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  PC lock-up problem -- voltage spikes -- PS gone bad? 
 
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melissa tingler Apr 15, 2004, 08:54pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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I know if anyone can help me, it is people on this forum. I have read some REALLY good advice from here. I'll start from the beginning. This my PC (built at Christmas 2003 -- about 3 months old now):
Asus P4P800 motherboard
Intel 2.8 gig with 800mhz fsb chip
Crucial 1 gig (2x512) p3200 ddr ram
Western Digital 120gb 7200rpm harddrive
Nvidia Geforce FX 5700 ultra
2 cd drives and a floppy drive
and finally...a Powmax 400w power supply

So, from the beginning the 3.3v rail fluctuated like crazy (from about 3.0 to 3.6) and the 12v one stays mostly steady at 11.6-11.65 or so -- sounds like a typical el cheapo power supply to me. I asked a friend who has built many computers (this was my first and I need some help with things still) and he said as long as it seemed not to hurt anything and everything ran fine not to worry about it.
After a few weeks of no problems, I would experience odd occurences -- the video feed would just go away and then the monitor would go to standby mode -- also I checked the keyboard when this would happen (pressing caps lock key and got nothing so obviously the computer was completely locked up). I would restart it and all would be fine. This happened about 2-3 times (over a month or so) and I decided to send the power supply back. But pure laziness on my part I ended up keeping it and that lock up problem has only happened about 3-4 more times since.
Then last week, a VERY odd occurence. I tried to read a floppy disk and it wouldnt detect it. So I checked drivers and no problems. Figured it to be an odd software problem and rebooted. Well, the computer would not boot. My audio POST says "System Failed CPU Test" to me. This is when I start freaking. Skipping a few hours of reseating CPU (as suggested by Asus manual) and everything else just in case, and also quite a few CMOS resets with the jumper (computer would not power up -- the jumper trick would get it powering on) -- still had no video feed, no sign of post (beeps), no error messages at this point. Then, oddly enough it starts booting again. Not without problems though -- it boots, I get to windows, open my Asus Probe and watch. The voltages seem to be fairly steady (as steady as ever) for about 5-10 minutes. Then there is a HUGE spike in one or more of the lines (I mean a nasty one) and then the system freezes and the monitor goes to standby. This sounds very much like it is the power supply in my opinion. I just want to be as sure as possible before I start RMA'ing parts.
I bought good brands of everything except the power supply and thats my lesson learned I guess.
Sorry this is so long but I just wanted to give you the best picture of the problem I could.
Thanks for any advice you can give me.

Melissa


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Rory Witham Apr 15, 2004, 09:38pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: PC lock-up problem -- voltage spikes -- PS gone bad?
I would send it back, and get a branded 450 w psu. you may damage your system by using it. there is a tollerence which the parts will work to, but you get more heat etc which will damage your system, i have read about someone getting a full refund on their entire system after a courtcase and a PSU blowing the whole system, the voltage was higher than this, but never the less change it, as your running a totr get a 450 w, as 400 is ok but best go that one step more. i would say that the 400 is running near top of the supply anyway..

there is a topic with a link to a site for testing what you have hardware kit wise to the psu you will need to power it.. jcpowercomputers.com some thing like this have a search for it.


Custom Computers: http://www.gtwcmt.co.uk/GT%20PERFORMANCE%20COMPUTERS/index.html
Computer maintenance: http://www.gtwcmt.co.uk/Computer_maintenance/index.html
Computer repairs: http://www.gtwcmt.co.uk/Computer-repairs/index.html
Richie Apr 16, 2004, 07:12am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: PC lock-up problem -- voltage spikes -- PS gone bad?
Here's a link that can help you tell what you need as far as power.

http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_supply/

Richard J Hansen
melissa tingler Apr 17, 2004, 05:49pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: PC lock-up problem -- voltage spikes -- PS gone bad?
Thanks for the replies. I am searching for a new power supply now. Any recommendations on good brands to buy? One small problem I've got is that the case style forces me to install the power supply "upside down" in comparison to most. So the "fan pointed down" style (like Enermax) won't work in my case.

Melissa

Richie Apr 17, 2004, 11:40pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: PC lock-up problem -- voltage spikes -- PS gone bad?

Richard J Hansen
melissa tingler Apr 18, 2004, 10:04pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: PC lock-up problem -- voltage spikes -- PS gone bad?
That looks like a very good power supply. Thats the style I was talking about however. I can't use that. It has the fan on the side. All Enermax and Antec power supplies are like that. Are there any other good brands?

Richie Apr 18, 2004, 10:28pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: PC lock-up problem -- voltage spikes -- PS gone bad?
What's the brand of your case?

Richard J Hansen
Richie Apr 18, 2004, 10:36pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: PC lock-up problem -- voltage spikes -- PS gone bad?
Here's another Power Supply that i use. It works well.

http://www.bcd2000.com/itemdesc.asp?ic=168618&eq=&Tp=#

Richard J Hansen
Carter Sudeith Apr 19, 2004, 01:26am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: PC lock-up problem -- voltage spikes -- PS gone bad?
Hehe another geek chick. We have Jennifer, Violet, SexyLady, and now Melissa. As Quagmeyer would say "All-right!!!"

Also, Bin Laden stands up like Bruce Springsteen and sings "Booo-eeing in the USA!! I send... Booo-eeing in the USA!!!"

melissa tingler Apr 19, 2004, 01:46pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: PC lock-up problem -- voltage spikes -- PS gone bad?
It's a skyhawk eagle aluminum case. Apparently skyhawk makes all of their cases like this -- too bad I didnt know that before I bought it.

Haha about the geek chick comment. I'm a bigger dork than you could know -- I built my first computer at Christmas (that's the one I'm talking about in this thread), I own three computers at this point, I am a biochemistry major in college (with an interest in doing immunology or pharmacology research as a career), and I spend way too much time when I should be studying playing online video games. Huge dork haha

Anyway, back to my power supply. I went ahead and took the el cheapo model out of my computer yesterday. Looking at the sticker on it I think I might (emphasis on might) know why it sucks so badly. Here's the important volt/amps: 3.3v@28a, 5v@30a, and 12v@25a. Having spent the weekend researching about 50,000 power supplies -- I never found one with a 12v with that many amps. So yes, technically my pos power supply is a 400 w....but lots of those watts are being wasted don't you think? Every power supply over 300w I looked at had a 5v with over 30 amps. So maybe its the distribution of power on this brand thats making it so unstable? I could be wrong -- I really dont know all that much about power supplies. I'm just making guesses.

Anyway, anyone know anything about the brand Coolmax -- I know them for other things like fans and such. They have a lot of 400+ power supplies on Newegg for decent prices. The 450w is like 50 bucks. Wondering if anyone has tried a power supply from this company...

melissa

melissa tingler May 02, 2004, 11:08pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: PC lock-up problem -- voltage spikes -- PS gone bad?
The new power supply came in today -- problem is still there. :( And I'm 60 bucks poorer. I am really beginning to hate my computer. What do you think I should send back next?

Melissa

Richie May 03, 2004, 12:36am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: PC lock-up problem -- voltage spikes -- PS gone bad?
Just a thought melissa, is any part of your computers components touching metal or grounding out?

Richard J Hansen
Richie May 03, 2004, 12:45am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: May 03, 2004, 12:59am EDT

 
>> Re: PC lock-up problem -- voltage spikes -- PS gone bad?
I suspect that it could be your video card.Take the card out and check it.

Richard J Hansen
melissa tingler May 03, 2004, 04:12pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: PC lock-up problem -- voltage spikes -- PS gone bad?
I had the same thought -- about the board touching something metal or somehow my system shorting out. Short of taking the board out and laying it on a non-conductive surface to test this I'm not sure what I should do. I read read about several other people doing this.

I tried the video card in my computer in another computer and it ran fine. Also, I tried putting a different video card in my computer and it still gives me the same message. Also, just out of sheer desperation to solve this stupid problem, I took the video card and turned it on without one (it has no on board video), same error message (system failed cpu test).

I sent ASUS an email this morning because the manual says for that error to reset the cpu and if that doesnt work call them. The problem with that is that I have no long distance on my dang telephone. Hopefully they can shed some light on the situation.

I suppose I can rip down my system when I get home from work and try laying the motherboard on a wooden table to see if I can get a POST. Several people have suggested it could be a grounding issue between the board and the case.

When will it ever end? lol

Melissa

ROY G May 03, 2004, 04:29pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: PC lock-up problem -- voltage spikes -- PS gone bad?
If you want a PSU be sure to get High AMP rated PSU`s.

melissa tingler May 03, 2004, 11:26pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: PC lock-up problem -- voltage spikes -- PS gone bad?
It's not a grounding issue. With the motherboard on a table and nothing but the cpu, heatsink fan, and the board hooked up to the power supply, same error. All I can figure at this point is that it is the motherboard....

Melissa

Chuck Kinsey Dec 11, 2004, 08:53am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: PC lock-up problem -- voltage spikes -- PS gone bad?
Well, this is kind of late. :-P But I am having a similar issue with my PC... though I think mine is just old and needs to be put to rest. :-((

If you have changed out the power supply and tried reseating the CPU... it could be a heat issue or a bad RAM issue. The bad thing about Windows XP is if you are running more than 2 sticks of RAM... you can remove others to try and see if there is any defunct RAM sticks. You may want to see if it may be a heat issue though. Let the PC run for a while and when the PC locks up or shuts down... remove power from the pc and then tough the casing of the RAM. If it is HOT HOT HOT... you may have a heat issue and try some cooling fans on the RAM. If it seems fine... may want to try to ensure that your CPU fan is blowing the right way and see if the CPU heat sink is hot hot hot also. Other than that.. not too sure if your graphics card drivers and things are all current. Could also check and see if there are any IRQ conflicts and yada yada yada.... But the heat could be it, I think

melissa tingler Dec 11, 2004, 09:35am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: PC lock-up problem -- voltage spikes -- PS gone bad?
Hey,

I fixed the problem a long time ago. Mine turned out to be the motherboard. Apparently it wasnt powering right or had shorted somewhere -- something! I RMA'ed it and ASUS sent me a new one. I installed this one...very carefully with plastic standoffs this time. No more problems since. It's been running great for 9 months now. It runs cooler (about 10 degrees C -- I think the ASUS temp sensor was screwy), no more power fluctuations (steady rails), none of the problems. I will probably never know what caused my motherboard to have a problem but it was definitely the source of the problem with the PC.

Melissa

wlk Dec 11, 2004, 09:51am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: PC lock-up problem -- voltage spikes -- PS gone bad?
dont have much advice but i thought it was funny how whenever a women posts something it gets like a hundred replies lol.

AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+
MSI K9N Platinum SLI
4Gb Corsair XMS2 DHX 4-4-4-12 (2 x 2Gb)
1 x 500Gb Seagate 32mb cache
2 x 200Gb Maxtor HDD's
1 x 512Mb BFG 9800GTX+ OC
630W Coolermaster PSU
22" Samsung 2232BW Monitor
Predator Dec 11, 2004, 10:05am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: PC lock-up problem -- voltage spikes -- PS gone bad?
Antec, Enermax, Thermaltake

AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Venice
DFI LanParty UT nForce4 Ultra-D

New Forum: http://www.cyberitforums.com

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