My PC died all of a sudden - need help

By DoKoK
Apr 2, 2005
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  1. Hello,

    I have a P4 2.4 and it was running fine for over 1.5 years now.

    Today I was doing some work on it and all of a sudden the PC just shut off.

    Now I thought it was a simple random reboot but the PC would not start back on. I see my keyboard/mouse lights and I even see the network light. After I opened up the PC there were a few lights on the motherboard still working, but the PC wouldn't start. At the moment it shut off the power supply was really hot (could barely touch the area) and it did smell a bit burned (but very little).

    I am assuming the PS went down but why do I still see lights around the PC...

    Any help is appreciated, thank you.
  2. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso Newcomer, in training Posts: 25,948   +17

    Hello and welcome to Techspot.

    I agree that it`s probably your psu that`s gone bad.

    The reason you are still seeing some lights is because your psu has several different power outputs and it`s probably the main 12volt rail that`s failed.

    Just replace the psu with a good quality 400 to 450w psu from a good maker like Antec or Thermaltake etc.

    Regards Howard :wave: :wave:
  3. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 Newcomer, in training Posts: 6,504

    Yes, I agree that you have a bad PSU. You should try a replacement. Probably nothing else is damaged.
  4. akhilles

    akhilles Newcomer, in training Posts: 29

    Don't leave out Enermax. Mine has been up for 3 years.
  5. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    Here's a link that may be useful in choosing a psu. You don't want an "unrecommended" psu, because they are more prone to failure.
  6. nein

    nein Banned Posts: 226

    Your assumption is wrong. A PSU with bad output from any one single output tap or multiple of them will not turn back on period... from built-in over-voltage, over-current protection...
  7. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,120

    I'm guessing a bad power-inductive retro-incabulator circuit threw an intro-burst onto its main hydro-tectronic reluctive duractance ion-sheild.

    No just kidding.

    You could always take the PSU down to a PC shop somewhere, they aught to have a little tester that will show what is bad or if any of the lines went dead. We have one, it's a cheap little thing but it'll tell you if the PSU is bad or not.

    Besides that, because you mentioned heat, there is a small chance that your CPU had a meltdown. Meaning you still have power but of course, you can't turn it on with a bad CPU.

    I'd get the power supply checked, if bad replace it, get more cooling.
    If the PSU is good, replace it, get more cooling! Have the CPU/mobo checked out.

    good luck, tell us what happened.
  8. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    If things worked like they were supposed to, what you said might be true.

    I know from several experiences, a power supply can fail and have the same symptoms. Don't count out the power supply until you swap it out and determine for SURE that it does not work.

    Other possible causes include a variety of hardware problems.
  9. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 837

    That's assuming it's suffering from over-voltage and not under-voltage...

    That said, I'll have to second an Enermax recommendation. I can't in good faith recommend Antec anymore. I feel they have let quality slip in the past 3-4 years. I've had two different models of Antec supplies fail with the 5V running too low.
  10. nein

    nein Banned Posts: 226

    Ha ha... PSU protection is for the very purpose of when they didn't "work like they were supposed to".
    It could also be DoKoK's pet spider committing suicide inside his PSU... Being despondant for eating her latest lover in a fit of passion.

    Go ahead, give an example of how under-voltage would be different and I will do a step by step walk over, pointing out the foolish ignorance.

    Here is an example from me of under-voltage resulting in blown-up, dead, no longer functional power supplies.
  11. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,120

    I've seen a handful of power supplies fail but still "work" to whatever degree.

    I've personally had power supplies that have powered on the system fans and CPU fan but no POST. And find out the 3.3V is dead.

    I just recently had a PS with the same issue, that turned on fans, but found out the 5V was dead.
    I've had multiple customer say they "know" the power supply is good "because they see" some light or fan or something that "has power". But in every case, one or more of the rails are dead, yet the PS still tries to function.

    It all comes down to who makes, and how cheap, the PS is. Some power supplies are so cheap they don't have any built in protection at all, bad 12V? It doesn't care, it still outputs out the other voltages.

    Get yourself one of these little dealies, pretty handy: http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproductdesc.asp?description=99-888-901&DEPA=0
    Or this one, to just check the PS without the other plugs:
    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproductdesc.asp?description=17-163-011&DEPA=0

    Note that I'm talking about 3v, 5v, and 12v coming from the 20-pin. NOT missing rails from the 4-pin plugs. Which may still be outputting good.

    Anyways, just FYI.
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