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Power Supply / Video Card

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Greetings all Geeks to Go People,
I am new here (and to the computer world)and am hoping someone can help me.

I am trying to upgrade the video card in my old system to be able to play the newer games.
I have a P4 3g,with an HP D530 SFF motherboard- chipset Intel i865pe.

I was trying to replace my AGP geoforceFX5200(128mb)video card with an AGP Geoforce7600gs(512mb).

I was told I would need to get a bigger power supply so i bought a 420w power supply to replace my 350w one.

When i got home, I installed the new 7600 video card and the new power supply but the power supply i had been given was much smaller in size than the one I was replacing. I can only use 2 screws to hold it down and there is alot of open space around it.. this new one says it is a MicroATX.

all seemed to be ok for the first half an hour and then bells and whistles started going off to tell me my hard drive was overheating.. I have NEVER had that happen before. I immediately shut down the computer and let it sit for about half an hour before turning it back on.

When i turned it back on, the fans were spinning but the computer wouldnt boot up. The screen kept telling me to check my video cables like it does when it goes into standby mode.

I was scared i had fried something so i took out the new power supply and video card and put the old ones back in it - the computer came back on like it always had and the hard drive never overheated even after using it for several hours.

What happened ?? Could this Micro ATX power supply have anything to do with it?? Does a Micro power supply distribute its power differently than a full sized one ??
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    motto - Just get-er-done

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No, microATX does not use power differently. More than likely you either have a very cheap built PS that does not put out the advertised power or the PS is bad and starting to fail already. What it sounds like here is the 5 volt line is underpowered so it causes a brown out condition for the power going to the HD. This will cause the HD to fail pretty quickly. HD's are run on 5 volts.

One way to check these things is to install Speedfan on your computer and see if it will read the voltages on your PS. Another method is to go into the bios and and see if you can read temps there.High temps all around may indicate a low voltage situation.

Here's a good website on power supplys.


The johnny guru website is one of the best, but may be way more knowledge than you need. I do not buy cheap PS's but would rather spend the $100 or so to get the best PS i can get.

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