Power surges

By Zacharias ยท 12 replies
Dec 8, 2012
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  1. Hello, yesterday my PC rebooted itself and during the startup I got the message "power supply surges detected during the previous power on, Asus anti-surge was triggered to protect the system from unstable power supply unit".

    At first I figured it was a one time thing, a false alarm simply as this was the first time it happened. This morning it happened again. I tried figuring out and realized that both times I had been playing League of Legends, which I downloaded yesterday and assumed LoL was causing it, as they had released a new patch and god knows what. Anyways, it happened a third time while I was playing CS:GO which implies LoL necessarily isn't the cause of this. My PC seems to be running just fine in general, nothings changed aside from that it randomly reboots.

    My specs. are:
    Intel i5-2500k@3.3GHz
    650GB standard HDD that I've been using for a week now, normally I use an 120GB SSD.
    nvidia geforce gtx570
    Asus P8H67-M Le series Motherboard
    8gb ram - corsair
    700W Corsair PSU

    The only thing that has recently changed is that my SSD suddenly broke, and therefore I'm temporary using another harddrive. Is it possible for the voltage sensor or whatever to give false alarms, if not is there anything I can do?

    Grateful for any help I can get.
  2. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TS Booster Posts: 322   +65

    Sounds like a PSU issue. Are you sure all the power feeds coming from your PSU are properly connected? Try monitoring system voltages to check if everything is within spec. I use AI Suite.

    Sorry I couldn't be of more help. Stick around, though, as the more experienced members may be able to offer more useful advice.
  3. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,185   +208

    +1 To what dawn said above.

    You could also try it in a different power outlet in your house, Double check no wires have come loose or been installed incorrectly inside your pc, Remove components to a barebones state to try and diagnose if any particular parts are causing a problem, Update/ restore your bios to default settings,

    I also hear you can disable this warning feature in bios, Probably better to figure the problem out than do this but I believe asus support actually recommend this in some cases. Your power supply should stop any damage happening to your hardware anyway.

    Bit tricky to diagnose really, hope these suggestion help.
  4. Zacharias

    Zacharias TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi, I just got back and will start by monitoring the voltages. I already doublechecked the wiring and it is alright, I'll check it again anyways. Guess I'll look into removing the components after that, already looked up the disabling thing but figured if there's an actual problem I might aswell leave it on for now. Thank you for your suggestions though, I really appreciate it.
  5. Zacharias

    Zacharias TS Rookie Topic Starter


    From BIOS:
    CPU - 1.152V
    3.3V - 3.384V
    5V - 5.082V
    12V - 11.831V

    From AI suite:
    Vcore - 0.982
    3.3V - 3.384V
    5V - 5.103V
    12V - 12.130V

    From what I can tell, some of the voltages are above of what I'm assuming is their set voltage. Is this supposed to happen/are they exceeding by far?

    As always, really appreciate the help you've given me so far.

    E: I also get the "power surges error message" on every boot now it seems, no matter if the PC was shut down due to the asus anti-surge or not, which I find interesting.
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    Power surge: Can be OVER voltage or OVER current. If you have a new game and the symptom first occurred with it,
    and now the symptom is very repeatable - -

    1) it's likely that the game stressed the GPU and that caused excessive current which damaged the PSU.​
    2) now with damaged components, you're up a creek until you get a higher rated PSU.​

    Beware:- the above is pure theory and conjecture, but the PSU could be tested for validation. IMO, the cost to
    properly test it will be ~= the cost to replace - - :sigh:
  7. JCitron

    JCitron TS Rookie

    I would be very cautious around power supply issues such as this. I had a PS "blow up" on me, costing me a complete computer system plus my data on two hard drives. The total data lost was 87GB Much of this data is irreplaceable - music performances by me, raw video from my tornado chasing trips before I converted it to movies, etc. - all banished to bit heaven! :( Yes, it was my fault that it wasn't backed up, shame on me, but that's another issue I've since dealt with.

    Get yourself a power meter. They're fairly inexpensive over at Egg Head. There's a possibility that your video card is stressing your power supply, and your power supply can't handle the load. The unit could also be failing or faulty and should be replaced.
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    To the first part, yeah those are fine. General rule of thumb on that type of thing is anything + or - 10% is good. + or - 5% is great. So no problem with yours.

    To the 2nd part. Man I don't know, just some crude thinking here so take it with a grain of salt:
    Perhaps the surges are coming from the wall and the PSU isn't handling it as nicely as the motherboard wants. You could plug an incadescent bulb lamp into that same outlet, preferably a low wattage bulb (easier on your eyes to have nearby) and just see if you notice it get any brighter or dimmer when using your computer.
    Does that AI suite have a way to output a log file of the voltages over time? Something that you could look at in that software or a csv file you could open up in a spreadsheet and then sort the voltages and see if the high or low ones are out of that 5 or 10% range.
    PSUs are expensive, and I have no idea whether yours is causing problems or if its a motherboard thing. You might check for a BIOS update or whatever they are if you have EFI instead.
    Also, a low-mid range UPS that has some software interface with your computer is always nice to have. If you had one, it would ensure you were getting good power to the PSU. And you'd be able to monitor wall voltages and noise, plus you are protected in a power outage, brownout, spike, ect.
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,714   +3,695

    You really shouldn't be experiencing random surges. It might be worth having an electrician check your household ground. Bad grounds can cause the ground to float between phases. If this happens the voltage will drop on one phase while increase on the other phase. The amount of voltage increase and decrease would depend on the loads across both phases at the time.

    I'm not an electrician but I do understand how electricity works. Even though I'm not an electrician and don't work with it everyday, I have seen a half dozen instances where there has been bad grounding issues. Bad grounding is not that uncommon. If you do suspect bad grounding, you should have it checked out before it starts burning up your appliances.
  10. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,484   +45

    How old is the wiring in your house. I live in a house that was built in the 40's. Had to update the wiring a few years ago. I have a power meter and it use to read jump/bumps of power surges of 50-100 watts, during "idle" times. I've even had that computer restart several times in the past, complete shut off. The work around for me was getting a dedicated ups to hold a buffer, now my power reading are within 5% range jump/bump during idle. No shut offs. Hope this helps.
  11. Zacharias

    Zacharias TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Really appreciate the help guys, I disconnected/reconnected all the PSU wires, updated BIOS and changed power outlet, haven't had any power surges in roughly 7 hours now. Also I noticed a wire was blocking one of my GPU fans, stopping it from spinning which obviously heated up the GPU. Since my fans are set to dynamic speed, this meant the other fan was spinning alot faster to make up for the other fan not spinning at all, could this be related?

    LinkedKube The house I live in is almsot 200 years old, it has obviously been renovated from time to time, but seeing as our water system broke down 2 weeks ago it wouldn't surprise me if the house wiring is really old aswell, so getting an UPS wouldn't be a bad idea I guess.
  12. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TS Booster Posts: 322   +65

    Ouch! Sounds like you need to work on your system's cable management.:) I'm sure you know that good cable management -- keeping your cables neatly organized, making sure no cables or wires are interfering with fans and whatnot -- is an essential part of proper PC maintenance. It helps to be fastidious and diligent about these things -- prevents potentially damaging little mishaps as the one you described above, and also helps to keep all the temps down. ;)

    Yes, I can imagine how a hobbled fan could stress a GPU and cause it to malfunction, maybe even cause it to trigger a surge -- as jobeard has pointed out.

    Were the voltages you listed above measured while your system was idle? Watch for wide variations in voltages while gaming . You can review voltage history -- as SNGX1275 has suggested -- with AI Suite. The software provides a graph that tracks voltage over fixed intervals, right? And, yeah, a UPS is good idea -- and so is having the house circuitry checked. (The latter is good not just for your PC, by the way, as already mentioned by cliffordcooley.)

    Good to hear you had a trouble-free seven hour run. Hope you resolve the issue soon. You've got yourself a nice rig there. I'm pretty sure you're itching to get back to having worry-free fun with your machine.
  13. Zacharias

    Zacharias TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Seems like the problem has been resovled. Wether it was the power outlet/BIOS/wireinthefan I still don't know but hey, everythings working ^_^. Rigged myself on this forum only because the ones I usually lurk around on are dead, must say I'm really impressed by the response I got, big thanks to all of you!

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