possible PSU problem...please help me

By philchan
Dec 8, 2005
  1. hi all

    first time poster, hopefully i'll give all the info needed so you guys can help me :grinthumb

    background: my PC is a custom built PC with all parts ordered and put together by the site i ordered it from. i got my PC in june 2004, used it a good amount until august 2004 when i went abroad to study. then from jan 2005 up until today, it was used on a daily basis, with more than 3/4 of that time having the comp on 24/7, almost for months at a time.

    cpu specs (as i remember them):

    120 gig western digital hard drive
    ATI 9800 120 mb graphics card
    pentium 4 3.4 processor
    1 gig of DDR ram
    4. something creative sound card
    6 fully functioning fans
    blue lights on the interior and exterior of the PC that are on all the time
    500 watt PSU (can't see if it's name brand or not, don't have that vantage point
    windows xp home OS

    problem(s): as stated in the background, the cpu has been under heavy usage for almost a year now, with it being on much of that time. recently, as in a month ago, it started to do 2 thing where when i shut off the comp and turned it back on. 1) it would do a loop where it would reboot, reach the windows load screen no problem, and then restart. this would go on endlessly, and my chances of getting into the actual OS were like 1/20, the worst ever being like 1/30. 2) everytime it would boot up, mid way through the boot it would come to a screen where it asked me to insert the boot disc...my average for this was to manually restart like 6 times in order for it to successfully load into windows.

    2 weeks ago, my comp began to shut off every like 4 days, with me still having to go through the loop. today, it shut off 15 minutes into me actually getting into the OS. then, when i turned it back on, and was going through the loop, it shut off again, during the loop, which leads me to believe it might be a PSU problem, though i can't varify this since i really don't claim to be a cpu specialist or anything. after my comp shutoff, i would try and turn it on immediately after. the comp would turn on for like 2 seconds, then shut off immediately after. then i shut off the power going into the PSU by flicking the switch on the back of the PSU, waited a few minutes, turned it back on, and then started the process all over. the only thing is guaranteed me 3/4 of the time was that it wouldn't shut off 2 seconds after i press the power button, leaving me an avg 15 minutes in order to go through the loop.

    additional info: as far as i can tell, there are no viruses on my comp, though i use an online virus scan (trend micro). i'm not sure as to whether or not i have spy ware on my comp, though i'm not even sure what effects spyware can do to a computer. if it is spyware that's doing this to my comp, i'm worried i won't even be able to get rid of it if the average shut down time is 15 minutes, with no guarantee of even being able to log in.

    to be honest, i have no idea what to do. if anyone has any idea what these problems indicate and how i can fix it, i'd be eternally grateful. thank you in advance for reading and offering suggestions, no matter how big or small they may be. thanks :grinthumb

  2. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509


    First thing you want to check if the system was stored for a few months is that all cards are sitting tight and the connectors are all plugged in. Once inside check for dust and clean up if needed.

    To check if the power supply has gone bad, you can try disconnecting all your neon lights, disconnect all fans except the CPU, Video card and power supply fans, disconnect your optical drives as well as your floppy drive. You can even take one stick of RAM out.

    Try the system and see if you experience any difference with you having lowered the load a bit. This might not prove anything if a component is gone in your power supply.

    You can check for Spyware at Trend Micro as well.

    Can you check the sticker on the power supply? You might have to pull it out if it’s blocked by the case. What are the values for +3.3V, +5V and +12V?

    Let us know
  3. philchan

    philchan TS Rookie Topic Starter

    kk, i'll have to take a look at that. but in the meantime, i have to add a new issue lol.

    shortly after this post, i tried starting my comp up again. things were going smooth, and it hit the windows load screen, finished, and started to go into the welcome screen where you select your user name...but it stopped shortly before it reached that screen. the mouse was operable, but it was a black screen :dead:

    then, i manually restarted and turned and turned off the computer (back switch next to PSU). when i went to turn the computer on again, it did its typical pre windows load screen thing...but then when it came time for the windows load screen to pop up, it just stayed on a black screen with nothing happening. things keep getting worse.

    thanks for the reply though sharam, i'll try and get more info as this night goes on :evil:
  4. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    It could be a number of things. Your hard drive for one, may be data is getting corrupted, may be all you need is windows re install or repair, it goes through POST apparently with no problems. Let’s check everything else.

    You provided lot of info, which caught my eyes, but it would help a bit more with the make and model of your motherboard and the power supply info.
    Did you say you are up to date with drivers, service packs and all? Can you boot in to safe mode?

    I wouldn't try starting the system like this. Next time you are going to try turning it on, disconnect a few things or try booting with your windows CD-ROM and see if it hangs or attempts to go through setup in which case you would stop it at that point.

    Let us know,
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