HP Slimline s3400f won't play nicely with other PSUs

By TazarZero
Jun 22, 2010
  1. Right, well, I've read some posts on here about Power Supply problems, but haven't come across any with the same problem as mine - basically because it's 3 in the morning and I'm too tired to read through all of them. Besides, who would read them all anyway, right?

    Anyhoo, here's my problem. I have an HP Slimline pc (model #'s in the title), and for those of you who have owned SFF (small form factor) pc's, you all know that they come with pint-sized PSU's. Granted, I am impressed by this tiny machine's will to live - by that I mean it is powering a ATI HD Radeon 4650 on a 160W PSU - I'm lucky this thing is still kicking.
    So, in order to save this PSU a bit, I've wanted to upgrade to a higher powered unit. I've even bought an adapter for the main connector to accommodate this change. I've used a Corsair 550W PSU, and also a hec Compucase HP585D 585W PSU as upgrades to the tiny power unit, BUT, both have failed!
    By 'failed', I mean the Slimline shuts off shortly after powering on the system, and sometimes it has issues even powering up the motherboard. I suspect this because the optical drive spins up, but the fans on the CPU and the Radeon GPU don't do anything.... sometimes.
    Again, both 500+W PSU's stop working after the first day, and when I go to plug back in the Slimline's 160W unit, the system has no issue's what-so-ever.

    So, why am I putting myself through all of this? Well, as others have done, I'm trying to allow for more power to upgrade the video card.

    A little voice in my head has finally chimed in and told me to leave the system the way it is, and I'm about to listen to it. My reason for posting here is to see if anyone would happen to know why I'm having these PSU problems.

    For reference, the motherboard model # is M2N61-AR, a mini-ITX board.
    Its RAM is the standard 4GB that came with it.
    The CPU has been upgraded to a Dual core 2.9Ghz Processor from a 2.7Ghz.
    The GPU is the Radeon HD 4650, 1GB version with DVI and HDMI in LP mode.
    The only other things the PSU powers directly is the DVD drive, and the hard drive.

    My thoughts for upgrades were to install an ATI HD Radeon 5570, hense the reason for the bigger PSU. And to accommodate the physical change, I was going to put all these parts into an Antec Six-hundred case and get a Card Reader to replace the one that's strictly fitted for the Slimline case. But, all that's hampered by the fact that no PSU upgrades will continue working on this tiny system!

    All thoughts, suggestions, etc. are welcomed. Also, if the guru's of the site need more info, I can provide what you need to know, and even get pics if that helps too.
    Thanks in advance!
  2. TazarZero

    TazarZero TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Really? No one has anything to share on this topic? I had hoped that in a couple days someone could shed some light on this problem, but a week's gone by and I got nothing?

    That hurts guys. :(
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    How do you mean, both have failed? Like they didn't work, or they burned out quickly?
    You likely have a problem elsewhere in your system... I am not fond of the Hec power supply, but the Corsair is a very good unit... and I would start with that if you can... being careful about size and air flow inside the case. On Some HP's it is too tight a fit.
    I would first clean out all dust and lint with a canned air designed for cleaning computers.
    The carefully check all your cables. Some of those HP cables shrink over time in the heat of the case, and need to be replaced. Luckily they are cheap and easily replaced. I would remove and reseat every cable.
    Then I would test the machine by removing one memory module to see how it starts up. Then shut down and test each of the other memory modules, by removing and test with their absence.
    Next you need to look at CD/DVD cables cables, and others. Remove and reseat all cables.
    Check your new CPU to assure it has the least possible amount of paste between CPU and cooling fan... as too think performs more like an insulator.
    Did it work fine until you replaced the CPU? You might look at that installation carefully, even going back to the old CPU... you really gain little between the 2.9GHz and 2.7Ghz.. and your system may not tolerate it.
    To my thinking, the PSU changes are not the problem... that is elsewhere in your re-assembly.
    Think everything over again in reinstall, and keep good notes. Reduce it to the most simple install... power supply, CPU and Cooler, and one memory module... then add and change until that simple configuration is working, then add components, testing after each and everyone.
  4. TazarZero

    TazarZero TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry it took forever to respond.

    So yeah, it's been two months, and in all this time, the Slimline s3400f has been running on its original PSU with the upgraded CPU and has had no problems other than the clock battery going out, which was noticed by my g/f when the PC was minutes, then hours, then a day behind the current time. Simple fix.

    As for the upgrade thing; Ray, I tried literally everything you suggested. I did different hardware configurations with all three PSU's, and no matter what was plugged in with the original PSU, it would not show any problems. Both the Corsair and the Hec PSU's quit after a short time. And by quit, I mean the entire system just abruptly shut-off. Also, I noticed with the Corsair and Hec PSU's, when I went to plug in the power cord, the system would start up as soon as the cord was inserted - without touching the power button. It doesn't do that with the original PSU.

    I have double checked, and triple checked all cable connections (data & power), and nothing is different when the system stops with the other PSU's versus the orginal.

    RAM configurations make no difference, the system always reports what memory module is where and runs with it. The system still runs fine on the orginal PSU, crashes with the others, with only one memory module installed.

    And there is only one hard drive and one optical drive that will fit in the system, oh, and the card reader. I can't go anywhere if the Hard drive is disconnected, so that was always left connected (data & power). I did disconnect the optical drive though, and ran the system with all three PSU's..... same result, ran fine with the original, failed on the others. And, I even disconnected the card reader from the motherboard, same results.

    The system just doesn't like any other PSU connected to it. I spent a couple frustrating days tinkering with it, and after all the trial and error, the only thing successful that works is the original PSU - no matter what the hardware configuration is.

    I've wanted to upgrade the video card from an ATI 4650 to an ATi 5650, but I'm don't want to burn out the PSU any quicker than I need to, and it seems by the specs on the 5650, it would do that very thing compared to the 4650.

    If nothing else, I at least wanted to come back and post what I found out, and to respond to Raybay. I've decided not to upgrade that system anymore than what it is now, since other PSU's will not work with it. It will remain as is.

    CPU: 2.9Ghz Dual core AMD Athlon II
    RAM: 4GB 800Mhz
    HDD: 500GB Sata2 3Gb/sec
    Video card: ATI Radeon HD 4650 1GB Low-profile, using DVI connection (HDMI optional) 16x PCI-Ex
    Optical drive: DVD/CD burner w/ Lightscribe
    Card Reader: 8-1 Card reader (Sd, Ms, Cf, etc)
    Motherboard: M2N61-AR; mini-ITX
    Other component: 56k Dial-up Modem PCI Expansion card (not used)
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