TechSpot

PSU Maybe? How Do I Test?!

By be_patient
Mar 6, 2007
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  1. hey all,
    here is my baby,

    AMD 4200X2
    ASUS A8N32-SLi Deluxe
    2Gb Ram
    ASUS 7900GT
    1x200gb, 1x160gb Seagate SATAII
    antec 550w sp2 psu
    it runs win xp sp2.

    now my problem, in the last 2 or 3 days i have been doin various work on my pc when suddenly the music stops (winamp) and everything just freezes. Completely unresponsive have to end up resetting. So far this has only happened twice, but im gettin worried. Firstly i was doing some flash work (very low file sizes) and listening to music when bang... it died. Then again today i was reinstalling microsoft visual studio again listening to music.... when guess what?!?! died again.

    today was much worse though, the computer would not boot again, after the POST sequence, and the part where it checks for RAID (or whatever it does, not sure there :S) it would have a blank screen and just sit there. i rebooted around 10 times.

    then i turned on a bios setting asking for extended POST, then i tried again. It did what it does best until it asked me to press Esc to boot. Naturally i did, and all seems to be well. I frequently check for virus with AVAST, spyware with AVG anti-spyware, and general clean with window washer and ccleaner. just did them all last night actually.

    my guess is the PSU, it seems common for the pc to freeze and die when the PSU is faulty but i am not sure. Does anyone know of a way to test the psu at home, if it can be done? PSU is my first thought but am open to ideas because the only other idea i have is that both times it crashed i was listening to mars volta.... maybe my pc hates mars volta! maybe :S

    thanks in advance,
    be patient
  2. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat TS Rookie Posts: 2,407   +6

    It could be RAM. You could download Memtest86 and see if it finds anything. You'd want the precompiled installer for Windows and DOS.

    If you are unable to boot into Windows, you could download a bootable ISO, burn it to a disc, and try booting from the disc.

    It could also be the power supply, but I recommend checking the RAM first.

    Regards :)
  3. be_patient

    be_patient TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 105

    it just bloody happened again argh! thanks, i will check the ram now. thanks for reply! oh and i AM able to boot once it has crashed, but i have to wait a little while. thansk again

    be patient
  4. be_patient

    be_patient TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 105

    i finished my mem test not long ago, first with both sticks (1gb) then one at a time. I recieved errors for all of them! i find it highly unlikely that both sticks of ram decide to die at the same time. 2 more questions...
    is there a way to test if the motherboard is the problem?! and...
    does memtest record a log anywhere or can i save a log out of it?!
  5. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,423   +7

    Re PWS

    As far as the PWS test.My asus board has a green LED light to indicate
    it's getting power.This is always on unless you pull the plug or switch it off.
    So if it's on,it's a Windows or Hardware problem.
    Check your boards manual.
  6. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat TS Rookie Posts: 2,407   +6

    What is your RAM's manufacturer and model number?

    If it's not OCZ, Corsair, Kingston, or a few other select brands, I would assume that that is the problem. Of course, Memtest can make errors too.

    Are you sure that your CPU wasn't getting too hot that the computer was shutting off to prevent damage? Did you hear fans throttling up or anything before it shut off?

    Do you have an electrical tester to see whether power is coming from your PSU?
  7. be_patient

    be_patient TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 105

    zipperman: my board also has alight to say if there is incoming power. but this owuldnt show if it was fluctuating or the levels too low would it?

    kitty500cat: not sure... not home atm! i know its corsair though.
    naa i dont think my pc was too hot, i had pc probe II open and i was monitoring all temps and power level etc. My power did not seem to fluctuate much at all, my mobo was at under 40 degrees, and cpu was just under 50.
    ...Nope, no fans, no vibrations, no rattles nothing. Just stops!

    electrical tester?! do you mean voltimeter (thinks thats what they ar called)?!

    thanks again,
    be patient
  8. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,423   +7

    Your asus cd has a utility called probe.It's a seperate installation.
    It will graphicly show you your power useage and if it's acceptable.
    No cd,download the lates version from asus.
    http://usa.asus.com/index.htm

    Heres mine.The lines should stay smooth.The odd jump is ok but not erratic.
    +5 is very important to be smooth.

    Edited by Moderator: Removed quote. There`s no need to quote the post directly above your own, unless you`re only replying to a specific part, in which case, you would just quote the part you wanted to reply to. ;)

    Attached Files:

  9. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat TS Rookie Posts: 2,407   +6

    Yeah, an electrical tester, a volt meter, a multimeter...all the same.

    On the Molex connectors (CD-ROM power), with yellow as positive and any of the black as ground, it should have 12V. With red positive and black ground, it should give you 5V.
  10. be_patient

    be_patient TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 105

    thanks zipperman, as i said i already have probe (i have version 2 though, suits different mobos) my temp is current at around:
    vcore: ~1.39
    3.3: ~3.30
    5:~4.92
    12:11.84
    with no visible spikes... hows that sound?!

    thanks also kitty, i will score a tester from work and hopefully work give it a try very soon.

    I have noticed that when i conduct memtest, all the errors come up during the 6th test. Not sure if that means anything, but again i dont think its a coincidence that it happens at the same place with both sticks of ram!
    maybe im just paranoid :S.

    Any ideas?
    but so far no crashes tonight!

    thanks heaps,
    be patient
  11. be_patient

    be_patient TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 105

    Furthermore i noticed that it also rebooted after completing Test #6 after finding in excess of 700 errors. Thats right 700. I find that hard to believe!

    is this even possible for 6 month old ram?!

    be patient
     
  12. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,423   +7

    Probe 2?

    Why not get asus Probe if you have an asus board ?
    It's a free download.
    As for 5: It's called 5 + so should be 5+ not less.
    Are the lines wiggly ?
    Please treat this as a computer problem.:confused:
    A new pws isn't that much if you can wire it.Label them before removeing.
    By the way these are not temps.Their voltage.Testing your "computer"Power supply as accurate.Not the Hydro.
  13. be_patient

    be_patient TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 105

    i do have ASUS probe!, i meant that version 2 supports different ASUS mobos, sorry i wasnt very specific.

    no the lines are not wiggly, i meant to put it there to show that it was just approximate! sorry again. Are you sure about the +5 thing? i dont recall seeing it over 5 even when i made the pc originally? plus the +12 isnt over 12 either!

    Yeah i have no worries wiring it, done it a million times but i dont wanna buy a new one if i dont have to. Bit short of $$ at the moment!

    thanks,
    be patient

    Attached Files:

  14. be_patient

    be_patient TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 105

    i just had my ram tested elsewhere and both sticks came up good as gold! i then tested a mates ram on my mobo and error is the same test as the first. not bloddy happy!
  15. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,423   +7

    What are we working on ?

    Why not use probe ? It's for an asus board.But you don't have a line showing
    it's movement.But where does ram come into this ? Are you sure this ram is the right type for all 3 machines.
    Be concerned about whats happening with your PC.
    SO.What are we trying to fix ? I kinda lost the reason for this post continueing.
    How do i test?! was answered.:D
  16. Tedster

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

    you can buy a PSU tester for about $12 at circuit city. Also a good multi-meter is handy.
  17. be_patient

    be_patient TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 105

    zipper: i dont have a line showing because this probe allows you to set warning levels. e.g. 10 % fluctuation in which case an alarm sounds and warning appears on screen.

    $12 ey.... sounds good too bad ive never heard of circuit city! doenst matter ill check similar shops round my area!

    thanks for all your help ppls!

    be patient
  18. Tedster

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

    circuit city is a local bigbox electronics store in the USA. I didn't realize you were an Aussie. But you should be able to get a tester from a similar type of store in your country.
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