computer problems

Discussion in 'Computing' started by silent_nick, May 30, 2003.

  1. silent_nick

    silent_nick Guest

    alright, tonight I tried to boot up my computer and it was having problems. A message came up that said something to the effect of "There's a problem with your hardware. Check the Hardware Monitor for details." So I checked the hardware monitor but there was no explanation of anything, just fan speed and voltage ratings. I don't know what the correct fan speeds should be, but anyway - I turned it off and opened up the case and looked around. Nothing was unplugged but I went in and pushed in connections just in case something was loose. Then I booted it up again and it worked. So I shut it down and tried it again but as soon as I turned it on I heard a loud pop coming from what I think was the power supply and now the computer won't go on.

    I think this means the power supply is ^#$%ed. Does this sound like a correct diagnosis? If not, what else could be the problem. I'm not a computer technician but I know a little.

    I'm running a P4 2.4 with XP and a P4PE board.

    Any ideas?

  2. silent_nick

    silent_nick Guest

    oh, i forgot to mention that after I exited out of Hardware Monitor and Setup it would begin to boot. It would get to the Windows XP screen (not the desktop, just the Windows XP loading screen) and then automatically shut off and restart and do it again.

    That might be significant to the problem. I don't know....

  3. Dan Guenette

    Dan Guenette Guest

    Computers start acting weird when there is too much heat. These high powered P4's are especially prone to cpu heatups.
    With the side panel off try to turn the machine on and visually inspect the fans.
    Of course with the pop you heard it might not start at all.
  4. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    The hardware problem it is reporting is saying that either the fan for the CPU or the power supply is going to slow! You can choose to have it ignore these or if you have an adjustable fan control on either the CPU or PSU, speed it up!

    If the system is shutting itself down I would make sure that you either put the heat sink on properly or if you applied thermal paste to put more on to make sure it's done properly!

    Opus :D
  5. silent_nick

    silent_nick Guest

    I have the fans that came with everything. The heat sink came with the processor. The Power supply fan is just the stock fan. Should I assume that the speeds for these are not adjustable? If they're not, should I buy extra fans when I replace the power supply? How many? Also, what's a good power supply wattage. I think the one that blew out is 350.

    Thanks Opus - king of all computer questions,
  6. silent_nick

    silent_nick Guest

    It was the power supply. The guy at PC Club said everything was fine and that I probably just got a shitty power supply when I bought the case. He replaced it with another power supply from an identical case. I hope this takes care of it. Are the stock power supplies generally shitty? Or did I just receive one bad egg?

  7. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Depends on the brand of the PSU!

    I always replace any built on PSU with an Enermax that has speed control on it! Enermax are one of the best PSU's out there, along side Antec.

    I prefer Enermax due to their nice cabling design, which makes the wires in the PC more organized and less cluttered!

    Better airflow that way. Also both Enermax and Antec have dual fans on them, one on the inside and the other on the outside!

    I recommend the minimum be 350 Watts but idealy for the proper overhead get yourself a 430 Watt PSU!

    Opus :D
  8. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Member

    How much is the power consumption of let's say a 2.5 GHz P4 or Athlon based DAW system with 512MB, 2 HD's, a CD-RW and an "audio graphics card" such as the Matrox G550? What is your definition of sufficient overhead?

  9. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Mr Blue

    Look at it this way....24V for ATX PSU plus 3.3V on P4 CPU(ya know that little 4 pin dealio)

    5V per drive...

    Now, you have PCI cards and video cards, onboard peripherals, USB devices, FireWire devices....etc etc etc..

    Now, good PSU's will have a better filtering process, which is very important. The less filtering it does the more noise that is emitted into the system, whether you hear that noise or not is not important. The fact that it is there is the key.

    The higher wattage the PSU you have the less noise there is going to be induced when the PSU is more than 20% loaded!


    Opus :D
  10. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Member

    Gee, Opus,

    I can never tell if you are joking or if you are just testing me :D .

    OK, for "shits and giggles" (as my buddy says) I will assume that you are testing me. So here is what I learned during my electrical engineering studies :D ).

    The only valid reason I can see to justify significant overhead in a power supply would be to account for certain "spike loads" that are caused e.g. when a hard disk spins up - but even those units are generally "current limited" to prevent damage to these sensitive systems.

    While preparing for my test here, I did a quick research and found the main CPU to be the main consumer in a PC. An Athlon XP2600+ consumes roughly 55 Watts during normal crunching operation. Hard disks are less than 12 Watts each during read/write operation - the heat generated is usually a good indication of the power consumption. The motherboard and memory are no big deal in the overall picture but let's account them for another 20 Watts. Same for the graphics card (although 10-15 W will be plenty for most cards we are talking about). Throw in a sound card and add them generously together and you are at 150W tops. A 300W power supply accordingly offers 100% headroom.

    I honestly don't know where the "20% load" guideline comes from so please don't hesitate to educate me. I promise I can be convinced :D but I also admit that I have serious doubts whether it is really necessary to have 400% of headroom in a power supply ... :roll: .

    <Smartass Mode OFF>

  11. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Well, this information comes from the main hardware designer from Apogee Electronics...this is one serious guy to talk to! Sometimes I have to have him repeat the information a few times or tell it to me in laymens terms so I can understand it! :D

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