Memory problem or power supply?

By probizzle
Jul 12, 2009
  1. my computer seems to turn off randomly i leave it on constantly it could be running fine for 3 or 4 days and it will happen again. just today i was on it and was on you tube and it turned off on it happens pretty frequently. when it turns off it will not turn back on. i will have to unplug the power cable and plug it back in a few times before anything will turn on. which makes me think its the power supply. so i was looking online and found that the memory could cause the same problem so i got the memtester program and ran it and within 10 min i got 4 errors. so i swapped the memory into the computer im using now and ran the program again and got no errors after 1 hour. so do you think that it could be the power supply that is causing this or my motherboard memory sockets?
  2. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    It sounds like you at least narrowed it down.

    Few questions.

    What are your pc specs? Make, model etc. and how old is it.

    It can be a power supply issue, but that's really far off because memory sticks draw little from your psu. Post back with pc details, thx.
  3. probizzle

    probizzle TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok i built the computer a few years ago

    Elitegroup PT800CE-A motherboard
    pentium 4 3.2ghz
    two 512mb kingston memory sticks
    Geforce fx 5200 ddr 256mb AGP
    maxtor 200gb hd
    sony DL dvd burner
    sony dvd drive
    350 watt Antec power supply model # Sl350s
  4. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Still, are you still having issues after swapping out the memory sticks? Have you tried reseating the CPU HSF, cleaning the latter out if it's dusty, and applying a fresh coat of thermal paste to the CPU?

    Also, try cleaning the HSF on your card, if it has one.

    I would suspect the PSU too, especially since it is a CWT-made SmartPower that have the notorious Fuhjyyu caps, which causes them to fail pretty easily if they're not kept cool enough. How old is the PSU? Also, how's the airflow in your case?
  5. probizzle

    probizzle TS Rookie Topic Starter

    the computer i am on now has the ram i took out of the one that kept turning off. its been on for 24 hours and i have had no problems with it. ill clean out all the dust and stuff in the case the computer has pretty good air flow has 1 big fan on the back and another fan upfront and one on the side case cover. i would think its the power supply too but i get the errors on the memory when its in that computer. i just dont want to go buy a psu when its not the problem. i bought the power supply the same time i bought all the stuff for the computer so its a few years old. ill try some other memory that i have and see what happens
  6. probizzle

    probizzle TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok well i think i figured out the problem i turned the computer on and when it was loading up it seemed to turn off but all the computer fans and hard drive was still on. so i looked at the back of the computer and noticed the psu was not blowing any air out. so i think my power supply is bad. but i still dont understand what the errors on the memory were about.
  7. Quantex_rox

    Quantex_rox TS Rookie Posts: 123

    A bad power supply can cause many things you wouldn't think it would do.

    But you have to remember, the ram gets it's power from the 3.3v rail of the psu, if that rail is getting some funky ripple on it, then it can cause your ram to not receive the correct power to function correctly.

    Also, ECS is notorious for using OST brand capacitors on their motherboards, they are tricky because OST's can fail without any outward indication. Bad motherboard capacitors can also cause your listed problems.

    But as Rage said, the CWT based older antecs had the Fuhjiyuu capacitors in them that do not tolerate heat at all, and fail under low load low heat situations, as well as older antecs being quiet at whatever cost, they get hot. These power supplies are often reliable after being recapped.

    Heh, antec is kind of kicking themselves in the butt now because they dropped CWT as a OEM, and then CWT got their act together and OEM for corsair with thier high-end PSH designs that are about the only thing that can touch Antec's Delta based psu's and are a bit cheaper.
  8. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    use a PSU tester tool and a good multimeter to diagnose. The tool costs about $12
  9. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    The outer fan not spinning is normal on that PSU. The smart power 2.0 has two fans one inner and one outter normally only the (nearly silent) inner fan runs but if temps excede a certin leval the outter fan kicks in. This causes the PSU to run verry hot even under light loads and thus causes failure of the non-heat tolerent Fuhjyyu capacitors. If the PSU is more than 3 years old (or you lost the reciept/invoice for it) there is no warrenty to void so if you want to be sure you can open up the PSU and look for any bulgeing/leaking caps (the caps on the seccondary [near wher the bundle of wires enters the unit] tend to fail first).

    WARNING!! PSUs contain potentially hazardous voltages before opening drain as much of the stored energy in the caps as possible (unplug the psu from AC and hit the computer power button, it should come on for a seccond and quickly turn off). Do not touch any leads, transformer windings, the bottom side of the PCB (you shouldn't need to remove it fron the case), ar any other uninsulated contacts/wire.
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