Replacement PSU's keeps failing

By Crix
Jun 25, 2013
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  1. Hello everyone,

    Ok I haven't posted in a while as I have bought a new PC. This actually concerns my old pc that I gave to my friend. The thing is I have recently found out that the pc has had 3 Power Supplies that have failed in about a year's time. Each of these Power Supplies wasn't a cheap model. They were collectively well known brands. I have asked my friend to tell me what is the current model and wattage of the current PSU.

    My question is what could cause a repeated failure of decent Power Supplies? My friend isn't much of a techie and he surmised that it maybe is the Motherboard? This Desktop PC is about 4 years old. It is an AMD 4400+ Dual Core 3 Gig RAM DDR3200, The Motherboard is a Gigabyte KA-8N SLI and it has currently an ATI video Card, I think it's a HD5770.
    Anyway, I originally had a 350W power supply which couldn't handle the strains of the new video card and the computer's PSU failed. As I was working full time in a very stressful job, I did not have the means to buy a new PSU and install it myself as I would have normally. The end result was we took it to the shops and spent 130 odd dollars AU [80 dollars for the Power Supply itself] for a 600 Watt Power Supply and within 3 to 5 months, that power supply failed.

    Currently, the PC works intermittently. It sometimes turns on and works fine and recently, the last 2 days it does not even turn on. I just don't understand how a good brand PSU can fail so quickly?

    My friend thinks it might be the Case Fans, as the case I had it in had was a gaming case with 1 big 120mm fan in the front of the Case and two 80 mm fans to the side. He seems to think maybe it is the fans chewing up power but I tend to think not as I ran several peripherals when I had that PC and I was a power user compared to my friend who basically only occassionally uses it and he generally only uses it for old games like Neverwinter NIghts 2. I can't seem to get my head around a possible solution. My theories are as follows:

    1. Power Outlet faulty? I thought maybe there was a overload at the power socket where the PC is plugged in or possibly the whole house as he said he thought of that and has moved the plug in for the PC around.

    2. Motherboard? If it was the motherboard would it not make those beeping sounds at start? From what I have gathered talking to my friend, it appears that since the PC hasn't started, it has been making distinctive beeps indicating a hardware fault? My PC noob friend has stated maybe it was the connection between the MB and the PSU but I thought that was preposterous as the connection wires would be coming from the PSU and not the MB so the chances that 3 PSU cables to PC are faulty just sounds impossible.

    3. Memory. I have not seen the PC myself and only spoke to him on the phone but I will be going over to his house on the weekend to have a look and if need be, bring the PC over to my place to take it apart and start testing each component separately to find the fault.

    Also, my friend says maybe its just wear and tear. But surely that does not make sense. I used to own this PC and I was a heavy gamer. I played in the years 2007 - 2010 quite heavily with this pc and I had several joysticks and that was when it had a 350w Antec Power Supply with absolutely no issues. I do know that a mutual friend apparently 'fixed' it last time it broke down [PSU]. He apparently replaced the PSU and gave the interior a clean with compressed air. I have a sneaking suspicion he might have tweaked the voltages but again, I am not sure and I will be confirming with this technician tomorrow. I have instructed my friend to run a dxdiag and send the file to me so I can post it with this thread but I don't think that is gonna happen as it sounds like the PC wont load to windows.

    Can someone please give me clues to how to go about indentifying the core problem here? Am I on the right path with my analysis? I just can't fathom that it could be the motherboard. Is it possible for a faulty motherboard to cause failure of brand new decent model PSU units?
  2. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,174   +511

    If the psu's are failing like that, chances are something is causing the issue (the odds of that many psu's failing that quickly is very low)

    Test the Psu's on another system for starters to see if they are actually bad. That could at least let you make sure it's not something else causin the problem.

    I would also try other outlets because a faulty plug can be an issue (plus use a power strip, it helps protect your machine ).

    I do not think its the motherboard or the video card as if it was, they would not be functional period. It can also be heat/stress on the psu if the psu is getting to hot due to location or if there's lots if dust build up causing it to fail.
  3. terry5880

    terry5880 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 527

    I had a problem on a pc I was looking at where every time I plugged a psu in it just blew something inside the case is earthing it out probaly
  4. Blkfx1

    Blkfx1 TechSpot Addict Posts: 884   +171

    Before I offer any advice as to what I may be, I'd like to know the specific models and brands of these "quality" power supplies you're talking about.
  5. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,420   +217

    If you haven't already, look up the beep codes for the BIOS and see where it points you.
    GhostRyder likes this.
  6. TheHawk

    TheHawk TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 191   +7

    Hey Crix. The very first thing I would do in this case since you never had this issue but now he does at his house is to check the outlet for proper wiring and voltages, either you or an electrician.
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,482   +292

    Rebuild it.

    Take everything out of the case, well ok you can leave the HDs and Opticals. Pull the motherboard though. Check that ALL of the offsets are in place. Do you need to be using those paper washers? Use them whether you think you do or not. Check the LEDs on the front panel and wherever else they are going, they aren't much voltage or amps so they probably aren't it, but killing 3 PSUs isn't normal either, so check them and their wires.

    I think you have a mobo shorting on case issue, but that is honestly just a guess. I know what you are seeing isn't supposed to happen, and nobody else suggested (yet) what I was thinking, so I posted.


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