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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
.....when I buy computer equipment, I usually spend $100+ on whatever power supply I am buying.


But right now I'm troubleshooting a problem for a PC that has me annoyed. The thing just resets itself. Sometimes over and over, no rhyme or reason.


This was a PC shipped via UPS when a friend of mine moved...the case arrived smashed (partially due to over-stuffing the packing material with harder styrofoam blocks) but this thing CLEARLY took a shot, shattered the plastic on the case.


I replaced the case but then the restart situation developed. The ram is seated, the MB looks intact, the CPU HS is still on there like glue. Its a Socket 478 P4 2.6Ghz system, but I'm noticing that its either got viruses...or its having a problem because I try to download stuff to the HD and each time the file comes back as corrupted or what have you. (write errors?)..or virus/malware. Anyways.....


I am tempted to replace the power supply..which is a generic brand X god-knows-the-wattage model that weighs about 5 ounces....I figure its a problem with the PS on the power up/down issue. but then I got thrown by the 20+4 versus 24pin models.


I want to spend less than $50 bones, but I want something that...in the event this thing continues to be a flaky POS, I can put a simple C2D setup inside instead, and have a power supply that will work. this guy isn't a gamer, no SLI or what have you.


Do most C2D setups still run a standard 20+4 pin interface for the PS? What requires a solid 24pin interface...are the 6 or 8 pin interfaces required for plugging into the MB somewhere..or are they for plugging soley into high-end GPU videocards...?


thx...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadRusch /forum/post/15531611


...or its having a problem because I try to download stuff to the HD and each time the file comes back as corrupted or what have you. (write errors?)..or virus/malware. Anyways.....

^because of this, i would expect the hard drive is having issues. run a full diagnostic on it and see if anything is returned. a failing hard drive (such as bad sectors) can cause reboots since the OS can't write data cache.


what would make you think it's the power supply? i've never seen the power supply reboot a computer unless the fan has froze up from dust and it overheats. (same thing possible if the cpu fan has froze up from dust)


i would boot it into the BIOS screen and let it sit for a while. if it reboots, then it's hardware related (and most likely not the hdd).


also, if it reboots during Windows and it's caused by software, then usually there is a log in the Event Viewer...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here's my thinking.


If it was the CPU fan locking up (and I blew out the dust) I'd get a warning, plus I'd get a lockup before I'd get a straight reboot, or so has been my experience with overheating cpu's. This PS doesn't have a fan......we're talking brand x, but its seem to have done the job so far.


Yes I too suspected the problem could be the hard drive, but because the drive reads ok and writes some things successfully, I thought it might be the power supply not providing enough juice to the drive and that is why errors are happening. I know, its a stretch I admit..but stranger things have happened when a drive can't get the juice it needs.


And I hadn't thought about going right to BIOS...good idea, I'm going to try that one.


Thanks for the ideas.......
 

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You can test the drive with a DOS drive test program. That would bypass Windows boot up and the hard disk itself. For Western Digital drives, try DLG Diagnostics, available at wdc.com. For Seagate and Maxtor drives, try SeaTools, at seagate.com. Both have versions that can be installed on a bootable floppy or CD using some form of DOS.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadRusch /forum/post/15536962


Here's my thinking.


If it was the CPU fan locking up (and I blew out the dust) I'd get a warning, plus I'd get a lockup before I'd get a straight reboot, or so has been my experience with overheating cpu's. This PS doesn't have a fan......we're talking brand x, but its seem to have done the job so far.


Yes I too suspected the problem could be the hard drive, but because the drive reads ok and writes some things successfully, I thought it might be the power supply not providing enough juice to the drive and that is why errors are happening. I know, its a stretch I admit..but stranger things have happened when a drive can't get the juice it needs.


And I hadn't thought about going right to BIOS...good idea, I'm going to try that one.


Thanks for the ideas.......

Depending on the motherboard, you may not get a warning on the CPU fan. Just leave the case open and see if the fan is spinning. I used to reach in and grab the heatsink while the computer is running (back before the BIOS would read the temps)... if you can't touch it for more than 5 seconds, then it's running too hot.


If the power supply doesn't have a fan, then I would presume it's overheating. If it's overheating, then it's running even more inefficient and probably isn't supplying enough voltage (maybe). I would figure you have another power supply you could swap in to do the testing. I often take parts out of my own computer to save myself a lot of time on troubleshooting.
 

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I've had flaky PSUs do this before. Especially when I'd buy the $30 600w (before the kilowatt models were even thought of) POS no name models. Due to the condition of the PC after shipping, you really can't discount anything though. A hard hit can jar loose just about anything, including something inside the PSU or the hard drive.


As far as the 24 vs 20+4 plugs, that's just compatibility. I haven't seen a board use a 20 pin PSU in years, but they continue to make them like that just in case.


Some video cards will use either a 6 or 8 pin PSU plug. Most mobos use a 4 pin, but not all. I put together a mid line rig for somebody a few months ago with an 8 pin plug on the mobo. I think it was a Biostar TX series. It did limit my choice of PSUs though, but only to ones with 4+4 mobo plugs. I didn't see any with dedicated 8 pin mobo plugs.


I hope that helps to answer your questions. Good luck!
 
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