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Old 2011-05-01, 20:21   #1
garo
 
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Default Computer diet - Need help

About a week ago I came home to see my computer switched off. When I tried restarting it, the power LED came on for a second and then went off. The fans did not move. This happened a couple of times when I tried again and then I got an acrid smell from what I think was the PSU. I guessed that the PSU must have died and ordered a new one. I installed it today. Initially the computer would not come on when I pressed the power switch but then it came on and everything looked hunky dory until it suddenly switched off about 15 minutes later. I got s faint acrid smell again but not as strong and now it won't restart. Any idea what might be causing the problem? The computer has run for a year and a half since I built it without any problem.

i5-750 OCed to 3660
Gigabyte P55M-UD2
G.Skill PC3-1600
Gigabyte 7600GS
An old DVD drive Pioneer D-111 I think
Samsung SATA DVD-RW
WD SATA HDD

The first PSU was an Antec Neo HE430 and and second is a Corsair TX-650. Both are more than sufficient for my config.

Nothing has changed recently apart from an upgrade to the F11 BIOS from F3 and perhaps a slight change in the DDR voltage. Any clues?
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Old 2011-05-01, 20:43   #2
xilman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garo View Post
About a week ago I came home to see my computer switched off. When I tried restarting it, the power LED came on for a second and then went off. The fans did not move. This happened a couple of times when I tried again and then I got an acrid smell from what I think was the PSU. I guessed that the PSU must have died and ordered a new one. I installed it today. Initially the computer would not come on when I pressed the power switch but then it came on and everything looked hunky dory until it suddenly switched off about 15 minutes later. I got s faint acrid smell again but not as strong and now it won't restart. Any idea what might be causing the problem? The computer has run for a year and a half since I built it without any problem.

i5-750 OCed to 3660
Gigabyte P55M-UD2
G.Skill PC3-1600
Gigabyte 7600GS
An old DVD drive Pioneer D-111 I think
Samsung SATA DVD-RW
WD SATA HDD

The first PSU was an Antec Neo HE430 and and second is a Corsair TX-650. Both are more than sufficient for my config.

Nothing has changed recently apart from an upgrade to the F11 BIOS from F3 and perhaps a slight change in the DDR voltage. Any clues?
Hmm, it's pretty clear from your description that the magic smoke has been let out of at least one component.

Something similar happened to one of my systems some months ago. The first thing I did, after failing to get the machine to reboot, was to remove the disk and connect it to another system. Luckily the disk was fine and I was able to copy all its data to a backup.

Next suggested step is to remove the power connectors from all peripherals which have them (disks, etc) and remove all inessential add-in cards. Then boot to the BIOS if possible and check everything out. If it isn't possible, use a voltmeter to see whether the replacement PSU is working properly.

Leave power on for a few hours to see whether the minimal system is at least marginally stable. Assuming it is, plug in peripherals one at a time. I'd start with the CD/DVD and boot first a memory tester and then a live Linux CD so you can run an OS and high-level diagnostics.

TBH, I suspect that the dying PSU may have caused mobo damage. It did in my case and I'm now trying to scrounge a socket 939 mobo to revive a system which is so old that it's not really worth paying out for a new one.

Good luck!

Paul

P.S. I assume that all the relevant fans were spinning when you first tried with the new PSU...

Last fiddled with by xilman on 2011-05-01 at 20:45 Reason: Add P.S.
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Old 2011-05-01, 20:59   #3
garo
 
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Thanks for the response Paul. Seems like a sensible POA. The computer was functioning totally normally for the 15 mind. Even ran Prime95 and checked that the core temp did not exceed 70. How do you get a voltmeter to check the Psu when nothing is running?
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Old 2011-05-01, 21:08   #4
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Does the motherboard have a MemOK! switch?
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Old 2011-05-01, 23:12   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garo View Post
Thanks for the response Paul. Seems like a sensible POA. The computer was functioning totally normally for the 15 mind. Even ran Prime95 and checked that the core temp did not exceed 70. How do you get a voltmeter to check the Psu when nothing is running?
Go to Radio Shack, purchase a pocket digital multimeter for $15 to $30...set it to read DC volts....it doesn't care if things are running or not!

Just in case it's not obvious...
Then, look up on your mobo specs to see what's supposed to be on the power connectors...if you don't have it, you can look up my ASRock 880GM/LE micro ATX mobo, which gives the connector pinouts....poke the meter probes into the back of the connector to touch the ferrule that holds the insulation on the wires.

If you have an working system, plug into that...you are looking for +5V, +12V, and -5V, generally and the Mobo regulates that down to the CPU and bus voltages.

HTH

If you lived near me I'd steal the thermal imager from work and we could find out exactly where that smoke was being let out....then return the imager in the morning.
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Old 2011-05-04, 19:27   #6
henryzz
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I had a dvd drive go a while back taking out 2 PSU before we got to the bottom of it(3 if you include the psu of another pc sharing the extension cord which it murdered)
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Old 2011-09-17, 20:15   #7
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Digging up an old thread. I did get a multimeter and discovered the PSU was gone. Got a new PSU and that got the system up and running but fried after a day. Then I disconnected an old hard drive and got another psu. This time when the computer rebooted it complained about the overclock and BIOS screen said that it had been dialed back to stock. So I clocked back the OC and had it running on 3320MHz for about 10 days before it seems to have given up the ghost again. The only components I have connected right now are the GPU, had disk and a DVD drive. So most likely it is the mobo that causes occasional surges that take out the PSU. Should I just bite the bullet and get a new mobo?
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Old 2011-09-17, 20:31   #8
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You haven't really proven that it's the mobo yet......there's a GPU and a CPU in there, and RAM, and all of these have mechanisms that can cause the beast to give up the ghost, and you haven't said if you have good cooling or not....too bad I can't stop by and point my thermal camera at it.

But the mobo may be the cheapest component to try next...assuming it's not a server-class beast....Oh, and hit Lowe's for a "Kill a watt" device to watch the system power draw...that may give you some good clues.

Might also want to run CPU-Z and GPU-Z (or their equivalents, like LM-sensors) to see if it can tell you which component is running too hot.

Last fiddled with by Christenson on 2011-09-17 at 21:09
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Old 2011-09-18, 21:18   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christenson View Post
You haven't really proven that it's the mobo yet......there's a GPU and a CPU in there, and RAM, and all of these have mechanisms that can cause the beast to give up the ghost, and you haven't said if you have good cooling or not....too bad I can't stop by and point my thermal camera at it.

But the mobo may be the cheapest component to try next...assuming it's not a server-class beast....Oh, and hit Lowe's for a "Kill a watt" device to watch the system power draw...that may give you some good clues.

Might also want to run CPU-Z and GPU-Z (or their equivalents, like LM-sensors) to see if it can tell you which component is running too hot.
You are right. It could be the GPU - an old 2006 vintage silent Gigabyte GeForce 7600 GS. Or the CPU or RAM. Unlikely to be the CPU though no? Cooling is not a problem. I've got a Noctua beastie in there and core temps never exceeded 60C.

I've also run CPU-Z and CoreTemp for a day at a time and did not pick up any anomaly. I really really doubt that heat is an issue. The PSU I got was a Corsair 650W so more than enough headroom for the system I run.

The components are all pretty standard. The mobo is a Gigabyte P55M-UD2 and teh CPU an I5-750.
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Old 2011-09-18, 21:46   #10
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One last thing occured to me. A week before the first blowout I upgraded the BIOS to F11 from F2. Gigabyte mobos ad an issue tat prevented tem from recognizing an iphone in Win7. Te BIOS fixed this but my troubles started soon after. Coincidence?
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Old 2011-09-18, 23:32   #11
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Maybe, maybe not....but if the old mobos with the BIOS upgrade suddenly started shorting out, that might show up on a google search....

I still have the technician's sense that *likely* its the capacitors on the motherboard or GPU that have dried out or started leaking excessively.
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