TechSpot

PC locking up, possibly PSU?

By EflfK
Oct 3, 2007
  1. My pc is currently locking up at varying intervals after being turned on. IT has run without any problems in the 6 years I have had it. I have noticed, and this may be paranoia, that it seems to happen more during hotter times of the day.

    Unknowing as to what the problem might be I installed Intel's alerting panel. I had this installed when I first got the pc but neglected to install it after my most recent format. Previously it would read voltages as to what would be expected, ie. 12v for 12v 5v for 5v etc. However this time after opening it up I noticed the 12v was reading 11.3v. I moved on thinking not much of it as it is in "safe bounds" from what I've read. After an hour or two of gaming I received an alert that the 12v was going as low as 10v. I took the PSU to circuit city where I was told all the voltages were normal.

    I proceeded to install speedfan which read below normal or normal temperatures for everything but the core which read 56c.

    After taking the heat sink off the cpu I noticed the compound I placed between the two had turned to a dirty substance which I would have to assume would not work for its purpose.

    I have some of the specs but not all of them and will fill in any others later if need be.

    OS: Windows XP Prof
    CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2800
    Video Card: Geforce 6800 GT OC
    PSU: Antec 350w came with case Model SL350
    Mother Board: Intel based will get exact model later

    Any help is greatly appreciated. If any additional information will help diagnose the problem please let me know.
     
  2. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,714

    You are probably on the right track but there are some other aspects that need checking as well.
    Gungy CPU grease (sorry: heat transfer compound) is only a problem if you disturb it - now you must clean up and replace. Whats the temp after that - although 56c is not hot enough to stop the thing.
    Have you added to the load on the PSU by added drives/RAM/graphics? This could explain the voltage drop. Testing the PSU without a full load might not reveal much.
    Have you cleared out any fluff bunnies from the CPU fan?
    Do you have a chassis fan blowing air across the hard drive - is that clear? Download and run Everest and see what the HDD temp(s) is/are - 60C is OK.
    We don't know which country you live in so cannot make a sensible comment about ambient air temp - please change your profile!
     
  3. EflfK

    EflfK TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have added the location to my profile and will update the rest when I get home and have specific system specs. It is hot here even now, roughly 95F during the day but the ac is on and keeps it no higher than 79 during the day.

    I bought new heat transfer compound for the cpu already. What should I use to clean the old gunk off?

    Nothing has changed about the computer in over a year and then all that was added was a usb keyboard. Replaced the video card about 2 year ago. One memory stick went bad about 3-4 years ago and that was replaced at the time.

    There is no fan blowing across the hard drive.

    I will run everest when I get home.
     
  4. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 883

    Fairly easy to clean off the old gunk, a high percentage rubbing alcohol (90% +) and a lint free cloth should take care of it. When you put the new compound on make sure to follow the directions and do not use too much. If I can recall correctly you only need about a gain or rice size spot.

    Since your cpu is probably a Prescott core, 56C is not an uncommon temp.

    Due to the age of the power supply I would suspect you are on the right track in suspecting that it is failing. They do lose the ability to provide max power over time due to ageing and such. Since you are taxing it with a P4 and 6800 you might want to consider replacement. You can get a nice 350-400 watt FSP power supply for about $35-$40 at newegg.

    350 watt: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817104901
    400 watt: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817104952
     
  5. EflfK

    EflfK TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry for how big this post may be...

    I installed everest and am attempting to learn to use it. Before I did this I took some screenshots of the monitoring tools I already have.

    Intel Monitor At bootup...
    [​IMG]

    Speedfan at bootup...
    [​IMG]

    Intel after some game playing...
    [​IMG]

    Speedfan after some game playing...
    [​IMG]

    Here is the log from Intel...Sorry I know it is long...

    10/03/07 22:35:30
    A voltage (+3.3 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/03/07 22:35:30
    A voltage (+5 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/03/07 22:35:30
    A fan (Processor Fan Speed) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/03/07 22:35:29
    A voltage (+3.3 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 0.533 volts

    10/03/07 22:35:29
    A voltage (+5 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 0.533 volts

    10/03/07 22:35:29
    A fan (Processor Fan Speed) has stopped or slowed.
    Bad Fan Value: -858993459 RPMs

    10/03/07 22:34:42
    A voltage (CPU I/O (+1.5 V)) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/03/07 22:34:42
    A voltage (CPU Core (+1.52 V)) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/03/07 22:34:42
    A voltage (+3.3 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/03/07 22:34:42
    A voltage (+5 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/03/07 22:34:41
    A voltage (CPU I/O (+1.5 V)) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 3.320 volts

    10/03/07 22:34:41
    A voltage (CPU Core (+1.52 V)) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 3.320 volts

    10/03/07 22:34:41
    A voltage (+3.3 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 3.320 volts

    10/03/07 22:34:41
    A voltage (+5 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 3.320 volts

    10/03/07 22:34:34
    A voltage (CPU I/O (+1.5 V)) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/03/07 22:34:34
    A voltage (+5 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/03/07 22:34:32
    A voltage (CPU I/O (+1.5 V)) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 0.000 volts

    10/03/07 22:34:32
    A voltage (+5 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 0.000 volts

    10/03/07 22:34:14
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/03/07 22:34:12
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 0.000 volts

    10/03/07 22:19:32
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/03/07 22:19:31
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 9.875 volts

    10/02/07 23:04:00
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 23:03:59
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 10.750 volts

    10/02/07 23:02:37
    A voltage (CPU I/O (+1.5 V)) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 23:02:37
    A voltage (CPU Core (+1.52 V)) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 23:02:37
    A voltage (+5 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 23:02:37
    A fan (Processor Fan Speed) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 23:02:36
    A voltage (CPU I/O (+1.5 V)) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 3.320 volts

    10/02/07 23:02:36
    A voltage (CPU Core (+1.52 V)) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 3.320 volts

    10/02/07 23:02:36
    A voltage (+5 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 3.320 volts

    10/02/07 23:02:36
    A fan (Processor Fan Speed) has stopped or slowed.
    Bad Fan Value: -191402984 RPMs

    10/02/07 23:01:54
    A voltage (+3.3 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 23:01:54
    A voltage (+5 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 23:01:54
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 23:01:53
    A voltage (+3.3 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 1.650 volts

    10/02/07 23:01:53
    A voltage (+5 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 1.650 volts

    10/02/07 23:01:53
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 1.650 volts

    10/02/07 23:00:38
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 23:00:37
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 10.750 volts

    10/02/07 22:40:13
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 22:40:08
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 10.688 volts

    10/02/07 22:39:47
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 22:39:46
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 10.750 volts

    10/02/07 22:39:41
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 22:39:40
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 10.500 volts

    10/02/07 22:39:36
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 22:39:35
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 10.750 volts

    10/02/07 22:35:48
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 22:34:57
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 10.750 volts

    10/02/07 22:34:56
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 22:34:46
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 0.000 volts

    10/02/07 22:34:45
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 22:34:43
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 10.750 volts

    10/02/07 22:28:14
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 22:28:02
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 10.750 volts

    10/02/07 22:27:59
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 22:27:58
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 10.688 volts

    10/02/07 22:27:54
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 22:27:53
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 10.750 volts

    10/02/07 22:26:10
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 22:26:08
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 10.750 volts

    10/02/07 22:26:05
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 22:26:04
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 10.688 volts

    10/02/07 22:26:02
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 22:26:01
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 10.625 volts

    10/02/07 22:25:48
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 22:25:47
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 10.750 volts

    10/02/07 22:25:40
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 22:25:38
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 10.625 volts

    10/02/07 22:25:37
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 22:25:33
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 10.688 volts

    10/02/07 22:25:30
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 22:25:27
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 10.750 volts

    10/02/07 22:25:26
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 22:25:25
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 10.750 volts

    10/02/07 22:25:12
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 22:25:10
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 10.750 volts

    10/02/07 22:24:58
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 22:24:57
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 10.750 volts

    10/02/07 22:24:55
    A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/02/07 22:24:54
    A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 10.750 volts


    The funny thing is speedfan was running at the time and recorded nothing out of normal ranges for any voltages. That and speedfan seems to notice higher temperatures than Intel's monitor.
     
  6. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,714

    Looking at the number of bad voltage reports I would get a replacement PSU as soon as possible - yours is either failing or not up to the job of powering your system. I would recommend you do it before it does any damage!
     
  7. EflfK

    EflfK TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Most of these voltage alerts, well pretty much all of them, occur only when I start speedfan. What is speedfan doing that would cause this? This is just curiosity speaking as I am going to get a new power supply regardless because its cheap and seems to be the problem. Probably going to go with the 400w one suggested by nickslick74.

    Thanks for the help
     
  8. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,714

    Have a try with Everest (download from majorgeeks.com) and see if you get the same voltage changes.
    400 watts is OK - 450 or more is better!
     
  9. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    SpeedFan is not very trustworthy as far as voltages and temperatures go. Use Everest as well and see what it gives you. Keep in mind though that a constantly fluctuating\very low rail voltage is the sign of a dying PSU. Replace ASAP to avoid it blowing and screwing up other parts as well.
    As for getting a new PSU, any 400-450W one from FSP Fortron, Antec, Thermaltake, OCZ, Corsair, Enermax, PC Power & Cooling, CoolerMaster or Silverstone will do nicely.
     
  10. EflfK

    EflfK TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I picked up an Antec power supply Model: BP500U.

    Here are the specs...

    +5v - 30A
    +12v1 - 18A
    +12V2 - 18A
    +3.3V - 30A
    -12V - 0.5A
    +5Vsb - 2.5A

    I figure if this doesn't work then it is not the power supply as this one is more powerful than my previous one. Is my logic flawed in this attempt?

    If it isn't the power supply I can't see much of a reason to try and fix this old machine. Better to just start new as most of it is outdated.
     
  11. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    replace the PSU. software voltage checkers are not reliable. Use a PSU tester tool and a multimeter.
     
     
  12. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,714

    As you have bought the new PSU, fit it and see. It might give the thing a new lease of life! If no good, you can always use it in a new system.
     
  13. EflfK

    EflfK TS Rookie Topic Starter

    You are right everest is MUCH better at temperature and voltage measurement...

    Field Value
    Sensor Properties
    Sensor Type Analog Devices ADM1027 (SMBus 2Eh)
    GPU Sensor Type National LM89 (NV-I2C 4Ch)
    Motherboard Name Intel D845EBT / D845GEBV2 / D845PEBT2 / D845PESV / D848PMB / D865PERL / D875PBZ

    Temperatures
    Motherboard 39 °C (102 °F)
    CPU 50 °C (122 °F)
    Aux 37 °C (99 °F)
    WDC WD1600JB-00EVA0 36 °C (97 °F)

    Cooling Fans
    CPU 3288 RPM

    Voltage Values
    CPU Core 1.48 V
    +1.5 V 1.46 V
    +3.3 V 3.28 V
    +5 V 5.03 V
    +12 V 12.25 V
    Debug Info F 6A 06 FF FF FF FF FF FF
    Debug Info T 32 27 25 81
    Debug Info V 72 7C BF C1 C4


    All of the values match my Intel Monitor. I did get one alert while playing some games...

    10/04/07 20:58:52
    A voltage (+3.3 V) has returned to its recommended range.

    10/04/07 20:58:51
    A voltage (+3.3 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
    Bad Voltage Value: 4.383 volts

    I still get a lot of alerts every time I open speedfan which does not make me happy with speedfan.

    EDIT: getting random alerts on all sorts of voltage channels...
     
  14. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    As I said before, replace your PSU ASAP. You should see all your problems go away.
     
  15. EflfK

    EflfK TS Rookie Topic Starter

    That was after replacing the PSU. Sorry didn't state it outright but I mentioned I got a new one today. Should have mentioned I installed it.
     
  16. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    Right. Well, does the PC still lock up?
     
  17. EflfK

    EflfK TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It hasn't yet hopefully it won't. However it didn't always even when the old power supply was in while the voltage meters were going nuts.

    Time will tell.
     
  18. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    your psu is failing. replace it. They might be ok for awhile, but under stress it might be going out.
     
  19. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,714

    And that was, as I understand the sequence of events, the new PSU!
     
  20. EflfK

    EflfK TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes this is the NEW psu. I can't catch these voltage spikes/drop offs on everest as they are at most a second long (still not good) but everest seems to mimic exactly what my intel monitor does down to the decimal.

    Possible component failure here? If that is the case it is time to rebuild no reason to replace parts in this pc IMO.

    My plan if it is the case is to replace the PSU with a nice on from online and return the one to circuit city and live with my current pc to around christmas when the cash flow should be a little heavier.
     
  21. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,714

    Anything drawing current from the PSU could be the culprit. Given you bought an Antec I would be inclined to blame something else first and I would (you don't have to!) try disconnecting non-essential drives and cards to see if you can provoke a change.
     
  22. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 883

    Since you seem to be getting nearly the same result with a new power supply (and great brand on to boot!) I too would suspect that something else is the culprit, possibily a failing mobo.

    This is where the fun of trial and error begins! Try each stick of RAM individually, a different HDD if you have one, a different vid card or onboard graphics, etc... You should also inspect your motherboard for any leaking capacitors and any suspicious marks.
     
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