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Computer Crashes Randomly - PSU problem?

By naiku
Oct 19, 2005
  1. Like the title says my pc will crash. It was happening once in awhile so i reseated everything and now...more problems. I can't play any games that require heavy load at all(BF2, CS:S, CS,...).

    The crash is like this... I start up the game, play for about 3-5minutes or so and its like someone pulls the plug on the pc. Blackscreen and box is off. When this happens I can't start the pc by pressing the Power Button. I need to disconnect the PSU for about 5-6seconds so the light on the mobo turns off and plug it back it. It boots up fine then but again unable to do any gaming on the box.

    It only happens with games..photoshop, ripping videos, normal browsing, leaving the pc on for long periods of time, works fine. Just games that seems to cause this crash.

    I ordered a new PSU but its going to get here friday. Since I do spend most of my time playing game instead of watching tv... I tried swapping out parts to see if I can get something to run a game for 10minutes. Used only (DIMM1&2,3&4)half of my dual channel ram, same results, pulled the plug on 2 CD drives, same result.

    I swapped out my gfx card for a older apg one and the pc will boot for 5seconds then turn off. Also after I reseated everything, I can no longer have both HD's hooked up. When both are connected the pc will boot up for 5seconds and shut off, just like what happened when i swapped gfx cards.

    Abit IC-7G
    P4 2.8GHz 800FSB.
    WD 180GB 7200RPM / WD 120GB 7200RPM
    1GB DDR400 (4x256MB) DualChanneled.
    ATI9800 128MB
    SB Audigy2 
    PSU - Macron 400W (Total Useable - 210W)
    I do have a PSU comming that is 500W(470W Useable) Which should be more then a enough. It going to get to my house in about 48+hours

    I did use a PSU calulator online and it calculated out to be more then the useable amount on my current psu. But my pc was working fine for 4months. Just recently it had these crashes once a week...after i took the pc apart and threw it back together it happens everytime.

    Is this a psu problem? Do psu's lose their effectivness?

    I don't have another PSU to swap in and try to use.

    Any ideas if it is not the Power Supply? Thanks in advance.
  2. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    It certainly looks as if its your psu that's at fault. The problem with pulling a lot of power from a psu is that it heats up, so it could well be heat that is the true cause.
    I suffered the same problem years ago when using a 300watt, my solution was to add my spare 300watt n use 1 to run my mobo and 1 to run everything else. I'm not suggesting this will be a cure for you as it required a lot of modding and rewiring, but it did prove it was a power issue.

    You could check if your psu is being cooled properly, it its very dusty that would explain it not running properly as dust decreases the cooling efficiency of fans.
  3. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    There is more to choosing a power supply than how many watts it is. a large majority of PSU's put there are substandard in construction and once they reach operating tempature their actual power is HALF of what it is rated at. also it is important when selecting a PSU to pay attention to how many amps it is delivering on the +12V rail. with todays computer 15A is considered bare minimum that you need for reliable operation and 20A-28A on the 12V rail is preffered.
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