without a problem.  When I shutdown tonight I may open up the case again and look at the connections.  I do suspect this was a one time event.  Regardless, I am going to check the status of my Acronis backup now.

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