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power supply issues


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#1
Zylocks

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So I had a problem a few weeks ago. I came back from a job up north that lasted a month, and my computer was disassembled in the corner. my brother had moved it and taken my spot in the house while i was gone. i put it back together and all that showed on my monitor was a black screen. i eventually figured out that it was the power supply after subbing in my brothers. now about 3 weeks later the same problem has popped up. black screen of death. the weird thing is that it happened after i disassembled it and put it back together again. i went over to my friends house, brought my computer with me, and it worked fine. when i brought it back home it had the same problem. the only other strange thing was that while at my friends house, my computer reset twice, as i was stepping over the computer box. like i tapped it gently, or stepped on a wire or something. it's never done that before.

either way, i don't really want to buy another power supply at this moment.. i don't want to buy one to find out that something is destroying them, and takes yet another one. the first one that died was a pretty decent power supply, but the second one that i subbed in was pretty mediocre. i would just dismiss it (because of the fact that the first one died after about a year, and the second one was pretty crappy), but they both died the same way.

any help guys?! it'd be greatly appreciated.

Edited by Zylocks, 20 July 2008 - 05:13 PM.

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#2
Titan8990

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I found these symptoms to be one of two reasons. These symptoms are:

Fans spin, lights come on, screen stays blank
sometimes boots like it should


I typically either find this to be:

A) faulty RAM modules

B) motherboard slowly going due to ESD

Start by trying some different RAM modules.
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#3
Zylocks

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thanks for the reply.


if i sub in a new power supply, and it works, does that mean its just the power supply? or are you saying that one of those two things are causing the power supply problems, and even if it does work after i sub in the new one, that there could be problems with my mobo/ram
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#4
Titan8990

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Really, all I was trying to say is test the RAM first. It is typically easy to drop your RAM in another machine or use someone else's RAM in your machine. It is usually not a bad idea to test the easier things first.

The fact that the computer seems to work at random does indicate to me that one of the two things listed above are the problems.


Typically when it is a power supply issue you press the power button and it does nothing. Often when a power supply "goes" there is smoke and popping letting you know that it is done.


What are your exact symptoms? What happens when you press the power button exactly?

if i sub in a new power supply, and it works, does that mean its just the power supply?


I would put the whole power supply thing on hold for now as at this point I don't think that is the issue.
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#5
Zylocks

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alright, i'll start from the beginning then. diving into the middle wasn't the greatest way to explain my situation. when i press the power button to my computer, i can hear and see life coming from my computer. there are lights on the mobo, on my ram, fans turning etc.. but nothing appears on my monitor. the reason why i think its the power supply is because these same symptoms happened about 3 weeks ago, and it was resolved after switching up the power supply.
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#6
Titan8990

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I don't think that swapping PSUs fixed the issue. I believe that it was chance that it worked. Sort of like when you took it your friends house and it worked.

A few months before I started to get in to the IT business I had a computer with nearly identical issues. I tried for days to get it to work. Finally I took it to a computer shop. They plugged it in and booted fine. Luckily they didn't charge me and they sent me on my way saying there was nothing wrong with it. This was my first custom build.

After about a year 2 RAM slots went bad on the board. The board died about 2 months later. I am still using the same computer (kind of). I slowly replaced every part in the rig, even the case.

The symptoms you are having (minus the inconsistency) I have seen multiple times in machines with faulty RAM modules or bad slots on the board. Again I will stress to try different RAM first. Try one stick and in different slots.

If that fails I would defiantly be leaning towards and issue with the board. The power supply is the last thing I would suspect in this situation. Like I said before PSU issues symptoms are almost always the following:

Press power button
Nothing happens

Borrow some RAM from a friend and let me know the results.

Edited by Titan8990, 21 July 2008 - 08:26 PM.

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#7
Zylocks

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daaaaym, nice call :).

although i've got some confusing news to report? i subbed in my brothers ram and guess what;l my computer worked perfectly! although, i tried putting in my ram afterwards and it also worked perfectly... is it POSSIBLE that my ram could have just been lose or something O_o.... i don't want my computer to keep randomly dying on me again though. how do i figure out if the rams got some problems?

*edit* arg, im so confused now. this made me doubt the first powersupply dying, so i tried that one, and it works too. and i just ordered a new power supply online. hrm.. i must take things slower..

thanks for the help Titan. where would you recommend i go from here?

Edited by Zylocks, 21 July 2008 - 10:01 PM.

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#8
Zylocks

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sorry to bombard you with information... but i've got some more news.

my computer seems to be working perfectly fine now (if only for the moment), but now when i tried hooking my brothers back up, he seems to be having the same problem i did. i tried turning on his computer, and all i get is the black screen, the computer itself seems to have turned on though. it's strange because, his computer was working fine beforehand. in fact i used his power supply after i thought mine broke, and i used his ram to test my computer out when you first suggested it (i now have my own ram back in my computer). could i have accidently unplugged something in there/not plugged something back for this error to occur? i tried putting my ram in his computer just for kicks, but nothing changed. although could it be possible that his motherboard may not be able to support my ddr2 ram? although again.. his ram worked fine on my computer when i was testing it. hrm.. i kind of went in circles there, but i hope you understand everything i've said.
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#9
Titan8990

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thanks for the help Titan. where would you recommend i go from here?


Personally, I would just ride it out until something completely goes. You could start replacing parts but because a issue like this is hard to diagnose the exact problems you may end up replacing multiple things before the issue is fully resolved (but you could aslo be fixing multiple problems).

could i have accidently unplugged something in there/not plugged something back for this error to occur? i tried putting my ram in his computer just for kicks, but nothing changed. although could it be possible that his motherboard may not be able to support my ddr2 ram?


There is never anything wrong with double checking connections. DDR2 RAM will not physically fit in a DDR slot so you don't need to worry about that.


Did you remember to ground yourself prior handling this components?
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