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Is my power supply going out?


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#1
Goodfortitude

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Is my power supply going out, overtaxed, both or neither. About two months ago I installed a cd burner. Now I have a cd burner, dvd drive, and a base speaker with four smaller ones and that's really it other than the usual hardware. Anyway about 3 weeks ago I noticed that my power supply box in the back of the pc was making a very high pitched whistle. It's pretty much constant now when the power is switched on. But, it's sort of hard to hear it unless you listen for it. I'm not sure if I just didn't notice this before. So, I don't know if that's usual or unusual for the power supply.

Today, I had to try turning my computer on atleast 5 or 6 different times because it just kept jamming up before it would get to the log on screen. It's booting up very slowly or not at all. A couple times I saw a "unknown flash object" message on the first load up screen (can't remember the name of the boot screen). Another time the desktop loaded up but the cpu usage was at 98 to 100 % constantly, and bogged down so I had to restart anyway. Basically, I'm having some serious issues with the boot up process. I don't know if it's power supply problems or not, but I'm about 99 % sure that it's not virus or spyware related, I stay on top of that pretty well. And, ofcourse, this last time it loaded up just fine. Any ideas?
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#2
Neil Jones

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Unplug the CD drive and see if things improve.
Also how big is your PSU? On the label on the side of the power supply, it'll tell you how much power (ie number of watts) it produces.
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#3
Goodfortitude

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It's a 450 watt. But, what about the noise? Do most power supplies do that? I mean it's not THAT loud. I can ignore it if I block it out, but I never noticed it before.

Edited by Goodfortitude, 08 September 2007 - 05:47 PM.

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#4
Neil Jones

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The only noises a PSU should really be making is the sound of a running fan unless its an ultra-quiet one.
Whistling is not a good sign, if you can only hear it when you're next to the supply its usually okay but if you can hear it across the room and down the stairs, then it almost always means a fault has or is developing. I would argue if you can hear it over the other fans in the system then its something to be concerned about, otherwise keep an eye on it.

Having said that, whistling PSUs can cause issues with other components and Windows installations. If you have access to another power supply, swap it out and see what happens.
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#5
Goodfortitude

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I had some more trouble today. I noticed when it jammed up today the whistle got even louder. So there's not much of a question in my mind anymore. Thanks Neil for all the help. Until I get access to another power supply I think I'll just let my computer rest for a while...

Edited by Goodfortitude, 09 September 2007 - 08:31 PM.

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#6
Goodfortitude

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What things do I need to consider when buying a new power supply? Most of them I looked at today had the right adapters. I think I should get atleast a 450 watt. I guess it will fit into the case o.k. But does it matter that I have an amd sempron 2600 or that I have an ecs 755-A2 MB. Or, are the psu's sort of universal?

Edited by Goodfortitude, 09 September 2007 - 10:11 PM.

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#7
Neil Jones

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All boards (save for Dells) use exactly the same power connectors and all relatively new desktop computers (save for Dells, Time/Tiny and the odd hybrid HP computer) use the same size PSU dimension-wise.
Ideally the biggest wattage you can find is the better, as the computer just won't use the surplus until there's a demand for it (say by your adding extra components for example).
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