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PC stone dead


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#1
starbear

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I originally posted this in Malware forum with no luck so far but as its a definite hardware problem as well, I thought I might try here if thats ok: My Acer T160 is absolutely dead, with no signs of life whatsoever.

Following removal of several Trojans by malaware bytes, my PC would not boot fully and kept cycling from inital screen (with selections for Setup or Boot Menu) and blank screen. I made a CD of the AVG Isoburn fix but it would not run. I am sure the PC is set up to boot from CD but could not access bios to confirm this as selecting F12 or Del keys had no effect at all.

Decided to check for loose internal connections and took opportunity to hoover out dust But now there is no power to PC at all. I have checked for loose connections, checked the power lead and unplugged all hard drives as well as removing memory sticks but still nothing, not even a light. Reconnected all with same results.

Can malware actually kill a PSU?
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#2
Spyderturbo007

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Do you have access to a power supply tester? Most motherboards have a green LED that indicates power to the board. Can you search around and see if you have one and if it is lit up when the power cord is plugged into the power supply.

Download the Service Manual for your machine here and turn to page 92. Please verify that all the connections are correct for the Front Panel. It's possible you got them mixed up when reconnecting and the pin configuration is incorrect.
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#3
Digerati

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Can malware actually kill a PSU?

No.

Most motherboards have a green LED that indicates power to the board.

Actually, most don't. And those that do have LEDs may not use green ones - they could be any color. And if there is an LED, it typically only signifies the existance of +5V as a reminder to unplug the PSU before reaching in. It does not confirm the +3.3V or +12V voltages are present. So a tester would be better, or better yet would be to swap in a known good PSU.
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#4
Spyderturbo007

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I guess I stand corrected. Please disregard my post.
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#5
phillpower2

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Have you checked the fuse in the plug and if the psu has an EU/US voltage switch on the rear make sure it is in the correct position 110v or 230v.
This is by no means a conclusive test but if you remove the psu from the computer and using a paper clip short out the pins as described at this link http://www.smpspower...rs-pinouts.html if the psu doesn't switch on you know for sure it is dead and you need to purchase a new one, I'm only trying to save you some time and trouble in case you cannot get your hands on another psu to try.
If the psu does switch on then you should follow the advice of Digerati as a safeguard.
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#6
Digerati

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Have you checked the fuse in the plug

That's a UK thing. They don't put fuses in plugs here in the US.
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#7
phillpower2

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Digerati just a FYI we have a Houston in the UK but no NASA
http://en.wikipedia....n,_Renfrewshire



Thanks for the enlightenment that US plugs have no fuses :D

Edited by phillpower2, 04 November 2010 - 01:45 PM.

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#8
starbear

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Thank you for those replies and tips guys.

I have checked the fuse (UK Houston!) and checked power lead for continuity and all is ok. I have now checked the the PSU as you suggested Phillpower2 by jumping those those two pins (thanks for that link)but sadly no effect. The PSU would appear to be "gubbed" as we say in these parts. So I guess I'll have to source another but am concerned as to how it failed in the first place. Could it have been me or malware or just pure co-inidence?
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#9
iammykyl

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NO for mailware damaging your PSU.

Here is a link to your product page > http://support.acer....reT160sp2.shtml

Shows you have a 300w PSU, "stand industrial grade".

I would say it has just given up the ghost or
If you have upgraded the video card? the PSU may have been stressed and than failed.
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#10
Digerati

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Digerati just a FYI we have a Houston in the UK but no NASA

There are many towns here with the same name, and new ones too. I think one is named after York, you might have heard of it. :D And for the record, I lived in East Anglia for 4 years in the 80s.
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#11
phillpower2

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Just in case you cannot get a psu at a local comp store here are a couple of suggestions.
Please bear in mind that I would always recommend a brand name psu with a known track record
but our options in the UK are pretty limited so the first 2 are based on reviews only;
http://www.novatech....nov-psu500.html
http://www.novatech....nov-psg500.html
Of the my choice would be this http://www.novatech....mpsu-500cx.html
Novatech psu home page http://www.novatech..../powersupplies/

but am concerned as to how it failed in the first place. Could it have been me or malware or just pure co-inidence?

Couple of things to consider, how old is the psu, how much use has it had, is it the original generic psu (branded suppliers like Acer, Dell and Gateway/emachines etc do not use known brand power supplies in order to keep costs down, iammykyl has already answered your malware concern and pretty much summed up that your present psu has simply worn out.
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#12
Digerati

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but am concerned as to how it failed in the first place. Could it have been me or malware or just pure co-inidence?

As I noted earlier, and mykyl reiterated, malware cannot take out a PSU. Understand malware is software. Power supplies do not run, use, need, or process software. At most, malware can cause your CPU to run at 100% which may put a greater demand on an already weak and stressed, or failing PSU.

I would and do recommend all computers be on a "good" UPS with AVR (automatic voltage regulation) to ensure the power being fed to the PSU from the wall is clean and stable. If your house current is "dirty", that causes the regulator circuits in the PSU to work harder and that generates more heat (see last line in my sig). Note a surge and spike protector is little more than a fancy, but expensive extension cord.
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#13
starbear

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Thanks again all for comments, tips and links. All very useful, so it looks like a complete coincidence with the timing of the failure, so I will now set about evaluating replacement PSU and possible upgrade to PC as it is quite old and very basic or perhaps whether it's time for a new set up.


Thanks again

SB
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#14
123Runner

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Please let us no the outcome.
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#15
Digerati

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so I will now set about evaluating replacement PSU and possible upgrade to PC

Below is my canned text on sizing and selecting a PSU. And just remember that OEM licenses are not transferable, and new motherboards constitute a new computer. Therefore, if your current version of Windows is an OEM version and you upgrade your motherboard, you will need to purchase a new license for Windows, or use one of the many free Linux alternatives.
************

Use the eXtreme PSU Calculator Lite to determine your minimum power supply unit (PSU) requirements. Plug in all the hardware you think you might have in 2 or 3 years (extra drives, bigger or 2nd video card, more RAM, etc.). Be sure to read and heed the notes at the bottom of the page. I recommend setting Capacitor Aging to 30%, and if you participate in distributive computing projects (e.g. BOINC or Folding@Home) or extreme 3D animated gaming, I recommend setting both TDP and system load to 100%. These steps ensure the supply has adequate head room for stress free (and perhaps quieter) operation, and future hardware demands. Research your video card and pay particular attention to the power supply requirements for your card listed on your video card maker's website. If not listed, check a comparable card (same graphics engine and RAM) from a different maker. The key specifications, in order of importance are:

  • Current (amperage or amps) on the +12V rail,
  • Efficiency,
  • Total wattage.
Don’t try to save a few dollars by getting a cheap supply! Digital electronics, including CPUs, RAM, and today's advanced graphics cards, need clean, stable power. A good, well chosen supply will provide years of service and upgrade wiggle room. Look for power supply brands listed under the "Good" column of PC Mechanic's PSU Reference List. Note that some case retailers “toss in” a generic or inadequate PSU just to make the case sale. Be prepared to “toss out” that supply for a good one with sufficient power.

Most PSUs have an efficiency rating of around 70%. This means for every 100 watts of power a PSU draws from the wall, only 70 watts is delivered to the motherboard, with the rest wasted in the form of heat. The best supplies are 85 to 90% efficient, and as expected, cost more. I strongly recommend you pick a quality supply with an efficiency rating equal to or greater than 80%. Look for 80 Plus - EnergyStar Compliant labels.

Too big of a PSU hurts nothing but your budget. Your computer will draw from the PSU only what it needs, not what the PSU is capable of delivering. If a computer needs 300 watts it will draw 300 watts regardless if the PSU is a 350W, 650W, or 1000W PSU. In turn, the PSU, regardless its size will draw from the wall only what it needs to support the computer. In this example, it will draw 300 watts, plus another 45 – 90 watts, depending on the PSU’s inefficiency.

As noted, the eXtreme Calculator determines the minimum requirements. If the calculator (with the changes I suggested) recommends a 400 watt minimum, a quality 400W supply will serve you just fine. But a quality 550W – 600W supply will have, among other things, larger heat sinks to dissipate potentially more heat. It might have a larger fan too. The 400W supply will run most of the time closer to capacity, while the larger supply will be loafing along, rarely breaking a sweat. To help the smaller heat sinks get rid of the wasted 80 watts (20% of 400) of heat, the fan in the 400W supply may need to run full speed, while the fan in the larger supply, with bigger sinks just loafs along too – but in near silence.

Don't forget to budget for a good UPS with AVR (automatic voltage regulation). Surge and spike protectors are inadequate.


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